Washington City Council Chambers

The Washington City Council Monday approved revised fees and charges for baseball and softball field use.

According to Wayne Dunker, parks director, the department has been working for several months to consolidate park rental fees.

The revised fees, which impact the American Legion Post 218, the Washington Youth Sports Association and Washington High School, were approved by the Washington Park Board in February.

The council voted 7-0 to approve the fees Monday. Councilman Mark Hidritch was not at the meeting.

Under the new fee schedule,  there will be a $20 reservation fee per day for games, $20 reservation fee per day for practices on Ronsick Field and $30 per game for field lights.

There also is a $40 charge if an association is to only have one night game. The lights would still cost $30, but there would only be a $10 reservation fee.

A new prep fee per day will be $50. Previously the Washington Youth Sports Association prepped their own fields, but the person who had done that no longer will prep the fields. That includes chalking base lines and setting out bases.  

The parks department already has been taking care of the grass cutting, fertilizing, grass seed and irrigation.

The city will prop the fields before the first game of the day, the sports organizations will be responsible for any work to be done in between games.

The max fee per day and field would be $100.

“These fees do not cover everything, but they subsidize the costs,” said City Administrator Darren Lamb.

Councilman Jeff Patke noted that the fee increase is “minimal.”

“They (sports organizations) still are giving back to the city,” he said, adding that the groups have built backstops or contributed in other ways to better the fields.

“The charge is reasonable and we still keep that relationship.”

Dunker explained that a 50 percent deposit is required, per organization, at the time of reservation. The fee is based on the previous year’s total athletic field rental invoice.

Because fields are reserved before the season starts, there may be an opportunity for others to reserve a baseball field at a time when sports organizations are not using them.

The rates will be raised in conjunction with the Consumer Price Index (CPI) each calendar year.

Dunker noted that the park board will look at soccer and football next to consolidate those fees.