The picnic area at Bordentown Beach will close until further notice, the city police department said July 13.
The city made the decision to shut the area down after a busy weekend that saw overcrowding at the boat ramp and a lack of social distancing efforts. Bordentown City Mayor James Lynch also said that “very few” people were wearing masks.
“Every week it has been gradually getting overly crowded, with the picnic area overflowing, as well as parking,” Lynch said. “I had to shut it down. It had become a public safety issue both in the water and the picnic area.”
The city also cited users not following guidelines set by ordinances, like swimming regulations. The city prohibits swimming in the water at the boat ramp area—Lynch cited a six-knot current as well as multiple drownings over the years.
Daily boat permits will now be issued only to residents of Bordentown City, Bordentown Township and Fieldsboro. Those who have already obtained an annual permit will still have access to the ramp, and annual passess will still be issued to Bordentown residents only.
“The day passes seemed to be the biggest problem,” Lynch said. “We average 12 a day, increasing to well over 50. We will have the police there this weekend to give me a report on Monday morning. I will monitor the results and go from there.”