Jul 28, 2014

Rec Commission Increases St. Paul's Fields Usage Fee

Outside the village groups now pay $8,000 for the day's rental.

Rec Commission Increases St. Paul's Fields Usage Fee
Recognizing that the fields at St. Paul’s are very much in demand for outside for-profit and not-for-profit organizations annually hosting lacrosse and soccer tournaments, the Garden City Recreation Commission voted to more than double Garden City's field usage fee.

Bob Bolebruch, an appointed member of the commission and a trustee candidate for village board, said the village used to charge $3,500 for usage of the whole St. Paul's fields. The commission raised that fee to $8,000 for the day.

Kevin Ocker, chairman of the Board of Commissioners for Recreational and Cultural Affairs, said the fees are charged only to "outside the village based organizations."

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"We do not charge our local organizations for the use of the fields," he emphasized. Though how Garden City compares to other jurisdictions is important it really wasn't the driving factor behind the new rates, Ocker added.

"The fact is that the Recreation Commission recognizes that the fields at St. Paul’s are a very special resource," he said. "St. Paul’s is a premier facility because of its size, we can layout nine soccer fields."

The vote took place at a January meeting of the commission in which half a dozen outside organizations attended. "The fee was raised and frankly no one bat an eye," Ocker said.

Bolebruch added, "When questioned by one of the groups, we divided the $4,500 increase in fees by the number of children that will be playing on the one day of rental and it would be an increase of $8.11 for each child, which the group would probably pass on to the kids. We also raised the half St. Paul's usage and the individual field usage."

All of the groups requesting dates/permits for their events are paying the new fee, collected to offset the costs associated with field preparation, refuse removal and comfort station cleaning before, during and after the events, according to Ocker.

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