Board approves fee increase for parks

Friday, March 9, 2007

Fees are headed up this year for users of the Greencastle city parks system.

Non-residents who rent shelter houses for special events will see the greatest increase, however, all users will see higher fees in some areas.

Members of the Greencastle Park Board approved the 2007 fee schedule for the parks department Wednesday night.

According to the schedule, season pool passes for a family of four people will cost $130 this year as opposed to $120 last year. Each additional person in a family was charged $15 for the season last year, but now they will be required to pay $20 for the season.

Learn to swim classes are headed up to $30, from $25, and tennis lessons for youth and adults will go from $20 to $25.

Daily admission to the pool -- $3 for people 5 years and older -- will remain the same as will an individual season passes, which are $50 apiece.

The Mike Rokicki Castle Classic 5K run will cost participants $20 this year as opposed to $15 the previous year. Preregistration is $15 compared to $10 last year.

The summer S.P.A.R.K. program will remain free with donations accepted as will the Mommy & Me program, which is $30 for a child with parent and $15 for each additional child in the same family.

Shelter house rentals at Robe-Ann Park, Jaycee Park and Big Walnut Sports Park are headed up but will not take effect of 2008.

Residents will pay a range of $20 to $35 to rent shelter houses for special events, while non-residents will be charged from $35 to $50 for use of those facilities.

Park board members said Wednesday night that they thought people living outside the city should have to pay more than those who live inside.

Copies of the new fee schedule are available at the parks and recreation department at Robe-Ann Park.

In other business, the park board:

* Learned that the city Easter egg hunt will be conducted at 10 a.m. Saturday, March 31 at Robe-Ann Park. The teen nighttime egg hunt will be conducted on Friday, April 6.

* Learned that an agency has been approved to complete the second phase of a Brownfield environmental study at property along the proposed Albin Pond Trail of People Pathways. Potential ground contamination has been discovered on one of the properties along the route and the city is required to investigate. Parks Director Rod Weinschenk told the board the company will have to dig holes and test the soil on the property to determine if there is any pollution. If there is, the site will have to be cleaned up before the trail project can continue.

* Learned that work is soon to begin on Mary's Field, a memorial park to be constructed on the east side of Greencastle City Hall. Weinschenk said the company selected to construct the park is preparing to build a decorative stone wall and walkway in the park.

Wildflowers will be planted later this year.

* Learned that the parks department has not secured a date for a city auction at the former Clearwater's greenhouse located in the southwest corner of Robe-Ann Park. Weinschenk said park workers have recently been tearing down dilapidated structures on the property, which is now owned by the parks department, and plan to demolish the entire building after the auction. The property will be planted with grass and trees in the future.

* Consented to not apply for a Kellogg Foundation Grant to make the city's park more accessible to people with disabilities. Weinschenk told the board he doesn't think the city has the money to apply toward the grant at this time.

The Greencastle Park Board meets at 7:30 p.m. on the first Wednesday of each month at city hall.

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