ROBERT MOSES STATE PARK - Several residents protested today about a proposal to close off an area of Robert Moses State Park from Monday through Friday.
According to a letter obtained by News 12 from the president of the lifeguards' union to its members, the New York State Parks Department may close Field 3 at Robert Moses State Park on weekdays.
The union says the move is for money-saving reasons, and would quell overcrowding concerns.
Concerned beachgoers circulated petitions Sunday in an effort to keep it open seven days a week. Many of those who spoke to News 12 said the beach is for families, and they've been coming to Field 3 for years.
New York State Parks Deputy Regional Director George Gorman says while the parks department is considering its options, nothing is final yet.
Gorman disputes that the decision is about saving money. He says it's about enabling more people to enjoy the park.
"Robert Moses Field 4 holds 2,800 cars. Robert Moses Field 3 holds 600 cars. It's a considerable more amount of park visitors that we can accommodate in Field 4 than Field 3," said Gorman.
Regardless of the outcome, Field 3 will remain open on the weekends and staffing levels will remain the same at the park.
Gorman says a final decision is expected in the next week, and will not be based on cost savings efforts.
He estimates that park can accommodate 5,000 more park visitors if it goes ahead with the change.