City of Plattsburgh to charge town residents beach parking fees

Apr. 23—PLATTSBURGH — For the first time in over 30 years, Town of Plattsburgh residents will be charged parking fees at the Plattsburgh City Beach when it opens for the season next month.

Under a new fee structure, which City of Plattsburgh councilors approved at their April 4th meeting, town residents will now have to pay $30 for a seasonal parking permit at the beach.

Comparatively, the cost for a seasonal parking permit for those outside of town limits will be $60, and city residents will be able to obtain a permit for free once again.

Parking in the Crete Center lot — and general access to the beach itself — will remain free as well and anyone will be able to walk or bike to the beach or be dropped off without paying any fees.


The new fee structure has also increased the daily parking cost at the beach to $13 — up from $12 last year.

In comparison, neighboring Cumberland Bay State Park charges $7 for a vehicle entry fee when the beach is open and $6 when it is not open.

At their April 4th work session, Councilor Jennifer Tallon (D-Ward 4) advocated to lower the beach's daily parking fees to $10 instead, but her proposal did not garner much support.

"The beach is doing well and I wouldn't be inclined to reduce the ... price of a service that we know is pretty well received," City Mayor Chris Rosenquest said.

"And we did have a positive ... attendance last year. and again, this is a reminder to everybody that ... you can park outside of the main area," he added.

"This is really more for the convenience of parking right next to the beach."


Rosenquest said last week the decision to change the fee structure was made because the Falcon Seaboard PILOT Agreement — a 30-year agreement between the two municipalities that gave town residents free access to the beach — expired in December of 2022.

"We extended the courtesy of free parking into the 2023 season, and now that we're in the 2024 season, we felt it fair to raise those rates to half the amount of a season rate," Rosenquest said.

"That's kind of where the council landed on."

Town of Plattsburgh Supervisor Michael Cashman initially thought the city would continue offering free beach parking permits to town residents this year, because Saranac Power Partners, previously known as Falcon Seaboard, was in the process of renewing its PILOT agreement with the Clinton County IDA.

Under these pretenses, Cashman said he believed the terms of that new agreement would remain the same as the original agreement.


"We were going to renew the agreement under some new conditions, but right now, the city is going in a different direction, and that's fine. We'll go in a different direction as well," he said.

"It's not contentious. It's just a different design — a different look and feel to it."

Cashman also noted the city's new paid parking model, which was established in 2022 and coincided with the end of the original Falcon Seaboard agreement, factored into the change.

"Any renewal (agreement) would be under a whole different model," Cashman said.

"It just kind of fell where the chips were and that made the most sense, which is fine. Change is the only thing that's consistent in the world and this is just one of those situations ... It's a different thing that people will have to get used to."


Paid parking enforcement will be in effect during beach hours from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m., seven days a week between the Friday preceding Memorial Day and Labor Day each year.

City Community Development Director Courtney Meisenheimer said those interested in getting a permit will be able to do so online soon.

"Our team is working internally to get the system updated to reflect the new fee structure and we will be opening up the online portal as soon as the system is updated," she said.

According to Meisenheimer, in 2022, the city provided 334 beach passes to town residents. She did not have specific town figures for 2023.

It will be difficult to predict how the new fee structure will affect those previous figures this coming season, because Cashman said town residents' usage of the city beach typically varies.

"Sometimes people would go once per summer; sometimes people would go multiple times."


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