The Herricks Board of Education discussed their feelings about the fees charged for groups who use the district’s fields and buildings during the board’s Thursday night meeting at the .
Board president Christine Turner asked for an approximation of the number of participants in these groups that use Herricks facilities who are residents of the district.
During the discussion, it was explained that the current fee for field usage, which comes out to about $30 an hour for a team’s season, was derived from working backward from the funding that the district needed to receive that year, which was $25,000.
“It’s not a lot per hour,” Superintendent Dr. John Bierwirth said.
Assistant superintendent of finance Helen Costigan said that the fee wasn’t really designed to be thought about as an hourly rate as it was set to reach the ultimate goal of $25,000.
Board member Dr. Sanjay Jain noted that the current fee that is being paid doesn’t really represent the true cost of keeping the facilities open and maintaining them.
Board vice president James Gounaris suggested setting consistent parameters for the field and district facilities usage that also takes into account donations that some groups make to the district.
“We need to find a way that’s fair and equitable for everyone,” he said.
Board member Brian Hassan questioned whether this would or should be fair to everyone or rather just the people who have children who attend the district. This way people are not paying for field and building usage “for the rest of your life.”
Gounaris added to Hassan’s idea saying that the district needs to be thoughtful about how it approaches this because it’s a “slope that's easy to start slipping down” regarding parents who pay for their children’s extracurricular activities.
Toward the end of the meeting, Dr. Bierwirth offered to come up with a fee structure for the board meeting on August 9 that the board could consider.