By JIM MAURER
The Hancock Park District board on Tuesday approved an increase in rental fees and deposits for Brugeman Lodge at Riverbend Recreation Area, and for the Activity Barn at Litzenberg Memorial Woods.
The new rates take effect immediately.
For Brugeman Lodge, the board approved a fee increase of $75, from $250 to $325, for rental Monday through Thursday, and a refundable deposit increase of $50, from $200 to $250.
The board also approved a fee increase of $150, from $500 to $650, for Brugeman Lodge rentals on Fridays, Saturdays, Sundays and holidays.
The board also approved a $50 increase in the lodge rental fee for nonprofit organizations, from $100 to $150, for Monday through Thursday.
At the Activity Barn, the board approved a $50 fee increase, from $150 to $200, for rental Monday through Thursday.
The current Friday through Sunday rate is $150, but the new fee will be $400 for Fridays, Saturdays, Sundays and holidays.
The refundable deposit will increase $200, from $50 to $250.
In a report to the board, park district Director Gary Pruitt listed three reasons for the increases:
- Higher operating costs, with higher maintenance and readiness standards. The park district will pay an additional $50 per rental to its cleaning contractor.
- Higher fees “more appropriately correspond with and communicate the perceived value and quality of the rental facilities.”
- A desire “to achieve a more effective deterrent against noncompliance and damage, secure additional funds when damages occur and repairs are needed, and promote a stronger incentive to take care of the facilities and comply with rental agreements.”
Pruitt said repairing damage to the Activity Barn floor following a recent rental cost $127 in supplies and $500 in labor.
A survey of 19 area rental facilities put current charges for Brugeman Lodge near the bottom of the list. The building has a 240-person capacity and a kitchen.
The surveyed fees ranged from $2,800 and a $700 deposit for Scarlet Oaks Estate, with a 160-person capacity and no kitchen, to The Cube with a $150 fee and $150 deposit, 90-person capacity and no kitchen.
A facility similar in size to Brugeman Lodge, Country Memories, has a fee of $500, a $200 deposit, a 240-person capacity and no kitchen.
The average fee for seven facilities in the area that are similar to Brugeman Lodge, based on capacity and having a kitchen available, was $911.
Separately, the board gave Pruitt authority to advertise for bids to replace the parking lot at Blanchard Landing. The area is at the western end of the Blanchard River water trail, off Ohio 235. A new boat launch was built there in 2016.
The park district has been notified it will receive $67,772 from the state Department of Transportation, he said. The parking lot project is estimated at about $61,576. The state will provide material for $50,000, and the labor will be bid to complete the work, Pruitt said.
The method is similar to how the parking lot at Aeraland Recreation Area was paved several years ago, he said.
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