Volusia Beach Driving Revenue Up, Passes Sold Down Slightly
Volusia County officials say their move to raise beach driving rates this year is paying off. Revenue from beach driving passes is up even though the total number of beach passes sold is down slightly.
Volusia County raised the price of a daily pass to drive onto the beach earlier this year from $5 to $10. Annual passes also cost more. County records show revenue from February to June is up $1.2 million over the same time period last year. But beach toll operators have sold about 12 thousand fewer beach driving passes.
County spokesman Dave Byron said it’s too early to say if beach driving is down because those figures don’t include the busy Fourth of July weekend. He said weekend weather, not the cost of passes, determines how many people drive up to the beach. County Councilman Pat Patterson said the additional revenue collected this year will go right back to the beach.
“It’s to offset the actual cost of operating the beach, that’s it. It’s not going anyplace but used for the lifeguards, it’s used for cleaning up. It costs us quite a bit to maintain that beach over there,” said Patterson.
Patterson said it costs about $10 million a year to pay for beach services and upkeep. This is the first year beach pass rates have gone up in nearly twenty years.
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