Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Use of Public Tracks - Wear and Tear Fee

Speedy runners tear up the track
On Tuesday nights a group of runners meet to run circles at a public high school track.  It is an open, free group with no official coaching, just people who love to run and want to improve.  We do have a leader who emails workouts, coordinates hill training in the summer and dinner after our track workouts.   The school, in an  attempt to create a break even budget has decided that our track group is a true club and in order to continue to run at the high school track we need insurance and to pay a $740 annual wear and tear fee. 30 people running 5ish miles a week on a track must really wreak havoc on the track.

As a property owner, I know that a portion of my property taxes pays for public facilities including high school tracks.    When I lived down in Chandler, AZ the track was locked up and I would climb the fence in order to do my workouts.  Now, in Phoenix they'll let us run on the track but we have to pay a wear and tear fee.  Why is it that I can't use public school tracks that I have helped pay for?

What are your thoughts on using public schools tracks?  Should they be closed to the public?  Should groups be charged to use the track?


Patty White said...

I think the fees reflect the caliber of indivuals they are either targeting or not targeting. The fees may not go to just the cost for "up keep", but may go to a person needed to stick around for after school runners, clean up, & security.
The school is realisticly planning for minimal destruction on the track, but maxium destruction from possible vandalism.

lindsay said...

I pay property taxes too of which part goes to the public school system. Therefore, I don't see why I can't use the track! Especially since I don't have kids in the schools so I'm certainly not getting my "money's worth".

In regards to the comment above - proactiveness against vandalism is a valid thought, but that shouldn't be in the form of another fee. Work it in the budget or have better booster clubs. The high school I went to recently rebuilt with collegiate-like facilities because they have an awesome booster program/generous parents and alumni.

Now, if they were gonna give something in exchange for the track fee, maybe that's workable. IE a portapotty (or access to bathroom), water fountain/cooler, something.

Black Knight said...

Interesting topic. As you know Italy is the country with more taxes to pay. To use the public tracks we have to pay because they are in concession to private bodies.

Lesley Looper said...

I can see your point! Frustrating! I occasionally ignore the No Trespassing signs at a middle school track.

I wonder, though, if Arizona public schools have been hit by budget cuts like they have here in North Carolina. Money for school track repair may be "running" thinner than usual.

In the Alabama town where I grew up, there's a city track. While I complained plenty about the town (and will never move back), I realize now that that city track was a pretty nice perk!!

Ivonne W. said...

Cristina - i just found your blog (and this blog post in particular) while searching for some kind of information regarding the use of public tracks in phoenix. What track do you go to that you pay a fee? I can't even find one that is OPEN. Just went to three places this sunday morning thinking i could just get in, because when I lived in chandler, I could just go to Corona del sol high school and get in their track (and raquetball courts, and soccer field!) with no problem. But now. I'm finding that all tracks are closed to the public! Mesa Comm College was the other track I used to go to regularly. Also closed to the public now. Can you help me? I don't necessarily agree with having to pay a fee for property for which our taxes already pay, but I am freakin' desperate to get on a track around here and can't find one that's open! Thanks! Ivonne goalgetter (at) gmail (dot) com