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Galveston County nears vote on beach parking

Proposal would impose annual $10 fee on vehicles

By RUTH RENDON
Copyright 2004 Houston Chronicle

GALVESTON - County officials expect to decide in about two weeks whether to approve a plan to impose an annual $10 fee per car to park on most of the 32 miles of beaches on Bolivar Peninsula.

"This has been a marathon," county Judge Jim Yarbrough said of the beach parking issue when opening a public hearing on the matter this week. "We've been working on this for about 10 years."

Yarbrough said he and the commissioners will take Monday's comments into consideration before voting on the measure. About a dozen people spoke at the public hearing.

Should county commissioners approve the parking fee plan, the proposal will be forwarded to the Texas General Land Office. The office will then have 60 days to give the county a certification on its plan or a conditional certification, Yarbrough said.

Russell Strandridge, who owns two gift shops on Bolivar Peninsula, asked commissioners to consider charging only $1 for a parking sticker.

"Ten bucks to you and me may not be (anything), but for our day-trippers coming down with their family, 10 bucks is the difference between coming there and not coming there," he said.

Others, however, said beach goers would not balk at paying $10 for parking and pointed out that parking at a county beach pocket park is $5 per day. And parking at two sections of the beach on either end of the peninsula is earmarked to be free.

Driving on the Bolivar Peninsula beaches will remain free.

Some homeowners said residents shouldn't have to pay the annual fee, but Yarbrough said state law precludes giving homeowners special privileges.

Revenue generated from the parking permits can be used only for beach-related services, such as restrooms, showers, lifeguards and trash collection. The county spends about $1 million annually to clean and maintain the beaches.

Yarbrough said he expects reserve deputies to monitor the parking situation.

Dennis Harris, executive director of the Galveston County Beach Park Board, said the county expects to sell about 30,000 parking stickers the first year.

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Back in da Saddle
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That's less than a quart of bugs so what's the problem with it ...it clearly states funds can only be used for improvements!!! ...restrooms would be good!!!!

John
 

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It costs more than that to go down to PINS and when you are 50-60 miles down there are certainly no bathrooms or lifeguards. Port A also has a parking permit you have to buy for the beach as well as Corpus Christi. I have not picked one up in years and they really dont enforce it as much as they used to when I was younger and they first started doing it. I dont mind paying it. Kind of like buying a hunting/fishing combo for the past 10 years years. I have not hunted until last year but I always buy a supper combo to give the extra cash to TPWD. That is more than a $10 up grade. You guys have been getting off easy without paying
 

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Just an old ?
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Actually, the $10 fee is pretty darn reasonable. The county has to pay to patrol and clean the beach. The folks who use it might as well foot the bill.

TOBA recommended the City of G open up more beach areas to cars and charge an annual beach user fee (can't really call them parking fees because that's against the OBA). What did they do? They closed more beach and cried about not having any money. Go figure!!!

At Port A, you don't have to buy the sticker if you don't plan on stopping while on the beach road (Port A is the only coastal town to still use the beach as a road). I haven't been able to determine if that is how Galveston County is going to do it or if they are going to do it like Surfside.

Just think of it as a yearly toll. Pretty soon you'll be paying tolls to travel just about any major road in Texas anyway. At least this one will be a yearly toll.

GY
 

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From the old school
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Did they give the locals a chance to get the permit for $5 in Jan and Feb? The fee would not bother me as much as Bolivar woun't see the money Galvetraz will suck that revinue up with out a burp. That will be ten bucks the first stop store woun't see.
I can't see them building anything that will stay only newer port-a-pottys or scraping the beach.....which as you know some say causes beach erosion!
just my .02
joker
 

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I think it stinks.

I already pay property taxes in Galveston County. I have a restroom at my house. I have trash pickup at my house. I take all my trash to my house. On the flip side - I guess I could start using the county trash cans to dump my fish carcasses instead of burying them - but then my oleanders might not like that.

Do i now have to buy a sticker for every motorized vehicle that could be parked on the beach? That's going to cost me $50 per year...or can I move the sticker from one vehicle to another?

State law or not - there should be some provision to get a cheap sticker in Jan or Feb.
 

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I made the first meeting and you have to have a sticker for each car. Golf carts are not considered cars. You can't get a sticker for them but you can't park them on the beach either or you will get a ticket. My understanding on the Jan and Feb thing is you can get a sticker for $5 in Jan and Feb. They told me that these are not parking stickers cause that is not legal. But they would never say what they were. Also the beach on Bolivar is considered a HWY. They told us at the meeting that they were spending $1,000,000 a year keeping the beaches clean on Bolivar now. I don't see it.Jokerswild you are right Bolivar won't see a dime of this money. Even the tickets will be split between Galveston and the state. None to Bolivar. The meeting was Monday in Galveston I posted it on here so I guess nobody made that one either. I was tied up and couldn't make it. But all my questons were already taken under advisment. That was the only answer you could get out of them.
 

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From the old school
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Cancel the trash pickup and use the county cans ...that should offset the permit expence and have enough left over for the fine .....or if I don't get caught a snapper trip
Yea babby
joker
 
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