OCEAN CITY, Md. — Ocean City officials say people who bought benches to memorialize lost loved ones will need to pay restoration fees of more than $1,100 each to keep them on the boardwalk.

City spokeswoman Jessica Waters says although the town maintains the benches for free, officials began reporting seven to 10 years into the program that some benches needed more than cleaning.

Bench owners received a letter from the town stating they could pay a $1,161 fee for restoration, donate it to the town, or remove the bench and keep it.

Mike Seaton, who bought the bench after his daughter’s slaying, says they’re looking at it from a business point of view, but it’s emotional.

Waters says if the town can’t reach the owner of the bench, it’ll be removed and stored.

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