Evanston’s Human Services Committee Monday night recommended City Council approval of a new set of rules for operation of the city’s reopened dog beach and rejected a resident’s suggestion to reduce dog beach fees.

Mike Meyers, a 1st Ward resident, suggested the fees should be cut to match those of nearby communities like Wilmette.

The Wilmette Park District charges its residents $45 for their first dog and $9 for each additional dog to access the beach. For non-residents, the Wilmette fee is $229 for a first dog and $77 for each additional dog.

Evanston now charges residents $75 per dog and non-residents $200 per dog.

Parks Director Audrey Thompson said that the last time the dog beach was open, in 2018, the city charged residents $60 per dog and the that given inflation since then, the Parks and Recreation Board was fine with raising the fee to $75 this year.

She added that the city this year has added dog beach access and other lakefront activities to the city’s recreation scholarship program. It gives residents who apply at community centers the opportunity to qualify for a 50% discount on fees.

Ald. Bobby Burns (5th) asked how much it costs to maintain the dog beach. Thompson said she didn’t have recent information about that since the beach has been closed so long.

The full list of dog beach amendments to the city code is included in the committee’s meeting packet.

Bill Smith is the editor and publisher of Evanston Now.

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  1. Remarkable how the horrors of high waterline global warming has receded and returned the dog beach—-I used to walk a friends dog there before watery apocalypse—-I counted twenty two rules on the doggy beach rules board—-one of my personal favorites, “your dog may not dig holes”…alas it’s Evanston, may as well add a few more

  2. I find it interesting that the City Departments want to monetize the Dog Beach for residents… In their discussion:
    Councilman Burns said “it would be great” if the city could cover the cost it was asking dog beach users to pay.
    Thompson said, “I will just warn us against reducing significantly – just remembering in 2018, our fees were $60. And so we’ve only gone up $15 in five years. So, if you think of inflation, that’s a lot more than $15, so I think that’s why the Park and Rec Board was fine resting with $15.”
    While I agree that out of town visitors should pay, Evanston taxpayers should not… After all, the beaches are now free for humans and as multi-parcel taxpayer without any children of my own, I gladly pay and pay for other people’s children to go to quality schools (this is not an insignificant sum)… I would suggest that they should collectively cover the modest annual cost of this pet friendly facility… since our two family dogs are my fur babies. As far as maintenance, I am certain that there are a large number of dog loving volunteers who would gladly contribute to the effort of maintaining our dog beach.

    Respectfully submitted, Brian G. Becharas

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