Presenter: Walt Dabney

Commission Agenda Item No. 5
Action
State Park Fee Ranges
January 2002

I. Discussion: Proposed changes to 31 Texas Administrative Code, chapter 59, subchapter A, Rules § 59.2 and § 59.3 are required as parks are reaching current maximum Commission established fee ranges.

State Parks establish user fees based on market place factors of local comparability studies, observable and solicited customer satisfaction with fee practices, and analysis of annual use trends. Based on the public comments process which has included 3 visitor surveys, solicited public comments, and conducted public hearings, the visiting public supports moderate fee increases.

II. Recommendation: The staff recommendation the Texas Parks and Wildlife Commission adopt the proposed fee range changes to the Texas Administrative Code.

Attachments – 2

1. Exhibit A - 31 TAC Chapter 59 Subchapter A § 59.2 -§ 59.3
2. Exhibit B – Fiscal Note (Available upon request)


Commission Agenda Item No. 5
Exhibit A

TITLE 31 NATURAL RESOURCES AND CONSERVATION
PART 2 TEXAS PARKS AND WILDLIFE DEPARTMENT
CHAPTER 59 PARKS
SUBCHAPTER A PARK ENTRANCE AND PARK USER FEES
RULE §59.2 Park Entrance and Use Fees
(a) An entrance/use fee will be levied at state parks. The fee will grant entry and presence privileges for a specific 24-hour period or part thereof, regardless of the number of times of entry during the valid period. At the end of each 24-hour period, the fee will become due for the succeeding 24-hour period or part thereof.

(b) b) An annual $50 entrance permit and use fee may apply at certain state parks where entrance fees are prescribed in lieu of a daily entrance fee. The annual permit will admit the purchaser and all occupants of his private, noncommercial vehicle, but will not apply to commercial, quasi-public, or public buses, or other such vehicles.

(c) An annual $50 [$40-70 park specific] entrance permit and use fee may apply at certain state parks where entrance fees are prescribed in lieu of a daily entrance fee. The [park specific] annual permit will admit the purchaser and all occupants of his [a] private, noncommercial vehicle, but will not apply to commercial, quasi-public, or public buses, or other such vehicles. [The park specific annual permit will be valid at the park from which it is purchased and the user benefit will be limited to that specific park.]

(d) Annual entrance permits are not valid for conducted tours, or for fishing privileges on fishing piers.

(e) A Youth Group Annual Entrance Permit may be purchased by youth organizations composed of individuals age 18 and under for an annual fee of $50-$300. The group must have state or national affiliation and be sponsored by a governmental agency or [as a] nonprofit organization, as defined under the Internal Revenue Code, §501. The permit is valid for entry at parks with a per vehicle [or per person] entrance fee and at parks with a historic site tour fee. It is nontransferable and nonrefundable. No more than 50 persons, including [a reasonable number of] adult supervisors will be admitted with each permit. The number of vehicles or the number of individual persons per historic site tour may be limited by the park manager. Additional permit(s) is required if the group exceeds 50 persons. Permit is valid for 12 months from date of purchase. To purchase the group permit, eligible organizations must submit an application along with the required fee to the chief, park operations, or designee [Texas Parks and Wildlife Headquarters, any state park or other office as designated by the department], for approval. The permit authorizes entry of vehicles carrying group members provided the adult sponsor presents the permit(s) at the park entrance and identifies each vehicle carrying group members.

(f) An entrance and use fee of $2.00 to $6.00 per motorized vehicle per day will apply at parks designated by the department in lieu of an annual or parklands passport. Where variable entrance and use fees are authorized by the commission, they may be set on an individual park basis.

(g) An entrance fee of $.50-$5.00 10.00 will apply on a per person basis at parks designated by the department.

(h) The executive director may, at his discretion, temporarily waive any entrance fees or conditions thereof established in this section at any park when construction activities at the park adversely affect public enjoyment of the recreational opportunities normally available. The executive director may discount or waive entrance fees in order to enhance utilization of existing facilities.

