NEW GLOUCESTER — The Selectboard unanimously approved rental fees for town facilities and fields Monday night, “a great resource that can be utilized to the full potential both for the community but also people outside of our community.”
According to Parks and Recreation Director Morgan Rocheleau, “This is a very common practice in parks and recreation in general.”
The pricing structure will be divided into three groups. The least expensive is for Gray/New Gloucester-support organizations, which are “organizations that support our community specifically,” Rocheleau said. These will include youth associations, youth sports programs and similar activities.
“They would be at the very bottom tier of our pricing structure so it wouldn’t be cost-prohibitive for them,” he said.
The middle group is for non-Gray/New Gloucester organizations or nonprofits, such as Central Maine Christian Academy, that also support the community.
The third, and most expensive, group is for corporations, outside organizations or private individuals who might charge an entry fee to their event themselves.
The fee amounts were not available.
Rocheleau said he has been receiving requests about renting town space and added that the fees will be supplemental income for the parks and rec department.
Charging rental fees, he explained, “is a great resource that can be utilized to the full potential both for the community but also people outside of our community so that we can maximize what we have and the abilities to utilize it.”
The fields and facilities will still be free and open for general public use except for periods during which they are reserved.
The Board also unanimously approved revisions to the Building and/or Recreation Facilities Agreement and Policy.
Rocheleau said that as he investigated the possibility of charging rental fees, he noticed some sections of the policy that needed clarification. The revisions are meant “to put some standard practices and policies in place that can help us beneficially move forward.”
The board also voted unanimously to place the Property Tax Assistance Ordinance on the Town Meeting Warrant.
Town Manager Carrie Castonguay explained that the ordinance provides a tax-assistance program for people who are 70 or older and whose gross income is $40,000 or less. Residents must fill out an application and if they are eligible, they get a $1,000 credit on their tax bill.
The program would be funded using $50,000 of undesignated funds. If there are more than 50 eligible applicants, the money will be divided up equally.
“I think that’s a great thing for senior citizens to help them out,” said Board member Joseph Davis.
The Town Meeting will take place May 6.
Jane Vaughan can be reached at 780-9103 or at [email protected]