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Suffolk County parks and recreation user fees on the rise again in 2017


User fees for Suffolk County parks and recreational facilities will be going up again in 2017.

The county legislature last week approved the new fee schedule, which takes effect Jan. 1. The schedule implements the 10-percent fee increase included in the 2017 adopted county budget.

The cost of the three-year Green Key pass, which entitles holders to reduced admission to county parks and beaches, will go up from $26 to $30 for Suffolk residents. The discounted rate for  senior citizens 60 and over, handicapped, volunteer firefighters and EMS workers — will go up from $13 to $15.Suffolk raised most parks and recreation fees for 2016, the first increase in user fees since 2011; the Green Key fee went from $24 to $26 this year.

The fee hikes are needed to cover the county’s increased costs of providing the facilities and activities, according to the resolution introduced by the presiding officer at the request of County Executive Steve Bellone and passed by the legislature Dec. 20.

Camping fees will go up again under a new tiered system with different fees charged for different parks and different types of sites. Amenities fees will be assessed separately.

Basic campsite fees at “flagship” parks will remain at $17 per night in season for 2017. Tier I sites will cost a $9 premium and Tier II sites an extra $4. Electric hookups will cost $6 and full hookups will cost $10. Cancellation fees and late checkout fees will also rise, from $28 to $30. Campers parking overnight will be charged a fee of $9.

Annual fees for recreational permits for horseback riding, use of metal detectors and model planes will rise from $30 to $35 for individuals and from $60 to $70 for families.

Special group event fees will increase also; these fees are tiered depending on the number of people attending an event such as a picnic. Additional applicable fees including per-person fees, pavilion use fees and alcohol permit fees will increase. A new $25 application/processing fee will also be charged beginning in 2017.

Marina and dockage fees will also increase. Transient marina fees will rise from $52 to $58
weekdays and from $60 to $66 on weekends in season. Dockage fees and winter storage fees will also increase.

Electric service for all boat slips will rise from $12 to $14 per night.

A county annual boat launching permit will rise from $33 to $40 and from $20 to $25 for seniors, veterans, handicapped and volunteer emergency service workers.

Denise Civiletti
Denise is a veteran local reporter and editor, an attorney and former Riverhead Town councilwoman. Her work has been recognized with numerous awards, including a “writer of the year” award from the N.Y. Press Association in 2015. She is a founder, owner and co-publisher of this website. Email Denise.