El Paso County Won’t Charge $2 Gate Fee For Ascarate Park Anymore
For being a desert, El Paso has some very nice green spaces. We have the hiking trails of Transmountain State Park, the amazing rock climbing (ok, not so much a greenspace but definitely outdoorsy and nature-y) of Hueco Tanks, and we also have a lot of city and county parks. The most amazing county park we have is Ascarate Park in the Lower Valley. So many people love to go to Ascarate for all the activities there but just as many people say that having to pay a two dollar entrance fee to the park is too much to ask to go to Ascarate. Well, all that is changing.
NO MORE FEE TO ENTER THE PARK
El Paso County Commissioner David Stout put an item on the County Commissioner's Court agenda that suggested doing away with the two dollar Ascarate Park entrance fee. He said that an entrance fee to Ascarate should only be charged during special events and holidays. Those fees are usually higher than the standard two dollars. During their regular weekly meeting on Monday, County Commissioners voted to get rid of the Saturday and Sunday two dollar entrance fee and only go with the holiday and special event park entrance fees.
HOW MUCH MONEY DOES THAT COST THE COUNTY?
By getting rid of the Saturday and Sunday entrance fee, the County will lose about $137,000 per year. In the County's multi-million dollar budget that's not really a lot of money, but it is money that was used to maintain Ascarate. Hopefully by not charging the park entrance fee the park will be used more often and people who golf and swim will spend more money doing that. But we also need to keep an eye on the wear and tear on Ascarate because taxpayers shouldn't have to pay for repairs by increased usage caused by dropping the very affordable $2 entrance fee.