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Non-residents to pay for parking near boat ramp; access remains free for residents, people with DMV-issued disabled placards.

COURTESY PHOTO: CITY OF GLADSTONE - ECONorthwest's feasibility analysis on the fee for Meldrum Bar Park looks at the areas people might go to avoid paying for parking.Gladstone is implementing a parking fee at Meldrum Bar Park for non-residents in early 2021.

Visitors to the 85-acre site along the Willamette River will have to COURTESY PHOTO - A new $127,448 boat dock at Meldrum Bar Park is now open to the public in $3 per day to park their vehicles, or they'll be able to purchase an annual parking pass through City Hall for $40.

City officials will honor DMV-issued disabled placards on vehicles parked near the new boat ramp. They will send an annual pass to residents, who also will be able to park for free at Meldrum Bar.

"The fee is intended to generate revenue for parks, which is identified in the City of Gladstone Strategic Plan," said City Administrator Jacque Betz.

ECONorthwest recently completed a feasibility analysis on the fee for Meldrum Bar's more than 150 parking spaces, which attract visitors from around the region.

"In order to operate within budget constraints, there has been a decrease in-park spending and an associated decline in the quantity and quality of amenities at Meldrum Bar Park," the report found. "Without additional funds, infrastructure and services at Meldrum Bar Park are likely to continue to be underfunded."

Currently, the only boat ramp with a parking fee along the Willamette River is the Boones Ferry Boat Launch, located near Wilsonville and managed by Clackamas County.

"A parking fee at Meldrum Bar Park would reduce visitation because there are nearby sites with similar amenities without parking fees," the report says. "However, substitution to nearby sites could be diminished because capacity is currently constrained. Maximum capacity in nearby sites, such as Willamette Park and Bernet boat launch and Cedar Oak boat launch, is reportedly constrained during fishing and boating season."

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