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francishsu

fees coming to Millenium Park

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http://www.mlive.com/newslogs/grpress/inde..._03.html#123420

Looks like the Kent County Commision board is going to approve some sort of fee structure for Millenium Park to cover security costs. A shame that it had to come to this...

Update 3/22:

http://www.mlive.com/news/grpress/index.ss...5160.xml&coll=6

The proposed fee schedule is: 3 and under, free; children between 4 and 15, $1; 16 and over, $3; and seniors (63 and over), $2.

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I love this park, and everyone else I know loves it too... But everyone loves this park BECAUSE IT'S FREE. I wonder if they ramped up security after all thoes deaths? I guess you can't put a price on security. Maybe the could charge residents not from Kent county?

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I love this park, and everyone else I know loves it too... But everyone loves this park BECAUSE IT'S FREE. I wonder if they ramped up security after all thoes deaths? I guess you can't put a price on security. Maybe the could charge residents not from Kent county?

:( that would suck for someone like me who is a mere block from the county line

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I went to this park many times last summer. It is clean and the beach is HUGE. I was amazed that you did not have to pay to get in. I will be curious to see how much the fee is and if you an get a pass similar to the State parks so you do not have to pay each time you go.

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I updated the original post with some additional information. One thing implied in the articles is that the fee might only apply to beachgoers. I haven't been to the park in quite a while, so I've no idea where they would collect the fee and if it would include the playgrounds and water activities.

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Oh grand rapids.

Millennium Park Fee (read -> poor ppl tax)

In the article in today's GR Press they claim they are invoking fee's b/c of the need for more security.

huh?

The deaths at the park were due to accidents, and no lifeguard(s)...(correct me if i'm wrong but i don't believe they have lifeguards). So the fee's (which are estimated to be above $600,000) are going towards more security? wtf? Because of the high rate of child on child crime?

"The fees are projected to generate about $650,000"

"After spending $400,000 on security costs for the more than 500,000 beach users last year -- in a hot summer that included a couple of disturbances between teens "

--I'm not sure what the f* these security guys do..do they ice down hot ppl? Or do they patiently await the couple of teen disturbances they have in a 6 month span?

"Koorndyk said crowd control was not a factor in the decision to raise fees."

---ok....so then the security are there for...? ...what?

"The security costs included overtime pay to the Kent County Sheriffs Department and the Walker Police Department, Koorndyk said. He said it's possible the costs -- or the revenues generated from the fees -- won't be as high this year."

--alright, ... so we're looking at a park profit of a quarter million dollars.

Not to mention this whole thing was rushed in order to get it passed quickly w/o a proper reaction from the public.

Who is this Koorndyk?

"Koorndyk said crowd control was not a factor in the decision to raise fees."

Here is what he said in today's press.

"Security is key to keeping the beach a quality venue, Koorndyk said. "No one wants to go to a park and not feel safe," he said. "

--MORON!

Some are not convinced that security is an issue.

"It almost seems as if they're making more of the security issue than is needed," said Ron Gallagher, 50, a Grand Rapids design engineer. "If what they receive (in fee revenues) is more than the projected expenses for security, what do they plan to do with the balance? Will it be applied to next year's rates and will they be reduced? Or, better still, we need to have lifeguards to prevent drownings."

--Finally someone talking sense.

So let's look at the facts.

-Millennium Park open since 2000 or 2001 (??)

-We have one hot hot summer, the popularity of the park grows a lot among suburban families as well as urban families.

-Now we set up fees for "security needs" for the park to combat the "couple of teen disturbances".

-These fees will enable middle class families to continue going to the park, while poor families (who happen to be located quite close to the park) will be left in the heat for the majority of the week. It's of course possible to still go if you're poor. But they can't plan on making impromptu trips like they did the years before.

-Let's look at this for what it is, a tax to keep the poor out of the park for the enjoyment of the white ladies with little children.

Let's discuss.

-Craig

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Millennium Park Fee (read -> poor ppl tax)

Let's discuss. -Craig

I agree with you that it's a poor people tax, but the people have shown they need babysitters because they are not willing to teach children that it's not okay to start sh*t in public (crowd control) nor are they willing to watch thier own children while they play/swim (lifegaurds). MP reminded me of those octagonal toddler fences, where parents dump thier kids within a defined space and let them do whatever they choose because, "hey, it's a public space."

