Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

Sports Teams Will Have to Pay More for Use of City Facilities

Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

Sports Teams Will Have to Pay More for Use of City Facilities

Article excerpt

Byline: CAREN BURMEISTER

JACKSONVILLE BEACH - Sports leagues will soon have to pay more to use city ball fields, parks and other facilities.

The increased fees approved in two resolutions April 7 are meant to help the city prepare and maintain ball fields and the Huguenot Tennis Center. They represent the city's first budget changes to offset property tax cuts, City Manager George Forbes said.

"It's so we can better manage our costs," Forbes said after Monday's meeting.

Starting Oct. 1, fees for adult sports leagues at Wingate Park on Penman Road and at other parks will increase to $450 for each football team and to $400 for each softball team. That's a $100 increase for football and $80 increase for softball. In addition, fees to cover lighting for each ball field will increase to $30 and leagues will be required to pay for tournaments.

While Little League and other youth programs won't be charged fees, they will have to pay for electric and water supplied to concession stands, storage buildings and the ice machine, said Parks and Recreation Director Gary Meadors. Youth leagues will also be asked to maintain fences, bleachers, dugouts and the score booth and to collect trash.

Jacksonville Beach is also raising the Huguenot Tennis Center's rates starting June 1. The center at 218 16th Ave. S. has seven tennis courts and a practice wall, clubhouse and restrooms.

The new annual single membership rate will be $235.40, minus a $21.40 discount for residents. Residents will be paying about $21 more to play tennis at the center and non-residents will pay about $25 more. Seniors, who receive a discount, will pay about $16 more under the new rate, regardless of whether they are a resident.

Daily tennis fees, based on hourly usage, will go up to $3.50 for nonresidents and $2.50 for residents, which is 29 cents to 36 cents more per hour.

Joe Cox of Neptune Beach, a coach and treasurer with the Jacksonville Beach Babe Ruth League, said no one from the city told them about the upcoming rate changes and what they might cost. …

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