Moore Park to remain fee free

OBSERVER File Photo Westfield’s Moore Park will remain fee free.

WESTFIELD — Westfield’s Moore Park in the center of the village has been free for residents, nonprofits and businesses to use for events as long as anyone can remember.

After a discussion by the village board at its recent meeting, the park will remain fee free.

Mayor Michael VandeVelde brought up the matter of fees for the park as an item for discussion. He noted the village has benefited from events even without collecting fees.

“The Y just held its craft fair and it brings so many people into the village,” he said of the YWCA’s event.

Trustee Jill Santi suggested if the village were going to charge a fee that it do so for private events, but not community ones.

“If a wedding party goes across the street to take pictures in the gazebo, are we going to charge them?” Trustee Alan Holbrook asked.

A knowledgeable resident noted that was what the structure was donated for years ago. That resident also said he did not know of any restrictions on use when the land was deeded to the village, just restrictions on structures.

Trustee Mike Catalano mentioned the policy at Ottoway Park in Westfield is to pay a fee to rent the pavilion, not the entire park. It was also mentioned the fee could be a deposit to be returned upon seeing the park is left clean.

However, VandeVelde questioned how a fee could be enforced and how the village could differentiate between a party’s or festival’s trash and everyday litter.

In the end, the board agreed to keep Moore Park the way it is — fee free for everyone to enjoy.