WILMINGTON, MA — At last week’s Board of Selectmen Meeting, Selectman Kevin Caira questioned the charge the town imposes upon non-residents at the Town Beach.
“I’ve received some phone calls and correspondence regarding the $10 per person fee,” said Caira. “The issue came up when a resident brought her four grandkids from out-of-town to the beach. She had to pay $40 and I don’t feel that’s right. A grandparent bringing grandchildren to the beach and being charged $40? I think we need to look at that.”
Caira admitted to not having “the perfect solution,” but threw out a couple of suggestions.
“Maybe residents could bring one guest at no chrage,” said Caira. “Or maybe there could be a cap — perhaps a maximum of $15 — when a resident brings out-of-town guests.”
Caira said he realized the beach rules can’t be changed during the current season, but he hopes the issue could be looked at for next year.
“You can’t change the rules in the middle of the game,” acknowledged Caira. “This is something to mull over and talk about in the future.”
Caira made an interesting analogy between the Town Beach and the Town Dog Park.
“We have a dog park. We have out-of-town dog owners using the dog park. Their out-of-town dogs go there for nothing,” began Caira. “But if you go to the beach, we charge our out-of-town grandkids $10. We’re helping out-of-town dogs. We’re not helping out-of-town children. We need to take a look at that.”
Selectman Mike Champoux agreed.
“The spirit of raising the non-resident fee to $10 was to really try to make the Town Beach a Wilmington-based facility, but we might have gone off the rails a little bit,” said Champoux.
Town Manager Jeff Hull agreed to examine the non-resident fee during the beach’s off-season.
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