NEW PARIS — The New Paris Village Council met Monday, May 1, and discussed at length charging a maintenance fee for reserving the park shelter.
“We are going to have to impose a maintenance fee for shelter rentals,” said Mayor Katherine Smallwood.
“It doesn’t have to be much, but we have to take care of trash collection, and the pickup of trash up there sometimes. We have to take care of the electricity that is used. We do not charge, but the volume of rentals since the playground went in up there is crazy. It’s almost reserved every weekend,” she said.
Smallwood noted, individuals seeking to reserve the shelter must first sign an agreement stating they will remove all trash from the shelter before they leave but added it “isn’t working out.”
“We don’t want this to be an unreasonable thing,” Smallwood continued.“But we are going to have to start charging a fee for rental. There’s a lot of other things up there that go on, things we don’t charge a fee for, that comes out of our tax budget.”
“Basically, all we’re looking to recoup is price of trash bags, the cost of manpower going up there changing the trash bags. Toilet paper, cleaning, cleaning the bathrooms,” remarked Service Director Jimmy Ragsdale.
Ragsdale also noted there is currently no time allotment for rentals, stating it “hasn’t been a problem” thus far, but would be necessary to include should charges be applied for reservations.
“The number being thrown around is $20, $25. Like I said, it doesn’t have to be anything crazy. We’re not looking to make money off of it, just breaking even,” Ragsdale said.
Council member John Arthur inquired if those reserving the shelters for longer would be charged more, as they would likely produce more mess and expend more resources the village would be expected to replace. Council deliberated the subject and concluded the fairest fee would be $25 initial rental for two-hours, with an extra $5 for each hour after.
Smallwood expressed those with current reservations would be grandfathered in, requiring no reservation fee to be paid for scheduled stays.
According to council, reservations will rely on an “honor system” between renters and will not be policed by village staff or the police department.
“Hopefully people will be civil,” said Ragsdale.
Council motioned and approved the addition of a fee for reservations.
Reach Nathan Hoskins at 937-683-4057.