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Westport Raises Golf Fees, Beach Parking Fines

WESTPORT, Conn. – Hitting the greens at Westport’s Longshore Golf Course will cost a little more, after the Board of Selectmen on Wednesday unanimously approved fee increases proposed by the Parks and Recreation Commission.

Excluding twilight play, all course fees will increase by $1 this year as a way to raise revenue, Parks and Recreation Director Stuart McCarthy said. An adult handpass for an 18-hole round during the week, for example, will go from $23 to $24. An adult handpass for 18 holes on the weekend will increase from $25 to $26. The fee for twilight play — rounds after 4 p.m. — will increase by $2, from $18 to $20.

“This is a modest fee increase, the first in four years,” McCarthy told the selectmen. “This is a combination of trying to balance our fees, generate additional play and get revenue up.”

Last season, McCarthy said, the department saw an 8 percent decrease in play, largely because of poor weather. He said play across the region also declined. Although increasing fees while demand is down might seem backward, McCarthy said the new fees are competitive with area courses — a factor he hopes will draw more resident and nonresident golfers alike.

Selectman Charlie Haberstroh said that while a $1 increase is not a lot, he’d like an analysis to be done on how the new fees effect play.

In addition to higher golfing fees, the selectmen also unanimously approved higher parking fines for the town’s beach areas. In December, the board approved an increase in daily parking fees for Compo Beach from $20 to $30 on weekdays and $40 to $50 on weekends and holidays.

Since 1985, the fine for illegal parking in beach areas has been $50. Both McCarthy and Westport police Capt. Sam Arciola said the increase in fees necessitated higher fines to create a disincentive for illegal parking. The new fine of $75 will take effect at the start of beach season, May 1.

The selectmen also raised the cost for books of 10 daily parking passes to Compo Beach. A book of 10 weekday passes will increase from $170 to $255, and a book of 10 weekend and holiday passes will increase from $340 to $425.

To see a complete list of fee increases coming to Longshore Golf Course, click here .

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