Parks and Recreation: City council committee approves increases to rec center fees

Update: The proposal to increase rec center fees will be heard by the full city council on June 27, after being okayed by a council committee earlier this week. The Land Use, Transportation and Infrastructure Committee unanimously approved it Tuesday.

To watch video of the discussion, click here -- and see our earlier coverage below.

Original item, June 8, 2:26 p.m.: Last month, we told you about a plan to increase Denver Parks and Recreation membership fees under a new tiered structure. The structure would divide rec centers into three size categories and charge patrons accordingly. A city council committee yesterday chose to delay its decision on the matter for a week and, in the interim, asked Parks and Rec to figure out what it would cost to offer free memberships to youth.

Currently, youth pay reduced rates -- a feature that would continue under the tiered-fee proposal. Parks and Rec also offers scholarships to low-income families, as well as the My Place Program, which gives free memberships to elementary students in schools where 75 percent or more of the students qualify for free or reduced-price lunch.

But, according to Parks and Rec spokeswoman Angela Casias, the city council's Land Use, Transportation and Infrastructure Committee would like to see a revised proposal in which all youth are allowed to use the centers for free. Since the department is attempting to use the new fee structure to close a $1 million gap in the Parks and Rec budget, the big question will be how much those free memberships will cause adult fees to increase.

Parks and Rec is due back in front of the committee Tuesday morning. Stay tuned!

More from our Follow That Story archives: "Denver Daily News shuts down: "Just doesn't look like we can sustain," publisher says."

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Melanie Asmar is a staff writer for Westword. She joined the paper in 2009 and has won awards for her stories about education, immigration and epic legal battles. Got a tip? She'd love to hear it.
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