I was reading Capitol Fax Blog yesterday and found a reference to a Quad City Times editorial about the Pat Quinn administration having raised ski lift inspection fees from $60 to $950.
We visited Chestnut Mountain south of Galena this spring before all of the snow had melted on its slope.
We were at Eagle Ridge and had taken a side trip so my son and his friend could see the Mississippi River close up and personal.
We didn’t find a place where they could touch it until we found Chestnut Mountain.
The snow had not yet completely melted.
The magnolias were blooming at Eagle Ridge.
The kids had fun hacking on the sides of a crevasse of a cliff containing probably the oldest exposed rocks in Illinois. They weren’t scoured by the glacier or covered by glacial till.
One of the bigger attractions was the messiest. The boys found a wall of mud up the slope.
Naturally, they had to bring home samples.
There seemed to be two families at Chestnut Mountain.
I assume one was staying.
We were alone on the restaurant overlooking the sky hill and Mississippi River above which bald eagles were flying.
But, back to Illinois Democrats making it harder to make a profit at Chestnut Mountain.
Capitol Fax Blog linked to an editorial in the Quad City Times, a paper that circulates in Galena.
Here’s how it starts:
“If any place other than the state of Illinois attempted this, we’d call it a shakedown.“Instead, it’s called a regulatory fee, intended to offset the results of a zillion bad budgeting decisions that have nothing to do with regulation.
“Illinois’ new regulatory fees include an astounding 1,525 percent increase for state ski lift inspections. Last year, it was $60. This year, it will be $975.”
What does the state inspection consist of?
“They just started doing it about five years ago. Somebody would come from Springfield with a bucket load of stickers. They’d put a sticker in your window and take your money,” the Quad City Times quotes nearby Snowstar’s Ed Meyer.
“They’d basically look at you and say, ‘So, how does this thing work?’”
So, with six ski lifts, that’s an extra $5,430 in business expense for Chestnut Mountain.
In Wisconsin, the article says the state requires “third party, independent inspections.”
Presumably by someone who knows something about ski lifts.
Think Alpine Valley, where many McHenry County residents go to ski.
“Upon reflection, we find nothing to distinguish this fee gouging from a shakedown,”
the editorial concludes.
No word on what the state is going to charge to inspect the water slides used in the summer.
Who does the inspection?
The Labor Department’s Carnival and Amusement Ride Inspection Division.