State officials abandon plan to increase beach parking fees

By The Associated Press

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PROVIDENCE, R.I. (AP) – State environmental officials are no longer considering raising beach parking fees in Rhode Island.

Department of Environmental Management Director Janet Coit says the controversy about the parking rates detracted from the larger goals of celebrating and supporting state parks and beaches.

The governor proposed higher fees, at state beaches and campsites, to add staffing in the state parks system.

State lawmakers opposed raising beach parking rates. A bill was introduced to maintain current rates.

The state says it’s now proceeding with just the proposed fee increases for campgrounds and other park rentals, such as equestrian areas and picnic tables, to shift the burden for maintaining these sites from state taxpayers to the users.

The department says two-thirds of campers are from out of state and fees haven’t risen since 2002.

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