ALBUQUERQUE (KRQE) - A fight over a fee increase to get into one of Albuquerque's most visited parks has two councilors taking on the mayor.
Earlier this month, the mayor raised the cost to get into the Rio Grande Zoo.
Admission for adults jumped from $7 to $10. Kids and seniors saw a spike from $3 to $4.50.
Now just weeks later, councilor Ken Sanchez is backing a proposal to change the prices again but only adults would see a $1 increase, kids and seniors will again pay $3.
"It Is a very slight increase but I think that we will keep families continuing to go to the Biopark, to the zoo, the botanical gardens," Sanchez said.
Sanchez says what the mayor did was so drastic he's worried kids will no longer go to the zoo.
"We were told the numbers would dwindle by 10 percent," Sanchez said.
He says that's not the only problem and that bottom line what the mayor did is not allowed.
"He did not under the law have the authority to increase those fees without going through city council," Sanchez said.
Mayor R.J. Berry has argued otherwise.
When the mayor increased the fees he said it was needed because the 85-year-old zoo needs expensive repairs and upgrades.
"This is a very quality experience...The concern is if we continue on the same path that we're on, the maintenance will continue to stack up," Berry said.
For now, zoo goers have no choice but to pay more for tickets.
Some have no problem with that.
"I think if the animals need the money than the fee increase, the ten dollars is not the big of deal to me to get in," Allison Mersel said.
For others, a trip to the zoo is no deal at all.
"I think admission to get in here is a little steep," Fran Jaramillo said.
The mayor's office says a lot of planning and research went into the decision to raise zoo ticket prices.
The city's chief operations officer says anything less will not be enough to do what needs to be done at the zoo.
The council proposal is on the agenda for Monday's city council meeting, but councilor Sanchez it will likely be considered later next month.
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