sports park

The fields at the Beaumont Sports Park, as they appeared in May 2022.

Beaumont’s sports park users don’t seem ready to cough up more money to maintain the city’s athletic fields.

Several community members and coaches implored the city at its Jan. 17 council meeting to not impose proposed fees that would be cumbersome to families that cannot afford the costs.

Leading the public comment period were coaches and volunteers Anthony Lobo, Robbie Snider and Adrian Pouchoulin, who others echoed in explaining that sports fees are already high and any decision by the city to impose additional fees jeopardizes chances of children to participate in programs that many are already priced out from, further ostracizing them.

Based on an informal survey of his peers on the dais, Mayor Julio Martinez gathered that the council would support a potential fee schedule broken down by residency, where Beaumont residents would receive discounts to use the athletic fields at the sports park and at community parks with ball fields.

For 2022, had the city imposed the proposed fees, the city would have recouped 26 percent of its costs for maintaining fields, according to Community Services Director Doug Story. Fifteen organizations reserved fields that year.

Story said that it costs the city nearly $615,000 annually to maintain its parks, from servicing restrooms to mowing grass, and that AYSO has been the primary organization contributing fees toward those costs.

The city also has mobile app-controlled lights that charge a minimal user fee for use of lights at the Beaumont Sports Park, but those fees are negligible in recouping the costs associated with lighting, according to Story.

Councilman Lloyd White suggested that the city consider bringing back a fee schedule based on collecting 10 percent of those costs, considering that the city has struggled to penalize organizations that reserve the fields and end up taking their games and tournaments elsewhere — leaving local organizations that could have used that space searching for someplace else to play.

White recommended allowing the city a year before it should start implementing fees, and to reduce them potentially by half of the proposed amounts until that time, as the city works toward renovating and rehabilitating fields.

White also proposed not charging fees for use of parks that have not yet been rehabilitated.

The Sports Field Policy Handbook that was being pitched Tuesday night outlines application fees and reservation fees, as well as cancelation fees.

The city will close some athletic fields starting June 1 through mid-August for annual maintenance and re-sodding. From Dec. 15 to Jan. 15, the city would halt organized sports programs on those fields “just to give the fields some time to breathe,” Story said, considering that on any given Saturday, “there are 1,500 pairs of feet” tearing through the sports park.

The city council went ahead and approved the Community Services Department’s policy handbook, and delayed any decision on future field use fees.

The Sports Field Policy Handbook outlines the types of users and user groups, differentiates between recreational and competitive leagues, specifies its code of conduct, and explains priority of field use among group classifications (such as nonprofit groups and city or school district programs).

For now, the user fee schedule that is included in the handbook is on hold as the city studies the matter further, but fees for youth groups were outlined to start at $5 an hour per field, and permits for field use were $100. Those fees rose incrementally based on whether the groups had fewer than 80 percent of its members residing in Beaumont.

Beaumont’s reservable fields include the four soccer fields, the football field and the three baseball fields at the Beaumont Sports Park along Brookside Avenue; the two multipurpose fields at Fallen Heroes Park at Oak View Drive and Iris Street; the multipurpose field and the baseball diamond at DeForge Park at Seneca Springs Parkway and Potrero Boulevard; the baseball field at Rangel Park on West Fourth Street and B Street; the two multipurpose fields at Stetson Park on Morgan Avenue; the baseball diamond and the multipurpose field at Palmer Park on Palmer Avenue and Trevino Trail; the Trevino Park baseball diamond and the multiuse field at Tukwet Canyon Parkway; as well as the multipurpose fields at Shadow Creek, Wildflower, Mountain View and Mickelson parks.

Organizations that wish to reserve those fields go through the Community Services Department to apply for use for practices, games, tournaments and scrimmages.

Staff Writer David James Heiss may be reached at , or by calling (951) 849-4586 x114.


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