Arkansas parks panel halts plans for lodging fee hike

LITTLE ROCK, AR (AP) - Arkansas parks officials are halting plans for a 10-percent increase in fees for lodging and camp sites after hearing objections from Gov. Mike Beebe.

The Parks, Recreation and Travel Commission on Thursday voted unanimously to rescind its July vote approving the hike. The 15-member panel voted to keep the fees at the current rate.

Beebe earlier this month asked the panel to halt the increase, saying he did not believe now was the right time to raise fees because of the economy.

The increase was projected to generate about $1 million per year in revenue. Parks and Tourism Director Richard Davies says the agency will likely have to scale back some repair and renovation projects.

The fee increase would have taken effect at the first of next year.

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