Title 42
State Affairs and Government

Chapter 17.1
Department of Environmental Management

R.I. Gen. Laws § 42-17.1-9.1

§ 42-17.1-9.1. User fees at state beaches, parks, and recreation areas.

(a) The department of environmental management in pursuance of its administrative duties and responsibilities may charge a user fee for any state beach, or recreational area under its jurisdiction, and fees for the use of its services or facilities.

(b) The fee may be on a daily or annual basis, or both, and may be based on vehicle parking or other appropriate means. The fees may recognize the contribution of Rhode Island taxpayers to support the facilities in relation to other users of the state’s facilities. The fee structure may acknowledge the need to provide for all people, regardless of circumstances.

(c) An additional fee for camping and other special uses may be charged where appropriate. Rates so charged should be comparable to equivalent commercial facilities.

(d) All such fees shall be established after a public hearing.

(e)(1) All daily fees from beach parking, which shall also include fees charged and collected at Ninigret conservation area and Charlestown breachway, shall be shared with the municipality in which the facility is located on the basis of seventy-three percent (73%) retained by the state and twenty-seven percent (27%) remitted to the municipality; provided, further, from July 1, 2016, until October 1, 2021, the beach fees charged and collected under this subsection shall be equal to those in effect on June 30, 2011.

(2) Notwithstanding subsection (e)(1), effective July 1, 2021, the fees charged and collected for facilities located in the town of Westerly may exceed those in effect on June 30, 2011, in an amount to be reasonably determined by the department of environmental management.

(f) Fifty percent (50%) of all user and concession fees received by the state shall be deposited as general revenues. For the year beginning July 1, 1979, the proportion of user and concession fees to be received by the state shall be sixty-five percent (65%); for the year beginning July 1, 1980, eighty-five percent (85%); and for the year beginning July 1, 1981, and all years thereafter, one hundred percent (100%). The general revenue monies appropriated are hereby specifically dedicated to meeting the costs of development, renovation of, and acquisition of state-owned recreation areas and for regular maintenance, repair and operation of state-owned recreation areas. Purchases of vehicles and equipment and repairs to facilities shall not exceed four hundred thousand dollars ($400,000) annually. Notwithstanding the provisions of § 37-1-1 or any other provision of the general laws, the director of the department of environmental management is hereby authorized to accept any grant, devise, bequest, donation, gift, or assignment of money, bonds, or other valuable securities for deposit in the same manner as provided above for user and concession fees retained by the state.

(g) No fee shall be charged to any school or other nonprofit organization provided that a representative of the school or other organization gives written notice of the date and time of their arrival to the facility.

History of Section.
P.L. 1973, ch. 191, § 1; P.L. 1975, ch. 152, § 1; P.L. 1976, ch. 65, § 1; P.L. 1977, ch. 182, § 2; P.L. 1979, ch. 288, § 1; P.L. 1981, ch. 291, art. 6, § 1; P.L. 1987, ch. 217, § 1; P.L. 1988, ch. 129, art. 27, § 1; P.L. 1991, ch. 44, art. 76, § 4; P.L. 1992, ch. 133, art. 20, § 1; P.L. 1993, ch. 138, art. 15, § 3; P.L. 1995, ch. 370, art. 40, § 131; P.L. 1998, ch. 31, art. 8, § 2; P.L. 1998, ch. 64, § 1; P.L. 2002, ch. 65, art. 13, § 1; P.L. 2007, ch. 340, § 19; P.L. 2011, ch. 151, art. 6, § 1; P.L. 2016, ch. 142, art. 13, § 19; P.L. 2019, ch. 88, art. 5, § 4; P.L. 2021, ch. 162, art. 6, § 5, effective July 1, 2021.