Lincoln City Community Center still well used despite recent increase in fees – but will fees go up again?
The Lincoln City City Council was told Monday evening that the city community center is still having a very successful year despite the recent increase in fees for admission and specific programs. The community center director lamented that there are still some folks, largely seniors, who are still miffed about the last increase. City officials contend that Lincoln City Community Center rates have been artificially low for many years and that it’s taking a financial toll on the city. They had to raise fees, according to City Manager David Hawker.
Hawker said he was glad to receive the report but that it bothered him that although community center use remainsstrong, the center really didn’t bring in much more money. “We maybe finding out just what the community is willing to pay for a recreation center experience,” Hawker said.
Hawker continued that the city’s general fund supports the community center very heavily, amounting to a very large taxpayer subsidy for everyone who uses it. Hawker said the city got into revenue trouble by not raising rates for years on end to where only a major rate hike would save the day. Hawker wondered whether it may be time to raise rates again, but by a much milder amount.
The council took Hawker’s thoughts under advisement, Councilor Chester Noreikis suggested that staff compare Lincoln City’s pool rates with others across the state of similar quality and size of community.