In 2009, the Suffolk County Legislature approved a resolution to implement fee increases and to fund the financially distressed Vanderbilt Museum in Centerport. As a result, 2009 fee hikes included a 16.5 percent increase in Green Key Cards and an 18 percent increase in Green Key Cards for senior citizens; 18-to-20 percent increases in camping fees; outer beach RV permit hikes ranging from 16.5 percent to 20 percent; camping fee increases of 18 to 20 percent; golfing fee hikes of 10 to 16 percent, and picnic and event fee escalations of 40-to-50 percent.
Suffolk County Executive Steve Levy has recommended an operating budget for 2010 that allows these fee hikes to sunset, and to restore fees to their 2008 levels "Our hard-working residents have for years contributed tax dollars that have helped create a parks system that is second to none, and there is no better time to give something back than when the national economy is forcing our residents to make difficult spending decisions," he said Thursday, Feb. 18.
County parks within Huntington are West Hills and West Neck Farm/Coindre Hall. Parking fees at West Hills will now be $3 for residents and/or group picnice vehicles. Non-residents' entry is $10 per vehicle. Disabled veterans and active military members are free. Youth group camping is $2 per person. The two shelters at West Hills can be rented for $60 per night, plus $2 per person. Horseback riding fees are set by the concessionaire. Call 351-9168 for more information. Coindre Hall does not charge an entry fee, but does charge to rent the estate house. For information regarding the rental of Coindre Hall contact Recreation Supervisor, Jack Fass, at the Parks and Recreation Department at 351-3071. A copy of rental procedures and rental application are aattached. Prior to completing an application, organizations should contact Jack Fass to inquire about available openings. Catering at Coindre Hall is availble through Lessings.
In addition to the parks fees rollback, Levy announced the implementation of free Wi-Fi Internet service at Southaven County Park. The new offering allows park users to take advantage of the Internet as a platform for accessing music and movies, as well as e-mail and any number of entertainment services. The service, which is expected to be made available at additional county parks later this year, is an extension of Suffolk's network and is accessible via computers that have a Wi-Fi card or cell phones that have Internet connectivity.