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Field House rates discussion held during Council Work Session

A nearly 90-minute work session was held by the Nevada City Council following Monday’s regular meeting to discuss the proposed rates for the new Field House. In the end, Parks and Recreation leaders agreed to regroup and add a lower price-point option for users.

The rates initially presented, said Tim Hansen, parks and recreation director, were a “starting point” for what is a very “unique facility.” Hansen and Assistant Parks and Recreation Director Rhonda Maier were both on hand for the work session, along with three Parks and Recreation Board members: Deb Parker, Tony Sneiderman, and Glen Miller.

Hansen allowed Maier, who, along with Parks and Rec staff member Sarah Lancaster, has worked many hours to review and come up with rate proposals, to lead the presentation.

“It took us months to wrap our hands around all of the different scenarios (concerning the facility, its uses, and rates),” Maier said.

Maier emphasized that all along, the major goal for the Field House was to expand indoor recreation opportunities for adults, seniors, and young children.  This is why, she said, the indoor playground area and the walking track were so important for this facility.


How and when can you use the facility for no charge?

To start out, Maier explained the most easily understandable admission, which is how and when users can come into the facility for no charge and what they can do for no charge.

During regular work hours, 8 a.m.-5 p.m., AND at other times when programming is occurring inside the facility in the evenings and on weekends, anyone who has an account set up through Parks and Rec’s RecDesk program — which is free to set up — can utilize the walking track, the playground area, and any “unreserved” court areas inside the facility.

“This is essentially what we considered as the family pass,” Maier said. She noted that by looking at the RecDesk schedule online or posted schedules, people can find out what hours the facility would be open for other programming, meaning they could have access free to utilize “unreserved areas.”

At an open house in the spring, Parks and Rec helped a number of people sign up for their RecDesk accounts, and they’ve also been present at the Nevada Senior Center to help senior residents sign up for an account. She said staff is always willing to help any resident sign up for that free account so they can utilize the facility’s unreserved areas, playground, and walking track when it’s open.

Councilwoman Barb Mittman said she loved better understanding the free access and how that will work. “The idea was to bring SCORE indoor, and that is really reflective of that,” Mittman commented.


Other passes and uses

It was the other passes and uses that were creating some confusion in the community, and Maier explained the passes and uses and why those rates were set as they were.

Maier said the user passes, including the Adult Access Pass for $120/year, and the Left Lane Youth Pass for $250/year, were created with the community in mind. The Left Lane Youth Pass also had built into it an after-school program, which admits children to the facility after school every day from 3:30-5 p.m. with staff supervision.

These passes also, Maier said, give those who want to use the facility a lot for sports-related workouts and practices, the ability to “reserve” areas like the batting cages, fields, and courts, rather than “rent” them by the hour, which ends up being a savings to those local users.

Councilman Brian Hanson said for him, the drawbacks are, however, that some families may want more access, but not want the after-school programming if their kids are older. Or, some families may want just the after-school program and not need or want to use the other areas of the field house for practices and sports workouts.

Maier welcomed the comments and discussion about how some of the rates were over and above the uses people might want. And Hanson and community member and AAU Coach Mike Miller, who was present, also were able to understand how the rates could help big users utilize the facility at a lower cost than always having to “rent” space.

Maier also noted that the $5 drop-in fee (which is $10 if someone is using the batting cages, due to the cost of all the equipment in that area), is a way that anyone, even if they do not have a paid pass, can come in after hours with someone who does have the pass.


Bottom line

The bottom line, Maier said, is that Parks and Recreation leaders have always worked with the schools and with families to provide scholarships for children so that any program opportunity being provided by Parks and Recreation can be available to all.

“Everything is workable,” Maier said. “We want people to be able to use our services no matter what they can pay, but, we also believe that everyone needs to have some skin in the game.”

She also reminded those present that Parks and Rec programming will be as it always has been, and those taking part in Parks and Rec programs will use the facility for those programs when they are being held. The passes were to cover individuals and kids who will be using the facility for more than just normal Parks and Rec programming.

She also listened to the concerns for the various passes and their costs and said, “We look forward to coming back with a more inclusive plan.”

Maier encouraged anyone with questions about passes to call the parks and recreation office and talk to the staff. “We are open to receiving scenarios from families and talking through plans and costs,” she said. This, in fact, would help Parks and Rec staff understand where they need to fine tune their plans.

Hansen asked everyone to understand that “this first year is going to be very fluid for us. We hope people will be very understanding of this.”

After discussion, Parks and Recreation leaders will create a lower-cost pass option for youth. They will also look at alternative options on how to manage the south turf/batting cage area. They plan to bring back an adjusted proposal to the next City Council meeting on October 23. The public is welcome to attend that meeting to weigh in as the rates are considered by the Council for approval.

“If you have questions, please direct them to the Parks and Recreation staff directly,” Maier encouraged.

To contact Parks and Rec staff, here are your options:

By phone: 515-382-4352 (leave a message if needed so they can return your call)

By email:


–Written by Marlys Barker, City of Nevada

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