San Luis Obispo County residents and visitors enjoy year-round access to parks, lakes, campgrounds, playgrounds, trails and paths, athletic fields, golf courses, pools, sports courts, dog parks, picnic pavilions, and natural areas. Some of these services and facilities are provided through the County’s general fund and some are funded by user fees. Overall, about 62% of the parks funding comes from fees. Is that the right amount? What types of services should be paid for by the county’s general fund budget and have no additional cost to the general public? Playgrounds? Trails? What types of services should charge user fees? Camping? Golf? How much of these service costs should be recovered through fees? What fees are fair and equitable to all?
We want to hear your answers to these types of questions during two public workshops on March 12th and 13th. Feedback from these workshops will help us determine our future cost recovery policy and inform our recommendations for fees for park services. A representative from GreenPlay, a nationally recognized parks and recreation management consulting firm, will lead the workshops.
Citizens will take part in discussions and an activity about balancing the community benefits and individual benefits of park programs and services. Using this feedback, staff can establish a service’s cost-recovery goal relative to the amount of community benefit a category of service provides. Parks and recreation services with a high community benefit will be considered for lower cost recovery, while parks and recreation services with higher individual benefits will be considered for higher cost recovery.
In some cases, parks and recreation service fees may increase; in other cases