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Hayden passes new commercial rate fees on Honeysuckle Beach ramp

by CRAIG NORTHRUP
Staff Writer | December 30, 2020 1:00 AM

The Hayden City Council voted Tuesday night to approve a change in pricing for commercial watercraft at Honeysuckle Beach.

The unanimous vote officially adjusts prices for commercial watercraft looking to access Hayden Lake through Honeysuckle Beach. Specifically, a commercial watercraft day pass drops from $15 to $10, while annual passes drop from $150 for the first two vehicles to $80. Each additional vehicle under the annual pass price will still incur an additional $40 yearly fee.

The move came in an effort to keep the city in compliance with a land and conservation grant, the language in which required commercial fees to not drastically exceed residential fees. Failure to keep in compliance could have jeopardized already-paid-out grant money that would have resulted in costs to the city in excess of $5 million.

“We just had to be in compliance,” Mayor Steve Griffitts said. “If we didn’t change, we would have lost out on that Honeysuckle Beach grant.”

That land and conservation grant in question provided improvements in and around Honeysuckle Beach, one of Hayden’s premiere outdoor attractions. According to the Hayden Comprehensive Plan’s 2040 update approved by council earlier this year, Honeysuckle Beach was far and away locals’ most favored park, receiving as many votes as residents’ first park of choice than the next four parks combined.

The new rates go into effect Friday.