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Chafee’s proposal to double beach fees doesn’t wash

April 8, 2011

Photo by Kathleen McKiernan

Gov. Chafee’s proposal to double beach parking fees could put a damper on the summer season for locals and tourists.

Surfing the waters in Narragansett, eating clam cakes and clam chowder and spending a summer day at the beach are what many believe make Rhode Island what is it.
Yet, with Gov. Chafee’s proposal to double beach parking fees looming, many Rhode Islanders feel the price increase will only take away from what made this state the Ocean State.

To close a projected $331 million deficit, Gov. Chafee has proposed raising parking fees for state beaches for residents and nonresidents beginning July 1 if the General Assembly approves his budget. State beaches that will be affected include Scarborough, Salty Brine, East Matunuck, Roger Wheeler and Misquamicut.

According to Chafee’s plan, season passes would double, from $30 to $60 for residents and $60 to $120 for non-residents. Weekend daily parking would increase from $7 to $15 for residents and from $14 to $25 for non-residents. The fees for state beaches have not been raised since 2002.

“We have concern regarding any increase to beaches that would alter visitors ability to come to South County. It will give people a reason to look at other areas to visit,” Myrna George, president of South County Tourism Council said.

Many beach lovers think the rise in beach parking fees is too much to ask and that the taxes will only take away from what once made Rhode Island so special.

“I think it’s too much. That’s a lot of money for people who are just making ends meet. They want to come down here to enjoy the beach and they’ll have to pay all that money, that’s a shame,” Jim Prior said as he walked along Roger Wheeler State Beach.

As she walked her dog along East Matunuck State Beach, Hali LaFountain said she strongly disagreed with the governor’s proposal.

“It’s our only benefit for living in this area. We already pay high taxes and to raise them more is astronomical. To pay that much would hurt all of our pockets,” LaFountain said.

As he walked along walked along Scarborough State Beach using his metal detector, one longtime Narragansett fisherman said the rise in beach fees will take away what makes Rhode Island the Ocean State.

For more information pick up a copy of The Narragansett Times.

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April 15, 2011 by Hoff, 4 years 32 weeks ago
Comment: 124

It's been more then obvious what this "Governor" is all about. He certainly is blinded to the fact that the pockets and pocket-books of the residents of Rhode Island are EMPTY!

It's rather unfortunate...the teachers unions run the state and now they have there puppet who won't cut some of the benefits OR cut their pay to help straighten this mess out (not to mention putting a stop to the raises of the legislators aides). Not both, one or the other.

Chafee's a cockroach

April 9, 2011 by T Montana, 4 years 33 weeks ago
Comment: 121

He probably wants the beach all to himself and his pol and banking buddies.


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