Starting this summer, visitors to Lodi Lake Park on Turner Road could have the option to bypass the $4 fee required to park each time they drive in for a picnic or to launch kayaks.
A new annual parking pass was recommended by the Lodi Recreation Commission to get more park visitors to pay the required fees for parking.
"There are people who go virtually every day," said Jeff Hood, director of Parks, Recreation and Cultural Services. "They just know when to get there."
Currently, if there is no one working in the small gate house at the park entrance, no fee is paid for parking. There is no mechanism for visitors to pay on the honor system, or to track cars coming in and out.
The parks department has offered a punch pass for several years in which a resident could pay $40 for 20 visits to the park. But they sold fewer than 40 a year, and without anyone working at the entrance, the cards were not punched on every visit. So the commission advised getting rid of the punch card entirely and creating an annual pass instead.
If the annual pass is approved, residents could fill out an application, pay $50, and have unlimited entry to the park with a small placard to hang from the review mirror of their vehicle.
The card would be assigned to an individual, not a specific car, and would last one calendar year.
Hood suggested offering the pass at a discount to those who purchase it after mid-summer. Since this year's pass would not be available until mid-April at the earliest, the commission decided to offer the pass at $30 if bought after August 1.
Those who do not purchase an annual pass would pay the regular park fee with each visit, either to a present parking attendant or by sealing the fee in an envelope and dropping it into a locked box.
"We need to get people accustomed to paying a fee whenever the park is open," said Hood.