After reviewing the fees for renting fields at Sportsfield, a majority of the Leavenworth City Commission reached a consensus Tuesday to leave the fee policy unchanged.

After reviewing the fees for renting fields at Sportsfield, a majority of the Leavenworth City Commission reached a consensus Tuesday to leave the fee policy unchanged.

Parks and Recreation Director Steve Grant said the city charges a field usage fee for teams that are not part of city-sponsored leagues or the Leavenworth public schools. The city charges $25 per hour for the use of a field at the Sportsfield baseball and softball complex for practice purposes and a $50 fee for the use of a field for a game.

In January, Bruce Simpson, who is with a local American Legion baseball program, approached the commission with concern about the fees for the use of fields at Sportsfield.

Grant said the city of Leavenworth spent $2.3 million to reconstruct Sportsfield in 2010. The ballpark complex reopened in 2011.

"We're very, very pleased with the way it turned out," he said.

Grant said the Leavenworth Parks and Community Activities Advisory Board discussed the fee policy during a meeting last month.

Jim Mathis, president of the board, said there was a lengthy discussion.

"We're trying to be fair for everybody," he said.

He said if one person is allowed to use Sportsfield for no charge, everybody will want to use it for free.

"This is nothing new," he said.

He said there is has been a lot of talk regarding how much the city charges for usage of the complex since it reopened in 2011.

Grant said other ballfields at city parks can be used for practice.

"We have eight neighborhood ballfields throughout the city," he said.

He said these fields are open to the public. They are free to use unless someone wants to reserve one for a specific time.

He said the city is renovating a field near the Eagles Lodge, 300 S. 20th St. He said this field will alleviate some of the need for teams to practice at Sportsfield.

Mayor Pro-Tem Jermaine Wilson said the local American Legion baseball program is representing Leavenworth. He asked if participants in the program can offer to trade public service in exchange for waiving the fees.

"That would have to be a commission decision," City Manager Paul Kramer said.

He said city staff members cannot waive the fees.

Mayor Mark Preisinger said the he does not consider the city's fees to be exorbitant. He said teams may have to seek sponsorship to help pay the fees.

"We need to keep the park pristine," he said.

If the commission makes one exception, it will make many exceptions, he said.

Simpson addressed commissioners again during Tuesday's meeting.

"I'm not asking for a free lunch," he said.

Simpson said he would take a reduction of fees. Simpson said he heard that the city previously granted a reduction.

"I just want to give these boys a chance to play ball," he said.

Preisinger said he knows of no reduction since Sportsfield reopened in 2011.

Preisinger said there was a consensus among the commission to keep the current fee structure.

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