• 68°

Revised fees affect youth sports programs, city library and airport

With a new fiscal year underway Sunday, several changes in fees the City of Washington charges will take effect.

Under the 2018-2019 fiscal year budget, the fees for youth to participate in sports programs that use city facilities increased. The fee that city residents pay increased from $15 to $20 per sport. The city increased the fee for non-city residents from $15 to $30 per sport.

Those increases drew criticism from sports-league participants and organizers, who said the increased would result in fewer children participating in the youth leagues.

The city has wrestled with the participation fees for several years.

The sports leagues charge their own fees that range from $30 to $50 (perhaps higher) per participant in addition to the city fee, which helps pay for preparing facilities for use, staffing facilities so bathrooms are opened, lights are turned on and off and taking care of problems that arise.

Beaufort County residents who live outside Washington will have to pay to use Brown Library, which is operated by the city.

Washington’s City Council, during a budget work session April 27, unanimously voted to allow the library to charge $10 to issue a library card to such a resident as of Sunday. A family of three or more would pay $25 for library cards for each family member.

Those fees took effect because Beaufort County did not provide money to the city to help pay for operating the library. Sixty percent of the library’s patron’s are county residents who do not live in the city, according to Sandra Silvey, library director.

The city also revised its fees and lease agreement for use of T-hangars at Washington-Warren Airport. During a budget work session earlier this year, the council unanimously voted to decrease rental fees for T-hangars at the airport in hopes of attracting more planes to the city-owned airport. The increase in revenue from hangar rentals likely would offset the revenue lost by decreasing the rental fees, city officials indicated. About three or four new tenants would provide the revenue needed to accomplish that, according to calculations by the city’s finance department.

Under the revised lease agreement, a person renting a T-hangar without electricity would pay $180 a month. A person renting a T-hangar with electricity would pay $195 a month. Renters would be billed quarterly.

The city had been charging $240 a month.

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.

email author More by Mike