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Santa Barbara Council Approves Fee Hikes for Youth Rec Programs

The rate changes will help the Parks & Recreation Department make up a $129,000 deficit

The Santa Barbara City Council on Tuesday approved fee changes for some Parks & Recreation Department youth programs, including many spring and summer camps.

While it’s unusual to adjust fees in the middle of the fiscal year, the department is facing a 4 percent — or $129,000 — deficit in revenue for this year. With the fee changes and some expenditure reductions, recreation programs manager Sarah Hanna said she expects the department to have a balanced budget at year’s end.

Fee changes are effective now, and the spring break camps at the end of March will fall under the new prices.

Facility rentals have been down, classes normally held in the Carrillo Recreation Center have been moved to less suitable areas during its renovation, and paid day parking in the Vons parking lot on Chapala Street has been a factor in a large drop in the purchase of parking permits at the Louise Lowry Davis Center.

Parking permit prices will be cut in half to $75 to entice buyers, and the revised pricing of camps and programs is intended to maximize participation, Hanna said.

The summer program, which attracted more than 2,000 youths last year, has 21 fee changes and six new programs. The added revenue is projected to be $30,000, split over two fiscal years since the current year ends in June.

All weekly fees are standardized to $135, since they are half-day, equipment-light programs such as outrigger paddling, bike, soccer and skateboard camps.

The full-day, “high-end” camps that require more craft inventory and transportation, such as nature and aqua camp, now are $296.

Junior lifeguards, one of the most popular and training-intensive camps, will cost $350.

The junior counselor program, in which teenagers assist counselors in running camps for younger participants, will now charge the helpers the full participant price instead of a discounted rate.

Prices vary for the new programs, which include a half-day and full-day science adventure camp.

Spring break camps, March 29 to April 2, are open for registration. To register, click here or call 805.564.5495.

Noozhawk staff writer Giana Magnoli can be reached at .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address).

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