New parks and recreation fees approved
by Clay Neely
The Grantville Parks and Recreation Department rolled out its 2014 facility rental fees at the Grantville City Council on Monday.
Michelle Huffstickler, director of Parks and Recreation, provided a comprehensive breakdown of the proposed fees for the usage of facilities such as the Grantville Splash Park, the Grantville Community Center, the Clements-Malcolm Recreation Center and the Griffin Street Park Pavilion.
The fees generated are proposed to pay for staff, facility supplies and maintenance.
The newly opened Grantville Splash Park is available for rental before and after normal operating hours. The splash park rentals are primarily aimed for private parties, although several day-care centers in Newnan have already expressed interest in renting the facility once a week in the mornings, Huffstickler said.
The proposal called for $50 dollars an hour for the splash park for up to 10 people. Each person after that would be an additional $2 dollars.
“The day-care centers that have inquired about using the park range from 50 to 70 children,” Huffstickler said.
The community center would be included in the rental of the splash park. The cost of renting the Grantville Community Center alone would normally cost $25 dollars per hour, the same price as the Clements-Malcolm Recreation Center.
However, it was the issue of the Griffin Street Park Pavilion that seemed to cause conflict among council members.
While Councilmember Johnny Cooks objected to the idea of a “per hour” rental fee on a non-enclosed, outdoor facility, he believed the idea of reserving the pavilion for $10 dollars was an acceptable practice.
“When you start charging for the use of outside facilities, you set a bad precedent,” Cooks stated.
Huffstickler reiterated that the costs associated with renting the facilities were designed to help pay for the parks and recreation staff that would be needed to ensure that reserved signs were in place and that all restrooms were stocked, unlocked and ready for useage.
The ceiling lights that had been in use at the Griffin Street Park Pavilion were recently replaced by a ceiling fan, with Huffstickler noting that because the park operated on a “dawn till dusk” policy, the pavilion lights were no longer necessary.
Council members Leonard Gomez and David Riley voted in favor of the fees while Cooks and Barham Lundy objected. Mayor Jim Sells cast the deciding vote in favor of the measure and the motion to accept the 2014 facility rental fees ultimately passed.
Also at the council meeting:
• On second reading, an ordinance to amend the zoning ordinance regarding signs was passed unanimously. The ordinance would allow local businesses to utilize projecting, overhanging or A-frame signs.
• The proposed contract with CCR Environment for Watershed Water Quality and Biological monitoring for Watershed Protection Plan Compliance was unanimously approved. The total amount is $28,067 for fiscal year 2014 and 2105.
• A public hearing was set for the next regular council meeting on June 23 at 6:30 p.m. to determine if reasonable cause exists to declare 43 LaGrange Street an unsafe structure.