Jul 13 2012

City Council Looks at Athletic Facilities Fund, Taxes, Crime, and Swim Team

Parcel Tax on November ballot –

On Monday, July 16, at the Council meeting starting at 7:30 p.m., the Council will consider establishing the Athletic Facilities Preservation Fund and establishing a $25 fee per user dedicated to the fund.  The funding issue was brought up a few years ago when calculations were presented showing the unfunded cost of maintaining gymnasium and field facilities. Budget constraints on the schools and the City, facility maintenance require an independent funding source.  The agreement with the schools will be considered at the meeting.

The Council will finalize the November 2012 ballot measure for renewal of the Municipal Services Tax effective July 1, 2013.  The proposed tax will have an inflation escalator of up to 4% annually to be determined by the Council.  The measure requires a 2/3rds approval by those voting on the measure.

The Mid-Year Crime Report from the Interim Chief of Police will be presented. Requests for more police presence in the areas closest to Grand Avenue were made at the recent Town Hall meeting.  A suggestion was made to place outdated police cars strategically around the City as a deterrent to crime.

Negotiations between the City Recreation Department and the Piedmont Swim Team (PST) have resulted in an agreement extending the current contract until December 31, 2012 for  $9,000.  This will be an increase to $17,250/year from the $16,000/year rate previously being paid, but less than the $44,000 per year cost for the PST use of the pool.  The Piedmont Swim Team is an organization independent of the City Recreation Department.  The High School and Water Polo teams do not currently pay for use of the pool.

The 2012-13 pool deficit is now anticipated to be $138,156. The cost of use by the Swim Team and Piedmont Unified School District (PUSD) is calculated by staff as:

                                         Cost of Pool Hours*              Pool Fees

  • Swim Team                     $44,000                                $17,250 (new rate)
  • PUSD                                $35,000                                $0

*Hourly cost based on operating costs divided by total pool hours times hours of use.  Estimates do not include any facility replacement costs.  Staff indicated looking at “marginal cost” would not be a standard industry calculation.

The Council will meet in closed session to continue “discussion regarding pending litigation in the matter of Friends of Moraga Canyon v. City of Piedmont and relating to potential litigation (Blair Park).”

Staff reports for the meeting can be viewed here.

2 Responses to “City Council Looks at Athletic Facilities Fund, Taxes, Crime, and Swim Team”

  1. “The proposed tax will have an inflation escalator of up to 4% annually to be determined by the Council.”

    Does anyone actually believe that anything LESS than a 4% escalator will be invoked on an annual basis? Once you get used to more and more it is hard to give it up.

    Has the City Council ever invoked LESS than allowed under the current parcel tax?

  2. The Athletic Facilities Replacement Fund on Monday’s agenda has changed significantly from that initially proposed in October, 2011. The principal change is that the $25 fee will apply only to participants in sports activities administered through the Piedmont Recreation Department. Members of the private sports organizations will not be charged the fee when using city facilities – Linda Beach Field, Coaches Field, Hampton Field and the Swimming Pool. Based on this revision, annual revenues of the fund are projected to decline from $145,000 per year to $68,000 per year.

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