by Max Brantley
The Little Rock Zoo Board of Governors will be asked at a meeting Monday to approve a $2 parking fee for the zoo lot, now free.
Spokesman Susan Altrui said the fee is to cover the cost of increased security -- county deputies and staff on golf carts -- patrolling the lot, directing traffic and slowing speeders. The zoo has had problems with car break-ins on Saturdays and Sundays. Similar problems led to the hiring of parking lot security across the street at the War Memorial Fitness Center, she said.
Altrui said the zoo expects the fee to produce $20,000 to $30,000 for the balance of the year. Should there be any excess over security costs, it would go to zoo operations. If approved Monday as expected, the fee would begin only after signs about the fee were posted. It will be collected at the gate with admission fees. Zoo members will get free parking.
The City Board has the power to override fees set by the Zoo board.