It’s about to get more expensive to rent a city field, join a sports league and send your kid to some after school and weekend programs, as the City looks to increase Community and Cultural Service Department fees starting July 1, 2018.

The public has the next five months to give feedback on the proposed increases at a handful of meetings.  The increases impact programs offered by the Human Services, Community Recreation and Cultural Affairs departments, according to an information item posted by the City.  Staff will present the new fee schedule to the City Council in May.

Here are some of the proposed increases:

Lifeguard training for non-residents will go up by $65 in 2018, to $235.  For residents, the training will go up $60 to $200. City Basketball leagues will see their fees slowly over the next three years to reach $357 in 2020, up nearly $60 from the current rate of $300 for a resident.  Several CREST programs for children will see increased fees like Homework Club (from $425 to $500), Rosie’s Girls (from $495 to $505) and full day sports camps.  (CREST AM Care, PM extended care, and single full day care will stay the same price.) The hourly rate to rent city fields, Memorial Park space, and Miles Playhouse will also go up.

Financial assistance offered to CREST participants would continue to be available to families who qualify.

“Escalating costs associated with supplies, equipment, staffing, and contractual services necessitate increasing fees in some areas to maintain the high quality and diverse breadth of CCS programming offered to the community,” reads the staff report by Karen Ginsberg, the director of the Community and Cultural Services (CCS) department.

A study in 2016 analyzed existing fees, costs to provide programs and services, and cost recovery rates to restructure Santa Monica’s fee system. Most departments proposed changes as a component of the 2017 budget, but the Community and Cultural Services department recommended postponing any increases until the 2018 fiscal year.

The proposed fees would increase recovery rates by one to eight percent, according to the report.  Staff projects the proposed fee increases would generate about $250,000 in revenue in Fiscal Year 2018, an estimated 4 percent increase over the General Fund budget of $5.7 million. The report says most CCS program fees are highly subsidize, accounting for less than 50 percent of the operating cost.

The following committees, commissions and groups will consider the proposed fees and provide recommendations at the following meetings (dates are tentative and subject to change):

  • Field Sports Advisory Committee January 10, 2018
  • Recreation and Parks Commission January 18, 2018
  • Cradle to Career Work Group January 24, 2018
  • City Council (Budget Study Session) May 22, 2018
  • City Council (Budget Adoption) June 26, 2018

If adopted, the new fees would be effective July 1, with CREST fees effective Aug. 1 to align with the beginning of the school year.

Kate Cagle

Senior reporter for the Santa Monica Daily Press