DECATUR– The Decatur Park District is looking to simplify the process of renting out their facilities and cutting back on some of their costs.
During their meeting Wednesday afternoon the district discussed changing the way they rent out park space for large gatherings and sponsored runs. Park District Executive Director Bill Clevenger says the idea would be to recoup some of the money they lose in staff time cleaning out and putting back together the pavilions after an event.
“This is not about making money for the park district but instead a way to cover the indirect costs and the direct costs that it takes to make the event possible,” Clevenger said. “Those direct costs include dumping trash, cleaning a pavilion, assigning a park ranger to close a road, things like that, very clearly I want to say this isn’t a way for the park district to make profit.”
Operations Manager Ryan Raleigh says it costs the district about $95 in labor to clear out a large pavilion, and close to $850 to clear out all the tables and chairs from under the large pavilion at Fairview Park.
Clevenger said some events don’t currently pay to use a pavilion for their event, and that would also change under this new proposal, “Some of these events have been going on for thirty plus years, but some of them have only taken place the past few years so what we are trying to do is create a standard template of how these things will work in the future.”
Raleigh also pitched the idea of moving smaller runs that have been held in Nelson Park for the past couple of years to Fairview, where he says the setup is better and it’s more convenient for them to be held, “We have a lot of roadway there that can be sectioned off without having to shut the entire park down for a set amount of hours.”
Both Clevenger and Raleigh said events that are large and have been held at Nelson Park for several years, like the Rodney T. Miller Triathlon and the Shoreline Classic, would be considered to be grandfathered in and would be able to remain in their current locations.
Clevenger said Park District staff would mull over proposals over the next couple of weeks before bringing a recommendation back before the board later this month.