People who partake in Las Vegas Parks, Recreation and Neighborhood Services programs could be asked to pay more for the privilege under a resolution approved Wednesday by the City Council.
The council voted unanimously to approve the resolution to authorize department Director Stephen Harsin to update the fee system to recover more of the costs of running programs.
According to a presentation that preceded the vote, department revenue of $7.5 million represents just 28 percent of the cost to provide programs in nine categories.
The national average, according to the presentation, is 50 percent.
The city’s SafeKey program, which offers after-school opportunities for kids, with $3.4 million in revenue represented a 90 percent recovery rate, the highest of any program.
Senior services, in contrast, generated less than $330,000 for a recovery rate of 9 percent.
As a whole, Parks, Recreation and Neighborhood Services expects to bring in $7.5 million in revenue against about $26.5 million in costs.
“The time is right for us to really look at that,” said City Manager Betsy Fretwell of the fee schedule, that city officials said hasn’t been updated in about 20 years.
The vote authorizes the director to adjust fees to get the department to a minimum level of 50 percent cost recovery. The public would be notified 30 days in advance of increases.
Plans to update the fees several years ago were scrapped because the city was wary of increasing costs for users during the depths of the economic recession.
Councilman Bob Coffin, who voted in favor of the resolution, said the city should be careful in reviewing fees.
“The majority of this money is spent on children and youth and seniors,” Coffin said. “It really requires some discretion and some thoughtfulness before we just raise it up.”
Among the proposed increases were recommendations to increase annual membership rates fro senior centers from $2 to $24-$36, increase community center rental rates from $10-$190 per hour to $30-$250, depending on the activity, and increasing park pavilion rental costs from $50-$100 to $75-$125.