Friday, May 6, 2016

Fairhope Beaches Being "Trashed" By Visitors

Fairhope, Alabama

Fairhope North Beach park


Because of the "trashing of beach parks" on some weekends, the mayor is asking the city council to raise entrance fees "a couple of dollars" to help cover the higher cleanup costs.

Currently, during Spring and Summer months only, city-area residents having a sticker are allowed in at no charge but others are charged $8 per car and $3 per person for walk-ins; but that is no longer enough to cover the cost of cleaning up the park and restrooms.

Paper, cans and bottles, food, soiled diapers, cold charcoal and miscellaneous other items are being dumped and some of them scattered by the wind; the addition of more  trash and recycling cans last year did not have much impact on the problem.

North Beach Park entrance
Mayor Kant said that Public Works personnel had to come in and clean up twice-daily over the busy weekend of April 24-25th and expenses there have been growing over the years as more people use the park.

He thought some of it may be deliberately done, perhaps by those angry at having to pay at all.

At one time the fees were as high as $20, then lowered to $6 and finally to the present $8 -- over 15 years ago.

Councilmember Brewer agreed a $10 fee seemed right; but  Boone argued that since the beach is meant primarily for the use of Fairhopers and "they are not the problem" -- a $25/car fee on "out of towners" was more appropriate.

The mayor said he thought that that since federal dollars have been spent there the general public had to have access -- and the fees needed to be "fair and reasonable." 

He was to research the matter further to determine exact costs to the city -- and if there is a legal-maximum they could charge, according to any federal or state regulations.


Currently, a regular police officer must witness the offense to issue citations for littering, but a new (non police) part-time official is to be hired -- just to patrol the beach and pier areas on weekends/holidays as needed.
Municipal littering fines are $50 for the first offense, and $100 for subsequent ones; councilman Burrell said he thought issuing more citations was the answer, even though collecting the fines on non-residents may be problematic.

For the time being, the mayor said the entrance booth is to remain open later, until 7PM.


Anonymous said...

Finally a start.

Anonymous said...

Why not just put a gate at the city limits?

Margaret Neely said...

How lazy can you be when there are trash cans everywhere. I think the new patrolman is a good idea and he/she should hand out a lot of citations - there is no excuse for this!!

Anonymous said...

To cover extra costs raise the fees to $20 per car for non residents.

Anonymous said...

If you know who’s doing this, why aren’t they being fined?

Anonymous said...

We drive into the park on weekends and notice most tags are from Mobile (they start with a 2) the fee needs to go up to at least $25 as we are providing them a place and they come to trash it.

Anonymous said...

How about putting an officer on duty on weekends and issue citations to those who litter and pay for the mess. Maybe they will quit littering or quit coming. Either way it is a win.

Anonymous said...

Total disrespect to trash a park. If your to lazy to pick up your own trash you should be fined. Yes, raise the fees, please. That may help

Anonymous said...

Yes please raise the fees it's been long in coming.

Anonymous said...

Raising the fee from 8.00 to 10.00 isn't enough. The 25.00 per car seems more appropriate.

Anonymous said...

I agree 100% with Boone's observation.

Anonymous said...

How about a volunteer group to help the officer. We can give them whistles are even blow horns, every time they witness a liter bug they blast away to get the officers attention. We have a ton of retired folks wondering the parks and city, complaining about how horrible this city is. This will put them to good use in their golden years.

Anonymous said...

I have lived in Fairhope my whole life and local people cannot enjoy the beach due to none Fairhope cars,and the trash on the beach.too many mobile tags or out of state tags.

Anonymous said...

As with anything else, there are good and bad apples. You simply pull out the bad ones via $ fines. Unable to pay then, here is a garbage bag start cleaning up. But this will take a uniformed officer, not park worker. People do not seem to understand there are rules anymore.