Vashon Park District looks at charging for use of facilites

At next week’s meeting of the Vashon Park District board, commissioners will discuss whether facility use fees should be reinstated in order to fill a gap in the district’s 2011 budget.

Earlier this year, the board voted to add about $20,000 in income to balance the 2011 budget, revenues that would come by enstating new fees. Now the board will decide how those fees will be established.

One option comissioners will consider is returning to the district’s 2006 facility use fee structure, in which sports leagues, clubs and other groups that used fields, gymnasiums and other facilities included in the Vashon Commons were charged per hour.

Currently, most groups do not pay for their use of park district facilites. Park district officials estimate that by returning to the fee structure previously used but discontinued in 2007, the district could bring in about $54,000 in revenue in 2011.

Park district director Wendy Braicks said the commissioners may choose to reinstate all or some of the old fees, or explore alternative sources or revenue.

Braicks said she hopes those who would be affected by the new fees will give their input at the next park board meeting.

Vashon Park District’s board of comissioners will meet at 7 p.m. Tuesday, March 8, at the district offices at Ober Park.

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