With the cost of doing business going up in both the private and public sectors, Hilliard's Recreation and Parks Department is considering a fee increase for users.

With the cost of doing business going up in both the private and public sectors, Hilliard's Recreation and Parks Department is considering a fee increase for users.

Members of the Recreation and Parks Commission discussed the issue during the commission's last meeting, said director Steve Mazer. Mazer stressed that a definitive decision has yet to be made over whether or not to increase user fees.

"This is nothing drastic. There hasn't been an increase in fees in about three or four years, and currently this is just a study," Mazer said. "Nothing is set in stone."

According to Mazer's report at the Aug. 27 meeting of the Recreation and Parks commission, the department is currently comparing its fees with those of other communities, and is contemplating a $5 to $10 increase because of the increase in cost of services.

Mazer said the economy has played a factor in the decision to take a look at user fees.

"We're considering this based on the increased cost of doing business," Mazer said. "Everything is going up in price, along with our cost to maintain our pools and parks, and our contractor fees."

Currently, membership fees for the Hilliard Community Center are $15 per year for Hilliard residents and $20 per year for school district residents. The membership fee to the Phyllis A. Ernst Senior Center is $15 per year.

Fees for users of Hilliard's facilities were last increased three years ago, when the city's $4.5-million Hilliard Family Aquatics Center was built.

Mazer said the department is currently working on its proposed budget figures for 2010.

"This is something that we'll be studying to see if we're getting close to the position where we would need to ask for that increase, to cover the cost of doing business these days," Mazer said.