How much should people who don't live in the city pay to participate in Menlo Park's recreation programs? Tonight the Parks and Recreation Commission will discuss whether a 35 percent surcharge for nonresidents is appropriate.
The "nonresident" category includes those living in unincorporated Menlo Park. In January the city received a letter from a man living in Menlo Oaks, an area under county jurisdiction, asking why his family had to pay more and wait to register for popular classes such as gymnastics.
According to the staff report, nonresidents make up nearly half of the participants in Menlo Park's recreation programs, with 16 percent coming from the unincorporated neighborhoods. The nonresident surcharge generates about $380,582 annually for Menlo Park, staff said.
A survey of other Peninsula cities found an average surcharge of 25 percent for nonresidents, the report said. One -- Foster City -- charges a flat $10 fee instead.
However, some cities, such as Redwood City, Mountain View and San Carlos, don't charge those living in unincorporated areas more.
The surcharge in Menlo Park has risen over the years as the city works towards complete cost recovery for many of its recreation programs. In the past, the council has opted against subsidizing nonresidents, since the programs are supported by taxpayers living within incorporated Menlo Park.
Tonight's meeting starts at 6:30 p.m. in the Arrillaga Family Recreation Center at 700 Alma St. Click here to review the entire agenda and associated staff reports.