Fort Worden State Park’s revenue potential recognized by state commission chairman

PORT TOWNSEND — The rules that apply to other state parks should be suspended for Fort Worden, a state parks official told the Fort Worden Advisory Committee on Thursday.

How to accomplish that in the face of tight budget money remains the main question, said Mickey Fearn, state Parks and Recreation Commission chairman.

A total of $60,000 is what the state park collects from Jefferson County, the city of Port Townsend and other parties interested in keeping Fort Worden parking fees free to visitors.

In most other state parks, visitors pay $5 a day to park.

The Fort Worden parking issue was the leading topic among other issues discussed during the Fort Worden Advisory Committee meeting Thursday afternoon.

The committee is comprised of Jefferson County and Port Townsend city officials, as well as several area civic and business leaders.

Parking agreement

Three years ago, the state parks department entered into an agreement with the local government agencies, which now provide reimbursement to the state to subsidize Fort Worden parking.

Asked about where the committee stands on giving up the parking fee requirement at Fort Worden altogether, Fearn said no changes are foreseen in the near future.

“That is the unfortunate thing that we have to do,” he said.

“Looking at our budget revenues’ reality, we have to get our revenues somehow. We have to get that money the best way we know how.

“That’s were we are and that’s the position we are willing to take.”

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