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OHIO GOVERNMENT Grendell proposes alternative to parking fees at state parks



Published: Wed, February 2, 2005 @ 12:00 a.m.



COLUMBUS -- A state lawmaker from Northeast Ohio says he's going to introduce a bill today that would prevent the Ohio Department of Natural Resources from charging visitors to park at Ohio state parks.

State Sen. Timothy J. Grendell of Chesterland R-18, said Tuesday that his bill would allocate 0.25 percent of a coming two-cent increase in the state gasoline tax to fund the maintenance at the state parks that ODNR has proposed the parking fee to pay for.

Grendell said the funding stream proposed in his bill, if approved, could provide $15 million annually for park maintenance.

In 2003, the Legislature passed a 6 cent-a-gallon increase in the state gasoline tax to be implemented over three years. This July, the final two-cent increase under that law takes effect.

An Ohio Department of Natural Resources spokesman couldn't be reached to comment on Grendell's proposal.

ODNR, which oversees the state park system, has proposed that Ohio residents pay $5 daily per vehicle to park at a state park or purchase an annual pass for $25; Senior Citizens with Golden Buckeye discount cards would be able to buy $4 daily passes or $20 annual passes.

Non-Ohio residents would pay $6 for a daily pass or $30 for an annual one, under the proposal.

ODNR has said the proposal could raise $3 million in the first year for the park system.




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