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Oak Ridge Cemetery Looking at Bus Fees
Charter buses carrying tourists wanting to see the Lincoln Tomb may soon have to pay an entrance fee.
Hundreds of the buses pass through the gate at Oak Ridge Cemetery every month -- creating a lot of wear and tear on the roads.
Its not hard to spot them at Oak Ridge Cemetery -- tourists wanting to learn all about Lincoln.
"I think its a wonderful tribute to a wonderful president," tourist Marie Richardson said.
Oak Ridge Cemetery is a popular stop for charter buses and school buses -- evidence that can be seen on the roads.
"It just makes sense if there's wear and tear by heavy vehicles --which charter buses are -- then we should consider a heavy vehicle fee, if you will," Executive Director Mike Lelys said.
It's estimated during the summer, up to 700 buses pass through Oak Ridge Cemetery per month to see the Lincoln Tomb.
The money from the proposed fees would help fix the roads.
"We want to delve through it and make sure the plans help the cemetery but don't hurt tourism at the same time," Lelys said.
But City Council feels something needs to be done because of the cemetery's suffering budget.
"The problem is going to grow and we need to think about how we're going to fix the problem," Alderman Frank Edwards said.
It's yet to be determined how the proposed fees would be collected.
Other destinations are known to charge about $25 per bus.
"Its the least we can do to come to a place like this," tourist Paul Tindell said.