December 1, 2010 – HILO, Hawaii
By Stephanie Salazar
How do you feel about tourists paying admission to get into the Akaka Falls State Park?
The Department of Land and Natural Resources holds a meeting on that subject on Thursday (December 2nd) from 5 to 6 pm at the state office building in Hilo.
The fee will apply to non-residents and commercial tour vehicles
Land department chairperson Laura Thielen said the fees are part of their plan to generate new revenues to offset the cost of managing state parks, small board harbors and forest trails.
A private company will be chosen to manage the fee collection at the park.
The DLNR issued this release about the meeting:
The Department of Land and Natural Resources will hold a public information meeting on Thursday, December 2, 2010 in Hilo to explain plans by the Division of State Parks to begin charging entry fees for non-residents and commercial tour vehicles going to ‘Akaka Falls State Park.
The meeting will occur from 5 to 6 p.m. in the 1st floor conference rooms of the Hilo State Office Building, 75 Aupuni Street, Hilo.
“Funding for operation and maintenance of state recreational facilities such as parks, small boat harbors and forest trails has been drastically reduced in the current biennium budget. To ensure that these areas can be cared for and remain open, the Department is moving forward with its plan to generate new revenues to offset the cost of managing them,” said Laura H. Thielen, DLNR chairperson.
“Through implementation of small entry or parking fees for non-resident visitors and commercial tours to high traffic parks, we can apply revenues to repairs and maintenance to help the park system become more self-sufficient,” Thielen said.
At the Hilo meeting, State Parks staff will explain that DLNR is only charging out-of-state visitors and commercial tour companies, and how the fees will be structured and collected. Implementing small fees for non-residents only at ‘Akaka Falls will begin once a revocable permit is finalized for a private sector parking company to manage the fee collection.