Cape Elizabeth Considers Charging Fees To Visit Fort Williams Park
One of the most picturesque coastline destinations in Maine could be in line for a bit of a change come tourist season. Fort Williams Park, which includes Portland Head Light, has been free for all to enjoy but according to The Forecaster, the expense of maintaining and improving the park has left the Town of Cape Elizabeth wondering if they should be getting a little help with the bill.
Last year, taxpayers in Cape Elizabeth footed nearly half-a-million dollars to operate, maintain and improve Fort Williams Park. That number was definitely on the high side for the average year cost for the park, but it brought into question whether or not there was a way to accumulate funds from visitors without ruining the mystique of the park.
The top suggestion brought up? Something that visitors to Portland have been seeing for years now, the pay-and-display parking meters. Those meters allow visitors to use cash or cards and choose how much time they want to pay for. In Portland, as well as Old Orchard Beach, meters are capped at 2 hours. It is unclear whether there would be a cap if they were installed at Fort Williams Park.
Additionally, the question of the whether Cape Elizabeth residents, who have been paying for the park all along, should be exempt from any parking fees when they choose to visit the park.
The town is also hopeful to regulate bus and trolley tours schedules when they visit the park to keep congestion down and maximize visitors experience at Fort Williams. Nothing has been set in stone yet, but by the sounds of things, some source of funding will need to be generated from visitors to Fort Williams.
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