In response to an increase in the use of county-controlled boat ramps by non-Cherokee County residents, the Cherokee Recreation and Parks Agency Advisory Board has approved an increase in boat ramp fees for out-of-county residents.

Parks Division Director Jordan Wood told board members that based on both the increase in residents of neighboring counties using the boat ramps in Cherokee County and the increase in maintenance costs as a result of the increased ramp use, the agency felt the need to increase ramp fees slightly for non-residents.

“This increase would not affect county residents at all,” Wood said.

The current ramp fees are $5 for one-day use, $40 for an annual pass, $20 for an annual military pass and free for a yearly pass for people 62 and older. These rates would remain the same for the residents of Cherokee County, but for visitors to the county, they would increase to $7 for one-day use, $60 for an annual pass and $20 for an annual senior pass, while the annual military pass would remain at $20.

“If approved, these increases would go into effect on Jan. 1,” Wood said.

When asked how this would be enforced, Wood said at the boat ramps that are staffed by agency officials, one possibility would be to check boater IDs or license plates, while unstaffed ramps would likely use the honor system.

After hearing Wood’s presentation, the advisory board approved the increase in a unanimous vote.

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