News Release 11-059
Washington State Parks and Recreation Commission
1111 Israel Road S.W., P.O. Box 42650, Olympia, WA 98504-2650, (360) 902-8500
Don Hoch, Director
Virginia Painter (360) 902-8562
Sandy Mealing (360) 902-8559
Wash. Telecommunications Relay Service:
State Parks Commission holds regular fee review at meeting next week in Tri-cities
Sep. 28, 2011 –
The Washington State Parks and Recreation Commission will conduct its annual fee review and consider priorities for grant funds for small property acquisitions at its regular meeting next week in Tri-cities.
The meeting is scheduled to begin at 9 a.m. Thursday, Oct. 6, in the Gjerde Center, Columbia Basin College Pasco Campus, 2600 N. 20th Ave., Pasco. A full Commission meeting agenda is available online at www.parks.wa.gov/agency/commissionmeetings/. Time for public comment is provided at regular meetings, which are scheduled six times a year at pre-determined locations around the state.
The Commission each year reviews its fee schedule in alignment with current budgets and operations issues. The review takes on greater importance with the loss of tax funding for Parks in the current biennium. Price-setting of fees includes a variety of considerations, including new revenue opportunities, costs of processing and collection, harmony with other fees and Fair Market Value. Factors such as inflation, demand and visitor use trends also are considered, along with best industry practices. As the result of fee review, changes made by the Commission go into effect the following January 1.
Proposed changes in the fee schedule include an automatic annual adjustment for inflation; an increase of 3 percent up to Fair Market Value in 2012 and 2013 for vacation house rentals, cabins and other roofed accommodations; and an increase in the annual State Parks watercraft launch fee to $80, up from the current $70 rate, with daily launch fees remaining in the $5 to $10 range, depending on the park. Annual moorage permit prices, which have not changed since 2003, are being proposed at $4 a foot in 2012, up from $3.50 a foot in 2011, to be in closer alignment with Fair Market Value.
The Commission also will consider priorities and authorization for the acquisition of smaller, low-cost properties within or adjacent to existing state parks. Such properties are referred to as “inholdings.” Acquisition of state park lands is funded primarily by the Washington Wildlife and Recreation Program (WWRP) administered by the State Recreation and Conservation Office. For the 2011-13 biennium, State Parks received a $900,000 Inholdings and Adjacent Properties grant intended to acquire low-priced property that comes on the market too late for inclusion in the usual WWRP grant cycle, is too small to compete well for a stand-alone grant or is needed to resolve park land management issues. In addition to the new funding, about $400,000 remains from 2009-11 grants.
In other business, the Commission will consider:
• Transferring a 5.9-acre parcel of property on the Green River to the City of Auburn for potential future development of a riverside park
• Delegating authority to the director to set standards for rental motor vessel safety operating and equipment checklists. Washington State Parks manages federally funded boating programs for the state.
• Setting the 2012 regular meeting schedule for the Commission. The schedule proposed is February 2 in Olympia; March 29 at Fort Worden near Port Townsend; May 24 in Yakima; August 9 in Wenatchee; Oct. 25 in Vancouver; December 6 in Snohomish.
The Commission also will hear reports on a cooperative management agreement with Grant County Public Utility District on a recreation site known as The Cove; agency-request legislation for the 2012 session and capital program updates.
Commission work session: A Commission work session is scheduled to begin at 11:30 a.m.
Wednesday, Oct. 5, in the same location as the regular meeting the next day, in the Gjerde Center at Columbia Basin College Pasco Campus. Work sessions are open to the public, however no public testimony will be heard and no formal action taken. Work session topics include budget and future possible reductions, agency transformation strategy, Discover Pass, Fort Worden, The Cove; Mitigation, Scott Beach and Fudge Point, lease rates for utility corridor; Washington Wildlife Recreation Program PAA; special December work session; State Parks Foundation; delegation of authority to the director.