HODGES - Taking action based on a recommendation by the Alabama Sunset Committee, the Bear Creek Development Authority voted unanimously across the board to raise their rates and fees based on an audit conducted of the board’s expenses.
As part of the Sunset Committee’s review process of the board, the Alabama Department of Examiners of Public Accounts reviewed the finances of the BCDA.
“We are not funded by the state or TVA (Tennessee Valley Authority). We have to generate our own funding,” stressed BCDA Administrator Shannon McKinney.
“At the strong urging of the Sunset Committee, they said that we should take a serious look at raising fees to offset our expenses,” McKinney added.
This way, BCDA will be bringing their charges in fees in line with other recreational areas, McKinney indicated.
The permit fee increase takes effect Oct. 1. The campsite camping and pavilion fees will go into effect at the start of camping season in the spring of 2020, McKinney added.
Life time permit fees, which are 10 times higher than the annual permit, increased from $250 to $300.
Anyone who wants to buy a lifetime permit can still pay $250 between now and the end of the business day on Sept. 30, McKinney pointed out.
Cabin rates during peak season changed, with the cost for a one bedroom increasing from $95 to $105 per night, with two bedroom costs increasing from $130 to $140 a night.
Annual permit fees will increase from $25 to $30, with the last permit increase being five years ago, McKinney stated.
Daily permits increased from $4 to $6, with three day permit fees remaining the same at $10.
Pavillion rental will increase from $15 to $20 for a half day and from $30 to $40 for a full day’s rental, the BCDA board approved.
Nighty rates of $20 a night plus a $2 lodging tax did not change.
All $250 per month sites increased to $300 per month for all BCDA campgrounds.
“Fifty eight sites are a combination of Elliott Branch interior monthly spots, and Slick Rock’s interior monthly spots,” McKinney informed BCDA members during discussion of fees prior to approval at the meeting.
“Now we’re getting two different rates at Slick Rock,” a board member said.
See complete story in the Northwest Alabamian.