By JOANNE L. PAPAIANNI
Asbury Park beach revenues exceeded expectations slightly surpassing the $2 million mark for the second year in a row.
Beach Utility Manager Gary Giberson said he was pleased with the beach tallies given the weather and the fact that many Saturdays were not good beach days.
Figures are still being tallied but he expects it to be more than $2.2 million.
“So we are slightly ahead of last year, but the weather was better last year,” he said.
Giberson said the department’s other goal of keeping people safe was also realized.
“We had a dislocated shoulder, but that was our worst injury,” he said.
“So I’m happy when we keep people safe and make money,” he said. “We haven’t had any tragedies.”
Giberson also said there were two water rescues over the last weekend and urged caution with two hurricanes brewing in the Atlantic.
According to early weather reports Hurricane Jose is expected to travel along the east coast without hitting land, but causing high winds, rain and dangerous surf.
Giberson said even though lifeguards are no longer on duty, beach patrols were on either end of the beach with ATV’s equipped with emergency equipment in the event of a rescue.
He said beach crews are preparing for Hurricane Jose by removing litter barrels and putting up two rows of snow fencing, which collects sand creating a barrier.
“The sand collects between the fences and creates a barrier to stabilize the sand,” he said.
“It’s been a very active season,” Giberson said of the number of hurricanes.
Asbury Park Mayor John Moor said the parking revenues compared to this time last year are slightly ahead of last year’s numbers with an estimated 5 percent increase.
Last year’s total around this time was $3.4 million.
Moor said the use of mass transit and ride sharing programs helps cut down on traffic in the city.
“It cuts down on everything,” he said.
The mayor said the governing body is looking at all alternate ways to provide transportation besides cars.
One of the new programs that the mayor said appears to be successful is the new bike sharing program.
There are several locations throughout town with bike stations that customers can use with a debit or credit card to pick up a bike and bring back to the same location or to any other location in the city.
The bikes are white and have wire baskets attached to the front.
“The program is going very well, better than anybody thought it would,” he said.
Moor said he was pleased over the weekend to see so many people riding the rental bikes on the boardwalk and streets.
“I saw the white bikes being used by tourists, that was really nice to see,” he said.