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Staunton Council to raise usage rates

Friday, December 16, 2011

Recently, members of the Staunton Town Council updated their rental agreement for the Staunton Community Center. [Order this photo]
STAUNTON -- With only two members in attendance, the Staunton Town Council unanimously voted to increase the rates for usage of the town community center effective Jan. 1, 2012.

"It's got to pay for itself," council member Brad Webster said during the meeting.

After lengthy discussion with town residents, Webster and Council President Andy Kirchner voted for the increases during the council's Monday meeting.

Those wishing to rent the center for birthday parties, family reunions, weddings, receptions and showers will pay $125 after the first of the year.

The original rental agreement called for birthday parties and family reunions usage to be a cost of $75, while for weddings, receptions and showers, the cost was $100.

In addition, the new agreement will be $75 per hour for business meetings, banquets, auctions, fundraisers, sales or "any profit making event."

The original cost for the above events was $175 per day.

Council members also agreed to update some of the wording within the original agreement to make it more up-to-date.

Webster told residents his original idea was to draw up the rental agreement cheap "on purpose" to draw more people in. Council members learned Monday the center is being rented regularly through weekends.

Prior to the rental agreement being created, council members spoke with former Staunton Council member Jim Smith, who also served on the Clay County 4-H Board, in reference to setting up the agreement.

On Monday, the council elected to continue allowing the Lady Volunteers of Staunton to use the center for community dinners and other events at a cost of $75. The decision was made because money raised from the dinners and events goes directly back into the community center.

Meanwhile, the council also came to a set price for Town Clerk-Treasurer Cathy Mienheartt to continue cleaning the center. The council voted unanimously to pay Mienheartt $300 monthly to do so.

The council also agreed to switch town attorneys during Monday's meeting. By a 2-0 vote, the council will work with Brazil resident Traci Lawson beginning Jan. 1, 2012. Lawson works as a firm member at Cox, Zwerner, Gambill and Sullivan, LLP, Terre Haute, and also serves as the Brazil City Attorney.

The council meets regularly on the second Monday of each month at the Staunton Community Center. As is typical, the council elected not to meet in January 2012. Its next meeting is scheduled for 7 p.m., Monday, Feb. 13.

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Why so many different rates? Why not a flat rate, no matter what the event is? It just does not make sense why a birthday party would cost a different rate than a wedding shower. That is sort of like a parking lot charging a different rate to park a Ford than it would to park a Chevy.

I understand the place has to pay for itself. However, pricing yourself out of business is not the answer. $75 per hour is too much,m no matter what the event is.

-- Posted by Oldtown on Sat, Dec 17, 2011, at 7:42 AM

cheap on purpose? That dont sound cheap to me. You can rent one of the shelters in forest park for a $25 deposit.

-- Posted by MS660 on Sat, Dec 17, 2011, at 10:10 AM

It sounds like they are trying to put themselves out of business , isnt this building supposed to be for the citizens of staunton, sure doesnt sound like it because of those outlandish rates also what does the hourly rate come out to for the cleaning of the building because it surely wont be used that much

-- Posted by brazil citizen on Sat, Dec 17, 2011, at 3:10 PM

We know it has to be paid for, but in a year? This sounds like a good thing gone bad.

-- Posted by Dagnabbitt on Sun, Dec 18, 2011, at 3:47 AM

Staunton Town Council and residents:

I'm sorry to hear that the Community Center has fallen on hard times BUT come-on.... why didn't anyone show up to voice their concern?

The comment from "brazil citizen" stating,"isnt this building supposed to be for the citizens of staunton", makes sense.

I don't remember how the Community Center was financed but I sure hope it wasn't with a single tax dollar, and if so, then the citizens are already paying for the use of the building thru their tax dollars. It is a shame that things have come to this and that the community can't use it's center more. Just Concerned.

-- Posted by CAB (Concerns About Brazil) on Sun, Dec 18, 2011, at 7:12 PM

My Girl Scout troop meets here and they charge us! I just happen to run across this article and didn't know Cathy got paid to clean the building. I know she doesn't deserve to get paid to clean because she called me and said that we left a mess after our meeting and the board members demanded that I come clean it up. Well I did, although it entailed very little cleaning up that we did miss. The floors are always dirty and there are cobwebs in every corner. Tell me how that deserves $300 a month?! Plus we have had to clean up after others before our meeting before. Disgusted!! We will not be meeting here anymore, I can tell you that!

-- Posted by gs2012 on Wed, Feb 13, 2013, at 1:10 PM

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