Landa Park Parking Fee Proposal Angers Some New Braunfels Residents

New Braunfels City Council is getting an earful on a proposal to start charging parking fees for Landa Park and the area around the Comal River, where visitors park when the participate in river recreation activities, News Radio 1200 WOAI reports.

The $20 per car parking fee would be charged between May 1 and Labor Day.

Mayor Baron Casteel says as the city grows, it is critical to come up with the revenue needed to keep the water recreation areas clean.

The City allocates $1.3 million per year to pay for the upkeep.

"We attempt to provide enough funding through various strategies, to pay for that $1.3 million, obviously because we are a growing community, and we are trying to protect our local taxpayers and residents by having the expenses of the river pay for themselves."

The parking fee would not affect visitors to the Guadalupe River, which is located in Comal County.

Mayor Casteel says the $1.3 million pays for police, fire and EMS, park rangers, and litter removal, which has become among the largest expenses as the number of visitors to the river grows.

He stresses that the decision on the parking fee must be made now, so signage and fee collection apparatus can be installed before the watr recreation season begins to pick up over Spring Break in March.

But the fee has sparked widespread opposition. New Braunfels City Council is set to vote on the new fee at tonight's meeting.

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