Parks permit revenue rises in 2010

As a business, Glendale parks improved their earnings last year, with demand higher for events at parks and buildings.

The city's Community Services and Parks Department took in $136,174 in facility permit fees for fiscal year 2010, an increase from the $125,000 made in 2009, according to a recently released year-end report.

The parks system was able to grow earnings despite fewer options for inclement weather or renovations.

Last year, rentable facilities included two community buildings and six park locations. A third community building, the Griffith Manor in the 1500 block of Flower Street, was closed for renovations. Permits issued include baby showers, birthday parties, wedding photos and picnics.

The most profitable of the sites was Verdugo Park, which generated $45,012 in permit fees, followed by the Brand Friendship Garden and Park, which brought in $38,359 in fees, according to the report. Brand Studios generated $19,845.

"We had a little bit of an increase in some areas like the Brand garden because we had a lot of renovations in the tea house," said Monique Herrera, community services supervisor. "We increased the attractiveness of the location, so we noticed there were a few more reservations there."

Verdugo Park is traditionally the most profitable because it is the host site for at least six major fundraising and cultural events each year, Herrera said, some of which draw as many as 3,000 people.

But rain and the ongoing threat of mudslides in the foothills slowed rentals at one La Crescenta site.

"We still are not able to book Dunsmore Community Building as often as we would like, that is because when it rains heavily, it becomes a command post for public works," Herrera said. "So we lost a lot of revenue for that one."

Permit fees for park sites are $35 to $40 per hour. Permits for wedding photo facilities range from $80 to $235 an hour. The sites offer good value for the price, Herrera said. Included in the cost of the permit is a site host who is on location during the event, removing trash and ensuring there are no intruders.

"They are very good for birthday parties, for people who don't want to risk being outside because of inclement weather," Herrera said.

The department advertises the rental facilities in the city's leisure guide, on the city website, and at community and school events throughout the year. Peak season for site rentals runs from March to September.

Griffith Manor is expected to be reopened later this year.

"We expect that once we get Griffith Manor up, we will have even more rentals," Herrera said.

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