Union pavilion rental rates will increase for the first time more than 10 years.
Aldermen Monday formally approved a plan to raise the rates. The new rates will go into effect March 1.
The goal of the new rates was to bring some consistency to the city’s rental rates and to provide additional revenue to cover increased parks costs.
The change was prompted by a review of the rates by Parks and Recreation Director Angela Sullivan and the park board. Sullivan said the rates were last adjusted in either 2000 or 2002.
Since that time, more pavilions have been added and the pavilions were upgraded, she noted. The additions have led to an increase in expenses, but the rates have stayed static.
Park board members reviewed the rates of Union and other municipalities. Based on the city’s rates, board members felt the city could handle an increase and still be competitive and affordable.
The rates proposed by the park board are about a 20 percent increase. All but one of the city’s 13 pavilions would see an increase in cost under the proposal.
The new proposed rates are Pavilion No. 1 from $30 to $40; Pavilion No. 2 from $30 to $40; Carpenters Pavilion from $35 to $50; the Large Pavilion from $100 to $125; the O. Lampkin Gazebo from $20 to $25;
The Rotary Pavilion from $40 to $50; Pavilion No. 6 from $15 to $20, Pavilion No. 7 from $15 to $20; Jaycee Pavilion from $60 to $75; Garden Club Pavilion from $35 to $40; Lake Gazebo from $35 to $40; and Lake Pavilion from $60 to $75.
The Firemen’s Pavilion rate was kept at $40 due to consistency, Sullivan said. Under the current rates, she said some pavilions had the same capacity and features, but had different rental costs.
The board agreed similar pavilions should cost the same so Fireman’s was paired with other pavilions that saw their rates increase to $40.
Having consistent rates is easier to explain to customers, Sullivan said.
The board also backed raising the rental rate for a barbecue grill from $10 to $15, the rental of the kitchen at the large pavilion from $25 to $50 and the rental of open space around the Large Pavilion from $75 to $100.
Mayor Mike Livengood said the new rates would still be a good deal for residents.
In addition to the rates, the park board approved a new policy that would require larger groups to rent multiple pavilions. Sullivan said some groups have rented one pavilion and had their group spread over to others that were not reserved.
On a new application, the city would ask for an expected number of guests. If the number exceeds the pavilion capacity, the city can require the group to rent additional space.
The rates will start March 1 to give parks staff time to contact perspective renters. Sullivan said some renters reserve every year and some have made requests to reserve, but have yet to pay.
The two-week window will allow those potential renters to lock in a pavilion at the old rate.