NEW BRAUNFELS, Texas (KXAN) – The cost of cooling off in the Comal River in New Braunfels is going from free to slightly more.
On Tuesday evening, the New Braunfels City Council approved on the first reading the decision to charge guests a $5 fee to access Prince Solms and Hinman Island Parks, both of which have direct access to the Comal River.
The fee would apply to visitors who don’t live in New Braunfels and/or who aren’t using a tubing outfitter. The City said they would only charge the fee on weekends and holidays between Memorial Day weekend and Labor Day weekend.
The City Council also decided to charge residents $2 beginning next year.
The fees would be collected at the gateway in Prince Solms Park and at the intersection of Elizabeth Street and Hinman Island Drive. Guests will be given a wristband and will be able to come and go throughout the day.
According to the City, the estimated net revenue from park entry fees could total near $150,000 in the first year.
During the meeting, the Council also approved an ordinance that will allow the City to charge $10 for parking at Prince Solms Park beginning the Saturday of Memorial Day weekend through Labor Day.
A second and final vote on the fees will be voted on in the next few weeks.
The recommendations for the changes came from the River Committee, which was established by the City in 2011 to tackle issues of overcrowding, litter and traffic related to river use.
In August 2011 , the City banned the use of disposable containers on the Comal and Guadalupe River but last month a judge in a ruling said the City doesn’t have the authority to ban said containers.