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LAKE CASITAS : Board to Study Hike in Admission Passes

Annual admission passes to the Lake Casitas recreation area will rise by one-third if the board of directors of the Casitas Municipal Water District approves a staff-recommended rate increase Wednesday.

District General Manager John J. Johnson recommends that directors increase the cost of a 12-month pass from $45 to $60 after they listen to public testimony during a hearing, which is to begin at 10 a.m. at the district office.

“We’re trying to fund our recreation operation based upon the people who use the service,” Johnson said.

“We’ve undertaken a number of small surveys that indicate 85% of the people who use the recreation area come from outside the district,” he said. “The board believes in general that customers of the district should not have to pay extra for those who live outside the district.”

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Under the recommendation, the yearlong pass would increase by $15, but there would be no increase for individual day passes, which will remain $5. Also included in the proposed rate change would be the tour bus entrance fee, which would be increased from $10 to $30 a day, Johnson said.

Board member Bill Hicks said the recreational fee increase was easier to support than a water rate hike.

“You use water because you need to,” Hicks said. “But you don’t have to go up to the lake and throw a fishing line in the water, so I would think this increase would be a little more palatable.”

If approved Wednesday, the increase would take effect Jan. 1, Johnson said. More than 800,000 people visit the lake each year, according to officials.

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