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Beach policies revised in response to town meeting vote

May 13, 2020
WOLFEBORO — Petitioned warrant articles to restrict public access to Carry and Albee beaches passed with healthy margins in March, sending town officials to the drawing board to craft a new beach policy.

Department of Parks and Recreation Director Christine Collins, Town Planner Matt Sullivan and Town Manager Jim Pineo have presented drafts of a revised town ordinance to the Board of Selectmen for discussion. The resulting final version is posted on the town Web site in advance of a public hearing scheduled for May 20, at 6:30 p.m. Visit the town Web site for instructions on joining the virtual meeting.

Upon approval as proposed, parking access to Carry and Albee beaches will be restricted to those with beach passes or current Wolfeboro Solid Waste Facility stickers. Individually numbered passes will be available (maximum two per household) to town residents and property owners through the Parks and Recreation office at the Pop Whalen area during business hours. Proof of residency can be one of several options: a town tax bill; utility bill; driver's license; or Picture ID displaying a Wolfeboro address.

Guests wishing to use Carry or Albee beaches include overnight guests at any hotel, motel, inn, boarding house, camp ground, lodging house, bed and breakfast or housekeeping cottage situated in the town of Wolfeboro, with Albee Beach guests to also include Cotton Valley Trail users. Registered lodging entities will be issued one pass per room.

Brewster Beach, leased by the town from Brewster Academy, will continue to remain public. No pass will be required for parking, but vehicle access will relate to parking capacity. When Parks and Recreation programs are underway, it will be necessary to accommodate program participants.

Collins presented a plan for monitoring the beaches that includes having a Parking/Entrance attendant and beach attendant between 8 a.m.and 6 p.m., Monday through Sunday, and a curfew in effect from 10 p.m. to 6 a.m. She stated that there will be lifeguards only when Parks and Rec. programs are underway due to budget limitations imposed by the fact that the 2020 operating budget was already determined at the time of the vote. There is not enough money in the Parks and Rec budget to cover monitoring the restrictions and providing the lifeguard coverage of last year.

Varney Smith
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