A proposal to increase the seasonal recreation fees on sports associations has been added to tonight’s agenda for a formal vote by the Peachtree City Council.
The fee would increase from $5 to $15 for each Peachtree City resident, from $10 to $25 for Fayette County residents (who don’t live in Peachtree City) and from $25 to $50 for out of county residents.
The fee increase would not apply to swim teams, however, as their fees were raised two years ago, city staff said.
At a workshop meeting Tuesday night, city staff explained that the fee increase is designed to cover routine maintenance at the facilities, particularly the sports fields. But several sports associations were skeptical the city would be able to adequately ramp up routine maintenance to meet their needs.
A representative of the soccer association said the city’s contractor has been unable to spray the fields on the scheduled date three consecutive times this season.
There are also concerns that the $50 fee for out of county residents would turn away a number of participants, thus raising the costs for all remaining players.
Several association representatives said the key will be making sure there is accountability for the field maintenance. In recent years, the associations have spent their own funds on additional field maintenance as the city’s recreation budget has tightened.
The city is proposing to take 80 percent of the recreation revenues to be used to offset maintenance costs. The remaining 20 percent would be set aside in a capital reserve fund for future projects to improve the facilities.
The new recreation fees would be enacted immediately and would not be applied retroactively, instead they will be applied to the next signup period for each various sports association, officials said.
Council will also vote on a staff proposal to raise facility rental rates by 20 percent and establish a tiered special event permit fee to help recover the significant amount of staff time associated with setting up for large events such as marathons and the like.
The recreation fee increase comes as the city is in the midst of a $3 million program to improve city facilities, most of which are under the recreation department.