Town eyes fees for park, beach events

Non­res­i­dent charges aim to shield pub­lic spa­ces from overuse.

Palm Beach Daily News - - TODAY - By WIL­LIAM KELLY

A re­vised town law is de­signed to shield pub­lic parks and beaches from overuse by au­tho­riz­ing staff to charge user fees and dam­age de­posits when grant­ing spe­cial event per­mits.

Pref­er­en­tial treat­ment would be given to res­i­dents or town or­ga­ni­za­tions, which would not be charged fees but could be re­quired to post re­fund­able dam­age de­posits, de­pend­ing on the na­ture of the event.

Cur­rently, the charge for a spe­cial event per­mit is a $150 ad­min­is­tra­tive fee.

The changes are de­signed to pro­tect pub­lic spa­ces from dam­age through overuse while pump­ing more money into town cof­fers, Deputy Town Man­ager Jay Bood­hesh­war has said.

The town

only

av­er­ages about 20 spe­cial event per­mit ap­pli­ca­tions a year, Bood­hesh­war has said.

Spe­cial events have not caused prob­lems for the parks and beaches, but staff ex­pects more de­mand for the town’s pub­lic spa­ces as the pop­u­la­tion of West Palm Beach con­tin­ues to grow.

Af­ter the or­di­nance moved through the Town Coun­cil’s Or­di­nances, Rules and Stan­dards Com­mit­tee, the coun­cil last week passed it on the first of two read­ings. Fi­nal pas­sage re­quires an­other vote in July and adop­tion of a res­o­lu­tion im­pos­ing the fees.

The town would use a slid­ing scale, based on the num­ber of peo­ple in­volved, to set fees and, where war­ranted, dam­age de­posits for the spe­cial events.

Those us­ing pub­lic spa­ces un­der the per­mits would have five hours in­stead of the cur­rent limit of three, to set up and clean up the sites.

Bood­hesh­war

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