In analyzing the proposed rates for use of athletic fields, questions linger:
- The current ordinance provides a benefit to taxpayers who are already paying for field upkeep and a $33MM bond as everyone shares in the cost of field use - local and non-local users. Why change this?
- Who benefits the most financially from reducing or eliminating user fees - private organizations?
- The proposed new ordinance does not say," fees are not negotiable and can not be waived" as the current one does. Does that mean that under the new ordinance required fees could be negotiated or waived?
- If, under the new ordinance, first priority users and nonprofits are exempt from paying any fees for the use of any fields, except Palmer Field, why would they give donations for field usage time?
- Are the fees for weekend use of Palmer $150 per game or $150 per day? If it's per day, will this cover employee overtime costs?
- There appears to be a typo or discrepancy in this statement for Palmer Field: WHEREAS, the Commission has established the following rates for Palmer Field for Middletown Post 75 American Legion as well as Second, and Third Priority users ... Why are Xavier, Mercy and Vinal NOT listed here? Does this leave it up to the Director's discretion or are they NOT being charged a fee to play at Palmer Field? Xavier has ten games at Palmer this season - half of which are at night ($125/game). Is this a special consideration for this private school?
- Will fees/donations from nonresident teams cover Public Works employees' overtime costs - nights and weekends?
- The proposed ordinance allows tournament fees to be decided on an individual basis. Why not keep the current fee structure as it is in the current ordinance?
- According to the new ordinance first priority users like Mercy, Xavier and Legion would not have to pay for Pat Kidney Field. Why is that when the teams are comprised of a majority nonresidents and in the current ordinance they are required to pay?
- Why are fees being eliminated instead of reduced for Pat Kidney when we just spent over $6MM to renovate it?
- If second priority user requirements are being reduced to 60% residency, you would think it’s being reduced from what the first priority user requirement is, but it is not because there is no minimum residency requirement for first priority users. Why is there not a minimum percentage of residents required for first priority users? Is this to give special consideration to private organizations that can not meet a minimum requirement?
- If Xavier and Mercy are first priority users, why are their athletic fields NOT listed as available for Middletown residents?
The city seems to be moving away from fields for all to use and toward fields for just a few ... an advantage for private organizations, perhaps?
The proposed Ordinance 214-37 Field Usage and fees ordinance will be discussed and possibly voted on at the Common Council meeting this Monday, April 1, at 7pm.