Elaine Barnicle of Port Orange: Not enough due diligence to justify Volusia County beach toll hikes

Elaine Barnicle / Let Voluysia Vote / Save Beach Driving / Daytona Beach, FL / Headline Surfer®Save Beach Driving / Let Volusia Vote / Headline Surfer®Letter to the Editor / HeadlineSurfer.com
By Elaine Barnicle
 

DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. -- I believe due diligence has not been conducted regarding an increase in beach tolls.

It is reported revenue will double if tolls double, but there is no guarantee this increase will occur.

Before any toll increase occurs, a thorough analysis should be conducted regarding impact of reduced sales if people rebel and decide they are not willing to pay increased rates.

It should include the number/type of pass and a calculation of a decrease in sales for each with the impact on total revenue.

Our toll management company's current county contract awards them 23% of gross toll revenue or $300,000 in 2014.

With the projected increased revenue, this would pay them $600,000 in 2015 - a significant increase in pay with absolutely no increase in services.

This is unacceptable.

An efficiency study is needed before any increase in tolls to determine where expenses can be reduced and an assessment of whether an increase in the amount condo owners and hotel patrons contribute to beach services should be increased as well since they use the beach as well.

Without concrete data, this severe increase in beach tolls, especially $100 for non-resident season passes, is a poorly disguised attempt to restrict beach driving rather than a well thought out plan to address revenue deficits and is an economic death knell for our area as I stated in last Sunday's front page article (in the Daytona Beach News-Journal) on this topic.

Without concrete data, this severe increase in beach tolls, especially $100 for non-resident season passes, is a poorly disguised attempt to restrict beach driving rather than a well thought out plan to address revenue deficits and is an economic death knell for our area as I stated in last Sunday's front page article (in the Daytona Beach News-Journal) on this topic.

Apparently our County Council does not demand the same level of financial analysis required before any family or business makes a significant change to their income or expenses and they should.  

Too many questions remain to justify this significant beach toll increase at this time.

Elaine Barnicle MS
Port Orange, FL
 

Editor's Note: Elaine Barnicle is a member of the grassroots citizens campaign 'Save Beach Driving' petition drive for a ballot initiative that would amend Volusia Country's Charter to give rwsidents a direct say-so in changes in beach driving. For more information, please go to LetVolusiaVote.com.  

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Henry Frederick is publisher of Headline Surfer®, the award-winning 24/7 internet news outlet covering the Daytona Beach-Sanford-Orlando metro area via HeadlineSurfer.com. A longtime cops & courts reporter focused on breaking news & investigative reporting, Frederick is among the Sunshine State's most experienced reporters, having amassed dozens of journalism-industry awards. Frederick is enrolled online at Full Sail University in Winter Garden, FL, where he's a third of the way though the Master of Arts program in New Media Journalism. His graduation will be in March 2018.