The state is planning to make $300,000 in improvements to Woodlawn Beach State Park for next year's summer season.
The park's recent maiden season was reviewed Thursday afternoon by state and local officials and residents during a meeting in Hoak's Restaurant.
"We had a great deal of cooperation to make this happen," said Albert Caccese, deputy commissioner for operations and land management for the state Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation.
The beach opened with little fanfare for four weeks in August, and state officials said the information they gathered on how it operated will help in planning for next year.
Facilities at the park next year will be an upgraded version of what the public saw this year, said Albert Nihill, a landscape architect for the state parks office.
Modular buildings will be set up for restrooms, a cluster of park office buildings will be erected, and the concession stand will be upgraded, he said.
The beach will be made accessible to the handicapped with the installation of specially designed mats over the sand dunes. The state also hopes to create a picnic area.
Also, a full set of utilities, including water, sanitary sewers, electricity and telephone service, will be installed.
Caccese said the park will continue to operate next year on a temporary basis. State parks employees are starting to work on a master plan for its permanent operation and are in the process of identifying a consultant to produce an environmental impact statement, he said.
Woodlawn residents generally gave the state high marks for the opening season, particularly with security.
"It's been a very positive result. The parks police have been fabulous," said Wayne Hayes, vice president of the Woodlawn Beach Taxpayers Association.
But Marianne Tomani, corresponding secretary of the group, said a number of people are coming from outside the community, parking on Woodlawn streets and walking into the beach at the northern end.
"It was a lot of Friday and Saturday nights, kids walking down with a case of beer and not coming back until morning," she said.
Town of Hamburg and parks police said they will keep an eye on that problem next year.
Niagara Region Parks Police Chief Vincent Iacovitti said police believe the four-week season went well.
About 500 groups of people were evicted from Woodlawn Beach State Park between July 1 and Oct. 1, usually for underage drinking and burning fires on the beach, he said. About 40 tickets were issued, he said.
Hayes and Ms. Tomani said residents are concerned about beach rights, which grant several dozen residents access to the beach. Caccese said the state still is working on the access issue.
"We certainly are not going to undo the rights," he said. "This is unique. There's no situation like this anywhere in the state system."
Caccese also said there is nothing more important to the beach than reducing the pollution making its way to the beach through Rush Creek.