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Tuesday, September 7, 2010 - 10:50am

State Park Parking Fee Could Change

The public comment period is open for people who want to weigh in on canceling free Wednesday parking at state parks.It’s a result of deep budget cuts at the Department of Natural Resources. The DNR says it needs the $400,000 lost to the discount each year.
Spokeswoman Kim Hatcher says no one showed up to a public hearing last week, and that many park-lovers understand the move: “I think most people understand the need to generate revenue to keep the state parks open. We’ve heard from a number of visit ors who support the decision because they know how important it is to generate revenue.”
If the DNR board approves the change, people would pay $5 per car each day at Georgia’s 48 state parks starting in February. Hatcher says people would still be able to park for free by checking out an annual state park pass from their local public library: “And you keep it just like a book. So for two weeks you have this pass and you can go to any state park or historic sight that you want for free.” An annual pass costs $50, which costs $25 for seniors age 62 and up.
The public comment period on the change runs through October 22nd. Hatchers says no one showed up to a public hearing last wee, but people have commented on the DNR website and by mail. She said many support the change because the parking fee helps maintain the park where it’s paid.
If approved, the change would take effect in February 2011.

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