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City Council hikes Mendon Station rental charges

November 12th, 2011 Posted in Opinion

By Mandy Morgan

MENDON — When the Mendon Station was built on Main Street of this little city, none of the council members or residents could have guessed how popular the building would be as a rentable venue.

Council members discussed the change in rental charges as well as terms of use by both residents and non-residents Thursday night in the very building under discussion.

The reason for the in-depth discussion about the Station is fairly simple: the misuse of a well-liked city building that has plenty of money spent on its upkeep, according to Councilman Mike Carlson.

“It’s amazing the phone calls that we get. I’ve worked this building for 11 years, and when some people call, I will be honest, they are plain snots,” said City Clerk Daphne. “They think they own it — there was somebody who wanted to come in and take the pictures down for their wedding.”

Between weddings and family reunions the building takes a regular beating, and many members of the council believe raises in rental charges are past due. For a four-hour period to simply rent out the building the price is $35 for residents and $50 for non-residents. For receptions the building rental is $250 for residents and $350 for non-residents.

Many of the council members were strongly in agreement with raising the prices quite steeply. Discussion included the fact that most reception centers charge hundreds more than what is charged for the Station.

Another problem that was discussed was how to charge, or know to charge, when there is damage sustained in the building. “We don’t have the means to turn around and inspect every time someone leaves,” Carlson said. “How can we know when the floor has been scratched up, how do we know if the speakers have been damaged, how do we know if the refrigerator door has been left open?”

One significant amount of damage that has taken place in the building was the tearing up of the floor. “I turn around and spend over $1,000 to have them come in and refinish this floor and within two days a family party comes in and they scratch the living heck out of it,” Carlson said. “They paid $50, they paid no deposit, and they’re gone.”

“We have no recourse, we have no way to even touch it up,” Carlson said. “$50 will barely make a phone call!”

In Carlson’s opinion residents deserve to pay less for the building that is in their own city, but non-residents need to not only pay an initial rental fee but matching safety deposit as well.

Though many council members had strong opinions to share about the use and rental of the Station, Councilman Jason Wooden showed no interest in even discussing the building and the things that take place inside of it.

“We talk about this dang building more than we talk about anything else,” Wooden said. The council member in charge of the building should be the only one to really worry about the issues surrounding it, and they council should hold minimal involvement in any of its affairs, Wooden said.

“It is not cheap to rent, or let people use our facilities,” Carlson said. And with that the council came to consensus that all prices for rental and use of the building and its facilities should be raised.

To rent the building for a four hour time period is now $40 for residents and $100 for nonresidents, with a matching safety deposit. The price for receptions is staying at $250 for residents but has been moved up to $500 for non-residents, with a matching safety deposit.

As for the park next to the building it was decided that it must be reserved for official events, with a $25 rental fee.

Other items of business on the agenda included the decision for the city to be involved in a Community Covenant with the Army, and the discussion of whether the city will take responsibility for a clogged drain on a street of new houses in the city. For the Covenant members of the community will come together a designated day in the future and sign a document physically showing support for both the people serving across seas, and the families of those serving.


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