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Following budget cuts, Spa State Park to raise fees

Swimmers at Peerless Pool will actually pay less

Friday, January 16, 2009
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— aSome fees at Saratoga Spa State Park will increase this year, but not the $6 vehicle entrance fee to the picnic areas.

Pavilion rental fees, parking fees on rock concert nights and Victoria Pool entrance fees have been increased.

Regional park administration can hike the fees and have approved a $10 parking fee when there is a rock concert at Saratoga Spa State Park, confirmed regional parks director Alane Ball Chinian on Thursday.

Currently, vehicles entering into the park’s picnic areas pay the $6 fee, but that will increase on concert nights.

Board members of the state parks’ Saratoga-Capital District region have discussed for several months increasing the parking fee on concert nights to help offset the additional cleaning that is needed after concerts. Revelers at the concerts typically leave behind beer cans and bottles, plastic cups and other litter in the park after concerts.

While fees at the Victoria Pool are rising, it will cost less to swim at Peerless Pool this year. Rates at Victoria are being hiked from $6 to $8 for adults and from $3 to $4 for children. At Peerless Pool, adults will pay $2 instead of $3; children will pay $1 this year instead of $1.50.

“Our thought is that the Victoria Pool is always in high demand,” Chinian said. Between Gideon Putnam guests, dancers with the New York City Ballet and local residents who prefer the Victoria Pool’s architecture and atmosphere, the Victoria Pool reaches capacity much more quickly than the Peerless. “We would like to attract more people there,” Chinian said of the Peerless Pool.

But people have to pay the $6 entrance fee to get to Peerless. “It was an attempt to balance things out so that we weren’t inadvertently charging more,” she said.

Peerless Pool will be closed Mondays and Tuesdays.

The Victoria Pool season pass is also being eliminated.

Pavilion rentals will increase as follows:

* For a small pavilion, from $75 to $125;

* Small pavilion with electricity, from $75 to $150;

* Large pavilion, from $200 to $300.

The fee increases are part of a plan to save money in all state agencies.

State park budgets were slashed 10 percent this fiscal year after Gov. David Paterson requested reductions in September to ease the state budget crisis.

In the Saratoga-Capital District region, the budget was cut 10 percent to $9.2 million during the fiscal year.

 
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