Residents praise cancellation of Warwick beach fees

News

WARWICK, R.I. (WPRI) — Beachgoers in Warwick are applauding a decision to scrap proposed parking fees at the city’s three beaches.

The city’s acting mayor, Joseph Solomon, announced Thursday he’s suspending the implementation of a proposed beach fee for the season.

“I cannot in good faith move forward with this program without definitive budget information,” Solomon said.

City Council and former Mayor Scott Avedisian last year approved a plan that would have charged beachgoers a fee to park at Oakland, Conimicut Point and City Park beaches.

Avedisian said back when he pitched the fee that it was a way to keep the place clean.

“We hope that if you have to put some money into it you’ll be respectful of what you’re enjoying,” he said.

The fees were slated to go into effect June 1. However, Solomon said he wants a more “detailed analysis” of the plan and an “effort to determine the origin of the beach litter that was the impetus for the program to be proposed.”

Richard Legge and his dog, Abby, love spending time at Oakland Beach. Legge found out he could keep coming to the beach free of charge when he tried to buy a pass earlier in the week.

“They said they might not be doing it this year,” Legge said.

The cancellation of the fees was welcome news to Ron Caouette, who said he wouldn’t have been able to pay it.

“I don’t have that kind of money,” Caouette said. “When I came in today, I thought this was the last time I would be here.”

Solomon said he plans to study the cost and income of charged parking fees and to see if it will impact trash left at the beaches. Regardless, he said he will make sure the beaches are clean this summer.

Copyright 2020 Nexstar Broadcasting, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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