Park fee increase?

HARLINGEN — Users of the city’s parks could see increases in the coming months.

Earlier this week, the city Parks and Recreation Advisory Board voted to raise user fees at parks, pools and fields – with some rates more than doubling at the larger capacity venues.

Officials made it clear the user fees are not entrance fees.

Instead, user fees are charged to families and groups who want to rent a pavilion, gazebo or a softball field for a a few hours or all day.

Before any fees are changed, the City Commission will have to give the final nod.

At the Sports Complex on Wilson Road, the current day-long rental fee for the 400-capacity venue is $80 with a $20 deposit.

The new fee? That would be $200 with a $50 deposit.

User fees at city soccer and softball fields will be $50 per field with a $20 deposit. Turning on the lights adds $25 per field.

The user fee increases will have to be approved by the City Commission. But Javier Mendez, parks and recreation director, said a survey of surrounding cities showed the Harlingen rates were in some cases significantly lower.

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