Hamburg Town Board relinquishes operations of Woodlawn Beach to New York State

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This summer may be the last summer the Woodlawn Beach State Park operates under the Town of Hamburg’s stewardship. The Hamburg Town Board is reconsidering its contract with New York State.

Since 2009, the Town of Hamburg has had a contract with the state and now, that contract is up.

Under the provisions of the current agreement, the town is responsible for maintenance and operation of the state park and the beach.

Hamburg Town Supervisor James Shaw says, they’ve been shouldering that responsibility at a  loss to the tune of an estimated $100 thousand every year.

“It’s difficult, we’ve done some studies as to whether we can make further curtailments in costs,” said Town Supervisor James Shaw. “The state, to their credit, has been very, very generous with us. The only thing, they haven’t been able to do, to our satisfaction, is to subsidize us for the operating losses that we incur in running their facility.”

Shaw says, in addition to revenue, the park is in need of repairs and improvements.

A few of the solutions to the revenue issue include raising the admission fee from $7 to $8 and Shaw says, the state will pay for the installation of an electric gate.

“Those are good things, but we still anticipate that going forward we will lose money,” Shaw said. “And the question for us is, can we better use those funds, that we expend at woodlawn beach, at the Hamburg Town Beach  or at the Hamburg Golf Course?”

The state made a presentation to the town board and then the board voted on the issue.

In a 3-2 vote the Hamburg Town Board voted to relinquish operations of Woodlawn Beach to the state starting in 2020. 

The state released a statement on the matter:

“State Parks has valued our relationship with the Town of Hamburg and are grateful for their stewardship of Woodlawn Beach for the past 10 years. We worked diligently together to reach a mutually beneficial agreement but unfortunately we were unable to find a solution. The Town is under contract to operate the park through the end of this year. We fully intend to keep the park and beach open to the public, and will begin planning to resume operations next year.”

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