To the Editor:

It's hard to believe that we are fast approaching the end of another summer. And as Labor Day is only a breath away local residents will once again claim the ownership of our pride and joy at Beltzville Lake. No you will have to wait a few weeks for the park employees and volunteers to clean up the plethora of diapers and plastic bottles littering the path ways and beach area. If you speak to any residents of the local they will all support the concept of charging a fee to launch a boat or use the beach community area?

Jim Thorpe had the right idea to increase the parking fee. If you recall an article several weeks ago. The county now charges $5.00 from Monday to Friday and $10.00 on the week end. No the number of visitors have not decreased. They are willing to pay the cost to enjoy the sights of the town. The money collected does not go into the county budget, but the cost to maintain the parking lot and train station not the use our tax dollars to maintain these facilities

The DCNR however had a short sighted opinion on the implementation of a fee to use the park. Thanks to The honorable Argall I was able to receive the budget at Beltzville State park. Now read this very carefully. For the fiscal year of 2012-2013 the budget is $679,000 of our tax dollars. This is offset by sales from water craft $32,380 and food $32,982. This reduces the cost to operate the park at approximately $600,000. I don't know about you but those dollars could be spent elsewhere to offset the state budget if an entrance fee was imposed upon the visitors to the park or improve the buildings and grounds. This would not be a year round fee but from May 31 to Labor Day. This revenue gained is only for one of the many parks in the DCNR system. However, according to DCNR and a computer model generated by Penn State, for every dollar invested, more than $12.00 is returned to our economy. Out of state visitors accounted for $274 million in total sales to the state's economy for the entire state park system. I am sure that Jim Thorpe considered what out of state visitors contributed to their economy but never the less increased the cost of parking. The Carbon County commissioners realized they cannot use our tax dollars to improve their community for the benefit of visitors to the community. I strongly suggest that the DCNR scrap their computer model and focus on the example of Jim Thorpe to impost a fee at Beltzville State park.

From the pen of,

Ken Treger

Lehighton