The Wyoming Senate has given initial support to a bill that would allow State Parks to use entrance fees on things besides major building projects. But not everyone loves the idea.
Senate Majority Floor Leader Phil Nicholas of Laramie said it was difficult to raise park fees to pay for important capital construction and major maintenance projects and argued that it would be wrong to use the money for another purpose.
State parks are seeking legislative approval to use fees for general operations and maintenance. Parks generate about two million dollars per year, but right now that money can only be used for capital construction and interpretation.
Director of State Parks and Cultural Resources, Milward Simpson, says funding for his agency is like a three-legged stool that’s getting wobbly.
Like a lot of state agencies, Wyoming State Parks and Historic Sites will likely need to find a way to make up revenues lost from proposed budget cuts. Administrator Dominic Bravo says they are leery about raising fees, but are looking at some other options. "We’re going to try to figure out through partnerships, try to find alternative funding, of course corporate relationships, anything we can to make sure we are doing our best job to serve our customers and visitors. Whatever we can to still meet our mission. It’s not easy." Bravo says they’ve been able to generate more revenue for S