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Can anyone explain why the Fees to a "Community Center" that our tax dollars are paying for are so high? I'm especially talking about the membership fees. An annual family membership is $500. For something that's supposed to be "non for profit" that seems awfully steep to me especially considering we are paying taxes to fund it, correct? I sure don't remember anybody saying the fees were going to be this high when they wanted our votes so the thing could be built.

 

Here is the wording from a Benton Courier article (A 1/8-cent sales tax will finance the operation and maintenance of the complex and all city parks. It is projected that it will take nearly 17 years to pay off the bonds, but Lemons said that it appears it will be sooner, and once the bonds are paid, the tax will sunset."

 

 

It's funny how they never mention any additional costs like having to pay a membership fee. The powers that be never seem to give you the full story until after they have your money.

 

See the attached link for more details on the fees.

 

http://www.cityofbryant.org/uploads/documents/Bishop_Fees.pdf

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It is my understanding that no fees have been set for arena rental yet - but that a discounted rate - at least comparable to what goups pay at the current facility will be set for current users and local groups. The community centers will be free for groups that currently use them for free and a small rental fee for other groups wishing to host events the the community centers on a per use basis. The walking trails and dog parks would be free.
There's no membership fees attached to the fairplex.
If all the citizens of Bryant are paying for it, seems only a few will actually get to use it.
It's understandable that there are fees associated with using these facilities. Your quote says that the tax will sunset when the bonds are paid. So that leads me to believe that once the facility is paid off it will operate with the money brings in with membership fees and fees to use the different things available within the facility. Most community centers charge something to use them. It's naive to think that you would be able to use it for free. The fees seem pretty reasonable to me and I would bet they are comparable to other facilities of this type. I think they didn't mention the fees because they thought it was understood that there would be a fee to use the facility. Just my opinion.
Just reread what I wrote up there - gee it was late. Didn't mean to infer that only a few would get to use the Fairplex - non-profit groups will use community centers for free or drastically reduced prices to cover clean-up - the arenas can be rented.
What I meant by my last statement was that if all the citizens of Bryant are being taxed on their community center, they all ought to be able to get some use out of it. $500.00 per year would seem to be out of some peoples budget....
Andrew, I never said there shouldn't be any fees associated with such a complex (reread my post), but $500 is going to be out of reach for alot of families. $500 is closer to what a for profit gym would charge.

I was at a meeting at the City of Lonoke's community center a couple weeks ago. It is similiar to what Bishop park is going to be. It had an indoor olympic size pool, 2 indoor basketball courts, a nice gym, a meeting room, and a seperate building for arobics, martial arts, etc. Out of curiousity I asked what a Family membership would cost and was told $235/yr. This seemed like a reasonable community center fee to me, whereas $500 seems quite high.
I know for my family $41.60 a month is no joke... but... if it has a full feature workout center with indoor bball courts, indoor walking track and an pool for the kids it would be worth it. If you have ever tried to keep the chemicals straight on your own pool you would gladly pay to go somewhere else.

A membership to Fitness Unlimited for one person is $40 a month but that comes with Childcare.

Is there childcare at Bishop park?

What I don't understand is how something that is funded and "maintained" with tax dollars is not cheaper than a commercial venture? What is Bryant going to do with all the profit?
Bishop Park is a great deal for those outside of Bryant. It is perfectly located to serve Benton and Bauxite residents, especially those who live in Salem community :-)
What is funny about the whole thing is they tax us to build it then charge us to use it. Sounds funny to me, but none the less it will be a nice PARK.

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