Counties, Beach Towns Reject Proposed Takeover of NJ Beaches

County and municipal officials turned out at a public hearing in Toms River on Monday to voice their opposition to a bill sponsored by Senator Bob Smith and Assemblyman Chris Bateman that would allow counties to take over the operation of beaches.

Partnership Executive Director presented testimony in support of the Freeholders and shore Mayors in opposition to the legislation, agreeing with the public officials that shore municipalities are best equipped to operate their beaches and that the counties do not have the expertise or resources to pay the costs or to accept the liability that shore towns much incur during the summer season.

Senator Smith requested that the Mayors who gave testimony forward the Senate Environment and Energy Committee (he is Chairman) their beach fee data on sales and expenditures. Senator Smith stated that he planned to invite officials from California, Florida and other states to testify about how they run their free beaches at the next public hearing.

The Sierra Club and the Littoral Society gave their support to the legislation.

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