At the recommendation of Recreation Director Gordon Cushing, selectmen approved a new $5 fee for Duxbury residents who use town fields for sports. The purpose of this user charge is to offset the costs of maintaining the fields. The fee will take effect July 1.
Currently, teams that are all Duxbury residents don’t pay to use town fields, while those leagues that have mixed residents and non-residents pay between $75 to $250 for field use.
Other communities such as Marshfield, Cohasset, Scituate and Needham charge $5 fees, said Cushing. Other towns, such as Wellesley, charge $10 per person, he said.
“Our intention is to put the fees right back into the fields,” Cushing told selectmen. “We’ve worked hard to get them in this condition.”
Selectmen Chairman Betsy Sullivan praised Cushing and Lands and Natural Resources director Peter Buttkus for making great playing fields. “You and Peter have come so far. They are in very good shape,” she said.
“The amount of usage is staggering,” said Selectman Andre Martecchini. “I don’t see any way not to do it (raise the fees).”
The user fee will affect such organizations as Duxbury Youth Soccer, Duxbury Youth Baseball, Duxbury Youth Football, Pop Warner Football, and the youth softball and baseball leagues.
The playing field fees for mixed-resident groups and camps will also see increases ranging from $150 to $400. For example, a mixed-resident league using a multi-purpose field will pay $500 for the season instead of $100.
The new fees will bring between $10,000 to $15,000 into the town.
Selectmen also raised the costs of memberships, lessons and rentals at the town-owned Percy Walker Pool on St. George St. The new fees are expected to bring in an additional $35,000 that will help offset the costs of capital projects at the pool.
As of March 1, an annual membership for a Duxbury family will go up $50 to $300; for an adult an annual membership will increase $25 to $205, and the cost of a Duxbury youth annual membership will also see a $25 hike to $150. Senior residents will pay $20 to join for a year, for a total of $120. Non-resident annual memberships also will increase from $30 to $80 depending upon the category.
Swimming lessons will also rise by $10. The cost of renting the pool will go from $75 to $85 per hour. Lane rental will increase to $25 from $20 and aquacise will cost $15 more.
The cost of the daily guest fee did not increase, however. It will remain at $5 or $7 depending on resident status. The Recreation Activities Committee and the Fiscal Advisory Committee approved all the field and pool fee increases.
Selectmen also approved a $1 increase in the cost of a meal provided by the senior center effective March 1. For Duxbury seniors, a meal at the center or one delivered to their homes will cost $4 instead of $3. Non-residents will pay $5.
This change will generate approximately $3,950. This money will help offset the cost of providing meals, which is running a deficit.