Rep. Canario Calls Raimondo’s Beach Fee Increase “Outrageous”

Thursday, February 21, 2019


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Governor Raimondo's budget proposes major increases in beach fees

Representative Dennis Canario is calling the newly proposed increased beach and camping fees “outrageous.”

As GoLocalProv reported on Wednesday, Governor Gina Raimondo’s Rhode Island Department of Environmental Management is proposing to increase beach parking fees for Rhode Islanders by $2 during the week and weekends, and by $10 for a season pass.

See the Proposal in the Slideshow Below


The increase in season passes is more than a 33 percent increase -- the increases were proposed in Raimondo's budget.

“This fee increase proposal is outrageous and will negatively affect not only Rhode Island residents who use and enjoy our beautiful natural resources but also the tourism industry that relies heavily upon our beach and park system.  Especially concerning is the impact that these fee increases will have on our low-income families who camp with their families because it is much more affordable than traveling out of state for much-needed vacations,” said Canario.

He continued, “The camping fee increases are particularly egregious because the rate of increase is far more than the beach fee proposal.  In some cases, camp site costs will increase 100%, for customers, which is not right and unreasonable. This will hurt our residents, tourists looking to enjoy our beautiful parks, and the small businesses that surround and rely upon tourists and residents using the campgrounds.  This is simply bad policy and these proposals will not have the effect that is hoped for and the fee increases will restrict access to some of our state’s most valuable and accessible resources.”

The DEM presented their proposal during a listening session at Westerly Town Hall.

“All of these different fee increases add up for the normal hard-working Rhode Island families and I will fight against these fee increases during the legislative session just as I did in the past when the General Assembly lowered these fees during the 2016 session,” said Canario.

Canario Latest to React

Canario is just the latest leader to react to the proposed increase in beach parking and camping fees.

As GoLocalProv reported on Thursday, legislative leaders who took great pride in cutting beach fees in 2016 are not making any commitments this year.

Speaker Nick Mattiello tells GoLocal, “DEM’s regulatory process will allow the public to weigh in and let their feelings be known. I expect the outcome will be responsive to that input.”

And Senate President Dominick Ruggerio’s office says, “The Senate President will await the committee review and public hearing process before making a determination about this proposal.”

Proposed Beach Parking Fees

For Rhode Island residents, the DEM is proposing a $2 increase in beach parking fees, bringing the cost to $8 during the week and $9 on the weekend.

For non-residents, the RI DEM is proposing a $4 increase for parking, bringing the total to $16 during the week and $18 on the weekend.

For those interested in purchasing a season pass, the RI DEM proposes a $10 increase for residents, bringing the cost of a pass to $40.

They propose a $20 increase for non-residents, bringing the cost of a season pass to $80.

Proposed Camping Fees

The Rhode Island DEM is also proposing to increase camping fees.

Depending on the offering (three different tiers), camping fees could increase by as much as $16 in 2019, or as little as $4 for residents.

For non-residents, camping fees could increase by as much as $40 in 2019, depending on the offering.

See the Proposal in the Slideshow Below


Related Slideshow: Raimondo Administration Proposed Beach Parking + Camping Fees - February 2019


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