NJ lawmakers call for halt to Sandy Hook fee hikes
The National Park Service is proposing a parking and camping fee increase at Sandy Hook, which is expected to take effect in 2017. Sen. Jennifer Beck (R-Monmouth) and Assemblyman Declan O'Scanlon (R-Red Bank) are calling on the agency to rescind their plans.
"This is getting to be a little outrageous," Beck said in a press release Monday. "Just two years ago, the National Park Service increased fees associated with parking at Sandy Hook by 50 percent. Now, they've come back with another plan for a 33 percent increase in some instances. Residents who enjoy the shore, and specifically Sandy Hook, shouldn't be saddled with constantly escalating fees. These residents deserve better."
The proposal calls for an increase in daily parking rates from $15 to $20 starting in 2017 and an increase in season passes from $75 to $100.
"The Jersey Shore thrives on tourism and the opportunities for recreation that go along with being a coastal community," O'Scanlon said. "I don't want to see families becoming priced out of enjoying a weekend on the beach, and cannon support asking residents and taxpayers for even more of their hard-earned dollars just to park on Sandy Hook."
"I'm not irrational. I realize that with inflation, the value of every dollar that every government entity collects goes down every year, so I'm not a knee-jerk, never increase the cost of anything type of person. But, this would have amounted to a 100 percent increase over five years and that is just too much," O'Scanlon said.
An open public comment period is currently taking place. Concerns can be written to the National Park Service. Letters can be sent or emailed to the Office of the Superintendent, Gateway National Recreation Area at 210 New York Avenue, Staten Island, New York 10305.