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City mulls rental fee increases
Park, center rentals have stayed same since 2010
The city is set to increase the rental fees for rooms at the Ceres Community Center (above), the Ceres American Legion Memorial Building and at the park sites. - photo by JEFF BENZIGER/Courier photo

The City Council got a peek at proposed rental fee increases for use of various city properties but decided to hold off until July 24 to take action on them.

The city completed an extensive study to raise fees for the rental of the Ceres Community Center, Ceres American Legion Memorial Building and various park facilities but will continue to offer discounts to Ceres residents.
Fees have not been increased since 2010.

A rate increase would not hurt the rate of use but would help recoup the city's costs, said City Recreation Department Manager Traci Farris. Since it opened in 2009, the Ceres Community Center has been a financial drain on the city's General Fund.

The city has been charging fees based on four tiers: Commercial/Non-Resident, Local Non-Profit, Non-Local Non-Profit, and Ceres resident. The new fees will be based on two tiers only: Commercial/Non-Resident and Resident/Non-Profit.

The city charges $1,450 to rent the Large Assembly Room of the Community Center with the optional kitchen use costing $120. Preliminarily, the city plans to include kitchen use on all big room rentals. The proposed fee for all-day Friday use of the large assembly room is $1,265 for Resident/Non-Profit, and $1,314 for Commercial/Non-Resident. Those fees for Saturday increase are $1,637 and $1,818 respectively.

Rental fees proposed for the American Legion building are $863 for Friday use by Resident/Non-Profit, and $959 for Friday use by businesses and/or out-of-town residents. Saturday use is $908 and $1,009 respectively with Sunday at $863 and $959 respectively.

The Ceres Recreation Department currently reserves 12 park sites and 2 facilities for not-for-profit and private/corporate rentals at the following locations: Roeding Heights (two areas), Smyrna Park (seven areas), Whitmore Park (two areas), Costa Ball Fields, Ceres River Bluff Regional Park (one area and nine soccer fields), the American Legion Hall, and the Ceres Community Center.
If approved, the new fees will go into effect after Sept. 1 for only new bookings made after that date.