Card readers kaput, so beach access is cash-only

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A software error has caused credit card machines at ticket booths to stop working.

BELMAR — To get onto the borough’s beach, you’ll need to bring cash. 

Borough officials had to scramble last week to install ATMs on the boardwalk after credit card machines at the beach badge booths were found to be out of commission, probably for the rest of the season. 

“We’re having a problem with all the credit card machines down by the beach,” Mayor Mark Walsifer told the borough council at its July 23 meeting. “There is some kind of problem. We don’t think it’s our problem; we think it’s a software problem with the company we use.” 

The council responded by unanimously approving an emergency resolution to place seven ATMs along the boardwalk, located near the ticket booths where patrons can buy beach badges. By the weekend, “Cash Only” signs appeared on the booths

The mayor said placement of ATMs should “stop all confusion and all the backups.”

Gene Cory, the borough’s beach director, agreed, saying, “I think it will make for a much more efficient operation,” 

Some beachgoers welcomed the new edition of ATMs to the boardwalk, as it at least gave them a place close by to get cash. 

Daily beach badges in Belmar cost $9.

“I think it was a good idea, so you could use your charge card in the machine there,” said Arlene Beilen. “I don’t see any problem with it. I think it’s going to work great.”

Others decried the move, stating that now they have to pay an ATM fee of $3 fee in order to withdraw money to purchase a beach badge. 

“It’s an inconvenience, plus you have to pay an added fee for the ATM and then to get on the beach it costs more,” said Deborah Ovalles, of Paterson.

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