Costs to use Madison Township Community Center could rise

By Linda Dilman
Personal editor

The cost of using the Madison Township Community Center could increase, and there may no longer be free rides to meeting spaces for nonprofits and other township-based organizations.

Madison Township Administrator Susan Brobst said rates for the community center, located at 4575 Madison Lane in Groveport, have not changed since 2010.

For township residents, the cost is $20 for the first four hours, then $10 for each additional hour. For non-residents, the cost is an hourly flat rate of $20. There are no fees for non-profit organizations, school use, township businesses, employees, and funeral meals.

The cleaning fee is $20.

In 2019, there were 159 resident reservations, 76 non-resident reservations and 43 no-cost reservations.

Costs, such as changes to sanitation, are rising, and Brobst said the township isn’t breaking even in the fees it assesses for using the community center.

“I felt it was time to look at the fee schedule,” Brobst told Madison Township administrators at their May 25 meeting.

She asked the trustees to discuss the fee schedule and wanted to give the public time to weigh in on the matter as well before a decision is made no later than the trustees’ meeting in July.

“I recommend no longer using free and a flat $25 cleaning fee,” Brobst said. “The cost to residents would be $25 for the first four hours and the same $10 for each additional hour. Non-residents would pay a flat rate of $30 per hour. We have to do something.

Based on 2019 numbers before the pandemic affected bookings, Brobst said a breakdown of average spend indicated each event cost the township about $116. Prices for residents and local businesses are lower than those for non-residents since non-residents do not pay property taxes.

Trustee John Pritchard pointed to the 12-year period since the last rate change and said the township was currently only offsetting costs, but not breaking even.

“We need a substantial increase for non-residents,” Pritchard said. “I want to make sure there’s a healthy difference between what our residents pay and what non-residents pay.”
Other news from the municipality
• Madison Township Deputy Fire Chief Chas Adams briefed the board regarding a property on South Hamilton Road that was deemed a nuisance before a second fire resulted in a call for service.

Adams said the house was extremely dangerous and had been boarded up following the latest fire. The Red Cross comes to the aid of the victims who lived in the house even after extensive damage caused by the first fire.

“It’s a public health hazard right now,” Adams said.

• Harmful properties also resulted in nearly 50 people being tagged in the past week. While landowners rectified several, seven resulted in township action for waste and 22 for grass. Superintendent Dave Watkins said a number of spring thunderstorms have contributed to the proliferation of nuisance calls.

“It seems like a lot more than I remember,” Pritchard said.

Brobst said the township is assessing a pro-rated fee of $300 an hour if members of Watkins’ department must mow a private residence due to inaction after notification. Residents are asked to contact the township office when a property becomes a nuisance due to litter and/or tall grass.

Jill E. Washington