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Committee passes race fee bill

Race organizers soon may have to pay fees to the city of Charleston, after its Parks and Recreation committee passed Monday a bill outlining rules to do so.

Several racing groups and charity organizations contested the bill after its original introduction this spring. The original bill outlined a group of fees that ranged from $500 to $1,000 for established 5K and 10K racecourses in the city.

The idea was to help the city recoup costs associated with such races, which have increased significantly over the last few years, according to city officials.

The version passed Monday allows the city manager and an appointed events coordinator to create an application process for such races that can include custom racecourses (associated fees would be determined based on race needs) or already-established ones.

Nonprofit organizations could receive a 50 percent discount on their fees if they listed the city of Charleston as an event sponsor. Races “produced or originated” by the city wouldn’t be subject to course fees.

Fees for established courses would be published by Oct. 1, 2014, and each year following, according to the amended bill.

Also changed Monday were fees for the Cato Park Golf Course. Daily nine holes will cost $9. A replay--when one decides to play an additional nine holes after the first round--would cost $4. Golfers could play unlimited rounds for $12.

If passed by city council, the bill would go into effect immediately, but no fees would be increased until Jan. 1, 2015.

Reach Rachel Molenda at, 304-348-5102 or follow @rachelmolenda on Twitter.

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