BY DAVID JAMES HEISS
Those evening soccer and rugby games have cost a mere $30 an hour or so for nonprofit clubs and associations to play with lights on Beaumont’s public fields.
Other entities, private parties and such, pay $60 an hour.
Until recently, there has been no real basis in how Beaumont came up with what figures to charge groups for running lights during their events and activities.
At the city’s June 16 council meeting, the officials unanimously supported a $33,413.04 agreement with Brea-based GoTime Control, Inc. to acquire an online automated control system for sports field lights at the Beaumont Sports Park and Stewart Park.
The system allows the city to track who turns lights on and off, and for how long lights are used, and enables individual users to log in and schedule lighting/field time and submit billing information.
According to the city, the software makes it possible for community members not associated with a league or program to walk onto a field that is not in use and turn on the lights for that facility; and each field will be equipped with signage that includes a QR code that enables users to scan and create a log-in account, and instantly pay for a specific amount of field time with lights.
The new system will mitigate the current system in which keys have been issued to specific users, allowing for numerous keys to be copied and distributed for unauthorized access and uncompensated costs to the city.
Once the system is online, only authorized users with a city-assigned account can turn on lights.
Assistant Director of Community Services Doug Story said that the city has regularly had to send staff to open locks and turn on lights.
“It can be challenging to track who uses lights and then to determine appropriate fees,” he said, and explained that the app for “some fields will allow lights to be turned on for increments of 15 minutes if they’re not being used” by an organization or scheduled program.
According to Story, “Leagues have been throwing out estimates” of their time and costs, which can literally change with the weather.
Community Services Director Elizabeth Gibbs said that “Up until now, if someone leaves and forgets to turn the lights off, those costs have been taken on by the city.”
Staff Writer David James Heiss may be reached at email@example.com , or by calling (951) 849-4586 x114.