Tallmadge Recreation Center visits decrease, but membership fees remain same

Krista S. Kano
Kent Weeklies
Tallmadge Recreation Center membership fees will remain the same in 2021, but City Council has approved a new tournament maintenance fee for all city-owned fields.

Tallmadge Recreation Center's membership is down about 560 from last year, and total visits are down by about 12,000.

Despite these losses, membership fees will remain the same in 2021. 

MORE: Tallmadge parks facilities experience revenue losses due to COVID-19

"[COVID] definitely affects it, but we try to maintain our expenditures and try to curtail them. We stopped some spending we typically do, had to lay off some part time employees to accommodate that and try to do everything we can to keep our staff going," Mayor David Kline said.

As of October, the recreation center had 5,880 members and was averaging about 224 people a day, Director of Public Service Michael Rorar said. 

While visits are down from last year, October saw about 1,600 more visits than September.

Parks and Recreation Superintendent Jessica Simons attributed the increase to the expansion of hours that came at the end of October and the weather turning, which has caused people to start choosing indoor exercise. 

Kline suspects those numbers will take another dip in November and December due to Summit County Public Health's stay-at-home advisory that runs through Dec. 16. Kline was scheduled to meet with the health department on Tuesday. 

Kline added that youth basketball leagues are scheduled to start at the end of December, but city officials are debating whether that can happen safely. The city was already planning to limit spectators, restrict access to the building during games and practices, and space out scheduling. 

While membership fees will remain the same heading into 2021, City Council has approved a new tournament maintenance fee of $50 per day for up to two fields or $150 a day for three or more fields. The fee applies to all city-owned fields, and does not apply to regular season use. 

Tallmadge Little League is permitted to use the Indian Hills, Kent, Rotary Park and Washburn baseball fields free of charge and other usage per their lease agreement.

"When you have a tournament, they're always harder to clean up. They stay longer, there's more people, more trash, so it requires more staff time to keep those fields up to par with how we want them to be," Simons said. 

The new fees will be included and explained in the field request information sent to all teams in early February. 

Reporter Krista S. Kano can be reached at 330-541-9416, kkano@thebeaconjournal.com or on Twitter @KristaKanoABJ.