Implementing improvements

Beachgoers will have to pay higher fees to visit Cameron County coastal parks starting Oct. 1.

The Cameron County Commissioners Court voted to increase beach user fees for coastal park improvements during a meeting held this past week.

The new fees will be enacted at all Cameron County coastal parks, which include Isla Blanca Park, Andy Bowie Park, Beach Access No. 3 and Beach Access No. 6 and E.K. Atwood Park, which is also known as Beach Access No. 5.

Day use fees per vehicle will cost $12 and day use fees for buses will cost $30.

A 30-day pass will cost $30 and annual passes will cost $100.

Veterans will be able to enter the parks at a discounted price.

Day use fees for veterans will cost $5.

Veterans’ 30-day passes will cost $12.50 and annual passes will cost $50.

Beachgoers who purchase 30-day or annual passes will receive a sticker to place on their windshield.

According to Cameron County officials, the increased beach user fees will assist in funding additional crew, purchasing equipment and the maintenance of parks and amenities.

Additionally, the fees were adopted with the intent to help offset the rise of expenses for beach-related services such as litter abatement and restroom maintenance.

“We’ve done close to over $24 million of park improvements and improved public beach access to our Cameron County Coastal Parks,” Cameron County Parks Director Joe E. Vega said. “We’re dedicated to making the necessary investments to our County Coastal Parks in order to improve the quality of life for our local residents and county visitors.”

Recently the Cameron County Commissioners Court approved upgrading the BUF electronic collection system at all county coastal parks.

According to commissioners, there is consideration for future improvements to Andy Bowie County Park and Beach Access No. 3.

“We’re very excited about the new improvements,” Vega said. “There are beautiful amenities that we’ve built at Isla Blanca Park and we want to continue improving our coastal parks here on South Padre Island.”