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Independent Voice

Parks, Recreation Fees Rise

Apr 03, 2024 09:54AM ● By Angela Underwood

Dixon parks and recreation services. Image courtesy of City of Dixon

DIXON, CA (MPG) - Rising city parks and recreation fees happen with inflation: not a fun fact for a department known for enjoyment.

The City of Dixon recently raised recreation fees effective July 1 to keep with the cost of living, according to Public Works Director Lauren Kotow, who detailed the annual adjustment based on the Consumer Price Index (CPI) each year.

“The increased fees help account for the cost of regular park maintenance, as well as staff and facility attendants who are needed for rentals during holidays, weekends, or after hours,” Kotow said.

The good news is that fee increases are minimal, only raising cents to no greater than $30 from previous resident, non-resident, and commercial use rates at the Senior Multi-Use Center (SMUC), Jim B. Stevens Arena, city amphitheater, all lighted and multi-use fields, and barbeque areas. 

“The cost of maintaining these facilities increases each year as the cost of utilities, equipment, and labor rises, and the CPI adjustment helps to support these facilities as costs increase,” Kotow said.

Recreation Manager Austin George said the SMUC provides resources to enhance the quality of life for seniors in Dixon. “It provides a welcoming environment where seniors can connect with their peers, participate in classes and programs, and share experiences,” George said. 

The facility, used for community workshops, meetings, CPR training, and Meals-on-Wheels operations, is also “the largest indoor gathering place available for reservation,” according to George.

The venue, also used for graduation parties, saw a $14 rise in the damage fee deposits for parties when food and alcohol are served. The highest fee raise is for the commercial use of the city’s all-weather synthetic play, going up nearly $30 for non-residents who use it for more than 2.5 hours. 

Kotow said the city’s recreation team works hard every day to improve the livelihood of Dixon residents by providing leisure activities and opportunities to all segments of the population by “scheduling city recreational facilities while promoting, organizing, and administering recreation programs for all members of the community.”

The Pat Granucci Aquatics Center, the only aquatics center in the city, also sees increased fees. The center, which offers swim lessons, lap swimming, and recreation swimming, can also be rented by the hour for $134.

“It is open to the community and provides recreational opportunities for everyone, ranging from young children who are just learning to swim, lifeguards starting out at their first job, and seniors who attend water aerobics,” George said. “It’s also used for the Dixon High School water polo and swim teams and Dixon Dolphins Swim Team.”

Kotow said the Dixon Parks & Recreation Masterplan survey indicated that the community prioritizes maintaining current facilities.

“It is important to us to maintain these facilities to ensure that the community has access to these parks for outdoor recreation providing mental and physical health benefits,” Kotow said.

George agrees strongly.

“Our parks and facilities are vital to the community and give individuals, families, and community groups a place to gather and spend time outdoors,” George said.