Variety of Parks and Rec use fees to rise
Appeal Staff Writer
People who swim at the Carson City Aquatic Center or rent park equipment or pavilions in the city may soon be paying more.
Members of the Parks and Recreation Commission are being asked today to recommend the increases, estimated to be an average of 15 percent for such things as fairground fees, park pavilion rentals, park equipment rentals, room rentals and theater fees.
The cost to swim at the Aquatic Center would rise by 11 percent, which at least one senior said could be difficult for some people to pay.
“It’s tough for seniors on fixed incomes. Everything’s going up,” said Marian Artesani, who swims at the center three times a week. She watches other seniors – some using walkers to get around – come to the center to use the therapy pool.
For herself, however, the proposed extra $5 a month for a punch card from $42 to $47 is “OK – my health is worth that.”
The city conducted a survey to see what nearby communities were charging for pool use. New fees would be higher than Fallon and Carson Valley, but lower than Reno, Sparks and South Lake Tahoe, wrote Kurt Meyer, the city’s supervisor of aquatic operations, in a report about area pool-use fees.
Voters approved a quarter-cent sales tax called Question 18 for parks and open space in 1996. The city’s pool-use rate hikes, for example, are expected to be enough to keep the spending ratio of Question 18 money for the program to 50 percent of direct costs, said Roger Moellendorf, the city’s Parks and Recreation director.
A significant part of the plan also focuses on ensuring that commercial users are charged enough for the city to recover “100 percent of the department’s direct costs,” Moellendorf said.
This issue came up last year when Capital Ford sought to hold a new-car show at Fuji Park during the Memorial Day weekend, but their request was denied. The business has since opted to have the new car show in the park in August.
The commission also will decide whether to recommend a set of policies related to large commercial events, with the goal of having these rules in place before this first commercial event occurs.
Among rules being proposed will be a limit on the number of commercial car shows each year, venues where these shows can be held, and that sales won’t be allowed during events.
If this entire list of increases goes through on time, all will start June 8.
The Board of Supervisors last approved an increase in 2004.
A partial way to offset fee increases – at least those proposed to youth activities – will be through a proposed increase of $15,000 to the Latch Key Scholarship Account of an additional $15,000 for youth programs, said Supervisor Pete Livermore, who also sits on the Parks and Recreation Commission.
This is a supplemental budget request being made during this same meeting.
No hikes are being planned for “major nonprofit events,” according to city staff. This is described as “an event that is going to use more than one area” of a location, said Moellendorf.
If you go
What: Parks and Recreation
When: 5:30 p.m. today
Where: Sierra Room,
Center, 851 E. William St.
• Contact reporter Terri Harber at tharber @nevadaappeal.com or 882-2111, ext. 215.