Manhattan City Commission looking at giving city staff power to raise Parks & Rec fees

Local News

MANHATTAN, Kan. (KSNT) – The Manhattan City Commission is looking into giving city administrators the power to set Parks & Recreation fees without seeking commission approval first.

Deputy City Manager Jason Hilgers said city staff already have the ability to do this with new Parks & Rec programs, but the laws are inconsistent.

Hilgers said older programs, like youth baseball and basketball, are wrapped up in another city ordinance.

“We’ll have administration evaluate these programs,” Hilgers said. “Look at the cost to bring the program to bear and then correspondently charge the participants basically a cost recovery rate to try to pay for that program.”

Hilgers said this should result in less dramatic changes in Parks & Rec fees in the future. Currently, in order to change the fee, city staff needs to do an evaluation and present it to the commission. Hilgers said, under this change, staff could adjust as costs rise in real time.

“Usually to cover the t-shirt and to cover any seasonal people that we may hire to administer the program,” Hilgers said. “Those direct costs that are associated with the program are what we typically charge on youth, on adult we’ll add about 10 percent.”

Hilgers said youth fees rose in 2018 and 2019, so parents should not notice a change in the near future. He said adult league fees are being evaluated now and could rise.

The Manhattan City Commission still needs to approve the change in structure. Hilgers said they plan to present a proposal to the commission in the next couple months.

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