Some Valpo parks programs costs to rise
By James D. Wolf Jr. Post-Tribune correspondent October 27, 2012 6:40PM
Updated: November 29, 2012 6:26AM
VALPARAISO — The Park Board took action last week to increase participation fees for some Parks Department programs for 2013 and reduce the operating budget to adjust for a decline in tax revenue.
The board set the 2013 non-reverting operating expense budget for $31,500 less than this year’s $1,387,000.
“We’re not asking for less revenue and tax support, but we’re asking to spend less,” business operation manager Christy Graf said.
The state’s property tax caps mean less tax revenue, so “we’re hoping to keep expenses down,” Graf said.
The Parks Department will also look at more partnerships and sponsorships for programs.
For some programs and classes, non-resident rates will increase from $10 to $12. Other increases depend on specific programs, and youth enrichment class increases can be free, such as for preschool dance, or up to $10, such as for the Young Rembrandts class for 5- to 10-year-olds.
Music classes will increase from $20 to $22, art camps will increase to $6 and Friday Night Science Club will go from $30 to $35.
In adult sports, volleyball will remain the same at $350 a team and coed softball will stay at $450 a team, but adult coed soccer will go from $700 to $725 a team and from $70 to $75 a person. Men’s and women’s softball leagues will see a $15 increase to $590 a team.
Park facility rental increases range from free to an additional $30, and special events costs that go up will increase by $5.
There are no planned registration increases for adult enrichment programs, youth sports or youth camps besides Adventures Camp, which will increase $5.
For the golf courses, the cost of playing won’t increase because the department’s policy is to raise fees every other year at most, said golf course superintendent Rich Frey.
However, the courses didn’t stay with the base rates as much this year as they kept a spring discount for most of the season. For Valparaiso adults, base rates run $13 for 12 holes on weekdays at Creekside and $16 for 12 holes on weekends, and $14 for 18 holes on weekdays at Forest Park and $18 for 18 holes on weekends.
Frey said he’d issue coupons and discounts in 2013 as the market dictates.
The department is also looking at more programs directed at middle school-age children, which Seibert said is the most underserved age group.
Seibert noted that in college, intramural sports competition increased because socialization becomes part of the experience. Perhaps that needs to be added for middle school programs, he said. The department is also looking at a drama program for that age group.