Starved Rock Parking Lot

(WCSJ photo)

A measure that failed twice earlier this year in the Illinois Senate to charge a parking fee at Starved Rock State Park in LaSalle County may not be recalled as funding may be allocated at the state level.

Republican State Sen. Sue Rezin of Morris proposed legislation that would have charged a small parking fee to help with the upkeep of the park.

Heavy visitor traffic at the park causing increased maintenance and the acquisition of new land were cause for concern to direct a new funding source toward the park, and potentially nearby Matthiessen State Park, as well.

Sen. Rezin spoke with WSPY this week and says she may not recall the legislation, as her office has learned there could be funds available, allocated from Governor JB Pritzker's capital plan.

Earlier this year, Rezin's legislation garnered 29 votes in favor and nine votes against on the first try, needing 30 votes to pass.

Rezin then recalled the bill which went down in another vote of 29-8 with one abstention. Concerns were raised about an exemption in the bill that would carve out LaSalle County residents from paying the fee and Rezin told WSPY in April that she would see if the legislation could be tacked on to a new vehicle bill to possibly come back for a vote next year.

Now, Rezin says she hopes a parking fee wouldn't be necessary.

If Starved Rock was a National Park, it would rank 11th in the amount of visitors it sees. Planning for over 2,600 acres of new property is also underway.