Batesville Parks and Recreation Board President Bob Fitzpatrick reported, “People tend to stand in line to get the facilities at the (Liberty) Park. We spent all of our time discussing (increasing) the rental fees” at the park and sports complexes. “We’ll address the pool (fees) in the next month or so.”
According to BPRB member Don Karbowski, “We haven’t had a raise (of parks fees) in over 13 years.”
Lambert observed, “There have been a lot of improvements to parks facilities … As our budgets continue to get scrutinized … by our government, we have to find other creative ways to maintain the quality of the facilities that we have. Do you know what the utilization is on the pavilion?” Fitzpatrick answered, “The schedule is saturated every year. Right now we probably have 70” requests for 2014.
He explained, “The reason we charge is taxpayers pay for our parks… when someone wants to reserve ... (a space) and take it out of the public realm … you are limited from using what you’ve paid for.”
Chaffee wondered, “Have we compared the new rates with what Greensburg … charges? … These look pretty inexpensive to me, even with the increases.” Fitzpatrick responded, “I’m very proud of our parks. I wouldn’t want to compare them in condition and quality. They are a hallmark of Batesville.”
Fitzpatrick said the use of alcohol at park pavilion wedding receptions is not addressed. “In the past, we’ve required insurance and whatever the state licensing board has required … bartenders.” City attorney Lynn Fledderman recommended the ordinance should state certain conditions in the rental agreement have to be met.
Council member Darrick Cox said doubling the softball fee from $100 to $200 per team per season “will be a concern for me.” Fitzpatrick reported other communities charge $65 per participant.
According to council member Bob “Tuba” Narwold, “I played softball for 30 some years. They did this (raised fees) in Greensburg and several teams backed out.” If fees do go up here, “I don’t think we’re going to have men’s softball anymore … I would really hate to see that.”