- Proposes non-residents should pay 15% more than residents (with annual cap)
- If adopted, fees would go down for residents and non-residents
- Recommendations to be considered for the County Manager’s proposed FY2016 budget.
Arlington County Manager Barbara Donnellan has accepted the report of a work group she appointed, at the Board’s direction, to evaluate the Department of Parks & Recreation’s (DPR) fee structure for the County’s two gymnastics teams and one aquatics team.
The group’s key recommendations are that team fees should recover no more than 100 percent of direct costs, and that non-residents should pay 15 percent more than residents to participate on County teams. The recommendations will be discussed with the County Board and the community as part of the Fiscal Year 2016 Budget discussions. If adopted, they would lower fees for both residents and non-residents who participate with the gymnastics and aquatics. On average, this will result in base fee reduction of approximately 14% for all gymnastics team levels and 17% for all aquatics team levels.
The work group – which includes community members, staff, gymnastics and aquatics teams and class representatives – determined that DPR’s base participation fees, charged to both residents and nonresidents, are too high and exceed the target fees that arise from the cost recovery model. The group made nine recommendations to revamp the fee structure for these County-run team programs.
- No more than 100 percent of the calculated direct costs will be recovered, consistent with the existing Cost Recovery model used by the Department of Parks & Recreation. Fees will be set according to projected participation, which is consistently well above the minimum for aquatics and gymnastics.
- Fees should be set in collaboration with coaches, team booster clubs and County staff.
- Non-residents on these teams should pay 15 percent more than residents, with an annual cap equal to no more than five percent of the highest base fee in each of the gymnastic and aquatic team programs.
- Fees should be adjusted to reflect the above recommendations as soon as possible.
“The Work Group examined the Department of Parks & Recreation’s Cost Recovery policy and fee structure and determined that adjustments were needed,’ said work group co-chair Shirley Brothwell, a member of the County’s Sports Commission. “This was a very open and collaborative process between the County and the community representatives.”
“I commend the work group for making sensible recommendations that address community concerns and help ensure we can continue to offer high-quality services,” said Donnellan. “I look forward to discussing the recommendations with the Board and the community as we move forward with the FY 2016 budget.”
The fee structure recommendations were Phase I of the work group’s review based upon guidance provide by the County Board in June 2014. In Phase II, the group will look at alternatives to the County operating the team programs.
Follow the link to read the Phase I Report: Base Participation Fee and Non-resident Surcharge Recommendations.
The County Board asked for a review of DPR’s fee structure for teams after families of team members and the Arlington County Sports Commission raised concerns that DPR’s proposal to adopt a uniform 50 percent non-resident surcharge, beginning in fiscal year 2015, would make participation unaffordable for some non-resident team members.
The work group appointed by the County Manager studied the DPR cost recovery policy, analyzed DPR cost and revenue data, collected fee information from other jurisdictions for benchmarking purposes, and collected feedback on draft recommendations through an Open Arlington survey.