Groveport Rec Center rate hike on hold

Rising operation costs and a rocky economy had Groveport Village Council considering an increase in membership rates for the Groveport Recreation Center.

"Increasing the membership fees by five percent may potentially bring in an additional $50,000 over the course of a year that will assist in offsetting costs passed onto the village by utility companies, contractors, vendors, etc.," reported Parks and Recreation Director Kyle Lund.

However, at council’s Oct. 20 committee of the whole meeting, council members were reluctant to enact a five percent membership rate hike for the facility.

Citing the rough economy, Councilwoman Donna Drury said, "This isn’t the time to raise rates. We built this facility for our people and we don’t want to price them out of it."

Added Councilwoman Jean Ann Hilbert, "If we keep raising rates we’ll see fewer memberships."

"We also don’t want to give away the farm," cautioned Mayor Lance Westcamp.

Councilman Ed Rarey noted that around 65 to 75 percent of the rec center memberships are held by non-village residents and said that maybe rates could be raised for non-village members but not village members.

"We built it for local people," said Rarey, "maybe we could keep their rates lower."

Rarey also suggested that the parks and recreation department, and other village departments, consider cutting staff by attrition as a cost saving measure.

Council recommended Lund try to step up efforts to market the facility to corporate customers in the community and look at other methods to increase memberships and curb costs. Council will discuss the issue further at future meetings.

Four day work weeks

Council is considering a proposal from staff to institute a four day work week consisting of four, 10 hour days per week for village employees.

Interim Village Administrator Ken Salak reported the program would involve: employees who choose 10 hour days would be required to maintain it for a year; vacation days, sick days, and personal days would be 10 hours; and weeks with holidays would require all employees be on eight hour days.

Advantages would include the municipal building having expanded hours and therefore being more accessible for citizens; and it would reduce employee commutes to work.

Potential problems could include a potential lack of coverage and poorly formed work crews; extra oversight by department heads; and a potential for more injuries by workers laboring for longer days.

Council asked village officials to gauge employees’ interest in the proposal and report back.

Other Groveport news

•A police cruiser involved in a deer car crash on Sept. 20 has been repaired and is back in service.

•The police department is investigating 13 shed break-ins in the Grove Pointe and Orchard subdivisions.

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