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City of Lodi considers increase for park rental fees

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Jeff Hood, Director, Lodi Parks, Recreation and Cultural Services

“Other parks and recreation departments in our area tend to go with hourly rates in parks like these. We’re looking for consistency, not only in our own rental fees, but with other cities and their rates.”

Posted: Friday, January 31, 2014 12:00 am

Those who want to rent various parks around the city for an event may see increased or even new fees this year.

The Lodi Parks and Recreation Commission will consider establishing rental fees at DeBenedetti Park at its Tuesday night meeting. The commission will also discuss adjusting rental fees at Kofu Park and Tony Zupo Field.

At this time, there is no rental fee at DeBenedetti Park, but Parks, Recreation and Cultural Services Director Jeff Hood said a fee is needed to avoid conflicts with park users. The department is proposing a $20 hourly fee for residents and a $30 hourly fee for non-residents.

Hood said the department will soon be painting lines for a soccer field at the park, as well as placing goals. The fee would be in place by the time the soccer field is complete, he said.

“There needs to be some type of fee in place,” he said. “That way we can avoid walk-ons and altercations between users over field use. This way we will have an orderly manner in which residents can use the field.”

Hood said fees for Kofu Park’s Yamashita Field and for Zupo Field at Lawrence Park will be changed to an hourly rate. The two sites are currently rented on a “per use” basis, meaning that a group that rents Zupo Field for three hours is charged the same rate as another group who only uses it for one hour.

The department charges $200 for a single game at Zupo Field and $250 for a double-header. The department is proposing a $75 hourly rate, and estimates that since most baseball and softball games last 3.5 hours, the total rate for renting the field would be about $262.50, according to staff reports.

The new fee would help pay for field maintenance and preparation costs, staff said.

Yamashita Field is primarily used by Boosters of Boys/Girls Sports Organization baseball programs, but is often used at least another 10 times each season, Hood said. The current rental rate for the field is $140 for a single game and $190 for a double-header, plus $10 per hour for the cost of lights.

The department is recommending a $50 hourly rate to rent the field, or $175 for a typical 3.5-hour game. The hourly light fee would remain unchanged.

“Other parks and recreation departments in our area tend to go with hourly rates in parks like these,” Hood said. “We’re looking for consistency, not only in our own rental fees, but with other cities and their rates.”

The city of Stockton currently charges $30 an hour and San Joaquin County charges $15 an hour for an unlit soccer game, Hood said.

Rental fees at these three parks will not be as high as the fees to be charged at Lodi Lake, Hood said.

The commission approved increasing rental fees for all-day events such as fundraisers at Lodi Lake by $300 at its Jan. 8 meeting.

Fees will increase from $400 to $700 for residents, and from $500 to $800 for non-residents.

Fees will increase to a minimum of $1,000 for residents in 2015, and to a minimum of $1,200 for non-residents in 2015.

At that meeting, Hood told the commission that fees were being increased to help the department remain sustainable in the future, as maintenance costs for lake amenities were increasing.

He said that the city actually loses revenue when community members want to use the lake, but cannot because an event such as the Womble Run or Trix Fun Run is being held there.

The commission on Tuesday will also consider establishing an entry fee to Fourth of July at the Lake for the first time since 2006.

The recreation department suggested a $3 entry fee to the event during a Jan. 7 Lodi City Council shirtsleeve session. The $3 fee is similar to the everyday beach access fee the city currently charges.

Hood said the department will not be suggesting a specific fee Tuesday night, but will ask the commission for their input.

The recreation commission meeting begins at 7 p.m. Tuesday night at the Carnegie Forum, 305 W. Pine St.

Contact reporter Wes Bowers at wesb@lodinews.com.

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