Wednesday, January 12, 2005

Greenwich Does its Best to Keep Non-Residents Away from the Sound

Here's Greenwich's idea of how to provide access to the publicly-owned waters of Long Island Sound:

If you are a family of four, with two kids 13 or younger, and live in Greenwich, it will cost you $110 for the season.

But if that same family of four does not live in Greenwich, it will cost $60 -- for one day. And to add a dollop of inconvenience to the cost, to exercise its right to swim in the publicly-owned waters of Long Island Sound, that family of four must go to either Town Hall or the East Greenwich Civic Center to buy its passes. Of course, Greenwich had to be sued just to agree to give out-of-towners access to the waters they own for such an outrageous fee.

I argued in my book that one of the reasons Connecticut and New York residents watched idly as the Sound became horribly polluted over the years was that they didn't care about the Sound because it has always been so hard to get to. Not much seems to have changed.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

I guess one's point of view on this depends on their situation. I'm sure that most Town of Greenwich (or Stamford, or Mamaroneck, or Rye, for that matter) residents feel that since their tax dollars are used for maintenance of these beaches (e.g., lifeguards, upkeep, sanitation, etc.) they are the ones who should be allowed to use them.

On the other hand, inland community residents' tax dollars are being used for pollution controls to keep the waterfront suitable for swimming. Furthermore, in New York, COUNTY tax dollars are used to monitor swimming beaches to determine their safety for swimming. Therefore, out-of-town residents are subisidizing a resource to which they have no access.

As one who's been on both sides of the fence, it seems to me that the resolution of this conflict should be to allow shoreline communities to charge a NOMINAL fee for out-of-towners to use their beaches. Something like the annual residential fee divided by ten (assuming ten uses per season by a nonresident, which is probaby a reasonable assumption) would be a fair subsidy.

Any other thoughts?

11:13 AM  

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