HIGHLANDS, N.J. – The National Park Service will hold a public open house to discuss proposed changes to the fee collection program in the form of extended collection hours and increased parking fees within Gateway National Recreation Area, a unit of the National Park Service.

The open house will be held at Fort Hancock in the chapel, part of Gateway’s Sandy Hook Unit, on Monday, September 26, 2011, and participants can visit any time between 3:30 P.M. and 5:30 P.M.

"From our own families and friends we know firsthand the challenge of these economically trying times," said Gateway National Recreation Area Superintendent Linda Canzanelli. “Considering a fee increase to maintain our current level of services is always a difficult decision, even in prosperous times."

Canzanelli added that this is the first fee increase that Gateway NRA has put forward in 10 years at Sandy Hook and will bring Gateway in line with the fees charged at similar areas with similar amenities. “The park will listen closely to citizens’ concerns, which will help make the best decision, not only for the park, but also for the public that depends on Gateway and the services it provides.”

Current and Proposed Fees at Sandy Hook, N.J., and Riis Park, Queens, N.Y.

Sandy Hook Unit: Current Fees

Daily: $10 per vehicle

Season Pass: $50 per vehicle

Oversized vehicle (20') daily: $25 per vehicle No Season Pass for Oversized Vehicles

Sandy Hook Unit: Proposed Fees

Daily: $20 per vehicle for two consecutive days Season Pass: $100 per vehicle Oversized vehicle (20') daily: $50 per vehicle Season Pass, Oversized Vehicle: $150 per vehicle

Jamaica Bay Unit: Current Fees

Daily: $5 per vehicle

Season Pass: $40 per vehicle

Oversized vehicle (20') daily: $25 per vehicle

Jamaica Bay Unit: Proposed Fees

Daily: $10 per vehicle for two consecutive days Season Pass: $65 per vehicle Oversized vehicle (20') daily: $50 per vehicle