Local skaters will have to start paying to use Verdugo Skate Park in Glendale as officials try to keep the popular venue open during the week amid deep budget cuts.
The skate park was on the verge of being closed this summer, but several members of the City Council disapproved. But the budget for this fiscal year — which shut a $15.4-million gap — left enough money to keep the skate park open on weekends.
More hours would require a slew of new fees, which the Parks, Recreation and Community Services Commission unanimously approved Monday.
The new fees include charging a $3 and $4 daily fee for youth and adults, respectively. Currently, only nonresident adults pay a daily fee of $2 to use the facility at 1621 Canada Blvd., which sees about 12,000 visitors each year.
Other new fees include increasing nonresident adult monthly passes by $25 to $40 and private skate lessons by $10 to $40 per hour. New annual passes for residents — $50 for youth, $75 for adults — were also approved.
Filming charges won’t change.
The changes will take effect Oct. 1.
In addition to the fee changes, the city will shorten the park’s hours, opening one hour later and closing one hour earlier weekdays. It will now be open from 3 p.m. to 10 p.m. Monday through Thursday; 3 p.m. to 10 p.m. Fridays; 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. Saturday; and 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. Sunday.
But even with the new revenue and shortened hours, officials said they expect to operate the park at a loss. The new fees are expected to generate $70,300, but expenses for staffing, maintenance and operations may exceed that by $13,000, according to a city report.
The skate park lost a combined $169,000 during the 2011 and 2012 budget cuts, said Community Services Supervisor Gabrielle Goglia.
Profits from other city activities may be used to supplement funding for the skate park, Goglia said.
Of the 76 skate park users who took a survey in July, 72% said they preferred paying daily fees to keep the park open daily throughout the year.
Respondents also suggested opening a skate shop to generate revenue, starting a nonprofit to seek grants and donations, finding a corporate sponsor, and cutting the pay of City Council members to keep the park open.
There are four other staffed skate parks in Southern California that charge a daily fee, according to a city report. Encino charges $1 per month. Burbank has daily fees in line with Glendale’s newly approved charges.