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County Could Lower Non-Resident Sport Fees

by Ethan Rothstein — June 11, 2014 at 11:30 am 1,327 0

Swim meet at the Dominion Hills pool (Flickr pool photo by Ddimick)(Updated at 11:55 a.m.) The Arlington County Board is scheduled to decide on Saturday whether to reduce the surcharge for non-residents who participate in gymnastics and swimming  leagues that use county facilities.

When the Board adopted the FY 2015 budget in April, it approved a 50 percent surcharge for participants not living in Arlington to participate in clubs like the Arlington Aerials, the Arlington Tigers and the Arlington Aquatics Club. According to the county, the surcharge resulted in annual fee increases for those clubs of between 12.9 and 30 percent.

The Board will deliberate over County Manager Barbara Donnellan’s recommendation to reduce that surcharge from 50 to 30 percent in FY 2015, with plans to increase the charge to 40 percent the following year and up to the adopted 50 percent in FY 2017.

“[The Department of Parks and Recreation] recognizes these increases may produce undue hardships on families with participants in these team programs,” the county staff report states. “The option of grandfathering current non-resident participants at former non-resident surcharge rates was considered and is not a viable option as it creates a preference that cannot be applied to all non-resident participants.”

Parks and Recreation spokeswoman Susan Kalish said the county received a fair amount letters and complaints about the adopted price increase, which led the staff to reconsider.

“Parks and rec staff met with a group to come together with options to move forward,” Kalish told ARLnow.com.

The reduced surcharge would bring the average change in season fee down from $886 to $326 for the Arlington Aerials, $870 to $378 for the Arlington Tigers and $171 to a decrease of $19 for the Arlington Aquatics Club.

Flickr pool photo by Dennis Dimick

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