DEPARTMENT OF RECREATION AND PARKS: UNIFORMED FEE STRUCTURE

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DEPARTMENT OF RECREATION AND PARKS: UNIFORMED FEE STRUCTURE

Problem Identification:
The Department has no rational fee structure. Wide disparities in fees exist from facility-to-facility. While there exist clear socioeconomic reasons why some communities might have less ability to pay for services than others, those decisions are made on an ‘ad hoc’ basis in the absence of uniform and enforced guidelines.

Recommended Action:
Institute and enforce a uniform fee structure for services at City recreation and parks facilities.

Classification:
Revenue Enhancement

Functional/Operational Area:
All Departmental Operations

Estimated Annual Impact:
Cannot be Estimated

Estimated Implementation Costs:
Not Determined

Barriers to Implementation:
Fees for municipal recreation and parks services have a regressive impact on impoverished families. Enforcement of a uniform fee structure across multiple sites could be difficult due to the limited reporting systems currently in place throughout the Department.

Projected Implementation:
180 Days

Next Steps:
Study similar demographic jurisdictions to establish an equitable and uniform fee structure.

Analysis:
During the course of its fieldwork, members of the project team encountered significant disparities between Department recreation centers in terms of the fees being charged for the range of services being delivered. The project team did not encounter any uniform standards for determining fee structures, published guidelines for determining eligibility for discounts or fee abatements in cases where participants cannot afford to pay fees, or consistent recordkeeping.

It is estimated that over 1.8 million people attended events at the Department’s recreation centers and special facilities in FY99. Given this level of participation, the Department needs more than an ‘ad hoc’ fee structure.