Bring on the fees. I'll bet if you are willing to pay for your children, your willing to watch them too.

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I believe it was reported that low income individuals (poor people) will have free or a reduced fee (WoodTV?). I would think this would be a sliding scale concept.

It's funny that they can't seem to hire minimum wage lifeguards rather then the sheriffs making overtime. What about privitasing security with a local agency?

Looks like a prison, the bars surrounding the joint even look uninviting, don't they? Almost exclusive....

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I believe it was reported that low income individuals (poor people) will have free or a reduced fee (WoodTV?). I would think this would be a sliding scale concept.

It's funny that they can't seem to hire minimum wage lifeguards rather then the sheriffs making overtime. What about privitasing security with a local agency?

Looks like a prison, the bars surrounding the joint even look uninviting, don't they? Almost exclusive....

I'm surprised that there arent life guards in the Park.

But I think the fees will only be for a short time until the county can get enough funds to make it free again.

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I agree with you that it's a poor people tax, but the people have shown they need babysitters because they are not willing to teach children that it's not okay to start sh*t in public (crowd control) nor are they willing to watch thier own children while they play/swim (lifegaurds). MP reminded me of those octagonal toddler fences, where parents dump thier kids within a defined space and let them do whatever they choose because, "hey, it's a public space."

Bring on the fees. I'll bet if you are willing to pay for your children, your willing to watch them too.

Grandrollerz -

This was printed in the press, "Koorndyk said crowd control was not a factor in the decision to raise fees."

As far as accidents happening b/c parents aren't paying good enough attention, I'm positive holland state park has more accidents each year and is mainly occupied by middle class people(bad example b/c of the more dangers present, i know). Education also plays into this equation as middle to upper class people will most likely have had swimming classes or just general water safety classes while most poor people do not get this oppurtunity b/c of many different reasons (some of them being their own fault).

I'm pro personal responsibility within the park don't get me wrong.

This is just such a blatent act to keep poor people out of the park it's nuts! It took only TWO days for the proposal to surface and then get passed.

"It may be the right thing to do, but I'm concerned about the appearance we're trying to rush this," said County Commissioner Jack Horton, R-Vergennes Township, one of four who voted against the fee. "Most of us haven't been given the opportunity to explain this to our constituents or get any feedback."

--- I'm willing to bet the people living around grandville avenue and JBZ didn't get to give any feedback.

When faced with the question as to why this proposal was rushed so much Mary Swanson replies--

"We do want to let the citizens know if there will be a fee increase as they start to make their summer plans," she said. "So, we'd like to do this as soon as possible."

---My question to the UP public is how many people do you know that are making plans right now to go to a FRICKEN DAY PARK. You can't stay OVER NIGHT AT THE BEACH MARY. What WOULD you have to plan for? What on EARTH would you have to plan three or 4 months ahead for at millennium park? You either go or you don't go. But it doesn't take 3 or 4 months to plan a family get together at a park. This is a bullsh*t reason and it is see through.

"Commissioner Jack Boelema, R-Wyoming, favors a fee, adding, "If it comes to the point where some can't come because of the fees, I'd support efforts to have a couple free days."

---awwwwwww thanks Jack what a saint this guy is!

Peter Secchia, who led the fund-raising effort to create Millennium Park, said the notion of charging admission was not what park advocates originally had in mind. He said, "I have no right to be upset, though they did say they would never have fees."

And if you use the 'well they just want to clean up the park'. CLEAN UP WHAT? what exactly are you cleaning up? Last time i was there it was spotless. If you use this argument you need to reevaluate what you think needs 'cleaning up'. You might find yourself a little embarrased about your worldview.

