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Town board OKs Sportsplex fee schedule

A Lawrence County Sportsplex Association meeting with theMonticello Board of Aldermen Wednesday to request a reconsiderationof use fees at the facility contrasted sharply with a meetingearlier this month.

A discussion on field use fees April 4 sparked heated debate anda walk-out by one of the recreation board members. The walk-outcame while formulating a plan to allow free usage of the fieldsduring the day for all teams, including those not affiliated withthe sportsplex’s girl’s softball league, and a $30 fee for fieldusage at night for all teams to help offset the cost oflighting.

The Monticello Parks and Recreation Board recommendation toaldermen had been to exempt league teams from all fees and proposeda $15 fee for day usage and $30 night usage fee on all non-leagueteams.

That initial recommendation was approved by the Board ofAlderman on a 4-1 vote Wednesday after reconsideration.

Ward One Alderman Jerry Goode opposed the change and reaffirmedhis vote for free usage of the fields by all residents.

Recreation board members requested the reconsideration based onthe presentation of how much funding has been invested in thefacility by the leagues.

More than $40,000 has been invested in the sportsplex by therecreation board in participation fees, purchase of a temporaryconcession stand, soccer lights and nets and other improvements,said Mayor David Nichols.

“Everything else we had decided two weeks ago stayed in place,”Nichols said.

In a related matter, the town has received many applications forthe town park director and park ranger positions. The deadline forapplications was Friday.

The Parks and Recreation Board is now tasked with reviewingthose applications and selecting three to recommend to aldermen forthe positions.

In other matters Wednesday, aldermen voted to repair or replacedamaged camper utility pedestals at Atwood Water Park inpreparation for the Atwood Music Festival Memorial Day weekend.

Nichols said between 12 and 15 of the approximately 90 pedestalsneeded work. The cost of the work ranges from $300 to $500.

“That allows us to begin taking reservations for the Atwoodfestival (today),” he said. “I had been holding off to see how wewould handle this.”

Nichols said he did not want to assign spaces and then have toshuffle campers around later should the pedestals not berepaired.

Aldermen also adopted a sewer use ordinance that limits theamounts and types of waste that can be dumped into the town’ssystems.

“What it does is give the city a way to protect what the publicputs in the city sanitation system,” Nichols said.

The ordinance will primarily affect businesses, he said. Amongother stipulations, it requires grease traps where applicable.

The requirement is effective immediately for all businesses nowopening, but a deadline has not yet been set to force existingbusinesses to comply with the ordinance.

“We wanted to get the ordinance passed, but that part still hasto be worked out,” the mayor said.