Superior won’t be raising fees on park pavilions and ballfields when the city implements new reservation software after all.
Instead, the city will use revenue from its capital improvement program to pay for the software, said Linda Cadotte, director of parks, recreation and forestry.
“The mayor thought it would be beneficial to leave the fees at the rate that they’re at and not factor in an increase in fees,” Cadotte said.
The city's Parks and Recreation Committee approved increases of $5-$25 to reserve facilities to cover the cost of new software that would allow users to book their events online.
Mayor Jim Paine said his recommendation to use the capital improvement program rather than increasing the fees was made, in part, because the finance committee is planning to look at fees associated with all city services, which he said aren't uniform.
“We have ordinances that conflict with each other," he said. "They just started that project, and I think the end goal is to create one uniform policy about how all fee structures work.”
Paine said he also believes implementing the reservation software will provide the city with data that can help decision-makers determine what those fees should be.
“I really believe, as much as possible, we should keep the prices as low as we can,” Paine said. “I don’t want to reject the commission’s opinion entirely. I just want to see (the finance committee's) work complete before we make that change.”
As the city continues to navigate the approval process for the reservation software, expected to take a few weeks, Cadotte recommended delaying the date when the city starts accepting reservations. She suggested March or when the software comes online.
Other communities aren’t taking reservations because of COVID-19, Cadotte said, and there may not be as many events being planned yet because of the pandemic.
“In January, we’ll usually get handful of calls from folks who are scheduling their graduation parties, their weddings, their major outings at the various pavilions,” Cadotte said. “With the ballfields, that really doesn’t kick off until April, May.”
Parks Commissioner Gene Rosburg suggested taking names and reaching out to those who call in January to give them priority in booking their events when the new software is available.
“I think it would be a good plan to implement something like that,” Rosburg said.