Naples could vote Wednesday to drop popular after-school program

Fleischmann Park

1600 Fleischmann Blvd, Naples, FL

— School’s out for the summer, but Naples officials are already looking ahead to the 2009-10 school year.

Naples City Council today is expected to discuss a popular after-school program offered at Fleischmann Park. The program costs the city about $50,000 a year to run, and city staff has recommended council discontinue it for the 2009-10 school year.

The program, according to a memo from Community Services Director David Lykins, is a duplication of a similar program offered at Lake Park Elementary School.

The city first broached the idea of cutting the program in March, but council at the time asked park officials to look to see if parents would be interested in paying higher fees to keep the program revenue neutral.

The park distributed 24 surveys and received 19 responses. All of the responses indicated that parents would continue to enroll their children in the program if fees were raised next year.

The program currently costs $180 a month, or $45 a week, for the first child, and $162 a month per each additional child.

The proposed rates would increase the fees to $252 a month, or $62.50 a week, for the first child, and $227 a week for each additional child.

But according to a PowerPoint presentation to council, staff is still recommending the program be discontinued because “regardless of revenue neutrality, the Fleischmann program is a duplication of service offered at Lake Park Elementary School.”

The after-school program isn’t the only topic the council is set to review today:

n Council will once again discuss the Naples City Dock fund. The independent enterprise fund has faced some financial trouble in years past, and council will be asked to consider options for boosting revenue. Council will also be asked to transfer money from the general fund to the dock fund.

n Council is set to discuss irrigation water rates. The topic has come up several times over the past few months, and council today is expected to see four alternative rate structures for the upcoming year.

n Mayor Bill Barnett will read a proclamation honoring the Naples High School baseball team. The baseball team defeated Bishop Moore 3-2 in the Class 4A state championship game last month. A parade will be held at noon Friday in their honor.

The council meets at 8:30 a.m., Naples City Hall, Eight Street South.

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