Saturday, February 7, 2015

Well, after a lot of public input, the C&O Canal has revised their proposal for changes in the fee structure for the park. On the one hand I know many folks are relieved and pleased to not have to pay in most situations, I'm concerned about whether or not the revised plan will solve the park's financial problems to the degree necessary.

The press release follows:

Press Release: C&O Canal NHP Revises Fee Proposal

HAGERSTOWN, Md. - Chesapeake & Ohio Canal National Historical Park (C&O Canal) is revising its proposal to increase and expand entrance and other fees park-wide. Last month the park proposed expanding fee collection to include charging a park-wide recreation fee. At this point, we’re midway through robust public meetings. Having heard concerns over the proposal for new fees, the park has decided to rescind its proposal to expand fee collection.
The park is still proposing to moderately increase existing entrance, campground and pavilion rental fees only at park locations where fees are currently collected. 
“We have seen the great passion we all share for this park displayed over the course of three public meetings and have three more scheduled. At this point we’re modifying our proposal and will continue public dialog,” Superintendent Kevin Brandt said. 
After this revision, the proposed entrance fees that would become effective no sooner than May 1, 2015 are as follows:
Park Annual Pass:
-Current: $20, Great Falls, MD only
-Proposed: $30, Great Falls, MD only

Per Vehicle Pass: 
-Current: $5/vehicle for 3 days, Great Falls, MD only
-Proposed: $15/vehicle for 7 days, Great Falls, MD only

Per Person Pass:
-Current: $3/person for 3 days, Great Falls, MD only
-Proposed: $7/person for 7 days, Great Falls, MD only
Motorcycle Pass:
-Current: $5/motorcycle for 3 days, Great Falls, MD only
-Proposed: $10/motorcycle for 7 days, Great Falls, MD only

The park is are also proposing to increase fees for campgrounds and picnic pavilions. Comparability studies have been completed to determine rates. The proposals are as follows:
Drive-In Campgrounds: 
-Single Site Rate: Current: $10 per night, Proposed $20 per night
-Group Site Rate: Current $20 per night, Proposed $40 per night

Hiker-Biker Camping Sites:
-Current: No Charge, no changed proposed
Picnic Pavilion: Carderock Pavilion
-Monday-Thursday: Current $150 per day, Proposed $250 per day
-Friday-Sunday & Holidays: Current $250 per day, Proposed $350 per day

To provide comments on the revised fee increase proposal, go to: The public comment period will remain open until February 22, 2015. 
The park will continue to hold public meetings as follows:
February 9, 2015, at Hancock Town Hall, 126 West High Street, Hancock, MD from 6:30-8:00 PM
February 11, 2015, at Storer Ballroom at the Shepherd University Student Center, 210 North King Street, Shepherdstown, WV, from 6:30-8:00 PM
February 17, 2015, at Brunswick City Park Building, 655 East Potomac Street, Brunswick, MD, from 6:30-8:00 PM


Bike Nut said...

I was really glad to see this proposal change. I wondered, to some effect, how they were going to collect all these fees wihtout incurring still more fees in paychecks to those that would be responsible for the collection.

Tim said...

I find myself wishing they had settled on something more in the middle. I worry that by simply raising the entry fee at Great Falls and the bigger camp grounds, it's going to keep them in a tight financial situation. While I had serious issues with the original proposal, I fear they scaled back too far from it. We shall see.