Topaz Park fees increased |

Topaz Park fees increased

Lorna McDaniel

Many visitors to the Topaz Park are now discovering a fee increase that has been in place since the beginning of the year.

The fee increases, passed by the parks and recreation commission, got final approval by county commissioners on Oct. 3, 1996.

According to park ranger Don Swan, the new fees are: $3 day use, $5 for use of the boat ramp, $8 for dry camping and $10 for camping with electric and water hookups. All camping includes the use of the dump station.

Services included are the playground, bathrooms and parking.

Season passes were increased to $70 per season for unlimited day or boat ramp use for non-Douglas County residents.

Residents will pay $35 for day use season passes and seniors 60 and over will have to pay $10.

Scott Morgan, parks and recreation director, said the increase was established by the normal annual review of the program and facilities manual, and didn’t have anything to do with the budget deficit.

He said the fee increases brought much debate especially raising the annual pass for Douglas residents from $25 to $35 and the exclusion of pass use for three-day weekends.

Pass holders will have to pay full price on three-day weekends.

The $10 fee for seniors, which formerly was free to Douglas and Lyon County seniors, worried senior Dave Curran.

Curran said the fee will make the park unaffordable for seniors on a fixed income.

“What is (the charge) for?” he asked. “Just to stand on the beach?

“Are they going to charge me for walking through Lampe Park on the grass? It don’t make sense.”

The park staffs two rangers seasonally.

Morgan said the $10 charge to seniors was considered reasonable during fee increase debates.