Commissioners approve park fee increases

Clallam County residents can expect to pay more to camp or rent space in county recreation areas this year.

The three Clallam County commissioners approved the recommended fee increases during their Jan. 15 regular meeting. The only exception was raising the entrance fee to the Clallam County Fair.

“The commissioners approved all of the camping, cabin and group area rental fees as well as the fair rental fees but decided to hold off on increasing what a person pays to enter the fairground gate for fair events,” said Bruce Giddens with the county parks department. “We are taking the proposed entrance increases to the next fair board meeting to discuss the ramifications of leaving the fees at the 2007 levels.”

The proposal could raise single-day fair entrance fees 50 cents, resulting in charges of $8 for adults, $5 for youths and $6 for students and seniors. Admittance of children under 5 accompanied by an adult would remain free. The season passes would increase about $2 as well.

The approved increases affect rates for overnight camping, certain day-use activities, group areas, recreational vehicle waste dumping and cabin or kitchen rentals at the Dungeness Recreation Area, Salt Creek Recreation Area and Camp David Jr. Approved fair increases cover reserved-lot parking, merchant booths, kitchens, the arena and exposition buildings and barns.

The fee increases range from less than a dollar to more than $50 depending on activity and location. The fees listed on the Web site,, have been updated.

“We don’t have all of the fair fee increases listed online yet, but they are reflected in our office, where people sign up for fair-area rentals,” Giddens said. “We hope to get more information online about what’s available in relation to the fair this year.”

The county fair board met and its actions weren’t available at press time.

The fee increase recommendations came from the county parks department, which did a study of other recreation areas in Washington in comparison to the operating costs associated with the county’s parks and fairgrounds.

“We did a lot of research of other fairgrounds in the area and meeting places in the county and a lot of our fees were far below the standard,” Giddens said. “Plus, we’re looking at our own increased fees in utilities, salaries and other costs of running the parks and fairgrounds.”

Nonprofit groups were regularly given reduced fee classifications throughout the recommendation, specifically for the rental of different fairground buildings and barns. Similar fee reductions were included for county-resident park use.

“We thought we would try and give a break to those groups who use the grounds ritually but may not have the financial backing to rent the space as much as what is necessary,” Giddens said. “We had groups like the 4-H in mind when putting in those discounted rates and as for the county resident discount, that’s something we’ve done for awhile.”

Approved fee increases for county fairground and park activity include:

• Overnight camping for Dungeness and Salt Creek recreation areas

• Without RV hookups increases from $14-$16 for locals and $16-$18 otherwise

• A hookup site increases from $20-$22 for locals and $22-$24 otherwise

• General $5-$6 increases for all Camp David Jr. cabins and duplexes

• Fairground rentals including concessions, information booths and building or grandstand space will experience increases as well.

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