Council to address recreation fees

Published 6:36 pm Saturday, October 25, 2014

Washington’s City Council will again take up the issue of youth recreational league fees during its meeting Monday.

It’s an issue the council has been working on for several years. More specifically, the council is seeking an equitable way for non-city residents who use city-owned sports facilities to pay their fair share of the cost of operating the maintaining those facilities.

Earlier this year, Washington’s recreation fee review committee, having concluded its study of the sport facility and other facility rentals charged by the Recreation Department, recommends returning The committee also recommended no change in facility rental fees for city residents and nonresidents (who are charged twice the rate paid by city residents).

City documents show the city spends a little more than $500,000 a fiscal year on maintenance of its recreation facilities, but the maintenance component of the Recreation Department’s budget produces no revenue. In fact, the city’s recreation budget shows $232,515 in revenues being generated annually with expenses at $1.52 million.

The city has wrestled with recreation-related fees for several years, trying to find a balance between covering the city’s costs to provide and maintain recreation facilities and keeping costs to participate in area sports programs at a minimum.

The council, according to its tentative agenda, is scheduled to discuss possible funding for outside agencies (such as the Beaufort County Arts Council, Boys & Girls Club and Purpose of God Annex) in the 2015-2016 fiscal year budget, which takes effect July 1, 2015.

In recent years, the council has reduced funding to entities such as the Beaufort County Arts Council and Eagle’s Wings (a local food pantry that serves the poor). In the spring of 2013, the council served notice that future city budgets could reduce funding — if not eliminate funding — for some or all of the nonprofits it has traditionally funded in recent years.

The council meets at 5:30 p.m. Monday in the Council Chambers in the Municipal Building, 102 E. Second St. To view the council’s agenda for a specific meeting, visit the city’s web­site at, click “Government” then “City Council” heading, then click “Meeting Agendas” on the menu to the right. Then click on the date for the appropriate agenda.

About Mike Voss

Mike Voss is the contributing editor at the Washington Daily News. He has a daughter and four grandchildren. Except for nearly six years he worked at the Free Lance-Star in Fredericksburg, Va., in the early to mid-1990s, he has been at the Daily News since April 1986.
Journalism awards:
• Pulitzer Prize for Meritorious Public Service, 1990.
• Society of Professional Journalists: Sigma Delta Chi Award, Bronze Medallion.
• Associated Press Managing Editors’ Public Service Award.
• Investigative Reporters & Editors’ Award.
• North Carolina Press Association, First Place, Public Service Award, 1989.
• North Carolina Press Association, Second Place, Investigative Reporting, 1990.
All those were for the articles he and Betty Gray wrote about the city’s contaminated water system in 1989-1990.
• North Carolina Press Association, First Place, Investigative Reporting, 1991.
• North Carolina Press Association, Third Place, General News Reporting, 2005.
• North Carolina Press Association, Second Place, Lighter Columns, 2006.
Recently learned he will receive another award.
• North Carolina Press Association, First Place, Lighter Columns, 2010.
4. Lectured at or served on seminar panels at journalism schools at UNC-Chapel Hill, University of Maryland, Columbia University, Mary Washington University and Francis Marion University.

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