Beach revenues are way up in Asbury Park as new attractions, hotels, restaurants and worldwide publicity have drawn bigger crowds.
Not only is the beachfront benefiting from the influx, but downtown as well, where several new restaurants and breweries have opened.
On holiday weekends in the summer finding a parking space can be challenging if not downright impossible.
According to beach utilities manager Gary Giberson Sr. the total so far collected in beach pass sales this year has surpassed the 2015 season by $381,498.
Overall there has been a 20 percent increase in the number of beach passes purchased for adults and senior citizens.
Last weekend, Giberson said, badge sales reached $90,000 for the weekend.
Giberson, however, was pleased to report that even with the increase in beach attendance, there have been no major injuries, drownings or safety related incidents all summer.
He did, however, say that lifeguards have been kept busy, last weekend rescuing about 20 people from the ocean currents.
“Never swim without a lifeguard,” Giberson reminded beachgoers.
As positive as the beach budget is this year the municipal budget is facing uncertainties caused by Trenton’s lack of clarity on the amount of Transitional Aid for the 13 cities that have applied for it.
By now, the city should have presented its 2016 budget.
“It’s very late, it’s being held up because of Trenton. We’re not getting any direction from Tenton,” said Mayor John Moor.
Moor said for cities that construct budgets according to the fiscal year, which is July 1 to June 30, the delay does not cause a major problem.
But Asbury Park uses the calendar year and with the year more than half over the city has been operating on a temporary budget.
One concern the mayor had was that residents will be receiving four quarter tax bills very soon after they receive third quarter bills.
“The two bills will be coming right on top of each other. People have to pay them anyway, but that’ a lot to be hit with at once,” he said.
The mayor said Governor Chris Christie has frozen transition aid and won’t tell cities how much they will be receiving.
Without that number, it’s impossible for the city manager to construct the budget.
Moor said an email went out within the month to all department heads instructing them to freeze all unnecessary spending.
This year the city applied to the state for $1.2 million in Transitional Aid.
In the mean time Moor said the city has been in constant contact with the Division of Local Government Services, but Christie has given that agency no direction to the state monitors for each of the 13 cities.
“It’s like being in never, never land, you don’t know what to do with your budget,” he said.
The mayor and City Council have frequently said they would like to get off Transitional Aid completely next year if possible.