Events Fishing Event Was Nearly Canceled This Year

May 4, 2017 3:38pm

Earlier this week the Fishing Kids event was nearly canceled. The yearly program introduces kids ages 5-15 to fishing in Green Lake. But when the Green Lake Chamber of Commerce (who also sponsors the event) received an $11,332 bill for the use permit the program was immediately at risk of being shuttered. Brad Cooper, Green Lake Chamber President and local real estate broker quickly petitioned the fee, getting it reduced to a comparable rate to previous years to $1,133.

So why did this happen?

According to Rachel Schulkin, a Seattle Parks spokesperson, “$11,332 is the fee for a private use event at a park. When we received more info about the event we decided it was best classified as a park use event which qualifies for a much lower fee range.”

She went on to say that “we have long been partners and supporters of the Green Lake fishing derby. In recent years they have changed the event a bit and begun to charge a fee for participants. We got our signals crossed with them a bit this year, but we came to a good agreement on how to charge for this event, and maintain its public benefits for Green Lake park goers.”

Cooper said that he was pleased with how quickly Seattle Parks reacted to solve the dispute but said “the line item that was in dispute on our original invoice (ES 10% gross sales – Private use) with a minimum charge of $5,000 per day still causes some confusion and we worry that the line item will force other similar groups and events out of Seattle Parks. As it stands now with a summertime moratorium against events in Green Lake the Green Lake community already has reduced access to special events, programs, and activities so any additional loss would be unfortunate.”

The Parks Department spokesperson confirmed that “any event that is open to the public is charged a public use fee (approximately $1,000). Any event that is not open to the public and takes up park space is charged a private use fee (approximately $5,000 min/per day).”

With the fee settled the event is scheduled to take place on May 13.