SUMMER 2006 YOU CAN EXPECT MORE OF THIS AT MILLENNIUM PARK

beach.jpg

flag_car.jpg

topgun.jpg

BeachUmbrellas_lg.jpg

beach_cooler_pack.image.jpg

070404-3.jpg

Grand Rollerz I appreciate the fact that you recognize this as a poor people tax. You are in luck because this summer your Millennium Park beach experience will be just like those pictures. None of those poor people will be there with their old towels and jean shorts. Nobody will be around with unlabeled clothes or tattered shoes. Thanks commissioners for cleaning the park up! :roll:

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The question about why no lifeguards? I don't know if this is the reason for Millenium park but I do know that a park faces more liability offering lifeguard service than if they just post "No lifeguards - swim at your own risk." One of the many wonderful things you can thank your favorite trial lawyer for. That's why you don't see lifeguards at the Grand Haven State Park, for example.

Craid D, do you honestly think this is an attempt to keep non white's out of the park? That's a little extreme. Could it be nothing more than 1) the obvious, help pay for the security, and 2) help people appreciate the park a little more? We all know that we appreciate that which we pay for more than something that's public and free.

C'mon, tell your child if he takes the trash out this week he gets a day at the park Saturday. Costs you $1.00? Teach him responsibility and the value of money and hard work all while giving him a great day at the park! If he doesn't blow his money on candy or that extra pop this week he'll have money to get into millenium park this weekend. Doesn't sound all that bad to me.

While the $600,000 figure sounds high it's pretty easy to add up into the hundred's of thousands when you consider how much each deputy costs the county on overtime (Easily $50/hr when you add the benefits, taxes, etc) the extra liability insurance, vehicle costs, training, etc. Multiply this by 4 or 5 officers and it gets pretty darn expensive.

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The question about why no lifeguards? I don't know if this is the reason for Millenium park but I do know that a park faces more liability offering lifeguard service than if they just post "No lifeguards - swim at your own risk." One of the many wonderful things you can thank your favorite trial lawyer for. That's why you don't see lifeguards at the Grand Haven State Park, for example.

Craid D, do you honestly think this is an attempt to keep non white's out of the park? That's a little extreme. Could it be nothing more than 1) the obvious, help pay for the security, and 2) help people appreciate the park a little more? We all know that we appreciate that which we pay for more than something that's public and free.

C'mon, tell your child if he takes the trash out this week he gets a day at the park Saturday. Costs you $1.00? Teach him responsibility and the value of money and hard work all while giving him a great day at the park! If he doesn't blow his money on candy or that extra pop this week he'll have money to get into millenium park this weekend. Doesn't sound all that bad to me.

While the $600,000 figure sounds high it's pretty easy to add up into the hundred's of thousands when you consider how much each deputy costs the county on overtime (Easily $50/hr when you add the benefits, taxes, etc) the extra liability insurance, vehicle costs, training, etc. Multiply this by 4 or 5 officers and it gets pretty darn expensive.

I'll respond to your paragraphs.

1. If the township decides not to have lifeguards because of liability reasons expect more drownings. Swim at your own risk is good enough for me. People should be looking after their little ones for this not to happen. Then again, accidents can happen.

2. Eagle I want to know what you think all of this security does? What exactly is their job to do at the park?

How about putting more security at PARKS THAT ARE HAVE A HISTORY OF CRIMINAL ACTS TAKING PLACE IN THEM. Wilcox park for example. Or lets spend the money on some new basketball hoops at wilcox park because everyone who's been there know they're awful. The original developers of the park never envisioned it have a fee. Secchia is not happy that there is a fee. Appreciation for the park should be appreciation for a park that all can access equally.

3. I agree that it is important to teach a child the value of money. Teaching a child the value of money was NOT what the park was intended to do! A kid should be able to spend his dollar on baseball cards (or half a pack of cards these days) or stupid little toys ya know? They shouldn't have to pay in order to get inside a park that's ridiculous. They should buy firecrackers and gumballs that stain your mouth. Not admission.

4. I advise to you read the GR Press articles or my posts quoting the GR Press articles again. Security costs were 400,000 dollars last year during a hot summer which saw crowds larger than usual.

And how would you explain the rush job they did passing the proposal? They certainly could have given the proposal 2 weeks for the general public to weigh in but they didn't. They gave a ho-hum excuse for the rush too.

