County commission votes to establish park reservation fees

Friday, January 25, 2013

Reserving shelters at Cape County Park for parties, picnics and other events no longer be will free starting this year.

County commissioners approved a fee to reserve shelters along with several rules for use of park shelters during their meeting Thursday.

Bryan Sander, the county's park superintendent who oversees the north and south sections of Cape County Park, told commissioners the cost to clean up after shelter users is about $17,000 per year. Without charging a reservation fee there is no way to recoup the cost.

A separate problem, Sander said, is that groups hosting large events at the parks sometimes reserve every shelter but only use one or two, thus limiting access to other potential users.

Commissioners approved charging $15 per reservation, per shelter, which covers use for one day. Reservations will be taken for March 15 through mid-November, which covers the busiest season. The county will begin taking reservations Feb. 1 each year.

Sander said the fees should cover about $12,000 yearly. He said the fee is in-line with the amount charged to reserve shelters in the city of Jackson.

Commissioner Charlie Herbst said he would be working with the county's information technology department to begin an online reservation system. Reservations can still be made by calling Vicki Ivy, the commission's assistant, at 243-1052.

The county also will begin charging a fee associated with the annual Christmas display in Cape County Park North, which until this year has allowed local businesses, groups and individuals set up decorations free of charge for a drive-through tour for the public.

Sander told commissioners the cost of electricity to light the displays needs to be covered with help from participants. Commissioners approved a charge of $20 per entry to begin this winter.

Commissioners also approved responsibilities. Presiding Commissioner Clint Tracy will work primarily with emergency management, the Missouri Association of Counties, parks, the Workforce investment Board and MAGNET. Associate Commissioner Paul Koeper will work primarily with the county highway department, the University of Missouri-Extension, the Missouri Department of Transportation's advisory committee, public works, the Missouri Judicial Finance Commission and the Missouri Association of Counties Trust Board. Herbst will work primarily with the information technology department, juvenile office and Metropolitan Planning Organization. All commissioners will oversee the circuit court system, sheriff and jail.

In other action, commissioners:

* Approved entering into an agreement with the office of William King, DDS, to lease one unit in the county-owned duplex at 202 N. Missouri St. for $700 per month.

* Approved appointing Paul Nenninger to the county's Law Enforcement Restitution Fund Board.

eragan@semissourian.com

388-3627

Pertinent address:

1 Barton Square, Jackson, MO

Cape County Park, Cape Girardeau, MO

202 N. Missouri St., Jackson, MO

Map of pertinent addresses

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