County officials are looking at a series of rate hikes and a free weekend shuttle service to help control traffic and attendance at the newly-opened Ramsey Creek Park beach.
However, some of the crowd of nearly 50 people – most residents living near Ramsey Creek Park – called for more to be done during a public meeting June 16 at the Cornelius town hall.
Since the Ramsey Creek beach opened Memorial Day weekend, residents of Nantz Road have complained about its adverse impact on the community.
A standing-room-only crowd attended a public meeting on the matter at the Cornelius town hall on June 9, with the June 16 meeting added by county officials to provide a follow-up.
The new fees – some of which are double the current fees -- could go into effect by the end of June, pending approval by the Mecklenburg County Board of Commissioners at its June 21 meeting.
Meanwhile, the shuttle service, provided by Charlotte Area Transit System, would begin June 18-19, according to Mecklenburg County Parks and Recreation director Jim Garges.
Under the current fee structure, drive-in attendees pay $3 per car for county residents and $5 for non-county residents, with those using the boat landing area charged $5. Seniors citizens and those with disabilities pay $2 (county resident) and $3 (non-county resident). In addition, a season pass is available for $52.
The proposed fee structure would increase the drive-in fees for county and non-county residents to $5 and $10, respectively, Monday-Thursday, and to $10 and $15, respectively, for Friday-Sunday, while leaving in place the fees for seniors citizens/disabled, boat operators and season passes.
The proposal also would add fees for “walk-in” attendees, those who are being dropped off at the entrance to Ramsey Creek Park, then picked up later. That fee would be $3 per person for ages 6-13 and $5 per person for ages 14-up. Children age 5-under would be admitted free.
The shuttle service, which would only be used on weekends and holidays, would transport people from CATS’ Park and Ride site on Northcross Drive in Huntersville to Ramsey Creek Park, a 3.8-mile trip. Those using the service would also get free admission to the beach.
According to park operations superintendent Greg Clemmer, the shuttle buses would operate on 15-minute cycles, but would be stopped when park officials say the beach’s capacity (set at 500 people) or the park’s capacity (2,000 people) had been reached.
Bill Kiser is a freelance writer: firstname.lastname@example.org.