Calera approves park usage fees

Calera recreation officials soon will begin charging city sports league participants a park usage fee, as the city seeks to continue its maintenance of city parks.

The Calera City Council voted unanimously during a Dec. 21 meeting to approve a $10 park usage fee for city residents and a $20 usage fee for non-city residents who participate in baseball leagues housed at city parks.

The usage fee will be paid to the city’s athletic association, and will help the city’s Parks and Recreation Department continue to maintain Calera’s parks, according to Parks and Recreation Director Stevie Edwards.

“This fee would pertain to everything from little league all the way to high school,” Edwards said. “This wouldn’t pay 100 percent of our maintenance costs, but it will help put some revenue back into our parks.”

The Parks and Recreation Department currently is digging into city funds to pay for park maintenance, like garbage collection and landscaping, Edwards said.

“This is a way we could put some of that money lost back into the budget to keep the parks maintained the way they are now,” Edwards said. “The registration fees plus the usage fees don’t put us above anywhere else outside the city.”

In other business, the council:

Voted unanimously to deny a restaurant retail liquor license to the Calera Café at 2220 Highway 84.

Council members voted to deny the liquor license after council members discovered a church occupied the lot adjacent to the restaurant.

Agreed to trade a 1987 Ford truck to the Pea Ridge Volunteer Fire Station for an oxygen tank filling station, which will be used by the Calera Fire Department.

Appointed Councilman Ernest Montgomery and Mayor Jon Graham to the city’s Planning and Zoning Commission.

Appointed Councilman Bobby Joe Phillips to the city’s parks and recreation board of directors.

Appointed Graham and Councilman David Bradshaw to the city’s historical board.