Ready to pay to use Austin’s parks?

By Weston – September 22, 2010
Cody Butler teaching a fitness class

Photo by Ricardo B. Brazziell/AMERICAN-STATESMAN

City council will be convening next Monday, Oct. 4th from 6 to 8 p.m. to determine the financial fate of many free boot camps, running groups, SUP classes and yoga demos that take place in our city parks. If you or anyone you know currently uses Austin’s “outdoor gym,” then you need to be at this meeting!

The council is proposing the designation of certain approved “fitness zones” and a commercial fee (potentially totaling up to $3K a year) to work out on park property. This cost will no doubt be passed onto consumers, so it will affect YOU directly.

There is growing debate on whether or not the fee is essentially a tax on health and fitness (since tax dollars are already designed to maintain these green spaces), how the money will be allocated (rumor is that it will go into a general operating fund and not directly back to parks) or how any of this will be enforced.

At the end of the day, the fitness community needs to stand up and be heard when it comes to such a significant change in public policy.

Again, the meeting is next Monday, Oct. 4th from 6 to 8 p.m. at the Emma S. Barrientos Mexican American Cultural Center, 600 River Street. Let us know what you think of this by commenting below. We’ll be running a story sharing thoughts from Austin’s vibrant and vocal health and fitness community…

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