Sales from beach stickers this year have surpassed town officials’ predictions, ending on a high note for the fiscal year that closed last week.
As of June 30, the town received $1.51 million in beach sticker revenues for all categories of the permits. There were 8,452 stickers sold. The 2014 fiscal year closed June 30.
Last year, beach sticker revenues totaled $1.52 million after the town gave back a one-time refund of $113,056. Before the refund was offered, revenue stood at $1.64 million. The town refunded beach sticker fees for those who requested them because of an unforeseen 30-day summer closure from June to July forced by a record number of endangered piping plovers. Sticker sales totaled 8,775 after refunds were given.
While beach revenues are down 7.83 percent compared to the pre-refund figure from last year, they are only one percent lower than the post-refund total, and they are much higher than anticipated. Finance Director John Madden’s revised beach permit revenue projections totaled $1.2 million for fiscal year 2014.
Madden and town Manager René Read offered conservative revenue estimates for permit sales because they were concerned that fewer beach goers would buy stickers this year.
“Revenue-wise, things are better than we anticipated,” Madden told selectmen recently.
The boost in sales can be largely attributed to Duxbury resident buying their beach permits.
They have bought 5,471 beach stickers including 3,267 over-sand permits and 2,204 parking lot stickers.
"The residents came back and then some," said Madden. "It's very encouraging."
Non-residents have purchased 2,981 over-sand permits as of June 30. Last year, they bought 3,276 stickers.
Areas of Duxbury Beach are still closed to the public due to piping plover nests, which has caused the harbormaster’s department to lower the limit of off-road vehicles from 500 to 350. This, in turn, means the ORV beach fills up much earlier on the weekends. For non-residents, the beach was at capacity by 8:40 a.m. last Sunday. It re-opened at 2:36 p.m., according to the harbormaster’s office.