A $50,000 appropriation for a Compo Beach master plan was approved by the Board of Finance unanimously Wednesday, despite some members' questions about the cost and focus of the study.

The vote came on the heels of a discussion with Stuart McCarthy, director of the Parks and Recreation Department, about why revenues from beach parking have dropped this year.

"The concern that I have is I don't think we need a design study for Compo Beach," said finance board member Tom Lasersohn. "We need a business plan for Compo Beach."

Lasersohn said an investigation should be made among those who no longer visit Compo about their reasons. "I'd like to see someone calling these people and asking them, `Why don't you come here anymore?' "

Other board members said they'd heard comments relating to lack of cleanliness of the beach restrooms, among other things.

"Is a design firm the right firm to be leading this?" Lasersohn said. "As an entrepreneur you wouldn't go to a design firm to figure out what kind of plan is right for your business.

Board member Michael Rea said the topic of Compo Beach is near to his heart, but he felt town residents hadn't yet been adequately involved in a discussion about it.

"I really think the public really needs to weigh in," he said, suggesting fellow board members might want to table the appropriation request until the Parks and Recreation Commission hold public hearings on the beach and its future.

"None of this is going to succeed unless it does have public support," he said. "If it's not well thought out, it's just going to fall flat."

The proposed appropriation will be used to hire Lothrop Associates, a White Plain, N.Y.-based design firm. Westport resident James Lothrop is a partner in tthe firm.

The money still must be approved by the Representative Town Meeting.