New Fees Cause Dramatic Drop in Equipment Requests for Parks Department

Fee Schedule Imposed in 2019

(OnFocus) The Parks and Recreation Department saw a dramatic drop in requests for special event equipment after imposing a fee schedule for the first time in 2019.

[Related: Parks & Rec to Introduce Fee Schedule for Special Event Equipment]

The fee schedule charges 50 percent of the costs to deliver items like folding tables and chairs, trash receptacles, bleachers, and white fence panels. The Parks, Recreation, & Forestry Committee passed the measure in June 2018 for implementation in 2019 in order to recuperate some of the expense to deliver equipment, replace damaged products, and control requests from groups.

To determine the fee schedule, the department had tracked staff and fleet costs and calculated that the department spent $47,064 in 2016 for 27 events and $40,817 for 33 events in 2017. After the fee schedule went into effect, the number of requests dropped and the department assisted in just 12 events in 2019. While delivery expenses weren’t calculated for this year, the revenue to the department was $1,685.

“We definitely limited the amount of time that we spent with our staff and our fleet out there moving picnic tables and chairs,” said Ben Steinbach, Park Superintendent, during Wednesday’s Committee meeting.

Staff time was often taken up on Fridays preparing for special events, and Mondays picking things up. The drop in requests freed up staff time for other projects.

Steinbach said event coordinators were informed in advance that the fee schedule would be going into effect and group leaders accepted the change and understood why it was taking place.

At the current fee schedule, groups can rent a picnic table for $12.50, folding tables for $5, and chairs for $1.

For more information, contact the Parks and Recreation Department at 715-384-4642.

Kaylin S
Author: Kaylin S

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