(i) No entrance fee will be charged or collected at parks unless the department deems it feasible to collect the fees.

(j) Persons entering parks by boat, bicycle, or on foot are authorized to use a valid annual park entrance permit receipt in lieu of paying an individual entrance fee. An individual presenting a receipt must be the same person to whom the annual permit was issued or a member of the original permit holder's immediate family. Individuals eligible for park entry as specified herein may be accompanied by as many as three other persons.

(k) Persons whose date of birth is before September 1, 1930, and veterans of the armed services of the United States who, as a result of military service, have a service-oriented disability as defined by the Veterans Administration, consisting of the loss of the use of a lower extremity or of a 60% disability rating and who are receiving compensation from the United States government because of the disability, will not be required to pay an entrance fee at state parks. Residents of this state whose birth date is after August 31, 1930, and who is also a holder and in possession of a valid State Parklands Passport shall pay 50% of the normal entrance fee rounded to the nearest higher whole dollar. Non-residents of this state whose birth date is after August 31, 1930, shall pay the normal entrance fee. State parklands passports will be issued to eligible persons at state parks and the Austin headquarters. A driver's license, birth certificate, military discharge papers, or any other suitable identification considered sufficient proof for establishing the age and identity of an individual must be presented at the time the passport is issued to persons 65 years of age and over. Disabled veterans must establish eligibility by presenting one of the following:

(1) disabled veteran's of Texas license plate receipt;

(2) veteran's award letter (which establishes the degree of service-connected disability);

(3) tax exemption letter for Texas veterans.

(l) All motor vehicles carrying either a person whose date of birth is before September 1, 1930, or other eligible holders of a state parklands passport may enter the park without payment of an entrance fee. All motor vehicles carrying a resident of this state whose date of birth is after August 31, 1930, and who is also the holder and in possession of a state parklands passport may enter a park site upon payment of 50% of the normal entrance fee for that site, rounded to the nearest higher whole dollar. This passport does not exempt the holder from payment of fees for fishing privileges or tour fees required in certain units of the state park system.

(m) An individual with a documented physical or mental impairment may be issued a parklands passport under the provisions of this section.

(1) Eligibility requirements. To be eligible to receive a parklands passport under this section, an individual with a physical or mental impairment that substantially limits one or more major life activities must:

(A) have been medically determined to be permanently disabled as a result of such mental or physical impairment (including blindness) for purposes of receiving benefits under the Social Security Act; and

(B) be currently receiving such benefits.

(2) Application procedure. An individual applying for a parklands passport under this subsection shall:

(A) apply in person at Texas Parks and Wildlife Department Headquarters or at any park or other office designated by the department;

(B) submit positive identification and either an Award of Benefits Letter, or a Statement of Benefits, from the Social Security Administration attesting to the applicant's permanent disability;

(C) submit an affidavit or attestation in a form approved by the Department certifying that the applicant meets the requirements of paragraph (1) of this subsection.

(3) Privileges. A parklands passport used for the purposes of this subsection shall discount entry fees to State Parks for the individual pass holder for a period of one year from the date of issuance. The discount will be 50% of the established park entry fee, rounded up to the nearest whole dollar amount. The pass shall be nontransferable, but shall also authorize discounted entry for one person accompanying the pass holder, if the pass holder needs assistance while visiting the State Park. For the purposes of this subsection, "accompanying" means entering a park simultaneously with the pass holder.

(m) A duplicate state parklands passport may be issued for use on additionally owned motor vehicles. A replacement for a state parklands passport may be issued when the original registration or windshield sticker is lost, stolen, damaged, or the motor vehicle is sold, traded, or stolen, or when the motor vehicle windshield is replaced.

(n) Entrance fees established in subsections (b) and (d) of this section will apply to all private aircraft noncommercial motorized vehicles which includes two or more-wheeled vehicles. Commercial, quasi-public, or public buses or other vehicles are excluded.

