Oct 8, 2012 6:30 PM by Erin Steuber
The Lafayette Parks and Recreations Department is looking to increase fees for facility rentals and athletic programs. The proposed increase comes even after one of its best years in 2011. Last year brought in more than $2 million, but the department says it's not enough, as expenses continue to climb.
Lafayette Parks and Recreations Director, Gerald Boudreaux, says the proposed fee increases could bring in an extra $180,000 a year to help close a budget gap. For years, the department has operated in the red to the tune of $4 million annually.
"This is, I guess, phase one of what we're looking at to try and keep recreation afloat, and not continue to operate at a deficit," said Boudreaux.
He says the extra revenue will ensure existing programs continue and there are no reductions in services already provided.
"It's based on volume and the number of programs. We're adding a number of programs, expanding some and the use of the facilities, the upkeep and maintenance, all of the costs for operating, continue to increase," said Boudreaux.
The proposed increases for athletic programs would be about $25 to $50 a team, raising the fee to about $250. But Boudreaux says the biggest increase will be for facility rentals.
"There's an increase in that area, you know, we still feel it's a modest increase to fifty dollars an hour," said Boudreaux.
The City-Parish Council is set to vote October 16. If approved, the fees would go into effect January 1. Lafayette Parks and Recreation fees have not gone up in almost 7 years. But not all athletic programs will be affected, tennis and golf will be exempt from fee increases.