Visiting Rivera Beach could be slightly more expensive for adults and teenagers but less expensive for children next year.
Lake Geneva aldermen are considering increasing the beach rate to $10 for people 13 years and older and decreasing the rate to $5 for people between the ages of 6 and 12.
Children 5 years and younger would be able to attend for free. The current rate is $8 for both children and adults.
Members of the city council’s piers, harbors & lakefront committee unanimously approved the proposed rate changes, Oct. 12.
The rate changes still have to be approved by the finance, licensing & regulation committee and the full city council.
Harbormaster Steve Russell initially proposed increasing the rate to $10 for both children and adults. He said the $10 rate would make it easier for beach attendants to handle change, but also acknowledged that increasing the rate to that amount could discourage people from attending the beach.
“It puts an extra burden down at the beach house when you’re handing out $2, $6 and $8 worth of change,” Russell said. “Ten dollars simplifies it. Worse case scenario, you’re handing them $10 in change.”
Alderman Tim Dunn said changing the rate to $10 for adults and $5 for children also would make it easier for beach attendants to handle change, and it would make it more affordable for families to visit the beach.
Dunn also said this would match Fontana Beach. The Village of Fontana currently charges $10 for anyone 12 and over, $5 for children ages 6-11, and free for age 5 and under.
At the Williams Bay beach its $5 for children 6-11 and $8 for ages 12 and up.
“It’s nice if you’re a parent and you get a break for your kids, especially if you have a lot of them,” Dunn said.
Alderman Ken Howell said he also is in favor of changing the rate to $10 for adults and $5 for children.
“I think with $10 and $5, you would go up a little bit for adults, and we would give kids a break with $5,” Howell said.
Russell told the aldermen that if they do not agree with the $10 rate, then he would prefer that the rate remain at $8, and people pay for their beach passes with a credit card or through an app and for cash to not be accepted.
“If you’re asking for my recommendation— cashless,” Russell said.
Howell said if cash is not accepted, then it could make it more difficult for children to pay for their beach passes.
“I agree the less cash we have to handle is better for you, but I can’t see taking that away,” Howell told Russell said. “That’s why I would say go $10 and $5. Increase the one and decrease the other.”
Russell said people could purchase their beach passes ahead of time through an app.
“So if you’re sitting at home with your 10 year old and you want them to have a pass, you can advance purchase,” Russell said.