To help close a $2.4 billion budget gap, the Bloomberg administration has proposed doubling the admission fee at the city’s 32 recreation centers and increasing the fee to play on tennis courts and ball fields, according to the New York Times.
Under the plan, adults would pay $150 each year for access to recreational centers with pools, up from $75. At centers without pools, adults would pay $100 instead of $50. Children under 17 would continue to be admitted free, and senior citizens would face a modest raise, to $25, from the current $10 each year.
The proposed increases are a tiny part of Mr. Bloomberg’s strategy to find new revenue as the city prepares for drastic, across-the-board cuts, including major decreases in the teaching force and cutbacks in services for vulnerable children.
But the higher recreational fees may prompt some of the most visible ire, given that about 174,000 people use the centers. The city must hold a public hearing before the increases go into effect, but it has not yet been scheduled.
Under the plan, the Parks and Recreation Department would also increase the cost of tennis court permits to $200, from $100, and the fee for lighted ball fields would rise to $50, from $32.
The increases would be instituted sometime before June 30, and according to city estimates could potentially generate $1 million for the city this fiscal year, which ends then. In subsequent years, the increases could yield $4 million a year in revenue.
New York Times - December 7, 2010 - By Javier C. Hernandez
on Proposed Membership Fees at City Recreation Centers
April 20, 2006