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County opens more parks to generate revenue

Friday, May 29, 2020 by Jessi Devenyns

After two months of limited park access, things are beginning to open up. On the Friday before Memorial Day, the county opened seven additional parks, including several with boat ramp access. Charles Bergh, with the county parks division, told the Commissioners Court that these public recreation spaces are open with 50 percent reduced parking capacity in an attempt to maintain social distancing. However, the county was forced to close the newly opened Reimers Ranch, Pace Bend, Arkansas Bend and Mansfield Dam parks over the holiday weekend to prevent overcrowding. Despite the restricted access, Bergh told the commissioners these facilities are an important source of revenue generation for the county. Even with reduced capacity, he said, Travis County collected $5,000 in entrance fees last Saturday, and $6,000 last Sunday at Loop 360 Boat Ramp. “That should give you a flavor of the revenue that these parks can generate,” he told the commissioners. Bergh said that the initial reopening of additional parks is the first step in a phased reopening that will begin after June 15. More concrete plans addressing the reopening of athletic fields and beaches will be presented to the Commissioners Court following that date.

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