‘Fee schedule needed for tournaments held in public sports facilities’

One mayor said public sports facilities, in particular, can be costly to maintain and would benefit from a fee schedule. (PNC photo)

The Mayors Council of Guam has temporarily shelved plans to implement fees to use equipment, services, and facilities.

But an MCOG official says the use of sports and other facilities is starting to increase.

Mayors Council of Guam president Jesse Alig told Newstalk K57’s Patti Arroyo Thursday morning that mayors don’t have the authority to implement fees to use facilities.

Instead, they take donations.

That’s part of the reason the Mayors Council was proposing a fee schedule.

Alig said that it’s usually not a problem.

However, sports facilities in particular, can be costly to maintain and would benefit from a fee schedule.

“We haven’t had any real issues. The only place where I think the issues are…would be the sports fields. The baseball fields, the basketball court, those types of areas. Because, for recreational use, I don’t think anyone has an issue with allowing residents to use it any time of the day or an appropriate time of the day. I think our issues are, for those tournaments, and for the leagues that take place within the village facilities, where they’re generating income,” Alig said.

He added that mayors could work with whatever organization is using the field to request a donation that can cover costs for power and maintenance.

However, there’s no guarantee that an adequate donation will be made.

“We can’t legally charge them to use the baseball field, with lights at night. And they can use the baseball field all night long and leave the lights on, and we’re still stuck with the bill. We can ask them to send us a donation, and they can give us ten bucks. So that’s what we’re left with. And that’s where I think a lot of the issues come from, when it comes to the users fee,” Alig said.

The fee schedule proposed by the Mayors Council has been delayed until at least fiscal year 2023.

The user fee schedule — which is submitted to the legislature for approval — sets a rate for the use of equipment as well as community and recreational facilities under the jurisdiction of the mayors. That list includes community and senior centers and parks. It also sets a rate for certain services such as providing funeral escort and copying services.

The plan was revived this fiscal year as a possible source of funding for the repair and maintenance of the facilities and equipment at the different villages.