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Lancaster town leaders raise parks and recreation fees

A picnic in the park may cost more next year in Lancaster. So will kids' swim lessons and some sports camps for youths.

The fee for holding a gathering at a Keysa Town Park shelter will double to $50. Renting Westwood Park's pavilion will increase by $25 to $100. And the cost of using large shelters at Westwood and Walden Pond parks will double to $50, while the cost of the smaller shelters there will increase $5 to $30.

Shelter fees are going up at all the town parks, except for Meadow Lea Park shelter, which will stay $25.

The pavilion and shelter fees increases are part of sweeping changes intended to bring Lancaster's rates for parks and recreation programs more in line with neighboring communities, town leaders said Monday after approving the changes.

"It's not too high. It's not too low. It's right in the middle," said Mark Lubera, parks crew chief, after the Town Board adopted the fee increases, effective Jan. 1. "We're not here to make a profit, but we don't want to give it away. We do do an awful lot of free stuff, too, like playground tournaments and other events."

The town has not raised its parks and recreation fees in at least 20 years, Lubera said.

The fee for youth swim lessons will increase by $10 to $20 for residents and $35 for non-residents. Other swim program fees for town residents are unchanged: $30 for family swim, $10 for seniors, $20 for water aerobics instruction. Non-residents will pay $35 for water aerobics instruction.

Specialized recreational camps for girls' cheerleading, boys and girls golf, lacrosse and volleyball all increase by $10, to $40 for residents and $55 for non-residents. Tennis instruction and track and field are unchanged at $10 each.

Town basketball fees remain unchanged, except for boys and girls' fall/winter basketball, which goes from $15 to $25.

"It puts us in the middle compared to other communities," Councilman John Abraham Jr. said.




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