For the first time in 20 years, the City of Nelson has revamped its method of charging groups for the use of parks, including the soccer fields.
According to a staff memo presented to council on April 11, one goal of the changes is to have rates that reflect the cost of maintaining the fields and parks. Another is to introduce an hourly or daily rate.
The rate schedule includes separate rates for commercial groups, adult groups (e.g. slow pitch, ultimate frisbee) and youth groups (e.g. youth soccer, minor baseball, school district, rugby).
“The commercial rate,” the memo states, “reflects the true hourly cost to maintain the fields based on an 8 hour day, seven days per week for 27 weeks (costs for labour, equipment, materials, insurance, and utilities). The adult rate is 55 per cent of the commercial rate and the youth rate 65 per cent of the adult rate. These ratios are comparable to those used in other municipalities.”
For example, to rent a half field at Lakeside sports fields, the cost for youth groups will be $12.90 per hour or $83.85 per day. For an adult group, the cost would be $19.80 and $128.70 respectively, and for a commercial group, $36.00 and $234.
For the day rate, the maximum number of hours a group will be charged for field use in a single day is 6.5 hours.
There will also be changes for School District 8, which historically has not been charged for the use of the city fields. Now they will pay the youth rate.
“Based on 2015 bookings, if the schedule had been in place in 2015 the school district would have paid $3,334.05 in field bookings.”
At the tourist campground, the current fee for additional people in a site will change from $2 to $5, to adequately cover the cost of showers, washrooms, and shared kitchen.
There will be new charges for holding special events at city parks: $100 for private weddings, $50 for public events sponsored by a non-profit group, and still no charge for community events such as Canada Day.
A full list of charges for various groups in the soccer fields, ball diamonds, tennis courts and individual parks is attached below.