Volusia County discusses free beach access for residents

One Volusia County leader is proposing the county eliminates beach access fees for Volusia County residents. 

County Council Chair Jeff Brower said residents already pay for beach access through property taxes. He thinks the idea would entice more locals to hit the beach more often.

"Locals have already paid for it. They’ve already paid for beach access. I don’t want them to have to pay again. I believe it’ll bring in extra revenue through the money spent on the beachside and taxes collected," he said.

The proposal would eliminate the $25 fee residents like Len Cada must pay each year to drive through tolls and park on the sand.

"I think that locals, hey, they deserve a break and that’s one way of giving it to them," Cada said.

Brower tells FOX 35 the county makes $6 million from tolls at access points. He adds one million of that comes from local beach passes.

So, how will the county make up for that money lost?

Brower has an idea he plans to bring to Tuesday’s council meeting: Selling naming rights at beach access points.

That would mean businesses or companies would pay the county to name the access point after their business.

"Let’s show that we can recoup this million dollars that we won’t collect from tolls from locals," he said.

"As long as it’s kept in a really professional manner and it’s not blown out of proportion, that would be a good idea," Cada said.

The county council will discuss naming rights at Tuesday’s meeting. Brower said the beach access fee will be discussed likely at the second meeting in April.