STAFF WRITER JENNIFER FIERRO
MARBLE FALLS — The Parks and Recreation Commission is re-evaluating fees for Lakeside Pavilion after officials project a $22,850 loss in revenues this year.
“The feedback is that we’re expensive,” Parks and Recreation Director Robert Moss told the commissioners during its monthly meeting June 4.
After digging into the projected loss, Moss discovered that a family reunion, a communications expo, and wedding parties are heading elsewhere because of the current rental rates, which went into effect January 2016, along with rumors the city is going to demolish the pavilion and city pool because of the construction to improve the park.
However, the city isn’t tearing down Lakeside Pavilion, and plans to replace the pool are still several years off. Plans are underway to begin upgrades and renovations in Lakeside Park, which includes the installation of a beach later this year with completion of the initial phase by June 2019.
Proposed construction and higher Lakeside Pavilion rates have caused some potential customers to rethink their plans.
Moss said most people, especially engaged couples, simply didn’t want a construction zone in their photos at the rental price. Others, such as a communications expo, decided to rent a facility in Bell County that was closer to home and more affordable.
So Moss outlined a recommendation: decreasing the fees.
“The big reason for changing the fees is a business reason,” he said. “Our revenue has dropped, and it seems to coincide with the timing to when we raised our fees last time.”
Marble Falls City Council approved raising pavilion rental rates in January 2016 on a recommendation from the parks commission.
But after the latest revenue projections, officials are considering readjusting those fees.
Moss outlined city staff’s fee adjustment recommendation to the commissioners:
• a nonprofit rental rate for Fridays and Saturdays would drop to $750 per night from $1,500 for Fridays and $2,000 for Saturdays;
• a resident rental rate of $1,500 for Fridays and Saturdays would drop to $500 for Fridays and $1,000 for Saturdays;
• a non-resident rate of $1,500 for Fridays and $2,000 for Saturdays would drop to $1,000 for Fridays and $1,500 for Saturdays;
• and a commercial rate of $1,800 per day Sunday-Friday and $2,000 on Saturday would drop to $1,500 per day Sunday-Friday and $1,800 on Saturday;
“We want to get (the pavilion) back to it being utilized as many days as possible,” Moss said.
The city would retain a $350 cleaning fee as well as a $250 facility deposit for events without alcohol and a $500 facility deposit for events with alcohol. The deposits are returned if the renter meets obligations outlined in the rental contract.
Moss said there’s a good chance the council will be asked to approve the new rates at a regular meeting in July. If the new rates are approved, they would go into effect immediately.