Facing varied expenses to rebuild the beachfront after Hurricane Sandy, Belmar may consider upping the price of its beach badges.
In addition to bonds, debt service and donations, a higher beach badge fee is a possible way to fund projects such as a $6.6 million boardwalk rebuild, Belmar Matt Doherty said.
Here's what the mayor and council could consider:
- Increase daily beach badge to $1. Making it $8 for adults, ages 15 under and free.
- Increase seasonal beach badge by $5.
Beach badges are part of a separate municipal budget for the beach, and the money can only be used for beach expenses.
"Right now our beach utility has no debt whatsoever," Doherty said.
In addition to the annual costs of paying lifeguards, raking sand, hiring badge checkers and more, this winter the borough is preparing for the mounting costs of debris removal and boardwalk rebuild after Hurricane Sandy's devastation.
Though Belmar is hoping for FEMA to reimburse 90 percent of the costs, increasing beach badges is still a possibility if that weren't to happen, said the mayor. The borough budgeted a 75 percent reimbursement, and planned for increased badge prices, debt service and fiscal reprioritizing to balance its budget.
"We would only increase beach badges if we feel it's financially necessary," Doherty said. "If we do the whole thing boardwalk and wall and we get considerably reimbursement for buildings, then we won't increase beach badge."