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A recently completed pirate ship themed playground at Chief Miwaleta County Park in Azalea in March.

Visits to parks operated by Douglas County will no longer come with a parking fee.

And that starts with Memorial Day Weekend.

The Douglas County Board of Commissioners announced the elimination of parking fees on Thursday, and the fees were removed as of Friday.

The change is due to the Douglas County Parks Department’s success at bringing in enough money to become self-sustaining. Increased revenues, grants, investments and cost-cutting measures are behind the improvement in the department’s budget.

Following Budget Committee meetings in May, the commissioners had anticipated eliminating parking fees in July.

However, they said in a press release they decided to make the change more quickly after reviewing the budget numbers.

Parking fees were first instituted at the county parks in 2015 as a stop-gap measure following losses to the county’s general fund.

Douglas County Commissioner Chris Boice said in a statement the parking fees were never intended as a permanent budget solution.

“It was always our plan to eliminate the day use parking fees once we had achieved a self-sustaining budget through other resources,” Boice said.

“Our Parks Department has worked hard to secure grants, develop sought-after camping sites, and find ways to decrease operational costs. Through these efforts we are happy to reach a point where we can provide Douglas County residents more opportunities to enjoy our beautiful parks,” he said.

Reporter Carisa Cegavske can be reached at ccegavske@nrtoday.com or 541-957-4213.

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Senior Reporter

Carisa Cegavske is the senior reporter for The News-Review. She can be reached at ccegavske@nrtoday.com or 541-957-4213. Follow her on Twitter @carisa_cegavske

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(8) comments

Momos

I also recently bought a pass, and I don't care. Our nice parks and river access are a real bargain. I just caught a steelhead this morning at a County Park. Sounds like good management if they're able to make them free again.

GhostofTMcCall

[thumbup]

smedleyb

This is good news. Since Carl C. Hill Wayside is maintained by our community in Milo which is too far out of the way, we avoided those parking fees.

I just returned from there and I want to thank the community members who mowed & weed whacked the ?1/2 acre of wild grass, and all around the labyrinth.

Wretched722

Thank you, Mike, for your donation!

NJ

I'm sure the folks in Reedsport will be happy that they now don't have to pay to visit their back yard.

Mike

Can us people who paid $40 for a 2021 annual parking pass get our money back?

mworden

I second that question.

NJ

What? The County counted on you and m to help them achieve their budget surplus. (don't hold your breath on this one) [unsure]

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