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Increases for Green's Park



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May 18, 2011 - Lake Orion residents planning to use Green's Park will have to dig a little deeper into their wallets as of the May 9 Village Council meeting.

To help maintain the same services offered by the village and balance the budget, the cost for a membership to the lake side park has increased from $1 to $25 annually for Lake Orion Village residents.

Council member Michael Toth said while the price is still a deal in his opinion, he realizes the percentage of increase is stark.

"I voted to increase the fees because no one is going to want to go to a park with no lifeguards, but I really would have liked to come up with another option," said Toth. "Yet something had to be done, because the issue has been discussed now for two years.

"Every time it came up, it was always 'bring us another idea' and nothing was ever resolved. The parks almost always operate at a deficit, but we could not have a blank on this budget again."

Toth said the main reason for raising the fees was to maintain essential village personnel, including Lake Orion's Ordinance Officer. Toth also said that he felt the increase was absurd, and believes a better option would have been to let the lifeguards go altogether.

"To have the lifeguards in Green's park alone for the year costs the village $18,000 annually, because these are certified lifeguards so we cannot simply pay them minimum wage," he said. "I've spoken to frequent users of the park, and one in particular is extremely upset about the fee raise because he's on a fixed income. His friends are also upset, and they pay a higher rate because their township residents.

"The way I see it, this situation will give people a chance to vote with their money. We've planned for a 20 percent drop off in members, but I feel it will be higher than that."

Toth said he feels the lack of lifeguards, such as is common at hotel pools, would open the park up to a greater variety of activities and that the situation is not as "dangerous as people think it is."

Green's Park is located on the west side of M-24 near the downtown area.

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