22 Aug 2014
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Twilight Fees Lifted at Cupsogue, Smith Point

Following community uproar, $4 fee at county parks between 5 and 8 p.m. is taken off the board.

Close to 200 locals showed up Monday evening at for a at two county beaches, and . And two weeks after the fee was lifted at in Hampton Bays, officials announced Monday that their efforts paid off.

"Your voices were heard, and there are going to be no more fees," said South Fork Legislator Jay Schneiderman, I-Montauk. "This was a mistake, and we knew it was a mistake."

County parks officials had originally proposed the fee - charged between 5 and 8 p.m. - to defray the cost of maintaining beaches. However after lifting the fee in Hampton Bays, residents called for more action. 

A Facebook group, created by residents Donato and Cheryl Banks Sangemino, with close to 500 supporters -  "Heck No the Twilight Fee must GO!" - was created on June 28 and the leaders organized Monday's rally, with the crowd erupting into cheers upon hearing Schneiderman's announcement.

An , started by Mastic Beach resident  Estelle Albertina, also carried weight  — As of Monday, some  1,092 people signed their names

According to Schneiderman, County Executive Steve Bellone, opted to suspend the fees after hearing the community outcry.

"You did it," Schneiderman said. "Now, go to the beach."

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