Park fees going up in Carbon
Carbon County residents who utilize Mauch Chunk Lake Park will have to pay a little more to swim at the lake in 2011.
During the county commissioners' meeting on Thursday, the board voted to approve rate adjustments for the park on the recommendation of the Parks and Recreation Commission.
Commissioner William O'Gurek, chairman, explained the daily admission rates will increase for county residents only. The new rates for daily admission will be $3 for adults and $2 for children. This represents a $1 increase.
The admission rate for county residents, O'Gurek stated, has not increased since 1989.
He noted that the noncounty resident daily admission rates, which were increased in 2007, will remain the same. Those rates are $5 for adults and $3 for children.
O'Gurek added that season passes for families and individuals will also remain the same as the 2010 season rates.
Boaters will also see an increase in storage rates in 2011.
O'Gurek said that the new rates for boat storage will be $100 for county residents and $125 for noncounty residents. This represents a $25 increase.
The county spends around $268,000 in hotel tax funds and general fund monies at the park annually to help cover the cost to maintain and operate the area.
He said that after discussions with the Parks and Recreation Commission, the board felt it was time to increase admission prices.
In other matters, the board is applying for a Pennsylvania Conservation Corps Project grant, which shall not exceed $15,000. The money would help cover projects at Mauch Chunk Lake Park from July 1, 2011 through June 30, 2012.
O'Gurek explained that the grant would help cover the cost of various improvements around the park and upgrades that are necessary, including trail maintenance, vinyl siding on the bathrooms, etc.
He also noted that the county is responsible for paying for the remaining $5,000 for the projects.
The PCC grants, in addition to helping the community financially, provide young men and women, ages 18 to 25, who qualify for the PCC program, with the opportunity to learn skills that will help them in the working world. They perform the majority of the work on PCC projects that are completed through the program.
Over the last few years, the county has utilized the PCC program for various projects at the park. PCC students helped install 13 cabins in the camping area of the park and also helped to build the new camp store, located inside the park.
The camp store, O'Gurek reported, is expected to be completed and open for business for the start of the season.