The Vashon-Maury Island Community Council might have to pay the Vashon Park District for its use of McMurray Middle School, fees that could climb as high as nearly $800 a year, according to a fee schedule the park district is considering.
VMICC, a long-standing community organization, has been allowed to meet at the public middle school for free for the past couple of years. But under a new fee schedule the park district’s board put forward at its last meeting, the community council would no longer get free access and would instead have to pay an hourly rate that would cost an estimated $780 for 2013.
Tim Johnson, VMICC president, said the organization was surprised to learn of the fee and has already begun exploring other options.
“We’ll take a hard look at it. It’s a pretty steep fee increase,” he said.
Susan McCabe, the park district’s interim executive director, said the fee increase is occurring because VMICC was taking advantage of “free hours” for the middle school. “We’re abolishing free hours,” she said.
The fee structure is es-sential to making the park district’s difficult budget pencil out this year, McCabe added. “We have to charge fees for everything in order to make this budget work,” she said.
But the park district will try to find a solution to VMICC’s concerns. “We’ll try to work with these people,” McCabe said.