Belmar mayor suspends beach fees on Labor Day for Harvey relief

ByEyewitness News via WABC logo
Monday, September 4, 2017
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Anthony Johnson reports from Belmar, New Jersey.

BELMAR, New Jersey (WABC) -- A New Jersey mayor suspended beach access fees and parking fees in the borough of Belmar on Labor Day - asking residents and visitors to instead donate to a municipal relief effort for Rockport, Texas.

The coastal town of Rockport is similar in size to Belmar and received catastrophic damage during Hurricane Harvey.

Mayor Matt Doherty suspended the $8 fee for a day badge setting up receptacles along beach entrances so people can leave donations.

Doherty is planning to deliver collected donations late next week to Rockport, traveling on his own expense.

The mayor says there are parallels to the damage sustained by Belmar during Superstorm Sandy and what Rockport has experienced this week.

"In lieu of payment for the beach and parking, we're asking people to make these donations so if we can do our part and pay it forward and help them the way so may Americans helped our town after Sandy, why not do it," said Doherty.

Belmar also plans to adopt Rockport as a sister city.

The money raised will be used to help residents with things the federal government and insurance generally do not cover, including paying credit card bills and car payments.

(The Associated Press contributed to this report.)