Warsaw Parks Board raises rental rates

From picnic tables to facilities, the Warsaw Parks and Recreation Board Tuesday approved an increase in most rental rates for 2018.

The prices haven’t been increased in 10 to 15 years, according to Superintendent Larry Plummer.

“I feel the park isn’t here to make money, but yet we need to cover our costs and still provide good facilities and quality facilities for our residents,” he said.

He said the only rental comparison to the Center Lake Pavilion he could find in town was the Shrine Building, which is about $500 to $600 to rent according to what people told him. The East and West Rooms at Grace College hold 180 to 200 people and rent for $575 per day, while the pavilion has seating for 300 and holds up to 400 people.

Since 2008, the Center Lake Pavilion has rented for $125 for weekdays and $300 for  weekends, with a $300 deposit. “Our net income for the pavilion (in 2016) was $745, and that’s without the supplies and labor figured in. Labor is approximately $136 per cleaning, and supplies are … on top of that. And then we have our tables and chairs replacement,” Plummer said.

While most rentals of the pavilion are on weekends, secretary Heather Frazier said most weekday rentals are by corporations typically around holidays. There is an additional $20 set-up fee if Park employees set up the pavilion like the renters want the tables and chairs. Park employees always do the tear down.

The Park Board approved increasing the pavilion rental to $175 weekdays and $400 weekends.

In 2003, the rental fee for the Firemen’s Building near Pike Lake was set at $125 weekdays and $150 weekends with a $250 deposit.

The board approved increasing the rental of the Firemen’s Building to $150 weekdays and $200 weekends.

Plummer said the closest comparison they could come up with was the Knights of Columbus building at $275.

He said the net income in 2016 on the Firemen’s Building was $8,419, not including labor and supplies. He said there were 87 rentals, with 51 of those being by a church for Sunday service. That church has since moved on to a new location.

The Central Park plaza had five rentals in 2016. It rents for $100 weekday or weekends with a $250 deposit. That price was not increased.

Nye Youth Cabin rents for $75 weekdays and weekends, with a $56 deposit. Its rate hasn’t been changed since 2003.

The board increased its rental to $75 weekdays, $100 weekends and a $100 deposit.

Net income in 2016 was $3,708, without including labor and supplies, but labor typically costs $68 to clean it, Plummer said. There were 73 rentals and 48 no-charge rentals for Scout Troops throughout the year.

The Nye Youth Cabin saw improvements several years ago, Plummer said, and the Scouts use it often. Shelters are located at Beyer, Bixler (north and south end), Central (east and west), Kelly and Richardson-Dubois Parks. They currently rent for $25 weekday or weekend. Plummer said they had 137 shelter rentals in 2016, with 26 no-charge. “About every weekend during the summer, they’re all rented,” Plummer told the board.

Lucerne Park cabins were renting for $25 weekday or weekend. Plummer said they had 86 rentals.

The board increased the shelter rentals to $35 and the cabin rentals to $50.

Rental of the amphitheater at Lucerne Park in front of the cabins was $10, which includes use of electricity.

The amphitheater rental was increased to $25 per day for any day of the week, per a unanimous board decision.

Diane Quance, city council representative to the Park Board, said the amphitheater needs fixed up. Plummer agreed.

“That’s something we’d like to see in the next year or two. That was built with telephone poles back in the early ’80s, and it’s ran its course, but it’s something we need to look at,” Plummer said, noting it’s a beautiful setting and it hosts a lot of weddings. It was rented 34 times in 2016.

The Parks Department has charged $5 per picnic table to deliver them in the city limits and $8 in Wayne Township. “We had over 700 delivered this year in the city and in Wayne Township,” Plummer said.

Quance called it the “cheapest deal in town.”

Plummer said his department sees it as a public service. Four Parks Department employees each Monday deliver the tables.

The board increased those rentals to $10 in the city limits and $15 in Wayne Township.

Picnic tables in the parks were rented for $2 each. That was increased to $3.

Sawhorse tables were $3 each to be delivered in the city and $5 in Wayne Township. Over 500 were delivered. Those fees were increased to $8 and $12 respectively.

Campground wood at the Pike Lake Campgrounds was $5 per wheelbarrow load, but increased to $10.

Prices for the picnic and sawhorse tables and the campground wood had not been increased since 2007.

Campground docks were $5 a day or $25 a month, and the fee for a campground guest was $3 per day. The board left those fees the same.

Campground fees, which hadn’t been raised since 2003, were $28 nightly, $168 weekly, $460 monthly and $1,500 seasonal.

After comparing those prices to other nearby campground sites, the board increased them to $32 nightly, $192 weekly, $490 monthly and $1,900 seasonal.

Board Vice President Larry Ladd said the rental fees should be reviewed annually.

Plummer said some people have already reserved rentals for 2018 with down payments and asked that they honor those agreements. The board unanimously agreed.