Carlsbad looks at parks and recreation programs

CARLSBAD — In light of the economic downturn, City Council looked at options for getting more return on investments into city parks and recreation programs.
An outside consultant gave a presentation to council June 9 regarding the Parks and Recreation programs.
The consultant, Karon Badalamenti, from Colorado-based GreenPlay Consultants, presented council with a plan for a new fee structure to help achieve this goal.
The city Parks and Recreation programs have a 22 percent recovery rate, she said, meaning they recover $1 for every $22 spent, Badalamenti said. The national average is 30 to 35 percent, so she outlined ways to make changes to bring Carlsbad more in line with other cities. However, she recommended any change occur gradually.
Badalamenti recommended a pyramid structure, such as increasing fees for programs and services used by only a small portion of the population. One example would be youth sports programs only open to those who make the team. The idea, she said, is to increase cost recovery for programs and services limited to a specific group.
She also recommended that parks such as those with hiking trails, and programs with greater general community benefit, remain free to the public.


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