Rhode Island residents would pay an added $2 to park at a state beach, and between $4 and $16 more to use different services at state campgrounds, under a proposal from Gov. Gina Raimondo’s administration.
According to new details provided by the state Department of Environmental Management, non-residents would pay a higher cost: their tab for parking at a state beach would climb $4, from $12 to $16 on a weekday, and from $14 to $18 on a weekend.
Non-residents would also face stiffer increases for using services at Rhode Island campgrounds. Under the state’s proposal, the cost for a tier 1 site (prime spot; waterfront and/or full hookup) would climb for non-residents from a range of $20 to $35, to $60. For tier 2 services (water and electricity only), the cost for non-residents from a range of $20 to $25, to $50. And for a rustic camp with no utilities, the non-resident price would rise from $20 to $36.
For Rhode Island residents, tier 1 cost would climb to $30, from the current $14 to $20 range. Tier 2 would go up to $25, from $14-$18. And tier 3 would increase from $14 to $18.
“Rhode Islanders are fortunate to have access to an outstanding array of state parks and beaches. However, these places are being loved to death, and we must do more to support and maintain them,” DEM Director Janet Coit said in a statement.
“The study that DEM commissioned makes clear that our fee structure is one of several aspects of our state parks system that is outdated, and the governor’s parks initiative pairs fee increases with service improvements,” Coit continued. “The increase to beach parking fees that we’re proposing is small -- $2 more for Rhode Islanders on weekdays and weekends, and $10 more for a season pass. Reinvesting this new revenue back into the state parks system will pay great dividends for our parks and beaches, which add $315 million to the economy, generate nearly $40 million in state and local taxes, and support nearly 4,000 jobs a year. Of course, they also are beloved places that delight families, attract visitors, and create fond memories for a lifetime.”
The proposed fee hikes face legislative approval as part of Raimondo’s budget plan.