According to the Texas State Historical Society, each year about 30,000 visitors, including family groups and professional societies, register their attendance three miles south of Newcastle at historic Fort Belknap. On Tuesday afternoon at the Young County Commissioners Court meeting, several Fort Belknap visitors explained why they weren’t happy with some recent policy changes.
During the public announcements portion of the meeting, a family approached the court requesting an explanation regarding the newly implemented deposit and fee increases, as well as rule and regulation changes enacted three weeks ago by county officials.
“We will probably revisit that,” said County Judge John Bullock. “We couldn’t do anything with it or discuss it substantially because it wasn’t an agenda item. It was just something brought up during the public comments, but that will be an agenda item for a future meeting that probably won’t be too distant in the future.”
Bullock said the court will likely finish adopting its 2015 county budget and then revisit the issue sometime at the end of August.
The rule and fee changes came at the request of Fort Belknap attendants Becky and Eddie Perez, who, due to a disagreement with the court over requested time off, officially resigned from their posts at the end of June, but will continue to man Fort Belknap for the next six months or until replacements are found.
“We enacted some rule changes as recommended by the park attendants out there, and they also made some personal requirements that we didn’t meet all of,” Bullock explained. “But we also added the fee increases and deposit costs.”
Changes made to Fort Belknap policy include no more overnight tenting and the implementation of a 10:30 p.m. curfew.
Read the entire story in this weekend's Graham Leader.