Riverbank’s Parks and Recreation Director Sue Fitzpatrick recently presented the city council and the public with a cost analysis and information on the rental fees for the use of the Community Center and the Scout Hall. The issue was originally put on the agenda after there was a request by the local Kiwanis Club in November to waive the rental fees for a Super Bowl Sunday Pancake Breakfast fundraiser. Since making the original request the Kiwanis Club has since rescinded it and they have gone in a different direction. The council, meanwhile, has approved the resolution to keep the use fees the same.
“It is kind of a catch 22 because we sincerely care about the non-profits and we want to make sure that we have facilities for them but we also have that need to be able to maintain our facilities and replace the tables and chairs and improve our facilities as part of our strategic plan states,” said Fitzpatrick.
During the presentation Fitzpatrick noted that the basic cost analysis for the community and scout hall buildings included direct and indirect costs. For the Community Center the direct cost is $550 which includes costs such as the site monitor, custodial supplies per event and part time custodian. The indirect cost is $1,105 which she explained was like the overhead such as the time spent by the administrative clerk, Recreation Supervisor or Director, Finance Clerk, a portion of HVAC, utilities, set aside for building repairs and depreciation which is a total rental fee of $1655. The city currently charges $1600.
Riverbank residents receive a 20 percent discount and have a rental fee of $1300. The non-profit groups get a 70 percent discount with a $500 rental fee and the grandfathered non-profit groups receive a 95 percent discount only paying a rental fee of $100 that will cover the custodial fees.
The non-profit groups that are grandfathered in have been operating in Riverbank for many years, Fitzpatrick explained, like the Women’s Club that hosts a luncheon at the Community Center or the Omelet Breakfast fundraiser for the Historical Society.
During the week there are what Fitzpatrick called community services like Senior Dances, Senior Food Program, Salvation Army Services, Christian Food Sharing, Shop with a Cop, and Riverbank Cares. The full rentals that happen on the weekend, she explained, help offset the costs for those types of services.
After the research it was recommended by Fitzpatrick to leave the fees as they are and for the council to set a subsidy limit that is reasonable for the General Fund so that there are not too many fee waivers resulting in a larger impact on the General Fund. The current subsidy to the enterprise fund is $15,000 from the General Fund.
“I feel comfortable where we should be, especially with the condition of our facilities,” added Fitzpatrick. “We are lower than our surrounding cities in our rental costs. That is a good thing. We are renting our facility a lot and we are hopefully going to be able to renovate it with some of the grant funds that we will be getting, hopefully soon.”