Wednesday September 1, 2004
METRO PARKS ANNOUNCES NEW RATE STRUCTURE FOR PICNIC SHELTERS, ATHLETIC FIELDS AND MORE
Note: Click here to view an Adobe PDF version of the rate sheet.
LOUISVILLE (September 1, 2004) – New Metro Parks rental rates for everything from bleachers to softball fields take effect today. Because existing rental agreements will be honored at previous rates, most citizens and organizations won’t be affected until January 2005.
A new “rate sheet” – now available online at www.metro-parks.org and in person at several Metro Parks offices – is the result of an effort to develop a first-ever comprehensive fee structure for the services offered by Metro Parks. “This is really all about developing a fee system that makes sense,” said Michael J. Heitz, director of Metro Parks. “Upon my return to Metro Parks, I quickly realized how complicated and inconsistent our rates were. If they didn’t make sense to me, I couldn’t imagine how the public would understand them.”
New non-profit rates and other adjustments have minimized the impact in many instances. For example, while the price for the highest-quality lodges increased from $125 to $200, a non-profit rate brings the price down to $140. An existing charge for lodge rentals beyond four hours has been removed, making longer events – such as family reunions – more affordable. The rental rate for other lodges dropped to $100.
Metro Parks determined that community center gym rentals were priced too high, so the rate was lowered from $50 to $20 per hour. Fees at the Mary T. Meagher Aquatic Center were raised slightly – for the first time in several years – because of increased operating costs.
In another major change, citizens and businesses may now reserve picnic shelters in any park. Previously, only 16 shelters could be booked in advance. More than 60 shelters are now available, in four different pricing tiers, based on the size and quality of the shelter, as well as surrounding amenities. Although rates for some specific shelters were raised or lowered, based on a comparative analysis, the top rate remained $125. All shelters are still available at no cost on a first come, first served basis, unless a paid reservation is in place.
New fees were introduced for the use of athletic fields. While permits were previously available for most fields in the Metro Parks system, fees were rarely charged. To cover the cost of maintaining playable fields and the administrative costs associated with issuing permits, all fields were analyzed and placed in one of three price tiers. Athletic field permits will be available for single games. Season-long practice permits, allowing two 2-hour practice sessions per week, are also available for a small fee. Permits are cheaper for fields that are used less frequently, to discourage the overuse of more popular fields. Organized leagues who plan to play games on park fields throughout a season may sign league agreements at a substantially lower rate than the single game fee.
“These rates represent our cost of providing each service,” said Heitz. “Because the fees in most cases haven’t increased substantially, we’ll need to be aggressive about collecting these posted rates in order to meet revenue goals in the budget adopted by the Metro Council in June.” The budget for the current fiscal year requires Metro Parks to collect $6.7 million in user fees.