Fee increases at Loudy-Simspon Park frighten Craig softball league | CraigDailyPress.com

Fee increases at Loudy-Simspon Park frighten Craig softball league

Patrick Kelly

Loudy-Simpson Park, 600 S. Ranney St., offers recreational facilities including an ice rink, ballfields, a fishing pond, picnic pavilions and basketball hoops.

Fees for the use of facilities at Loudy-Simpson Park have gone up and members of the Craig Softball Association are worried they may not be able to afford a 2016 season.

This year, Moffat County is charging a $600 league fee per team, doubling the $300 teams paid last year to use the ball fields.

And if they want to use the lights, the fee will go up to $1,200.

"I know my team from last year pretty much said that if it's really $1,200, we're not going to play," said Tanya Ferguson, former Craig Softball Association treasurer.

Ferguson said last year there were 15 teams and about 300 people participating the league. Now, she is worried the increased fee is going to kill Craig's adult softball program.

"It's kind of really sad," she said. "It's just one more thing that will be hard for people to do."

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Moffat County Commissioner Chuck Grobe said the new prices for softball teams were determined by looking at what similar communities were charging.

Slightly less significant fee increases were also approved for the ice rink and soccer fields. Shelter fees will remain the same.

Public skating entry will now cost $6 instead of $5 and hourly rates for both youth and adult sessions are going up by about $15. Twenty-session punch cards will also cost an additional $10.

Soccer fields will now cost $75 per game instead of the previous $50.

Grobe said the point of raising prices is to help the county break even with its costs at Loudy-Simpson.

At the previous Moffat County Board of Commissioners' meeting, the commissioners discussed the increases with Moffat County Maintenance Manager Lennie Gillam.

"With us diversifying the way we did, we're looking at possibly breaking even next year," he said. “If we do another small increase, then you will start to build some capital.”

With that capital, the county hopes to eventually be able to make improvements to facilities at the park, of which Ferguson said the softball fields are desperately in need.

"Our grass is horrible, the infields are horrible, the bases are cracking, the lights work half the time," she said.

Despite the need for improvements, Ferguson called the $1,200 fee "outrageous."