(o) Persons entering parks by bus, where entrance and use fees are charged on a per-car basis, will be charged as follows: adults, $1.00-$3.00 each, minimum $4.00-$20; children 12 years of age and under, $.50-$1.50 each, minimum $4.00-$20.

(p) Students, teachers, bus drivers, and children on group, school-sponsored visits to historic sites or parks for educational purposes may enter at the rate of $.50-$1.00 per person at historic sites where a tour fee is charged or at a park where entrance and use fees are charged on a per-vehicle basis. The group or class must be accompanied by an adult supervisor(s). The $.50-$1.00 per person fee applies to individuals from all public or private schools, colleges, and universities offering accredited courses.

(q) Students of any age are entitled to the student historic site tour fee. Students 19 and over are required to present a current, valid student identification card.

(r) Persons entering parks on foot, bicycle, or by boat where entrance and use fees are charged on a per-car basis will be charged an individual rate of $1.00-$3.00 for adults and $.50-$1.50 for children 12 years of age and under.

(s) The valid time period for daily entrance fees will be:

(1) for day use, the time period encompassing the day-use opening hours [8:00 a.m. – 10:00 p.m.] of the park on the date on which admission is paid; and

(2) for overnight use, a 24-hour period beginning at 2 p.m. on the date admission is paid.

(t) At the discretion of the executive director, any person or persons may be exempted from the provisions of this section if the entry of such person or persons to a park or parks is necessary or desirable in order to provide a service for the state. The executive director is authorized to issue such entrance fee waivers under certain circumstances and conditions.

(u) The executive director is authorized to establish an entrance fee in accordance with these sections at any site hereafter established as a state park when he deems such action is appropriate and in accord with applicable statutes.

(v) When an annual or seasonal permit is offered for entrance in lieu of a daily fee, the executive director is authorized to establish a fee for a replacement and/or a duplicate permit.

(w) Any fees established in this section may be waived or reduced at the discretion of the executive director for public use of a park during special events or exhibitions.

(x) The executive director may designate the amount of use fee and entrance fee within the total amount provided for by this section.

Source Note: The provisions of this §59.2 adopted to be effective October 26, 1976, 1 TexReg 2878; amended to be effective June 29, 1978, 3 TexReg 2042; amended to be effective November 13, 1978, 3 TexReg 3846; amended to be effective January 1, 1986, 10 TexReg 4853; amended to be effective June 24, 1991, 16 TexReg 3140; amended to be effective February 22, 1993, 18 TexReg 883; amended to be effective August 2, 1995, 20 TexReg 5404; amended to be effective December 26, 1995, 20 TexReg 10616; amended to be effective December 30, 1998, 23 TexReg 13102.
Texas Administrative Code
TITLE 31 NATURAL RESOURCES AND CONSERVATION
PART 2 TEXAS PARKS AND WILDLIFE DEPARTMENT
CHAPTER 59 PARKS
SUBCHAPTER A PARK ENTRANCE AND PARK USER FEES
RULE §59.3 Activity and Facility Use Fees
The amount of user fees will be determined by the Parks and Wildlife Commission and will be based primarily on comparisons of current fees for facilities and services of comparable character under similar conditions, with due consideration for length of season, provisions for peak loads, average percentage of occupancy, accessibility, availability, cost of labor, materials and supplies, type of patronage, and other such factors deemed significant, except the costs of park acquisition, development, and major repairs. [on marketplace factors such as; operational cost recovery, seasonality, carrying capacity, user demographics and demands, outdoor recreational industry trends, competition, and other factors deemed significant, except the cost of park acquisition, development, and major repairs.] The executive director will cause to be collected a user fee at the time a park facility is assigned or occupied, and as new parks, activities and facilities are added to the system, the approved fee schedule will be implemented when feasible. Where variable use fees are authorized by the commission they may be set on an individual park basis, individual activity or an individual facility basis by the department based on visitation and site desirability. Fees may also be set on a basis other than daily, e.g., weekly, monthly, etc. When an annual or seasonal permit is offered for a facility or activity in lieu of a daily fee, the executive director is authorized to establish a fee for a replacement and/or a duplicate permit. The executive director may discount or waive use fees in order to enhance utilization of existing facilities or activities. The following park use fees are effective January 1, 1996:

