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I understand that there are lots of questions about our progress rolling out the new Beach Pass system. Rest assured that things are progressing, but there has been a hitch or two along the way. As with many innovations, we’re dealing with issues, some anticipated and some that have developed as part of the process. The start-up this year will be a blend of the old system and the new.
The first issue we dealt with was the contract presented to us by Complus, our system provider. We needed our Town Attorney to revise it to reflect what we wanted in it. This was done and the contract has been signed. Next, the software to run the system was written so we were able to start the on-boarding process. This involves getting all of our data (your license plate number(s)) into the system. This is an in-depth process and they are working hard to get it done.
Because this is a start-up, we need to get tickets printed and other components of the system integrated. There’s a lead-time of 4 to 6 weeks for this, so that will push our kick-off date into June. The good thing about that is that we normally don’t start our 7-day operation until after school is out for the summer, so we’ll be up and running before that.
But what about Memorial Day Weekend? Can I get a pass? Yes!!
We have a contingency plan to issue temporary passes to residents until the system is operational in early June. In a throwback to days gone by, you will be able to drive up to the gate during Memorial Day weekend and show proof of residency and you will be given a temporary hanging pass. This pass will last until the new license plate system is in effect. Starting Tuesday May 21st, these passes will also be available at the Beach & Rec Department office.
These temporary passes will be free to our residents. Madison residents can also buy $10 guest tags for their guests as they have in the past. They will be available at the Surf Club office and the Beach & Rec Department office.
Non-Residents will pay last years’ daily rate of $40 – sold only at the Surf Club. Until the new system is up and running, we will have staff on site at the beach and will man the gates like we always have.
Going forward: We will be posting progress reports on the Town and Beach & Rec websites as well as our Facebook page, “Office of the Madison First Selectman” and Twitter account. I’ll try to do these every few days to help keep everyone informed. We’ll let you know as soon as the new passes are available on-line and at Beach & Rec. I’m happy to answer any questions personally. You can call me at 203-245-5602 or email me. We appreciate your patience!
Tom BanischFirst Selectman