City Council compromises on BioPark fees

Posted at: 11/05/2012 9:46 PM
Updated at: 11/05/2012 10:47 PM
By: Adam Camp, KOB Eyewitness News

The Albuquerque City Council made a compromise Monday night about ticket prices at the BioPark, and money was also saved from being taken away from funding for a penguin exhibit that is set to open in Fall 2013.

Councilor Ken Sanchez's proposal to reduce adult ticket prices from $10 to $8, and children's and seniors from $4.50 to $3.00 failed. His proposal also included $400,000 to be reappropriated from the city's fund toward the BioPark Penguin Exhibit.

But the success came from Councilor Isaac Benton's proposal for ticket prices to be reduced to $9 for adults. Seniors would still pay $4.50, but children would only pay $4.

"No one is jumping up and down with glee. There are going to be increases for local residents, but we've also introduced out of state residents will pay more to absorb the cost," Councilor Benton said.

The councilor also wanted to make sure people from outside New Mexico would pay their fair share in the new ticket prices.

"Our residents were shouldering as much of the responsibility as folks who come here as tourists, and the BioPark is just one thing on their list of things to see here," he said.

Prices for adults coming from outside New Mexico will be $12.50. The new prices will help pay for $18 million of deferred maintenance at the 85-year-old zoo.

One employee from the BioPark was happy about the compromise made.

"We need to bring more money into the facility. It is kind of aging and we needed more money for maintenance," Rick Janser said.

The new prices will go into effect on December 1st.