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Board considers fees for golf carts

Under proposal, permit would be needed to enter

DIXON – Park board members debated Wednesday whether to charge a fee for golf carts entering Lowell Park.

The Dixon Park District currently allows golf carts in the park, and a new proposal was made to require carts to have a $50 sticker permit to enter.

No action was taken, but the proposal is expected to come up at future meetings.

The objective is to generate revenue from visitors living outside of the park’s taxing district. The park district is projecting a deficit of about $111,000 this year, but board members took on large equipment purchases.

“Allowing golf carts benefits those who aren’t paying taxes for the park, because the only people using carts are neighbors of Lowell Park,” said park board member Shane Miller. “This is a special privilege we’re providing people who don’t give us a cent.”

Two golf carts frequent the park once a month, both neighbors of the park, said Greg Hunter, director of natural resources for the park district.

Board President Ron Pritchard was hesitant about the proposal, asking if it will be more of a hassle to monitor than it’s worth.

“If 2 or 3 people are using golf carts, that’s $150,” he said. “Is that worth the trouble?”

Generating revenue, even in small increments, needs to become a priority with the district running a deficit, said Deb Carey, executive director.

The discussion expanded to other privileges and whether they should come for a fee.

“I don’t want to expand this out too much,” Miller said. “I think we should look at it on a case-by-case basis. This privilege in particular we know only people out of our district use, and it’s not really a benefit to anyone within the district.”

Also Wednesday, the park board decided not to issue a noise ordinance for Woodcote. There has been only one complaint in 7 years, Carey said.

Additionally, the park district will start work on new fencing this fall at Ballou Park. The fencing was considered a safety issue and will cost $17,000 to replace, Carey said.

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