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Official: Rising fees in Huntington will ultimately help attract more town workers

Huntington Parks and Recreation Director Cable Jamison says the increases will help the town pay its workers a more competitive hourly wage to keep people working for the town. Otherwise, programs and operating hours could be cut.

News 12 Staff

Feb 26, 2023, 10:24 PM

Updated 477 days ago

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The Town of Huntington says the price for its facilities is increasing as a way to raise pay for town workers and solve the worker-shortage problem it experienced last year.
For nearly 13 years the town has not raised fees for residents and non-residents to use its facilities like the ice rink in Dix Hills.
"Unfortunately, it's what's happening all over the place," said one Dix Hills resident.
He said he was not surprised when he was told entry fees for Huntington Park and recreation facilities like the ice rink and even beaches are going up various amounts across the board.
"I don't want to raise rates. I know it angers people, but in order for us to operate, we need this," said Huntington Parks and Recreation Director Cable Jamison.
For example, a resident public skating fee for a child went from $6 to $7 and Adult $7 to $9.50. Non-residents' entry fees went from $9 to $10. A family pool pass went up from $250 to $300.
Jamison says the increases will help the town pay its workers a more competitive hourly wage to keep people working for the town. Otherwise, programs and operating hours could be cut.
"Without this fee increase, we can't raise the rate of pay and, again, it's a domino effect. The programs won't be as efficient or as good," Jamison explained.
Over the summer, municipal parks departments across the county faced worker shortages at places like pools and beaches. Officials believed low wages were part of the problem. Even though there is an increase, some residents, including non-town ones, say they are OK with paying a little more because the facilities are still top notch.
"They need to be able to pay for the facilities and everything that goes on here if that's the cost of it. I think it's still very reasonable for what they charge here," said Islip resident Ken Hay.
Town officials hope the increases will help them hire more seasonal workers like lifeguards this upcoming summer.


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