Cicero Parks and Recreation to increase program fees

The Cicero Parks and Recreation Department sought the Town Board's approval for a fee increase during the March 24 meeting.

According to New York State Department of Health, the town needed to make changes to its staffing to stay within regulations for the services the parks and recreation department provides.

Cicero Parks and Recreation Director Jody Rogers said annual summer youth program's fees will be raised from $55 per week to $60 per week. Since the total day camp program is provided for a maximum of six weeks, a Cicero resident would observe a $30 increase for the entire season if his or her child attended the entire session.

Previously, the summer program was referred to as a "playground," according to Rogers. However, since the end of 2008, the department began reviewing county and

state mandates to ensure the department's cooperation.

Because the Cicero program provides more than five days of service in a two-week period, pre-registers participants and is accountable for the kids coming and going, the changes were necessary, Rogers said.

"We knew we were bordering becoming a day camp," Rogers said.

Because the department is watched over by the Cicero Parks and Recreation Commission, tonight's approval was necessary. Rogers also said the previous town administration made it so that residents would not pick up the tab for any of the departments summer program costs, such as this increase.

The change to a "day camp" categorization means the town has increased the level of certification and experience among the entire staff, Rogers said.

Current day camp supervisors must endure a rigorous background check, have experience in child care services and various medical training skills such as CPR and general first aid.

The town's summer day camp begins in June and runs through August with an average of about 90 youth participants per week, according to Rogers.

Parents of local youth are encouraged to give the department feedback, "both positive and negative," Rogers said.

The Cicero Parks and Recreation Department can be reached at 699-5233.

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