With the sun out and temperatures in the mid-60s, yesterday was a great day to hit Compo Beach -- that is unless you haven't gotten your Westport resident beach emblem or didn't have the $40 daily parking fee on you.
May 1 marked the first day beach season when the town starts enforcing parking fees at all of its beaches. Residents of Westport can purchase a beach parking emblem for $35 from the Parks and Recreation Department, 260 South Compo Road. They need to provide their license, vehicle registration and something to prove residency. This could include utility bills, lease agreements, deeds or inclusion on the town's voter registration list. Beach emblem applications can also be applied for online here .
Some people may own or lease qualifying property in town but their vehicle is registered elsewhere. In that case a beach emblem will cost them $200. The increase is to balance the town's lost revenue on the car registration.
Non-residents are welcome at the beach, but it is going to cost them. A day-pass to park at Compo Beach is $40 per vehicle on weekends. The rest of the week runs a little cheaper at $20 per day.
For those craving the beach experience but looking for something more economical, Sherwood Island State Park, off of I-95 exit 18, follows state parking guidelines. State residents can park at Sherwood for $13 on a weekend. Non-residents pay $22 to park there. May 1 is also the start of fee enforcement at state parks.
Laura Halpern was stationed at Compo Beach checking beach emblems. She said traffic coming into the beach was good, and the majority of visitors were residents who already had their emblems.
Click here to sign up for Daily Voice's free daily emails and news alerts.