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.