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11/16/2018

Fees to increase for commercial vehicles visiting Fort Williams Park in 2019

Commercial minibuses, trolleys and motorcoaches visiting Fort William Park will pay more for the visit next season.

The Town Council on Nov. 14, 2018 approved a new fee schedule for commercial vehicles, with increases ranging from 76 percent for single trolley visits to more than 200 percent for frequently visiting motorcoaches.

Councilors met in workshop session the night before to reach consensus on the fees, which had been recommended - to a smaller a degree - by the Fort Williams Park Committee.

The advisory committee's recommendations were part of a plan to manage commercial traffic and enhance safety at the park, while building an improved infrastructure for both passenger and commerical vehicles. The council on Oct. 10, 2018 adopted the safety aspects of the plan, including prohibiting commercial van and bus traffic from Captain Strout Circle in front of Portland Head Light, but a decision on the fee increases was deferred. Many councilors at the Oct. 10 meeting said they thought the increases should be higher. [news article]

The fees approved for motorcoaches and for trolleys are higher than what the committee recommended. A seasonal pass for commercial trolleys in 2019 will be $3,000 - up from $1,700 in 2018 and $500 more than the $2,500 recommended by the committee. Motorcoaches will see the largest increase, with the first 75 single visits costing $150 a piece, up from $50 each in 2018. Single visits after the first 75 will be $140 each for motorcoaches, up from the 2018 rate of $40.

Revenues generated by commercial-vehicle visits are expected to nearly triple, from $57,150 in 2018 to an estimated $161,900. That figure could fluctuate depending on actual visits.

Included in the schedule is a new fee for commercial minibuses. The fee, $50 for a single visit or $2,100 per season, is expected to raise $47,000 in 2019.

Motorcoaches, which accounted for 83 percent of revenues generated by commercial vehicle visits, would contribute an estimated 89.5 percent of revenues under the new fee schedule.

Fees for 14-seat capacity vans and limos will remain at $25 per single visit and $550 per season.

Here is a summary of the approved fees:

Vehicle Category   Capacity Max
Fees 2018
Approved Fees 2019
 
 
Single Visit
Season
 
Single Visit
Season
Vans & Limos   14 Seats  
$25
$550
 
$25
$550
Minibuses   20 Seats  
N/A
N/A
 
$50
$2,100
Trolleys   30 Seats  
N/A
$1,700
 
N/A
$3,000
Motorcoaches *   >30 Seats  
$50/$40
N/A
 
$150/$140
N/A
                 
* Motorcoach Volume Discount Triggers at 75 visits