Archived Story

Council nixes field fees

Published 11:17am Wednesday, February 19, 2014

The Fergus Falls City Council Tuesday did not approve a $40 fee as part of a fee schedule adjustment recommended by the Parks, Recreation and Forestry Board.

The $40 fee would have been to line any baseball field for league or tournament play. Following a 20-minute discussion, Ben Schierer made the motion to waive the $40 fee upon request for weekday games at DeLagoon Park, and to have the Parks and Rec board work on an agreement with the Fergus Falls Youth Baseball Organization regarding liability, field preparation and equipment for tournaments.

The motion passed with a 4-3 majority.

Jay Cichosz, Jim Fish, Anthony Hicks and Schierer voted yes to the motion. Scott Rachels, Randy Sysnstelien and Stan Synstelien voted no. Tim Rundquist was absent from Tuesday’s meeting.

Randy Sysnstelien explained his dissenting vote by saying the funding is made up of user fees and money from the tax payers. If money isn’t coming from users, then “the city tax payers are picking up” the fees, he said.

The whole reason for the Parks and Rec Board recommendation was to offer some consistency, according to Parks and Rec manager Steve Plaza.

“We’re trying to figure out, should fees be changed?” Plaza said. “What’s appropriate?”

Fish said that since the American Legion field was given to the city with the understanding that there would be no fees, then there shouldn’t be fees for anybody.

Schierer agreed.

“I just think these fees are unnecessary, particularly for the youth,” Schierer said.

Daniel Prischmann, vice president of the FFYBO, said they have never paid the $40 fee and would rather they didn’t have to and just line the fields themselves.

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