Clark County works out a way to refund parks parking fees

More than 600 people also have option to donate

By Erik Hidle, Columbian staff writer

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Clark County will send refunds to 623 people who paid for annual parking passes at the county parks. But first, they're going to see if the pass holders want to donate the money.

The refunds became necessary after last week's vote by Clark County commissioners to remove parking fees from Frenchman's Bar Park, Lewisville Regional Park, Vancouver Lake Park, Salmon Creek/Klineline Pond, Daybreak Park and Boat Launch and Haapa Boat Launch.

The move eliminated parking fees at all county parks and boat launches, and became effective immediately after the vote.

The county will contact those who paid for the passes and offer them a refund or the option to donate what they paid for the pass to the Parks Foundation of Clark County. The nonprofit group raises money to support parks, trails and recreation programs across the county.

Most of the passes were sold for $40. Some folks, such as military members, seniors and volunteers, were offered a discount of 25 percent.

Since the refund will not be prorated, those who request refunds will receive the full amount they paid for the passes.

The county is making an effort to get the word out on the refund because some people may need to update their contact information.

"We're using the information we had from when the passes were sold," said Jeff Mize, spokesman for the county. "One of the reasons we are announcing this is because if people changed their contact information, they need to contact Parks and Recreation."

Those who have purchased an annual parking pass and need to update their contact information can contact Vancouver-Clark Parks and Recreation at 360-487-8311 or at parksrec@cityofvancouver.us.

Erik Hidle: 360-735-4547; http://twitter.com/col_clarkgov;erik.hidle@columbian.com.