• Hendricks County Parks Board considering user fees

    January 25, 2012 No comments

    Hendricks County Parks & Recreation is considering charging fees for some of its programming.

    In a story by Wade Coggeshall in the Hendricks County Flyer, he reports that at Tuesday’s County Commissioners meeting, Superintendent William Roche discussed a fee structure policy the park board created. Programs that are considered beneficial to the community, such as environmental education or the Summer Fun Run series that promotes exercise, would remain free or be assigned a low percentage in the value of its cost recovery.

    Roche said, “The only way the parks department can continue to grow is to have fees for certain things” He added that the parks department currently only collects fees for facility rentals.

    Last year more than 10,000 residents participated in park programs. About 2,000 of them had to be turned away because of space limitations. Roche said one night hike last September drew 150 people.

    He said the park board is looking at charging fees for more “enhanced” programs, as well as those that offer more individual benefits. Any fees that are approved would be rolled out gradually.

    Commissioners aren’t entirely on board with the idea though Commission President Eric Wathen said he thinks the proposed policy makes sense.

    Fees were listed as the top choice by residents for the parks department to recover costs in its master plan adopted last year. Roche said the park board likely won’t make a decision on the fee policy until March.

    He also told commissioners that an Indiana Department of Transportation grant awarded to the county for the Vandalia Trail that stretch for three miles between Amo and Coatesville is now available. A contractor has been hired and public information meetings will be scheduled to discuss plans and get feedback.

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