(1) campsite—primitive—$4.00-$12; 20

(2) campsite—regular—$5.00-$18 [26];

(3) campsite—with electricity—$9.00-$23 [29];

(4) campsite—with electricity and sewer connection—$10-$25 [35];

(5) screened shelter—$15-$30 [60];

(6) shelter with amenities—$25-$40; 75

(7) recreation hall:

(A) day use only—$50-$150 [200] ;

(B) overnight use—$80-$200 [300];

(8) group lodge:

(A) variable based on accommodations—$70-$400 [500];

(B) variable based on per person—$10-$50;

(C) each additional person above capacity—$5.00-$15 [25];

(9) dining hall—$65-$100 [150];

(10) pavilion—$17-$200 [250] according to type of facility and size of group;

(11) amphitheater—$10-$100 [150];

(12) auditorium—$200-$500 [600];

(13) gymnasium—$300-$500 [600]; (with kitchen/dining hall privileges add)—$50-$100;150

(14) group picnic area—$17-$60 [85];

(15) picnic shelter with kitchen—$30-$125 [175];

(16) group camp with bunkhouses and dining hall (Lake Brownwood State Park only)—$65-$100 [150]; plus $12-$30 [45] for each bunkhouse used (bunkhouses not rented without dining hall);

(17) group camp with screened shelters and dining hall—$65-$[100]100 plus $15-$30 [60] for each screened shelter used;

(18) group camp with campsites—fee determined according to number and type of campsites used;

(19) group camp with barracks or screened shelters with bunk beds; dining hall and restroom with showers available—$150-$250 [1000] screened shelter only—$17-$30 [60];

(20) lodge, court, or inn:

(A) Indian lodge:

(i) single—$40-$70 [95];

(ii) double—$45-$75 [110];

(iii) double with double beds—$50-$80 [125];

(iv) suite with double beds—$55-$100 [200];

(v) each additional adult—$5.00-$15 [20];

(vi) each additional child (six-12)—$2.00-$4.00 [10.00];

(vii) children under six—free;

(B) Balmorhea-San Solomon Springs Court:

(i) single—$35-$50 [75];

(ii) each additional adult—$5.00-$15 [20];

(iii) each additional child (six-12)—$2.00-$4.00 [10] ;

(iv) children under six—free;

(v) with kitchen unit add—$5.00-$15 [25];

(C) Landmark Inn:

(i) single—$35-$50 [75];

(ii) double (two persons)—$40-$55 [85];

(iii) children (six-12)—$2.00-$4.00 [10];

(iv) children under six—free;

(v) additional adult (when space is available for cot)—$5.00-$15 [20];

(D) Big Bend Ranch

(i) Ranch House (per person) $40-65

(ii) Bunk house (per person) $15-35

(21) cabins (bed & bath) -$35-$100 [175];

(i) cabins-limited -$35 -75

(22) swimming pools:

(A) adults—$2.00-$4.00 [6.00];

(B) child (six-12 [and under])—$1.00-$2.00 [4.00];

(C) group rate (before or after closing hours)—$35-$500 [750];

(23) golf course (staff operated) Lockhart only—nine holes:

(A) green fees—daily—$7.00-$10 [15];

(i) weekends and holidays—$8.00-$11 [25];

(ii) annual family—$150-$300 [400];

(iii) annual individual—$100-$150 [250];

(iv) 18 years of age and under excluding (weekends and holidays)—$3.00-$6.00 [10.00];

(B) trail fee for privately owned golf carts:

(i) daily—$3.00-$6.00 [12.00];

