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Community Center List Still Under Consideration

The list of ‘non-profits’ that get a break on rentals at the Escalon Community Center is still being reviewed.

Escalon City Council members put off making a decision on what constitutes a local non-profit in favor of a little bit more investigation into the groups that routinely utilize the Community Center and the events that are staged there.

The council took the matter under consideration at its March 5 meeting, with an eye toward whittling down the list or perhaps changing the fee structure, but did not make a final decision.

“Staff is looking for direction before bringing back an ordinance,” City Manager Tammy Alcantor told the council.

The current list of non-profits and the fee guidelines were established in October, 2008 after the Community Center renovation was completed.

Alcantor added that many of the local organizations that were on that list and utilize the Community Center for annual events “probably won’t be a problem” and will continue to maintain the non-profit status.

“I would look at the ones that are questionable,” council member Walt Murken said of making sure those applying as non-profit groups truly meet that requirement in terms of renting the city’s facility.

There was also some concern expressed about the difference in cost to rent the Community Center, and a suggestion from resident Peter Krumeich that perhaps the council could look at revising the fees to lessen the gap.

Non-profit groups currently pay a rental fee of $250 to utilize the Community Center, other organizations pay $800.

“What if there was a flat rate, somewhere in the middle?” Krumeich suggested.

Council members noted that they don’t want to operate at a loss in terms of renting out the center and some price adjustments could be in order.

The council also agreed to look at the requirements for receiving the non-profit status through the city – such as having the majority of members in a group living in the community – and possibly make some adjustments to that as well.

“We want to look at this again,” Mayor Jeff Laugero agreed.

City staff members will gather some additional information on the issue and bring it back to the council at a later date.