By DOTTY NIST
The Florida Department of Environmental Protection has withdrawn plans for new vending at Camp Helen State Park. DEP announced the decision on July 9.
The decision was on the heels of DEP’s withdrawal of a call for business plans for Grayton Beach State Park in Walton County. Walton County citizens had publicly opposed those plans for new vending.
Camp Helen’s unit management plan, approved in 2014, had included recommendations for a new combined visitor center/concessions building, along with the addition of a “mobile concessions structure” in conjunction with a new day use area.
DEP had issued news releases calling for potential vendors to submit plans for concessions at a number of state parks in the Panhandle, including Henderson Beach State Park, Grayton Beach State Park, and Camp Helen State Park. The agency had also issued a Call for Business Plans for a vendor to operate the Wakulla Springs Lodge at Edward Ball Wakulla Springs State Park.
As of July 11, the state’s only plans for new vending at Panhandle state parks were for the Wakulla Springs Lodge concessionaire, with proposals from potential vendors having been due on July 9.
On July 3, DEP spokeswoman Mara Burger had indicated that DEP has no plans to issue any other calls for business plans for any state parks in the Panhandle.
By DOTTY NIST