Last year, Rock Ledge Ranch in Colorado Springs instituted a $50 fee for citizens who want a photographer to take portrait photos of them at this taxpayer-supported park. This includes the portion of the park that is open to the public, and requires no entry fee.
We asked for more details and received good information from the Rock Ledge Ranch office manager. The office manager shared that the Ranch is part of the City of Colorado Springs Parks and Recreation Department, and shared that budget with us. The 2019 Rockledge Ranch taxpayer funded portion of the budget is $251,059. The Ranch also raises private money through donations and memberships.
While we have no doubt that a few photographers have over-stepped boundaries and caused problems, we suspect that most photographers have been respectful and followed the park rules.
This is a taxpayer-supported park. As long as the taxpayers are contributing to it, we should have access to it. We are talking about the every day occurrence of professionals snapping photos of families and little kids. Is this just a way to add another revenue stream?
Take some time and contact your City Council member and share your thoughts. They approve the parks budget.
This policy should be reversed to allow taxpayers free access to the park, or Rock Ledge Ranch should figure out how to do without the taxpayers’ $251,059. The cost to fill 1 pothole in Colorado Springs is $14.91. No doubt taxpayers would be supportive of using that money to fill 16,838 potholes instead.