By ADAM SWIFT
NAHANT — Just how many people are coming across the Causeway to get Nahant parking stickers?
At the next selectmen’s meeting on Thursday, March 16, board members are looking for answers from town administration about how many town parking stickers are issued each year, and how many are going to non-residents. The conversation was kicked into gear at last week’s board meeting, when selectmen were asked to consider a request to issue free parking permits to town volunteers.
“There are many people down on Short Beach who brag about having a sticker and do not live in Nahant,” said selectman Enzo Barile. “If we are going to consider this, I want a full accounting of every sticker that goes out, whether the board of selectmen give them away, whether the police give them away.”
Barile said that he doesn’t want to get rid of the town’s ability to hand out day passes to non-residents, particularly for relatives of people who live in Nahant. However, he said that when he was younger, relatives would usually borrow the car of the Nahant resident if they wanted to park near the beach.
Originally, the stickers were given for free to all residents, but the town began to charge for beach stickers to pay for guns for the police department, said selectman Chairman Richard Lombard.
Now, Barile said, it can be hard for residents to find parking spots near the beach in the summer, sometimes at the expense of cars from off Nahant. He added that the stickers can be purchased by anyone who pays an excise tax in Nahant, and that someone can register their car in town without living there.
On some busy days in the summer, Barile said he has been at Short Beach and someone will ask him “How can a car down there with a Connecticut license plate have a sticker?”
According to the town website, yearly parking stickers are $10 and are for use by residents whose cars are registered and garaged in Nahant. The sticker is required to park in lots and spaces around town, including lowland/Short Beach; Northeastern/Canoe Beach; Town Wharf lot; and Bailey’s Hill designated spots.
Applications for the current year’s stickers opened on March 3 and are valid through March 3, 2018.
Town Administrator Jeffrey Chelgren said he will have information about how many parking passes were issued last year, as well as how many registered cars there are in town at the board’s next meeting.
“They give out one day passes with no dates on them,” said Barile, noting that issue also has to be addressed this year. “We need a full accounting … I just don’t want it to get out of control.”