Facility Cost Assements
Facility Cost Assements
This fall the Amherst Recreation Department will implement a new fee and facility scheduling program. The policy is based on the Commission’s revised mission as follows:
Opportunity for residents and non residents to participate in programs
Utilization for existing facilities in an optimal, fair and equitable manner
Develop and grow recreational programs and facilities through a long range master plan.
The revision of the Commission’s mission began in 2004 when a joint meeting of the Amherst Board of Selectmen, the Amherst School Board and the Souhegan cooperative School Board appointed a committee to reorganize the structure of the Amherst Recreation Department.
Their goal was to better address the recreational needs of the residents of Amherst and effectively utilize the facilities and resources of both the Town and School District.
After many meetings and input from participants of recreation programs and sports organizations the committee outlined the benefits of the reorganization to include:
Recreation programs that desire the use of town and/or school facilities shall be represented by members of the Recreation Commission
Facility needs for all programs will be considered
Facility scheduling will be comprehensively coordinated by one entity
Capital and maintenance costs will be calculated for all activities on a per participant basis and assessed fairly to all participants
School activities on school facilities have primary priority for facility scheduling
Amherst resident participants have priority over non-resident participants for facility scheduling.
The Recreation Commission has put many of these concepts into action and residents are feeling the effects by better recreational services. Two remain to be implemented; calculating maintenance and capital costs and resident priority scheduling. As stated we will implement with our fall program schedule the user fee system which will be based upon “participant’s hours”.
A “participant hour “is defined as an hour of use by a participant enrolled in a recreation program whether it is public or private. (This applies to use of all Amherst recreation facilities; town and school).
This season we will assess our resident participants only maintenance costs that are in excess of the Town Recreation budget appropriation. This fall that assessment is zero, but that will change in the future. Non resident participants will be assessed maintenance costs incurred based upon an average participant cost of the program they are participating in. The non-resident assessment is designed to charge non-resident participants their appropriate share of costs that have been paid previously by Amherst taxpayer appropriations to the Recreation budget.
Capital needs and costs are currently being studied. It is our hope that we will once again get input from our users and include their needs within our plan. We will keep you informed of our progress and when the capital costs will be assessed.
Lastly you will experience the beginning of an Amherst resident priority scheduling system. The goal is to provide facilities to all programs desiring their use. If a situation arises where the demand for fields is greater than the supply, programs with non-residents will lose playing time first, and in proportion to their ratio of non resident “participant hours”. If the deficit exceeds that of non resident “participant hours” the remaining deficit will be shared by all programs in proportion to their requested amount of time.
This policy may sound complicated, however it is designed to give Amherst residents priority use of our facilities, regardless if it is a public or private program. As we all share the pain when this happens we hope that you will continue to support and work with us. Our ultimate goal is to provide the best recreational programs possible for our community.
Please feel free to contact any member of the Commission with any questions or concerns. Or better yet, come to any one of our meetings and tell us what you think. The Commission meets quarterly on the 4th Tuesday of the month and our Executive Committee meets monthly. Our meeting schedule is posted on our web site amherstrec.org or call Nancy McMillan
673 6248 for information.
Thank you and we look forward to working with you.
Amherst Recreation Commission
Dana Redmond, Chairman
Janet Gaynor, Vice Chairman
Reed Panasiti, Board of Selectmen Liaison
CC: Amherst Board of Selectmen
Gary MacGuire, Town Administrator