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Parks fees amended under City Council’s request

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It looks like children living in Watertown will continue to play T-ball and youth baseball for free through the city Parks and Recreation Department.

After receiving feedback from the Watertown City Council last week, Parks Department staff dropped plans to charge city residents $20 each for T-ball and youth baseball.

Under an amended set of fees, those living outside the city would be charged $20 for those activities.

However, the Parks Department has proposed a charge of $5 for swimming lessons for Watertown residents and $20 for children living outside the city. Swimming lessons previously were offered for free.

The proposed charges are among amended fees introduced by Parks and Recreation Department staff at Monday night’s City Council meeting. Council members took no action; a resolution will be drawn up for the June 3 meeting.

“I think it makes much more sense,” Councilwoman Teresa R. Macaluso said after seeing the changes.

Last week, the City Council discussed new fees for existing programs and additional activities. The council instructed staff to continue to work on the changes.

Mayor Jeffrey E. Graham and Councilman Joseph M. Butler Jr. contended that some families cannot afford high fees.

Council members also were adamant that non-city residents should pay more than Watertown residents for the programs.

Under what was presented Monday night, the cost for golf and tennis lessons for everyone would go up.

Tennis would increase from $5 to $10 for Watertown residents and to $30 for those who live outside the city.

Golf lessons would increase from $5 to $20 for city residents and to $50 for non-city residents.

Parks and Recreation Superintendent Erin E. Gardner was instructed by City Manager Sharon A. Addison to tell staff to come up with new fees that would pay 50 percent of the city’s cost to offer the programs.

Mrs. Gardner also has unveiled a series of new programs and activities that she would like to offer this year.

The programs include adult kickball and volleyball leagues, a boot camp exercise program for adults, horseback riding, family yoga, children’s Zumba, scuba diving lessons, a youth running club and a fishing clinic.

Most of the activities will be held at the Alex T. Duffy Fairgrounds off Coffeen Street.

Fees for those activities also have been amended. The fishing clinic and children’s Zumba would cost $15 for city residents and $35 for non-city residents; family yoga, $10 and $35; youth running club, $5 and $20; scuba diving, $20 and $60; exercise boot camp, $20 and $50, and horseback riding, $20 and $60.

A season skating pass would cost $25 for Watertown residents and $40 for non-residents.

It would cost $50 to rent a pavilion at the fairgrounds, Veterans Memorial Riverwalk Park and Marble Street Park.

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