Through a press release, the board stated that implementation of the fees—$10 per adult over 12 years of age and $5 per dog—are due to a number of factors, including recent trends showing "a record number of park users during an expanded range of days [resulting] in complaints of public drunkenness, litter, dog attacks, and unsanitary practices, among others," and reports that the high volume of attendees "crowd out some types of park users."
The release states the fee pilot program will begin May 29 and last until Aug. 2, at which point it will be re-evaluated, and attendants will be located at the property entrance to accept credit card payments in person. No online payments or cash will be accepted, and fee hours are subject to change without notice.
"Users seeking to use only the City of Austin’s greenbelt property are encouraged to access that property from a city-owned entrance," the release states. It adds that the park will be closed to all users during peak hours of Memorial Day weekend to provide time for proper notice of user fees and management of the pressing safety issues.
"The District will monitor park conditions during the pilot period and reevaluate the user fees later in the summer," the release states. "The District's goal is to ensure the safety and long term sustainability of each of its parks. Please direct questions to the District’s General Manager Jim Emmons at firstname.lastname@example.org or 512-327-6243, or to Board President Leah Stewart at 512-327-6243."
The park will be closed Friday, May 22 from 4-8 p.m., Saturday, May 23 from noon-8 p.m., Sunday, May 24 from noon-8 p.m. and Monday, May 25 from noon-8 p.m.