The cost of maintaining the Wildwood beaches is about $1 million a summer, most of which is paid for by the town's taxpayers.

That's a high price... to pay for beaches, especially for the town's 5200 full-time residents. But what's the cost of charging for beach access and losing the public relations appeal and distinction of having free beaches?

Too high, apparently. The Wildwood beaches will remain free in the summer of 2013 after the Wildwood City Commission voted Wednesday to rescind a ballot measure that would have left the subject of beach charges up to the voters on March 5th.

The fact that the towns of North Wildwood and Wildwood Crest had already let it be known they did not plan to charge for beach access, meaning that only the town of Wildwood would have had pay beaches in the Wildwoods, certainly played a role in the Commissioners decision.

Even with a vote, there's a good chance the beaches would have remained free.  Twice before, in 1976 and 1981, voters have decided not to use beach tags.

Wildwood again opted not to compromise the largest aspect of their marketing campaign, a free beach, and that means beaches in the Wildwood will remain completely free in 2013.  Make sure you thank a Wildwood resident the next time you go to the beach in Wildwood.