Indian Head says no more absorbing Village Green Pavilion cost
Examine ideas to increase renters to offset expenses
Many of the Indian Head residents currently use the Village Green Pavilion for meetings, entertainment and other social events. After reviewing the town’s budget history, the town council plans to increase the facility’s usage with the help of some additional guidelines that would stop the town from absorbing such a large percentage of the facility’s cost.
On May 25, the council met during its monthly work session to discuss the Village Green Pavilion that sits across the street from the town hall. The council would like to expedite the facility’s renting process and increase the facility’s usage as soon as possible.
“[In regards to the town’s budget history,] we are offsetting the expenses at the Village Green Pavilion with our general fund, meaning that 61 percent of the Village Green Pavilion is funded via our general fund,” said Town Manager Ryan Hicks. “We have always done that but things need to change. We have to rent that building because there is no way we can increase the fees on it right now with the people that we have renting it, in order to make up the difference. Therefore, instead of increasing the fees, we need to increase the amount of people renting the facility. That’s the bottom line.”
Prior to the meeting, Councilman Curtis Smith provided a sample document of facility guidelines that will help the town’s staff make decisions about the facility’s usage as residents apply to rent it.
“I put together a template and it has a space where our staff can insert the renter’s form,” Smith said. “It states that nonprofits can use the facility for a certain amount of times throughout the year, receive discounts, and if it meets the criteria then we move forward with the rental.”
The council agreed that a few changes would need to be made to the document but it would be useful as a guide to create an official guideline document for usage of the facility. Mayor Brandon Paulin asked to take a look at the sample document before the council proceeds with a decision.
The council also discussed changes to the current guidelines such as allowing renters to set up the night before, which would no longer be a luxury for future renters if there are back-to-back rental events. Hicks said the council’s goal is to keep it fair and even across the board for all of the town’s renters.
“We need to offset that cost because 61 percent is unacceptable,” Hicks said. “That percentage is something that no other municipality would do in their own budget. We call it a money pit.”
“It might be a money pit but it has always served the function of bringing the community together,” said Vice Mayor Ron Sitoula. “And that is part of the function of being a town,” The council agreed. “It’s good that it serves its purpose but when we are renting to non-Indian Head residents and its drumming up our cost then we have to do something,” Hicks said. “We need to try to partner with some other folks and follow-up on other ideas that the town clerk and I have come up with.”
Paulin said he believes creating guidelines for the usage of the pavilion is a great, progressive step for the town.
“I think it will be good to get those guidelines set and hopefully it can spur some more usages of the pavilion,” Paulin said. “If we get some more usage then it would eat up that 61 percent coming out of our general fund. We still need to tweak the sample guidelines and it will be a topic of discussion at the next town meeting. Just looking at the budget, us funding 61 percent of the pavilion, that’s a substantial amount. We need those guidelines already built in, that way applications to use the facility don’t have to come to the council first.”
The council is also looking to make changes to the town’s motto, logo and seal. They plan to include the town residents in the decision making process by conducting a slogan contest to gain community input.