(ii) annual—$50-$100 [175];

(24) Texas State Railroad:

(A) fares:

(i) adult (one-way)—$8.00-$13 [20];

(ii) adult (R-T)—$13-$18 [30];

(iii) child (three-12) (one-way)—$4.00-$9.00 [15];

(iv) child (three-12) (R-T)—$7.00-$12 [15] ;

(B) train lease for filming purposes:

(i) steam locomotive and tender (per day)—$1,500-$2,000 [2,500];

(ii) diesel locomotives (per day)—$700-$1,000 [1,500];

(iii) steam engine firing fuel and lubricants (per running hour)—$100-$200 [350];

(iv) diesel locomotives fuel and lubricants (per running hour)—$50-$100 [250];

(v) railroad car per unit (any type) (per day)—$120-$200 [375];

(vi) rail mounted truck with driver (per day)—$280-$400 [700];

(vii) motor car with driver (per day)—$240-$400 [700];

(viii) short-term steam train use (after regular schedule run) three-hour minimum (per hour)—$400-$1,000 [1,500];

(ix) plus salaries for train crew. Surety bond of $500,000 may be required; train charter rates: 50-mile round trip—regular passenger fares—minimum—$2,500-$3,500 [4,500];

(x) 15-mile round trip—regular passenger fares—minimum—$1,650-2,500 [3,750];

(25) Matagorda Island:

(A) boat transportation fee:

(i) adults (R-T)—$10-$15 [25];

(ii) child (six-12) (R-T)—$5.00-$10 [15];

(B) on island tour fee—$3.00-$12 [18];

(C) beach shuttle fee:

(i) adults—$2.00-$4.00 [6.00];

(ii) child (six-12)—$1.00-$2.00 [4.00];

(26) fees for filming purposes by private, profit-oriented businesses (per day). Surety bond may be required—$250-$5,000 [10,000];

(27) excess vehicle parking per vehicle—$1.00-$4.00 [6.00] (areas for parking designated by the park manager);

(28) activity use fee per person (day or overnight)—$2.00-$25 [50];

(29) Purtis Creek lake use fee—$5.00-$10 [15];

(30) seasonal or annual use permit [or restricted annual use] —fee based on a discounted daily rate; [may include park entrance fee.]

(31) visitor shuttle fee per person—$2.00-$10 [25];

(32) tour fee (includes educational, interpretive, instructional, adventure and entertaining) per person—$.25-$500 [1,000];

(33) fishing pier fees—per fishing device—$1.00-$3.00 [5.00];

(34) educational seminar fee—variable according to type of seminar, size of group and other applicable considerations;

(35) equipment rental fee—variable according to type of equipment and other applicable considerations [may be charged].

(36) park operations fee (operating cost for special services and or resources utilized)—cost plus 10%;

(37) event fee:

(A) Wedding ceremonies and receptions or other special receptions and meetings—$50-$1,000.

(B) Special public activities, festivals and exhibitions when authorized and conducted—fee is negotiated [may be combined or packaged – variable].

(38) recreational vehicle—annual fee—$5.00-$25 [50];

(39) excess occupancy fee (with facility use fee) per person—$1.00-$15;[25]

(40) commercial boat landing fee—$50-$500;

(41) fees for special events, new activities, or new facilities are authorized by the commission. These fee amounts shall be established by the executive director or designee.

(42) commercial use fee- for special activities conducted within a park for which a direct or indirect profit is the motive for conducting the activity. -variable

Source Note: The provisions of this §59.3 adopted to be effective October 26, 1976, 1 TexReg 2878; amended to be effective June 29, 1978, 3 TexReg 2042; amended to be effective September 6, 1978, 3 TexReg 2988; amended to be effective May 1, 1984, 9 TexReg 1700; amended to be effective June 24, 1991, 16 TexReg 3140; amended to be effective February 22, 1993, 18 TexReg 883; amended to be effective December 26, 1995, 20 TexReg 10616.

 

 


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