Hampton Takes Legal Action Against State Over Beach Services

Sep 15, 2017

Hampton Beach in 2016.
Credit Jason Moon for NHPR

The town of Hampton is taking the state to court. Officials there want the town reimbursed for services it provides at the state owned beach.

Local and state officials have long disagreed about exactly who is responsible for what at Hampton Beach, which is in the town of Hampton but owned and operated by the state.

One major point of contention is ambulance services. If you call 911 on the beach, it’s the town of Hampton who responds. According to Hampton fire officials, over the past four years, they’ve spent more than $700,000 responding to emergency calls at the beach.

Meanwhile, the state collects millions of dollars in revenue from the beach's parking meters.

Phil Bean is a Hampton Selectman and longtime critic of the state’s handling of the beach.

“If you are providing a service on behalf of someone else on their property or in their business and they receive all of the revenue and you basically clean up after the party, that’s problematic.”

The Department of Natural and Cultural Resources, which oversees state parks, declined to comment.