Fort De Soto Fee Proposed

Fort De Soto Park
Fort De Soto Park at sunset.
TAMPA (2010-5-10) -

Beachgoers could soon be paying $8 a car load to enter the popular Fort De Soto Park.

It's just one of a series of new fees being proposed for parks owned by Pinellas County.

The plan is being debated Tuesday. If county commissioners approve, it would cost $3 a car load to enter most county parks, and eight dollars to enter Fort De Soto Park.

County officials estimate the fees would generate more than $3 million to prevent cuts in maintenance and staff at the parks without raising property taxes.

A similar proposal to charge a $5 fee was shot down last year amid widespread public criticism.

The proposal also includes a $75 annual pass to get into all Pinellas parks. Bicyclists and pedestrians would still be able to enter the parks for free.

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