FORT WORTH (CBSDFW.COM) – The Fort Worth Botanic Garden was built in the 1930s and is listed as an official historic site by the U.S. government. Administrators of this North Texas gem may soon do something they have never had to do before: charge admission.
Botanic Garden Director Bob Byers says they have accrued a deferred maintenance cost of $15 million during the past 15 years. A task force is now recommending admission fees as a way to recoup some of those costs.
“We love the fact that the Garden is free, but the issues that are arising and how you address them are getting to be so significant we don’t see a way around them,” said Byers.
Byers said the disrepair is wide spread at the garden.
The most obvious is the conservatory which has had to close do to fallen glass panels that have come off the ceiling.
Byers also said many other issues are less obvious.
“We’ve got a $2 million HVAC issue just in this building. There are gas, water, and electric systems all over the garden that are failing because they are past their service life,” he said.
The recommendation is to charge adults $12, seniors $10 and children $6.
There will also be family membership passes for the years for $100 and $50 passes for individuals.
The plan would have to be cleared by the Parks and Recreation board before going before a city council vote in November.