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Town raises fee for fields

Donna Gray

You’re going to have to pay to play on Carbondale ball fields.The Town Board recently approved new fees for using its ballfields. Demand for the fields has increased, and recreation director Jeff Jackel thinks its time to make people pay.”We don’t have a formal policy. The ball fields are getting a lot of usage,” he said.Fees will differ for nonprofit and for-profit groups. Groups sponsoring tournaments for profit such as Triple Crown Sports, which charges admission to games, will pay a higher price, Jackel said.Groups also will need to make reservations to use the fields. The fields will be available on a first-come, first-served basis “for pick-up games or family outings,” Jackel said.During the summer, ballfields are usually free during the day. Most of the activity is in the evening, he said.Town programs organized by the recreation department will get priority, then school athletics, then Carbondale youth programs such as Little League and youth soccer, then Carbondale residents, area youth sports and area adult sports, Jackel said.Part of what prompted the move has been conflicts in scheduling among youth sports programs during the summer, especially Little League and youth soccer.”The coaches want to practice and are not checking in with the recreation department,” Jackel said. A Little League team may show up wanting to practice and find the soccer team already on the field.”We thought we could help alleviate that by making them come in and sign a form. It will also generate a little revenue,” Jackel said.Jackel also requested, and the town board approved, new fees for using the ice rink. Admission to the rink will now be $1, and skate rental will also be $1. That revenue will cover the cost of hiring someone to staff the warming hut.


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