Deputy Chief David Lee asked the Council on Thursday to increase fees for 5K or under races from $1,500 to $2,500 and to increase 10K races from $2,500 to $3,500.
The average number of officers required for races is 17, although some routes that are requested require more, resulting in overtime costs for the police department, he said.
Lee said another cost is that officers from Marietta's Traffic Enforcement Unit and Criminal Intervention Unit usually work the events, but since most of the races are Saturday mornings, officers from those units are not able to work on Friday and Saturday nights. And that's a problem that impacts crime prevention. The city averages two races a month, but sometimes has as many as four a month.
Lee said the ordinance governing road races, which was written in the mid 1990s, needs to be more specific. The goal is to come up with a list of specific routes to avoid traffic jams and require fewer officers to monitor them.
"I've turned people down in the past for coming up with some pretty outlandish routes. For example, a bicycle group wanted to do a bicycle race at 7 p.m. on a Wednesday all around the Loop," he said.
Lee said the road races are not just used to raise funds, but are sometimes used as pre-qualifiers for larger races throughout the U.S.
"These are all for good causes, but it's not like we have an unlimited source of income," he said.
Councilman Jim King asked Lee to contact all the organizations that have participated in past races, such as the March of Dimes, American Heart Association and Wounded Warriors Project, and seek input from them before the Council decides what to do.
City Manager Bill Bruton said the proposal will be brought back to the Council's Judicial Legislative Committee on Dec. 29.
In other business, the Council's Parks and Recreation Committee, chaired by Councilman Johnny Sinclair, on Thursday approved the renewal of a contract with Classic Golf Management, Inc. until Dec. 31, 2013, to run the city's 18-hole golf course. The city originally contracted with the group in 1991. Bruton said the city pays the group $4,166 per month to manage the course and that the group receives 2 percent of the gross revenues generated by the previous quarter. That deal would remain unchanged in the new contract.
"The golf course is a profit center for the city of Marietta, so not only does it provide a great recreation opportunity for our citizens, but it makes money," Sinclair said.