When they met Tuesday, members of the Leavenworth City Commission tabled a Parks and Recreation Department proposal for fee increases as well as the implementation of new fees. Commissioners took the action to allow representatives from an organization that would be impacted by the changes to meet with Park and Recreation officials.
Commissioners were asked Tuesday to consider a resolution for fees related to the use of fields at Sportsfield and other parks as well as charges for participation in various recreation programs.
Keith Melick, who spoke as a representative of the local American Legion League baseball program, said it was his understanding following a Sept. 4 City Commission study session that he would have the opportunity to meet with the city’s parks and recreation advisory board. The board and Parks and Recreation personnel are recommending a $600 per term usage fee for the American Legion League.
Melick said the meeting with board has not happened.
He said one of the coaches for the league had been invited to meet with the board last month.
Melick said there are teams that cannot afford the $600 fee. He said some teams may play in Olathe instead of paying the fee.
“I want our kids to be able to play ball here,” he said.
He also expressed concern about proposed restrictions regarding when American Legion League games would be played.
Commissioner Phil Urban suggested tabling the matter so the two sides can meet.
Julie Anderson, Parks and Recreation director, expressed concern about negotiating the fee with the American Legion. She said the Parks and Recreation Department typically does not negotiate fees, which are approved by the City Commission.
Urban said the parks and recreation board wouldn’t be negotiating the fee. But the board could receive input.
“It may change your thought process slightly,” Urban said. “It may not.”
Mayor Larry Dedeke said the two sides need to get together. He said the American Legion is one of the largest users of Sportsfield.
Also during the discussion about the proposed fees, Mayor Pro-Tem Laura Janas Gasbarre renewed her support for charging an admission fee to Sportsfield.
A $1 admission fee was voted down by the commission last year, but Gasbarre supported the fee.
The issue came up again during the Sept. 4 study session, but Anderson said Tuesday that Parks and Recreation officials are not recommending such a fee.
“We talked about it at length,” Anderson said.
She said officials were concerned about the impact an admission fee may have on sponsorships.
Commissioners voted 4-0 to table the resolution for the fee changes. Commissioner Davis Moulden was absent.