The Suffolk County Legislature has voted to eliminate camping fees for disabled veterans at county parks in time for the start of the summer season.
Sponsor Kara Hahn (D-Setauket) said the measure will help hundreds of disabled veterans who might have been affected by revisions in the fee structure included this year’s county budget.
“Our parks are places of peace, tranquility and solace and it’s important for our veterans to access to our park facilities,” said Hahn. “We especially wanted to get it done before Memorial Day and our vote does that.”
The issue arose because the parks department in seeking to revise fees to reflect the cost of services inadvertently eliminated language that had exempted veterans from camping fees for more than a decade.
The resolution would roll back what are termed amenity fees for disabled veterans for tent or recreational vehicle camping. The daily fees range from $3 to $9 for different tiers of camp sites, as well as fees of $6 a day for electric connections and $10 for full service hookup for water and sewage disposal. The fee roll-back will cost the county $31,367, but the expense will be offset by a spending cut of the same amount in the county executive’s office.
Disabled veterans still will have to pay the $10 fee for making camping reservations as well as fees of $25 to $50 for cancellations, depending on how much notice is given. Those fees were not changed and long have been in effect.