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Trend of waiving fees continues

May 21, 2018 10:27AM ● Published by City Journals Staff

The Ron Wood Baseball Complex. The Cal Ripken Baseball League requested and was granted waiver of fees from the city and will return the favor with updates and service. (Google maps)

By Erin Dixon | erin@mycityjournals.com

Ten organizations this year have already requested, and were granted, waiving of rental fees if they provided services in turn.

On April 11 another fee was waived for the Cal Ripken Baseball League. Three council members—Councilman Chris McConnehey of District 1; Councilman Chad Lamb, at-large; and Councilman Alan Anderson of District 4—professed their endorsement for this trend. The baseball league’s fee waiver request was passed with a 7-0 vote.

“While money is typically the discussion of why we are doing this, all 10 of these organizations are organizations that are part of our city and are doing great things,” said Lamb. “They’re not going out and asking for money or trying to make money. So, I full-heartedly agree that the waiver of fees for me is not a big thing. I think it’s a great thing for our city.”

Anderson had similar comments.

“I know we’ve had a lot of dialogue this year over the waiver of fees,” he said. “This to me is how it should be done going forward. I know we don’t have a policy in place to do this, but the waiving of fees for service I think is the right way to do this.”

The baseball league requested a waiver of fees that totals $14,650, but league officials plan to fund four awnings above bleachers at the Ron Wood Baseball Complex with the money that they would save, which will cost more than $10,000. 

On May 9, another fee was waived for the Best Buddies Friendship Walk at Veterans Memorial Park. The program is an organized walk event with a one-on-one pairing of a special needs child with non-special needs. This year is the second time the waiver was requested, and it was subsequently granted in a 6-1 vote in favor of waiving the $650 fee. Extra time is spent in cleaning up after this event above the normal daily maintenance.   

Councilmembers Kayleen Whitelock and Anderson had differing views on the waiving of this particular fee.

“I struggle with these, and they seem to come by our city a lot,” Whitelock said. “We’re currently undergoing the budget, and every dollar counts. Do I waive fees, or do I get another crossing guard? Everyone that comes before us, they’re all good causes. I, too, have a son with disabilities; he could use a best buddy. But I’m going to have to vote ‘no’ just because on principle I feel like it’s not my money to give away. And in the end, it’s only $150 for the organization, and I know every penny counts, but it also counts for our city.”

Anderson had an opposing view.

“I do have a child with a disability, so I’m grateful that we have a park that we’re able to do that,” Anderson said. “And as I look at the request for the $650, it’s $500 for a deposit which I’m assuming to bring the park back to what it was when you got there, and then the $150 fee for set-up and cleaning, which I know they’re more than capable of doing, so I’m going to be supportive of the resolution.”

 

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