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Every tax is a poor people tax, except income tax. Gas tax, sales tax. They all affect low-income people disproportionately. Know one likes paying for something that they've gotten for free. Especially a public good.

I grew up near one of the big lakes and the city made you pay at the city beaches. However, it was a per car fee, much like the state parks.

Perhaps a per car fee would be more equitable.

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Every tax is a poor people tax, except income tax. Gas tax, sales tax. They all affect low-income people disproportionately. Know one likes paying for something that they've gotten for free. Especially a public good.

I grew up near one of the big lakes and the city made you pay at the city beaches. However, it was a per car fee, much like the state parks.

Perhaps a per car fee would be more equitable.

I have to disagree with you CityGuy. Every tax is not a poor people tax. You make it sound like every tax aims to keep the poor people poor or to disable their livelihood in some way. That is not the case in all taxes. It happens that poor people may have a tough time paying these taxes, but what comes from the taxes benefits them(the poor) as well as other classes of citizens. Most if not all taxes go towards direct benefits to the poor, middle and upper classes.

That being said, if you would like to call this park fee a 'tax' then we can, I originally used the word for lack of a better one. But this fee/tax is an unnecessary tax that only benefits people in the middle to upper class. Thats it. This fee in no way benefits poor people. (unless you're like the other guy and feel that the city parks should teach children moral lessons)

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I like the idea of fees for Milennium Park. They don't seem extreme or anything. It's a pretty fantastic park.

Craig d, are you saying in your ealier posts that only white people will be able to afford admission?

:lol: Nice drum Mike.

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I like the idea of fees for Milennium Park. They don't seem extreme or anything. It's a pretty fantastic park.

Craig d, are you saying in your ealier posts that only white people will be able to afford admission?

:lol: Nice drum Mike.

hahahaha @ the drum

GRDad - nooooooooo i'm not saying that. I was just trying to give the other guy a taste of a day at the park. But yes i do realize that being poor is not exclusive to minorities only. I'm not making a 'GR Parks commission is rascist' statement. I'm making a 'GR Parks commission doesn't like poor people in the new park looking all poor and making soccer moms nervous so now they're charging a fee to ebb the flow' statement.

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]But this fee/tax is an unnecessary tax that only benefits people in the middle to upper class. Thats it. This fee in no way benefits poor people.

I would guess that proportionally, from what I've seen, the visitors to Millenium Park are made up of more lower to lower middle class income families than upper class. (I've visited myself and run many calls there.) So the increased security, which protects those whom are using the park would actually directly benefit the people using the park; not the "upper class" as you suggest.

Does everything have to resort to race and class warfare? The park's expensive. Somebody, who probably knows more specifics than us, seems to think more people would enjoy the park if it had the perception of being safer. Let's charge a buck so that we can make this happen. End of story.

P.S...I'm all for the previous poster's idea of private security. Uh, oh...did I just mention privatizing a government program? Evil conservative :D

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I would guess that proportionally, from what I've seen, the visitors to Millenium Park are made up of more lower to lower middle class income families than upper class.

- I agree.

(I've visited myself and run many calls there.) So the increased security, which protects those whom are using the park would actually directly benefit the people using the park; not the "upper class" as you suggest.

- Actually, I don't believe I ever said that. I said the fee grants the middle / upper class the peace of mind that a lot of the poor people that you have seen there don't come as often. I said security was just the boards way of masking this.

Does everything have to resort to race and class warfare? The park's expensive. Somebody, who probably knows more specifics than us, seems to think more people would enjoy the park if it had the perception of being safer. Let's charge a buck so that we can make this happen. End of story.

- Does the public get no say in decisions anymore? How come this was brought up and passed in only two days? I'm sure there are people more knowledgable than you or I on the park, but from the face value of this proposal it smells funny.

P.S...I'm all for the previous poster's idea of private security. Uh, oh...did I just mention privatizing a government program? Evil conservative :D

Sure go ahead. Let's start at the parks that have crime first though.

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But this fee/tax is an unnecessary tax that only benefits people in the middle to upper class. Thats it. This fee in no way benefits poor people.

You didn't say this?

"- Does the public get no say in decisions anymore? How come this was brought up and passed in only two days?"

