People who live outside of Frederick County will have to pay more if they want to reserve facilities at county parks, while county residents get a reprieve from further increases.
The Board of County Commissioners voted today to approve a 50 percent increase for facility rentals by people who don’t live in the county. The change is scheduled to take effect July 1.
Under the new rules, the cost of renting an athletic field for people from outside the county would increase from $45 per day to $70. The cost of renting a pavilion would range from $85 to $330, an increase from the current range of $55 to $220.
Residents will continue to be charged the current fees to rent facilities at county parks.
The board’s vote also eliminates a planned increase in facility rental fees for county residents that had been scheduled to take effect July 1.
The previous board had approved a gradual increase in fees in 2010 for all park facility users, with the first increase taking effect that year and scheduled increases in 2012 and 2014.
Board of Commissioners President Blaine Young (R) and commissioners David Gray (R) and Kirby Delauter (R) voted for the proposal, with Smith opposed. Commissioner Billy Shreve (R) was absent for the vote.
Commissioner Paul Smith (R) said he voted against the proposal because staff hadn’t provided specific data on the number of people from outside the county who use the park facilities.
Young asked Parks and Recreation Director Paul Dial to compile some statistics, but said he was comfortable acting on the department’s recommendation without the detailed numbers.
Less than 10 percent of users in the past year were from out of the county, based on information gathered when people reserve facilities, but staff hadn’t been asked to prepare more specific numbers, said Dial.
“It is going to be a minimal revenue addition that we are going to have from this,” he said.
Dial said the fee structure being discussed wouldn’t apply to youth athletic leagues that use the baseball, soccer and other fields.
Frederick County’s adopted fee structure is similar to those in other counties.
It costs people who live outside of Washington County 40 percent more than in-county residents to use park facilities. Other jurisdictions that were studied range from 25 to 100 percent, said Jeremy Kortright of the county’s Parks and Recreation Department.