CAPE MAY — City officials plan to increase the price of daily and seasonal beach tags, but much of the revenue would be used to create more restrooms along the oceanfront.
Deputy Mayor Jack Wichterman had proposed raising the weekly beach badge fee from $15 to $20 as a way to raise money and get rid of portable toilets on the beachfront. After some discussion, City Council decided instead to increase the daily tag from $5 to $6 and the seasonal tag from $25 to $28. Seasonal tags purchased early, dubbed preseason tags, would remain $15.
Wichterman said the move would generate about $125,000 a year, about the same as increasing the weekly tag.
“We’re looking for $125,000 to build new restrooms. They would be to the right (west) of Convention Hall as part of the renovation of the old Oasis restaurant and part of the beach-tag office,” Wichterman said.
City Manager Bruce MacLeod said the permanent restrooms would allow the city to eliminate portable ones near Gurney Street.
The city gets about $2 million a year from beach-tag revenue and puts it in a Beach Utility Fund that pays for lifeguards, tag checkers, beach-replenishment projects, trash removal and other beach costs.
The daily tag was last increased in 2009, when it went from $4 to $5. The three-day tag went from $9 to $10 that year. The weekly tag, which is actually an eight-day tag, since it runs Saturday through Saturday, was last increased in 2011, when it went from $13 to $15.
The seasonal tag purchased before April 1 remains the best deal at $15. It goes on sale Dec. 3 at City Hall. It was last raised from $13 to $15 in 2005. The seasonal tag purchased as of April 1 rose from $17 to $25 in 2005.
Council earlier this week introduced an ordinance raising the daily and seasonal tag prices and hopes to adopt it at the Dec. 4 meeting so the added revenue can be anticipated in the 2013 budget, MacLeod said.
Contact Richard Degener: