Fees to use Garden Pier will increase, effective Oct. 16, according to new rules adopted by Atlantic City Council.

Residents will pay $100 hourly during the week and $125 Sundays to use the Atlantic City Historical Museum or Art Center. They will pay the same for the outdoor plaza in between on the pier extending into the ocean from the Boardwalk at New Jersey Avenue opposite Revel.

Nonresidents will pay $200 hourly during the week and $225 Sundays to use the facilities on the pier, according to an ordinance adopted unanimously by City Council at its last meeting Sept. 26.

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Previously, rates were $50 lower to use the plaza area.

Hours also used to be more restrictive for the Historical Museum. Now operated by the Atlantic City Free Public Library, the museum will be open 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. - an hour later than usual - every day, including Sunday (also new). Although open this past Labor Day, the museum will continue be closed on major holidays as a general rule, library spokesman Don Latham said.

Funded by local property taxes totaling $5.3 million this year, the library took over the museum upon Garden Pier reopening a week before Labor Day.

The 99-year-old structure had been closed more than a year for a $3.3 million renovation project.

The Art Center will be open 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday through Saturday as before.

The restoration's most noticeable component is the ocean panorama formerly obstructed by a fountain and amphitheater remains that were removed during the project. More landscaping, new lighting and decking, and a veneer improved the overall appearance there.

Subtler changes to the Art Center and Museum focused on repairing walls and upgrading its heating, cooling and electrical systems, as well as reinforcement of the structural supports underneath the pier.

More information about renting space at Garden Pier is available from the Atlantic City Office of Special Events at 609-343-6326.

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