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CITY COUNCIL AGENDA ITEM NO. 17

Meeting Date: January 8, 2002

Subject/Title: Update/discussion on skate park

Submitted by: Craig D. Bronzan, Director of Parks and Recreation

Approved by: John E. Stevenson, City Manager



RECOMMENDATION 
Staff will provide an update on the status of the skate park and is requesting direction as to how to proceed for the balance of the 2001/02 fiscal year.

PREVIOUS ACTION
The Council Park and Recreation Subcommittee held a community meeting on September 16, 1999, to discuss the possibility of building a skate park in Brentwood. The City Council passed Resolution No. 99-225 on October 12, 1999, amending the 1999-2004 Capital Improvement Program to include construction of a skate park in Brentwood (CIP Project No. 522-5213) and directing the Director of Parks and Recreation to return to City Council for the award of the construction contract. The Park and Recreation Commission and Youth Commission held a joint special meeting on October 18, 1999, to consider forming a task force for the development of a skate park. The City Council approved the establishment of a Skate Park Task Force on October 26, 1999. The City Council authorized the City Manager to execute a professional services agreement with Land Image on January 11, 2000, for the design of the City of Brentwood Skate Park. On April 11, 2000, City Council approved the Park and Recreation Commission recommendation to approve the Brentwood Skate Park preliminary site master plan and related budget (CIP Project #522-5213). On September 26, 2000, City Council directed staff to have one additional community meeting with the architect and then put the project out to bid. The final community meeting was held on November 13, 2000, with the project being put out to bid on January 22, 2001. Bids were opened on February 20, 2001. City Council awarded the bid for construction of the Skate Park (CIP No. 522-5213) to A.J. Vasconi General Engineering on February 27, 2001. City Council approved first reading of Ordinance No. 673 regarding the wearing of safety gear at the skate park at the City Council meeting of June 26, 2001 and second reading on July 10, 2001. City Council discussed and approved rules and enforcement procedures at the Skate Park at the City Council meeting on August 14, 2001 directing staff to follow up with a revision of Ordinance No. 673. City Council approved the first reading of Ordinance No. 684 at the City Council meeting of August 28, 2001, with approval of the final reading on September 11, 2001. On November 12, 2001, City Council directed closure of the Skate Park until it could be opened with supervision. The park re-opened on November 22nd with on site supervision. Staff gave an informational report to City Council on November 27th regarding short-term solutions.

BACKGROUND
The skate park has been open since November 22nd with on-site supervision. As a part of my update to City Council on November 27th, I informed Council that the park would continue to have on-site supervision at least through January 13, 2002. The cost of supervision through that date will be $6,073. I was requested to return to City Council on January 8, 2002, with an update and recommendation for long-term supervision.

Since the re-opening of the park, the problems at the park have disappeared. There have been no calls to Police for assistance, which works well for all concerned. The users of the facility, though resistant at times to wear all safety equipment, do comply. The aggressive behaviors that were causing families to stay away are no longer present and we continue to get compliments from parents of younger children for having supervision at the facility.

There has been an interesting side effect to park supervision. Our department is getting more e-mails, phone calls and personal visits from bike riders who are upset that they cannot use the park. One of the complaints prior to supervision was that bikers were coming in to the park and causing problems. Since we have supervision, the bikers have no use of the park and are now raising their level of complaints. I would not be surprised to see a bike contingent attend a City Council meeting asking for a park of their own.

Our department recently participated in a skate survey conducted by the City of Piedmont that had 116 responses (see attachment). What was interesting and contrary to what we knew, is that 37% of the respondents provide either part-time or all hour supervision. It seems that supervision is more common than we thought. However, only 15% charge some sort of fee, meaning the large majority of parks have some sort of subsidy for the costs of supervision.

The environment at the park has returned to a very positive experience and I am reluctant to consider opening the park without supervision. The concern is how do we pay for supervision? If we are going to charge a fee or sell a pass, we will need two staff on duty. One is necessary to supervise inside the park as compliance does require constant supervision. A second position is necessary to collect the money or passes, which raises our costs.

It is my recommendation that we continue supervision at the facility as a long-term measure and consider charging a fee/offering passes for Brentwood residents as follows:

I Proposed hours of operation:

January March Monday Friday* 2:00 pm 5:00 pm
Sat/Sun/school holidays** 9:00 am 4:00 pm
April June Monday Friday** 2:00 pm 7:00 pm
Sat/Sun/School holidays** 11:00 am 7:00 pm

* open with one part-time employee until March 1st
** open with two part-time employees

II Expected Costs

Cost to provide supervision
through January 13 $ 6,073
January 14 June 30 $23,109
Total $29,182

In working with Pam Ehler, Director of Finance, property tax revenue collected for Parks and Recreation is $50,000 more than budgeted. Staff recommends that skate park supervision be funded from the unexpected increase and be included in the mid-year budget adjustment for Parks and Recreation.

III Consideration of Admission Fee

It seems fair to consider a fee for users of the facility since we are incurring a cost for supervision. As this is a special interest activity, it is difficult to judge what a starting point for admission price should be. Staff recommends a two-pronged approach. Daily admission should mirror the aquatic complex at $3.00 per day for use, or purchase of a $20 yearly pass. The pool provides for bulk tickets to be purchased that lowers the fee to $2.00 per use. In order to process these debit cards, a computer and terminal is required, which is not available at the skate park. Staff suggests that a skate park pass be sold for $20.00, available only to citizens of Brentwood that is good for a calendar year period, with a single price for unlimited entries. Participants would either show their pass or pay $3.00 per entry. This would be simple way to handle admissions, and by June, we would be able to project yearly revenue numbers.

Regarding revenue, staff is also requesting direction as to consideration of allowing a concessionaire to set up at the park to rent/sell skate related items. There is a cement pad to the south of the entry gate that could be used by a vendor, with proceeds from a lease/percentage
of sales returned to the skate park to offset supervision costs.

Staff brings forward these recommendations for your consideration; however, this is not a final action item on fees or budget adjustments. Based on City Council direction, staff would recommend a public hearing be held on February 12, 2002 to consider amending the master fee schedule if direction is to consider an admission fee.

Attachments:
Skate Park Survey


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