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Dave Olson, Published March 12 2013

Fargo Park District makes golf pass more inclusive

FARGO – The Fargo Park Board on Tuesday unanimously approved a change in Park District policy that makes Fargo’s discounted golf pass more inclusive.

The decision changes the name of the discounted pass from “family” to “household” and passes are no longer dependent on a definition of marriage.

The board took up the issue after park officials denied the family pass to a lesbian couple legally married in Iowa.

Under the former family pass, a 10 percent discount was extended to married couples using the IRS and North Dakota State Tax Department definitions of a married couple to determine who qualified. Children in those families received free junior restricted passes.

Under the new household pass, if two adults living in the same household purchase a pass they will receive a 10 percent discount. Youths in the household may golf under the pass using junior restricted passes.

The new household pass also creates a junior add-on option for one adult in a household who buys a golfing pass at regular price. That adult may add junior restricted passes at half price for youths 18 and younger living in the household.

Katy Kjelvik and her wife, Steph Rindy, figured the family pass they were denied would have saved them about $100 on an annual pass to the city’s nine-hole golf courses.

Both women attended the meeting Tuesday and were elated following the board’s vote on the golf pass issue.

“Love it. It made me tear up. I love the city even more,” Kjelvik said.

Kjelvik and Rindy said the question wasn’t one of sexual orientation, but of inclusiveness.

“Our friends who are single parents can now bring their kids (golfing) at a discount rate,” Kjelvik said. “I’m just happy they (board members) moved in the right direction, it was time.”

Following the vote, board President Joel Vettel thanked staff for their work in developing the new policy, stating the focus was to get more people involved in making use of the city’s parks.

“We’re not about defining marriage, or defining family,” Vettel said. “We’re about parks and recreation.”

Kjelvik said she planned to buy a household golfing pass today.

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Readers can reach Forum reporter Dave Olson at (701) 241-5555