NORTH FULTON, Ga. — Milton and Alpharetta could soon waive non-resident fees for certain recreation programming that will save participants some cash and could bolster the programs through added registrations.
The move comes over two years after Milton chose not to renew a previous parks agreement between the cities that waived all non-resident fees for Milton residents participating in Alpharetta parks and recreation programs.
Under the new agreement, Milton and Alpharetta are slated to waive non-resident fees, which add significant costs to registration, for youth football, youth softball and special needs summer camps.
“The Milton residents and Alpharetta residents will be able to enjoy all these programs at a more affordable rate,” Interim Milton Parks and Recreation Director Tom McKlveen said at the Milton City Council’s May 24 meeting.
Milton approved the agreement at the meeting. Alpharetta is expected to sign their portion of the contract in the weeks ahead, which will need approval by its City Council.
Both cities use the North Atlanta Football League as their football provider. With the agreement, Milton will oversee youth football for both cities. Milton will dedicate two of its fields for football while Alpharetta will earmark one field at North Park.
McKlveen said about two-thirds of registrants in the NAFL are Milton residents.
The agreement will be a boon for the local youth softball community. Milton does not have its own softball provider, so its residents have been forced to pay fees for join Alpharetta’s program for several years. Those fees will be waived under the agreement.
“The big kick is, the Milton participants would be considered residents in the travel softball program, which really got hit hard when (previous parks agreement) expired, because there was a lot of Milton participation in that travel softball side,” McKlveen said.
Non-resident fees will also be waived for the cities’ two special needs summer camps, Milton’s Camp Joyful Soles and Alpharetta’s Camp Happy Hearts. Milton’s summer program is for those aged 13-22, with Alpharetta’s Happy Hearts providing a camp for ages 6-12. Under the combined effort, participants from 6-22 will be able to join the camps without non-residential fees.
“It was a no-brainer marry there,” McKlveen said. “We can offer programming for both cities at that resident-rate to help those...families.”
The agreement will have a financial impact to Milton’s coffers. The city expects to lose about $6,000 in revenues a year it gained through non-resident fees. A City Council document states city staff believes the benefits outweigh the small loss in revenue.
“I think this is a step in the right direction,” Milton councilman Peyton Jamison said. “I applaud Alpharetta and Milton coming together and getting this done. I think it’s great.”
Milton chose not to renew the prior agreement between the cities, which was in place from 2012 to 2019, most notably to invest in its own parks and programming. During the first five years of the agreement, Milton paid Alpharetta $2.25 million to allow its residents to join Alpharetta programs without incurring non-resident fees.
Since that time, Milton has expanded its parks programming and purchased the Cox Road Athletic Complex, which netted the city two, full-sized rectangular fields and a half-sized turf field.
Alpharetta is also considering expanding and updating its park spaces.
The city is considering a $29.5 million parks bond that could be voted on by residents in this November’s General Election if the Alpharetta City Council adds the issue to the ballot.
Alpharetta has narrowed down a list of 12 potential projects the bond could fund, including improvements to the Equestrian Center at Will Park, a new soccer field at Webb Bridge Park, the design and buildout for Waters Road Park, Mayfield Road Park and Milton Avenue Park and other projects.