Congressman Frank Pallone Jr. Monday wrote National Park Service Director Jon Jarvis requesting more information about the difference in fees collected at other National Parks in Gateway National Recreation Area. Pallone reiterated his opposition to a proposed fee increase at Sandy Hook and also requested more information regarding a timeline for the park's decision making process.
The full text of the letter appears below.
November 7, 2011
Director Jon Jarvis
National Park Service
1849 C Street NW
Washington, DC 20240
Dear Director Jarvis:
I am writing concerning the proposed fee changes at the Sandy Hook Unit of Gateway National Park. I have previously expressed my opposition to the fee increases and asked that the National Park Service reconsider its proposal. I also ask that the National Park Service make available to the public the amount of fees that are collected at Sandy Hook and how these fees are distributed.
On September 26, at my request, the National Park Service held a public input session at Sandy Hook to hear from the public on the proposed fee increase. At this session both the National Park Service and I were able to hear from our constituents and develop a better understanding of the public's views about increasing the fees at Sandy Hook. From this meeting, and from other interactions I have had with my constituents, it has become clear that the vast majority of the public oppose this increase.
One issue of particular concern that has been raised by my constituents has been the difference in fees collected at the different units with Gateway National Recreation Area. Under the proposed changes to the fee collection program Sandy Hook patrons will see a fee increase from $10 to $20. Meanwhile, the Jamaica Bay Unit will see an increase from $5 to $10 for Jacob Riis beach and no fee is charged at the Staten Island Unit. This discrepancy is not fair to my constituents.
I appreciate that on October 11 you visited my office to discuss the fee increase at Sandy Hook and to hear my arguments against such an increase. As a follow up, I would like to know what time line exists for any decision on the fees and at what level the decision will be made.
Thank you for considering this letter.
FRANK PALLONE, JR.
Member of Congress