WARWICK, R.I. (WPRI) — Beachgoers will once again have to pay to park at three Warwick city beaches.
Beginning July 1, beachgoers will need a parking pass to visit Conimicut, Buttonwoods City Park and Oakland Beach.
Mayor Frank Picozzi tells 12 News he’s bringing back the parking fees because the additional funds will help the city maintain the beaches.
He also said there was a public demand for the passes.
“Residents want it because we’ve had a problem over the last few years,” Picozzi said. “Residents being squeezed out by out-of-towners, who are coming down in droves now.”
But some beachgoers disagree, including Warwick resident Yvette Peck.
She tells 12 News her group of friends visits Oakland Beach frequently for a bit of relaxation, but the news of the beach fees is putting a damper on their plans.
“We have fixed incomes, you know, we can’t just afford to pay and we have been doing this for years,” Peck said.
In May 2018, beachgoers applauded acting Mayor Joseph Solomon’s decision to scrap the proposed parking fees.
The city’s initial plan was to begin charging beachgoers to park June 19, but the date was pushed back because all the available passes quickly sold out, according to Picozzi.
The beach parking passes are $20 for city residents and $40 for out-of-towners. Discounts for seniors and veterans are also available. Those interested in purchasing a pass will be able to do so throughout the entire season once the city restocks later this week.
So far, the city has already sold 500 parking passes.