It’s a lot easier for people like Marilyn Newlyn to social distance on the Naples Shoreline compared to just a few weeks ago when Miami-Dade closed their beaches.
“So many people came over here and I’m a diabetic and don’t want to take chances,” Newlyn said.
To keep those from the east coast coming over, The City of Naples created beach restrictions and upped parking fine amounts to $200.
“‘I feel that’s a little steep,” said Newlyn.
Luis Santi of Miami still has to pay his fine even though the beaches are now back open.
“‘For a 25-minute expiration?” Santi questions if the city might be being a bit harsh. “”it sounds to me a little more than trying to control the crowd… it’s a money-grabber.”
The City of Naples wrote just under $500,000 worth of fines since the restrictions have been put into place.
Santi wants to know, “‘What do they plan to do with it?”
Officials with the city say they plan to maintain the beaches with that money.
Meanwhile, some businesses have been gravely affected by the restrictions the city put in place. “They destroyed my business completely,” said Kellen Gianello, owner of Naples Paddleboard.
Gianello believes that money should go to the business owners who have lost business as a direct result of the restrictions.
“This is been the worst July we had ever had. They put the restrictions two days before the fourth of July… they blind-sided us completely,” she said. “They know that they stopped us from making money… so they should help us out.”
So far, the City of Naples has only collected about $170,000 worth of those parking fines. The other portion, just over 50%, has yet to be paid.