Beach to be closed this summer

Shown is Broadalbin Town Beach on June 24, 2019. (The Leader-Herald/Briana O’Hara)

By BRIANA O’HARA

The Leader-Herald

BROADALBIN — Due to the COVID-19 restrictions, the town beach, which was scheduled to open on June 29 until Aug. 22, will not open this year.

In order to open the beach, the town would have had to follow requirements given by the state Department of Health that Supervisor Sheila Perry does not believe would be feasible to do.

Requirements include physical distancing, more staffing, face coverings at times when residents aren’t socially distant, occupancy can’t exceed 50 percent; hygiene and cleaning requirements; maintain daily health screening practices of every person on site; and the town must post a completed Site Safety Plan on the beach.

“That is not something the town can afford in a budget year of severely decreased revenues,” Perry said. “The town beach falls into phase four on the opening schedule. The town of Broadalbin does not feel we can logistically or financially open under the new guidelines we are required to follow.”

The beach reopened for the first time in several years last summer and was deemed a success. Perry said last year, the beach ran well within budget, meaning those who used the beach paid for the beach. Each person who used the beach was required to pay a $5 parking fee.

Under the license with the state Department of Health, lifeguards are required to keep their eyes on the water on four-hour shifts, and under the user agreement with the Department of Environmental Conservation, the gate guards monitor the incoming cars for compliance with the rules, and collect the $5 parking fees.

However, the Department of Health COVID-19 guidelines would require additional staffing to do constant cleaning and disinfection of the toilet and wash area and all other surfaces routinely touched by the public.

Other requirements include all blankets on the beach must be 10-feet apart with only immediate family members at the same location; masks required for staff and public; the capacity cut from 300 to 150. The parking lot capacity of 60 would be cut in half with only every other parking space allowed in use to keep those at the beach socially distanced, meaning many cars would be turned away one the limit is reached.

“Any infraction or citation could jeopardize our user agreement with the DEC and our operating license with the DOH,” Perry said. “Both were applied for this year with full intention of again operating our wonderful beach.”

By Patricia Older

Leave a Reply