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New nonprofit rates proposed for Rocklin facility use

Ad hoc committee to hear draft plan
By: Jon Brines, Placer Herald correspondent
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The Placer Herald has obtained the draft of the new plan to charge nonprofit organizations for use of city facilities.

Under a proposed policy change, qualified nonprofits would pay a $200 deposit and agree to pay $25 per hour for a large room and $12 for a small room with an additional hour costing $5. They can also get access to the kitchen, in addition to the room rental, for $5.

The current rate to rent the Community Center’s main hall, according to the city’s website, is a $350 deposit and $90 per hour for residents and $115 for non-residents. A meeting room in the center costs a $40 deposit with rates at $20 per hour for residents and $25 for non-residents, with a three-hour minimum rental.

The previous policy allowed qualified nonprofit groups, like the Boy and Girl Scouts, to get a waiver on regular facility-use fees.

If approved, the new rates would apply Monday through Thursday, provided Monday isn’t a holiday. Nonprofits would also be required to use the Rocklin Community Center at Johnson-Springview Park if they want the special rate, otherwise they’ll have to pay the prevailing rate for other buildings, which in some cases could be $90 per hour.

Formal groups would have to show proof of $1 million insurance coverage for any potential damages. Informal groups would have to sign a waiver.

If approved, there would also be a priority for use that will go to city-sponsored or co-sponsored events first, followed by youth or service organizations and then adult member organizations before other private gatherings. Limitations would include no more than one night per week and groups may not make reservations more than a month in advance.

For comparison, qualified nonprofits pay about 50 percent less than non-residents for facility use in the city of Folsom.

“For example, the fee to rent the community center ballroom for one hour would be $260 for non-residents; $180 for Folsom residents and $125 for Folsom nonprofits,” Folsom spokesperson Sue Ryan explained.

Last November, hundreds of scouts and other groups and their families showed up to a City Council meeting to protest a plan to end the fee waivers. In response, the city put the change on hold and formed an ad hoc committee of some of the representatives of the nonprofit groups to work out an agreeable policy. In a March 18 memo to ad hoc committee members, City Manager Rick Horst decried the city’s financial challenges and the “cost analysis” on city-owned facilities as a reason for the waiver policy change.

“Of concern today is the fact that a large number of nonprofit groups exists throughout the community who do not enjoy the same advantage,” Horst said.

He said the city has had an increase in requests for fee waivers. His primary concern, he said, was the cost of running the facilities.

“Part and parcel to our long-term sustainability, ensuring a proper balance between those who get services and those who pay for them,” Horst said.

City officials will discuss the draft policy with the ad hoc committee meeting at the Parks and Recreation Office meeting room at 5460 Fifth St. at 6 p.m. Monday, April 1. However, it is expected to be a closed-door meeting.

The City Council is then expected to take up the matter at one of its meetings, which are open to the public. No date has been announced.