Havre Daily News - News you can use

By Tim Leeds 

Board to look at Beaver Creek fees in November

Board says suggested rates will be available before the meeting


October 8, 2013

Lindsay Brown

The sun reflects off of Beaver Creek Friday afternoon in Beaver Creek Park. Leaves are changing and autumn colors are on full display in the park.

The Hill County Park Board will look at Beaver Creek Park fees in November, including considering a suggestion that the fees be set for three-year periods instead of reviewed each year.

Board member Robbie Lucke told the board Monday at its monthly meeting that the committee looking at the fees, which includes representatives of the cabin owners and cattle grazers, has finished its recommendations and that Beaver Creek Park Superintendent Chad Edgar has said he would like the decisions made in November so the rates could be set before the first of the year.

Lucke added that having some members who are not part of the board helped the meetings run smoothly.

“It brought in some fresh air and some fresh thoughts,” he said, adding that one suggestion not directly related to fees is that cattle grazers be given an annual park permit as cabin owners do when they pay their lease.

Hill County Commissioner Mark Peterson asked for a clarification, saying he understood that the board agreed early in the year to set fees in a three-year cycle, with the fee increases that went into effect in 2012 the first year of the cycle.

The board approved raising some fees in February 2012, effective that year, although it left some fees the same including purchasing park permits.

The fees it raised included raising cabin site leases from $300 to $350 for a 12-month lease and raising the grazing fee per head of cattle to $11 a month for the entire period. Previously, the rate was $10 a head for September and October, $9 a head in November and $8 a head in December.

Lucke said Monday that the committee this fall looked at the fees to start a three-year period from 2014-16.

Board chair Steve Mariani said when the three years starts could be discussed in November.

Hill County Commissioner Jeff LaVoi suggested at the board’s February meeting that it look at setting fees for a three-year period instead of reviewing them each year.

At the March meeting, board member Larry Kinsella suggested to the board that, if it was going to look at setting fees for a three-year period, the fee increases put in place in 2012 be the start of the three years.

In March, Mariani said the fee committee could look at that idea when it discussed the fees

He again raised that idea Monday night.

“We can still talk about it next time, if we want to take the committee’s recommendation or Larry’s suggestion … ,” Mariani said. “We can see what the numbers look like and then decide.”

Members of the audience also asked that the recommendations be made available in advance so people can review the suggestions in preparation for the meeting.

Mariani said the committee recommendations could be made available in several locations, possibly including at the Hill County Courthouse and at the park offices at Camp Kiwanis. Some at the meeting suggested the recommendations be published in the Havre Daily News.

Hill County Commissioner Jeff LaVoi said the November meeting, scheduled for Monday, Nov. 4, could see a large crowd.

“We should probably reserve the gymnasium,” LaVoi said.


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