The Prosper Parks and Recreation Board met July 12 to discuss the proposed implementation of field user fees, as well as the possibility of allowing food trucks to set up shop in Prosper parks.
Under the proposed plan, Prosper residents would pay 10 dollars to use fields within Prosper parks and nonresidents would pay 30 dollars. The fees are the result of concerns that the town will not be able to keep up with future demands due to park maintenance and construction costs.
“We’ve got this issue where we’ve got a lot of growth and a lot of demand, and it’s coming at us really fast,” Parks and Recreation Director Dudley Raymond said.
The town of Prosper faces a unique issue in that the area covered by Prosper Independent School District is nearly double the size of the town boundaries, meaning that several children who go to school in Prosper are not residents of the town. As a result, many youth sports teams are made up of nonresidents.
The parks and recreation board sees the new fees as a way to shift some of the cost of maintaining Prosper’s parks to people who are using the fields but do not pay taxes to the town of Prosper, which is responsible for park maintenance.
“The purpose of these fees is to be fair and equitable,” said Rick McGrath, chair of the parks and recreation board. “We’re not recuperating any of the cost for these fields.”
The parks and recreation department is also hopeful that by implementing the new fees that neighboring cities, such as Celina, may invest more into developing park infrastructure for their residents.
“This has been in talks for so long, and we talk about it each meeting,” said Rebekah Land, vice chair of the parks and recreation board.
“I think it’s time to start doing this, and I think it’s time to let our residents know. I’d like to see it implemented by next spring,” said Land.
The board agreed to further discuss the issue at its next meeting on August 9, during which it will hold a final vote as to whether or not the fees will be sent to the town council for approval.