Botanical Garden fee headed to Board of Supervisor’s Budget and Finance Committee 

Park officials on Wednesday will explain why a controversial, nonresident fee at the Botanical Garden in Golden Gate Park has not generated as much revenue as expected, but also fight to keep it intact.

Last year, the Recreation and Park Department implemented a $7 fee for nonresidents — despite serious opposition — and projected that it would gain $650,000 from July 2010 to July of this year.

However, a report conducted by The City’s Budget and Legislative Analyst anticipates that Rec and Park will only gain $355,992 by July 2011 because as of March 28, it had only gained $231,064.

Additionally, this year because of low revenue the administration costs eat up about 59 cents out of every dollar, gaining Rec and Park $145,934, according to the report.

The fee didn’t actually start until Aug. 7, and park officials have said they expected the first year to be the roughest, but not that rough.

The admission fee will expire by July, and the Board of Supervisors has options to eliminate it entirely and use tax revenue to replace it until July, or to let it ride out and hope for the best.

The Budget and Finance Committee will hear both proposals at its regular meeting Wednesday.

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Kamala Kelkar

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