Museum Officials Express Concern About Park Fees
The Fort Taber-Fort Rodman Military Museum is expressing concern about some new fees that could go in effect next year including a $500 item being proposed by city officials for using park space.
Museum President Joe Langlois told WBSM news that he understands that some expenses are reasonable but others are just excessive.
“You have to pay to get staging up, that makes perfect sense to me, you have to pay for the renting of staging, I understand that,” said Langlois “but I guess I have difficulty with the renting of grass…and any open space.”
Mary Rapoza, the City of New Bedford's Director of Parks, Recreation, and Beaches, told WBSM News that the new fees are needed to maintain and preserve public spaces that are seeing a rapid increase in use.
“The parks have really gotten to be so popular that we had to come up with some kid of mechanism for addressing the impacts on the parks and also creating a system that would have a fair park usage,” said Rapoza.
While saying the fees are needed to pay for park upkeep and maintenance Rrapoza says there would be flexibility for certain groups and events.
“The fee structure will be pro-rated so residents, non-profits, will have a favorable rate compared to non-residents and for-profit organizations, so not everyone across the board will be paying the same fee,” said Rapoza.
An open meeting will be held sometime next month to discuss the implementation of the new fees and Langlois says he hopes it will provide them with an opportunity to demonstrate that, when it comes to their events, the benefits outweigh the costs.
“I’m hoping that at this meeting in November people will be able to see it in a light that we’re bringing something to the city, we’re really not taking anything from the city, we’re adding to the culture of the city,” said Langlois.
Rapoza says the New Bedford City Council will also discuss the matter at an upcoming meeting.