- Associated Press - Wednesday, August 13, 2014

VICKSBURG, Miss. (AP) - A Warren County agency is considering a per-car fee at a county park to cover a projected deficit.

The Vicksburg Post reports (http://bit.ly/1pNGraL ) that the Warren County Parks and Recreation Commission is discussing charging $5 per car for admission to the county’s Clear Creek complex, which hosts a golf course, soccer and baseball fields.

“You charge $5 a car and you’ve made a whole lot of money,” District 1 commissioner Dale McDuff said, referring to the volume of vehicles from golf and soccer traffic, plus regular traffic from the Bovina course’s 200 or so members.

The commission is trying to fill a $40,000 shortfall, stemming from increased lease fees, higher insurance costs and pay raises for the golf course’s 15 employees.

Though a per-car fee could generate revenue with four visits a year by each person with a golf membership, some commissioners say they’re concerned about effects on youth soccer leagues.

Warren County supervisors give $220,000 a year to the park. The county is already considering a property tax increase to raise more money for schools and raises for county employees.

The five-member panel is expected to vote on the proposal Aug. 19.

Applying the proposed fee or any other additional surcharge to the school system had support from the majority of the commission and county board. The park will pay more to lease 16th section land from the schools.

“It’s a win-win for the schools to support recreation,” commissioner Joe Loviza, also a Vicksburg-Warren school board member, said during the meeting. “If they’re going to charge you, I’m in favor of charging them.”

Monday’s talks came amid an effort to evaluate recreation in Vicksburg and Warren County - including an early-stage proposal to combine the city’s and county’s recreation functions.

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Information from: The Vicksburg Post, http://www.vicksburgpost.com

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