Fee increases in effect at Enumclaw parks, pool, cemetery

Those who put on ball games at Boise Creek Park will pay more this year, as will those splashing about at the Enumclaw Aquatic Center. Folks using the Enumclaw Expo Center will see a rate increase for using the facilities and most who bury loved ones at Evergreen Memorial Park are seeing higher prices, too.

Those items, and more, were addressed as part of a sweeping set of fee changes adopted by members of the Enumclaw City Council during their final meeting of 2010. The changes – and there were some reductions as well as cost increases – were effective with the beginning of the new year.

The only area where things are strictly status quo is the Enumclaw Golf Course operation.

"No adjustments are proposed given the poor economic conditions," was the conclusion in a memo from Public Works Director Chris Searcy to Mayor Liz Reynolds and the council. Staff research showed the rates charged at the city-owned course are comparable to those found at other courses in the area.

The city took over golf course management in early 2010 and has maintained the fee structure implemented by the previous, private operator.

The story wasn't quite so simple in other areas of city operation.

At the city-owned Evergreen Memorial Park, new rates were recommended by Weeks' Funeral Home but needed final approval by the council. A contractual agreement between the parties has Weeks' managing the facility while the city retains the final authority on financial matters.

The pricing plan OK'd by council shows the following: most lots remain the same at $1,250; lots with a blocked view are reduced to $1,000; lots in the "upright monument area" can now sell for as much as $3,250; niches in the north-facing wall remain the same, ranging from $1,200 to $2,175; and niches in the more desirable, south-facing wall vary from $1,800 to $3,265.

The most-expensive niches sold last year for $2,175.

Playing ball games at Boise Creek will be a more expensive proposal during the coming season, as costs were hiked for both field use and lighting.

"Ball field use fees and light use at Boise Creek Park have not been in line with many complexes in surrounding areas," according to a memo prepared by Recreation Manager Michelle Larson. "Further, fees for use have not changed in three years and light fees have been the same since the park opened."

Adopted was a fee increase from $20 to $25 per game at Boise Creek. The rate for lights went from $12.50 per hour to $19 per hour.

Larson also noted rates at the city-owned swimming pool had to increase 8.6 percent to meet a mandate by the state's Department of Revenue – namely, that the city collect sales tax on admission charges. Then, to keep things simple, the new rates were rounded off to the nearest quarter.

"Currently we are in line with other facilities," Larson wrote, providing a list of fees charged in Covington, Auburn, Tukwila, Renton and Issaquah.

The hourly rate for public swimming has increased from $4.50 to $5 for adults and from $3.50 to $4 for senior citizens and youth. The family drop-in rate has jumped from $12 per hour to $13.50. Those rates are for city residents; those living outside the city limits pay more.

At the Expo Center, manager Kristen Damazio wrote that rental rates, in many cases, were not enough to cover expenses. Additionally, rates charged by the city have been "well below the market average for the type of facility and amenities we offer."

While the rates were increased, council approved a 25 percent discount for nonprofit entities using the field house, exhibit hall and equipment.

Dozens of fee adjustments were included in a presentation by the Department of Community Development. Among the list were items like building permit fees, sign permits and annexation requests.

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