[7/8/16] Beebe Park Free

Posted in Public Utility, RecreationTagged , ,

If you’re a Chelan County PUD customers, you’ll be able to camp at Beebe Bridge Park for free next year.  PUD Commissioners narrowly approved a pilot program for the 2017 camping season. 

According to PUD Manager Michelle Smith, the PUD will try the free camping pass for a year to gauge public interest, as well as demands on staff time and budget.  Commissioners will then decide whether to continue the program.  The free camping pass would apply only to Beebe Bridge Park.  This is the only park both owned and operated by the Chelan PUD that has overnight camping. 

Commissioners approved the pilot by a 3-2 vote last month, with Ann Congdon and Randy Smith voting against it.  Congdon said she opposed because the free camping pass was not one of the projects submitted by the public when the PUD conducted its “strategic planning” outreach effort to collect ideas about how to spend its surplus funds.  She also doubted a free camping pass would benefit most PUD customers, which is a necessary tenet of public power benefit projects; and said it would be difficult to withdraw if it proved to be difficult administer. 

Randy Smith said customers did request free camping, free boating and free parking as part of a broader sentiment that PUD customers shouldn’t have to pay to access or use the amenities in any PUD-owned park. 

The one-year camping pass should be available starting around December.  More details about the free camping pass will be ready for commissioner approval next month.