Archive for Thursday, January 4, 2007

Council considers new field fees

January 4, 2007

Eudora Parks and Recreation director Tammy Hodges pitched the possibility Dec. 27 of charging higher fees for use of the city's baseball fields.

The Eudora City Council heard Hodges' reasoning but Eudora City Councilman Bill Whitten urged the council to delay its decision on the issue.

Because the new fees would primarily impact the Eudora Amateur Baseball Association, Whitten said he wanted to talk directly with the baseball association officials.

The new fees would help bring the city's recreation program up to date, Hodges said.

"We just want to have a fee basis there for people to say this is what our costs are," Hodges said.

The city would need to set a fee schedule regardless for the new recreation center when it opens, Hodges said.

"This is just basically to be consistent," Hodges said.

The new fees would help the city recoup the money it spends to maintain the fields' quality.

A second part of Hodges proposal would have the city enter into an official contract with EABA.

The contract would hold the organization accountable for issues such as leaving the press box unlocked or the overhead lights on, Hodges said.

The council first discussed the possibility of setting fees for the ball fields earlier in the year. The original discussion was to charge a fee of $10 per game for use of the fields. Hodges' proposal would change the rate to a flat fee of $25 per day.

"In the long run it would be cheaper," Eudora City Administrator Cheryl Beatty said. "More importantly it's easier for us to work with. Administratively it would be simpler."

In addition to a flat $25 fee for use of the park, Hodges proposed charging EABA for overall maintenance costs, which includes seasonal part-time employees and general maintenance.

Should the fee schedule pass, EABA would pay a total of $7,035 for basic fees for the summer.

During discussion, Whitten mentioned EABA provides its own equipment for the athletes.

"They are a private organization and you have to treat them as such," Beatty said.

Council members agreed to delay their decision until its next meeting.

"I'd approve this tonight, but I also, tonight, don't have a problem approving it at the next meeting either," Eudora Councilman Dan Gregg said.

The next meeting will take place at 7:30 p.m. Monday at Eudora City Hall, 4 East Seventh St.

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