By Richard Van Winkle, News of Mill Creek.
On January 1, 2019, the City of Mill Creek increased Mill Creek Sports Park hourly use rates for the first time since 2013. Rates will then increase in sync with inflation each year beginning in 2020.
The new use rates continue to be lower than the average use rates of other local artificial turf parks and ballfields.
According to a City of Mill Creek news release, Mill Creek Sports Park is the city’s most popular recreation venue and because of its artificial turf, it is “the only all-weather turf baseball and soccer field in the City.”
The news release stated, “The park serves approximately 3,825 youth annually. In addition to recreational program use, the field is rented an average of 2,021 hours over the course of 330 days by local youth sports organizations, including Mill Creek Little League, Silver Lake Soccer Club, and Washington Rush Soccer.”
Approximately $1,000,000 of City of Mill Creek, Snohomish County, and Washington State funds are being expended this year to upgrade Mill Creek Sports Park.
The upgrades include replacing the 64,000 square foot artificial field turf, retrofitting the existing lighting system with more efficient LED technology, installing a 48-inch Americans with Disabilities Act compliant gate, replacing field fencing and netting, and improving the public address system.
Mill Creek Sports Field use is granted to users based on policies and interlocal agreements first developed in 2013. These policies established the following user groups:
First priority group: City of Mill Creek sponsored programs and events.
Second priority group: Leagues, organizations, clubs, and groups based within Mil Creek with 51% or more participants residing within city limits. Priority within this group is given first to youth teams, then to adult teams, and then to the Everett School District.
Third priority group: Leagues, organizations, clubs, and groups with less than 51% of participants residing within city limits. Priority within this group is given first to youth teams and then to adult teams.
The new rates are as follows:
Second priority group
- Youth recreation teams: No increase in 2019; remains at $22 per hour. The rates for field and light use will increase with inflation beginning in 2020.
- Youth select teams: $28 per hour.
- Youth tournaments/camps: $35 per hour.
- Adult recreation and select teams: $50 per hour.
- Adult tournaments/camps: $57 per hour.
Third priority users:
- Youth recreation and select teams: $50 per hour.
- Youth tournaments/camps: No increase for 2019; remains at $51 per hour.
- Adult recreation and select teams: No increase for 2019; remains at $65 per hour.
- Adult tournaments/camps: No increase for 2019; remains at $72 per hour.
Field lights: Use rate will increase from $15 to $20 per hour for all groups except second priority youth recreation users.