JEKYLL ISLAND, Ga. – It'll cost $2 more for a daily pass to visit Jekyll Island next week. Other rates on the island are also going up as part plans by the agency that manages the island to make improvements to it says will benefit both visitors and residents.
Starting July 1 it will cost $8 to drive a vehicle onto the island state park. The parking fee has been $6 for the past seven years. The fee for an annual permit was raised to $55.
The increase was part of the Jekyll Island Authority's $30.34 million fiscal 2020 budget that was approved Tuesday by its board. In addition to raising the daily entrance fee and hiking water and sewer rates 13.6%, the spending plan would fund a new traffic gate with dedicated annual pass lane, update the utility plan and pay for other improvements the authority believes will improve the quality of life on the island for both visitors and residents.
Authority Executive Director Jones Hooks told The Brunswick News the additional fees will help pay for expanded conservation efforts on Jekyll Island. By law, roughly two-thirds of the island must remain undeveloped. Its untamed areas provide habitat for wildlife including nesting sea turtles, shorebirds and alligators.
Hooks said parking fees also pay the full cost of landscaping, roads and grounds operations on the island.
“If you look at the situation that we find ourselves in today, we’re a totally different organization, in my opinion, than we were about 11 years ago,” Hooks told the newspaper. “Eleven years ago, we were operating a budget of about $15.5 million.”