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LAW MATTERS, by Richard Jirus

June 2014:  With pressure mounting to avert a transportation funding crisis this summer, 2014, the administration is considering reversing a long standing tradition on interstate tolls. Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx has been quoted as saying that states would be allowed to consider tolls to pay for repairs needed for infrastructure repairs. It has been expressed that traditional funding can no longer meet the need.

Shorebreak Energy Developers has issued a press release stating they will provide and install solar panels in several California private RV parks and campgrounds. They will then sell the power generated back to the same parks at a discount rate of approximately 35% to 75%.

A draft report scheduled to be released in May 2014, is said to indicate that California parks are being dragged down by stagnant leadership, inadequate resources and a failure to meet the needs of young Latinos. The report itself is the result of close scrutiny since the revelation in 2012 that the parks department was closing parks when they had stock piled millions of dollars. The report itself will be an ongoing process throughout 2014.

A Nebraska bill providing an additional $43 million to work on a backlog of repairs and new installations for state parks is receiving favorable responses from the Nebraska legislature. Nebraska has eight state parks, 64 recreation areas and 11 state historical areas, and sees an
estimated 12 million visitors annually.

In Washington State, the senate has passed a bill that would allow advertising in state parks, and authorizes the state to seek assistance from and enter into agreements with private or public organizations interested in conservation and environmental maintenance of the park system. The bill gives the park commission the flexibility to partner with communities while providing a new source of much needed revenue. Also in Washington the Puyallup RV show will donate $1.00 from every discounted adult or senior ticket sold at the box office to Washington State Parks.

T.R. Arnold & Associates of Elkhart,IN announced they now are authorized to approve design, inspect and certify RV units headed to Canada. The accreditation contract with the Standards Council of Canada was signed recently in Canada.
State officials in Tennessee are in the early stages of determining the feasibility of private concessionaires taking over certain hospitality operations relating to Montgomery Bell State Park. This would include the Inn, restaurant and golf course. If workable, there are 11 other state parks with similar facilities.

The town of Shediac in New Brunswick, Canada has approved a by-law change that would allow a new 708 site RV park. The controversy includes rezoning some areas not now included within the town borders. There fore the project would also require the Province’s approval. Other controversies of this park proposal must also be addressed.

Florida RV parks faced with problems are turning to Newby Management Company to run their park. The company now has 41 parks under its umbrella, yet owns none of the properties. A Newby spoke person said it is more than cutting the grass and collecting rents. We have to keep the residents happy, our investors happy, and our team members happy. The company has a policy of responding to complaints within 24 hours, and pushes park owners to keep properties attractive.

The ARC, American Recreation Coalition, testified before the U.S. House of Representatives Committee on Natural Resources on reauthorization of legislation allowing federal agencies to collect and retain entrance and recreation fees. ARC told congress that recreationists supported fees but were concerned about the lack of focus on improvements in recreation experiences following the enactment of the 2004 Federal Lands Recreation Enhancement Act.

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