|RP city Council OKs rec fee hikes
Minor increases to help with repairs and maintenance
By Jud Snyder
The City of Rohnert Park has to go through a balancing act year after year to make its recreational facilities available to users, and at the same time, keep them affordable to the public. It’s not an easy assignment.
At their August 28 meeting the city council approved slight rate increases of mostly $5 an hour, for its recreational buildings, parks, swimpools and playing fields.
Recreation Manager Guy Miller along with John McArthur, director of community services, laid out their proposal. Approval by the council followed.
It will be scheduled for future public meetings, possibly in December or early next year.
Most cities do not make a profit from their recreational facilities and their General Fund treasury has to make up the difference. RP facilities are doing a good job, covering about 80 percent of the costs from its fee structures with the rest from the General Fund.
But as Miller put it, “Our facilities are aging and are in need of capital repairs and improvements.” This includes interiors like carpeting, floors and walls, but also roofing and landscaping.
The fee increase schedule Miller gave to the council includes the Community Center, Calinnan Sports Center, swimpools, Burton Avenue Recreation Center, tennis courts, all soccer, softball and baseball playing fields, city parks and picnic areas, Senior Center, Civic Center Plaza and Community Center Square.
It’s seven pages of single-spaced summaries broken down into categories like resident or non-resident, profit or non-profit, time of events, age groups and size of user groups. Detailed summaries are available on the city’s Web site.
Added Miller, “The proposed fees will not go into effect until July1, 2013. This is to allow time for user groups to adjust their own fee structures.”
He estimates the new fees will add about $11,000 a year to the budget plus another $12,000 to fund capital improvements. “The proposed fees should help increase the department’s cost recovery rate, partially fund needed capital improvements and decrease the burden on the city’s General Fund,” said Miller.