I agree and have no idea why it was passed so quickly. My first guess certainly wouldn't be though that they passed it so quickly to keep poor people out. Maybe it just seemed like such a common sense idea? We need more security. How about a small fee for those who use the park and therefore use the added security? Maybe they needed to get a jump on it if the county has to hire seasonal park officers? I don't know.

I just don't think they sat around and tried to figure out a way to keep "poor people" out of the park. If that was their true motive wouldn't they charge enough to actually be effective? If these "poor people" can afford their Nextel bills, satellite tv bills, and big screen tv's I think they can afford $1!

Sorry...a little cynicism from my job carried through here! :P (And if you think this is an unfounded stereotype come ride with me for a couple of shifts! Guaranteed to turn you into a conservative when you see where your money's going! :shok: )

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You didn't say this?

"- Does the public get no say in decisions anymore? How come this was brought up and passed in only two days?"

I agree and have no idea why it was passed so quickly. My first guess certainly wouldn't be though that they passed it so quickly to keep poor people out. Maybe it just seemed like such a common sense idea? We need more security. How about a small fee for those who use the park and therefore use the added security? Maybe they needed to get a jump on it if the county has to hire seasonal park officers? I don't know.

I just don't think they sat around and tried to figure out a way to keep "poor people" out of the park. If that was their true motive wouldn't they charge enough to actually be effective? If these "poor people" can afford their Nextel bills, satellite tv bills, and big screen tv's I think they can afford $1!

Sorry...a little cynicism from my job carried through here! :P (And if you think this is an unfounded stereotype come ride with me for a couple of shifts! Guaranteed to turn you into a conservative when you see where your money's going! :shok: )

You got me. I should have said and still stand by the statement that security at the park benefits the people at the park. You'll surely agree with that. The makeup of the park will change now because of the fee people without extra income lying around (ie the poor) can't just take a short ride over to the park and go swimming whenever they want. Any impromptu trip means a shot to the wallet whereas all the years before an impomptu trip meant a fun time swimming and cooling off.

Why are we even talking about security at this park? You seem to be an officer of some kind, can I get some insight as to why we need $400,000 worth of security for this park? Is this park a criminal haven or what?

You don't understand what I'm saying, the boards motive is not to keep poor people completely out of the park. I agree with you. The boards motive was to make it harder for them to get in, and easier for middle/upper class to get in with the peace of mind that poor people can't have easy access to this. The board didn't figure out a way to keep poor people out, they figured out a way to let middle/upper class back in (large amounts of dispensable income, a fee won't make a dent for middle/upper class incomes) while the poor have to pick and choose the dates and weigh if it is financially worth it, discouraging them to go.

The funny thing about big business selling products to the public is that they rarely discriminate by class. Big business tells the public what they need to have and people listen. We can debate this but we'd have to start another thread. My point being, everyone listens regardless of class if they are actively living in our culture. xbox, nextel, ipod, etc. you name it ppl gotta have it. Poor ppl want that sh*t too! And poor people make bad decisions just like the rest of us to buy things we don't need / can't afford. You stereotype the poor as the only ones that buy things they dont need / can't afford. That is a societal problem. People of all classes do the same thing. It is a problem I don't even want to get into it right now.

I appreciate what you do for a job, there is honor in apprehending criminals and keeping order. (i think youre a cop, eagle) So I could do a ride along and see where my money's going? Is that supposed to hint that all these poor people are sucking off welfare? We both know there are working poor, lets not assume everyone is getting welfare.

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Any impromptu trip means a shot to the wallet whereas all the years before an impomptu trip meant a fun time swimming and cooling off.

All the years before? This park just opened last year and accordingly, has only been free for one year.

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http://www.millennium-park.org/press/06_25_04.htm

Millennium Park Grand Opening And Public Celebration Activities Announced For July 2&3, 2004

June 25, 2004

Grand Rapids, MI- Family fun and free bus shuttles are the focus of the Friday, July 2, 2004 Millennium Park Grand Opening Celebration. Hosted by the Grand Rapids Jaycees, the community will enjoy a full day of activities from 10 a.m. to 7:45 p.m. Friday

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