Weatherford Democrat

April 17, 2014

Little league makes pitch to city for lower user fees


Weatherford Democrat

— By BRIAN SMITH

Weatherford Little League officials have asked the city to lower user fees to the league.

Assistant City Manager Sharon Hayes said the league underwent an audit in September 2013 and ended the season with an $18,663 deficit. Hayes said the city was told by the league internal budget trimming has helped and the league tried to secure sponsors and raise monies.

The league at Tuesday’s Parks and Recreation board meeting asked the city to drop user fees to $25 for residents and $30 for non-residents in 2014 and consider another $5 fee reduction in 2015, depending on the league’s financial statement.

The city and league revised the user agreement in 2012, which had not been looked at in 30 years, Hayes said. The revised agreement was good for one year and both parties made changes, including increasing the rate to $30 and $35, respectively.

Cutting the fees would reduce revenues by about $5,500 a year, based on an estimated 1,100 players, which would be put back into the parks, Hayes said. The league had asked the city to install lights at Soldier Spring Park at a cost of about $100,000 in 2011. Hayes said the lights were paid off last year, so all user fees from the league would go into the parks.

Board members appeared cautiously supportive of the measure, with Chairman Greg Shaw saying the city doesn’t financially support any of the other leagues that use the park.

Board member Thomas Moorman said anything that supports the league needs to be done.

“They’re a great organization and we need to make sure they succeed,” Moorman said.

“It has to be a win-win for both parties and I believe it will be,” Hayes said. “It’s going to just take some tweaking. City staff is responsible for making sure the league doesn’t slip up.”

The item is expected to be discussed by the city council at Tuesday’s regular meeting.

In other news:

• Interim Parks and Recreation Director Shannon Goodman is looking for help from the public to submit nominations for the recently resurrected Recognized Yard Program.

The public is encouraged to submit nominations to the Parks and Recreation department either by phone at 817-598-4124 or online at www.ci.weatherford.tx.us.