By Linda Dillman
The cost to reserve space in the Madison Township Community Center is going up with non-residents absorbing more of the cost to host gatherings or meetings inside the facility.
On July 21, the Madison Township trustees approved a new fee schedule effective Jan. 1.
The rates have remained unchanged since 2010. The window to make reservations for 2023 has not yet been determined.
“We want it as low as possible for residents,” said Trustee John Pritchard.
According to the revised fee schedule, township residents and employees will pay $25 for the first four hours and $10 for each additional hour. Non-residents will be charged $50 per hour, with a minimum of two hours, and then $25 for each additional hour.
The fee for resident-hosted funeral repasses and dinners is $40. Non-profits, school clubs and sports groups will only be charged an annual $25 cleaning fee for weekday (Monday through Thursday) reservations. If a reservation is made for a Friday, Saturday or Sunday for a non-profit, school club or sports group, then the rate is the same as the host’s residency.
Non-profits, school clubs and sports group were previously exempt from being charged for center use. The annual fee now assessed is intended to cover the cost of increased sanitation standards and is only applicable to weekday reservations.
Madison Township Administrator Susan Brobst said, “We do not let any organization tie up the room more than once a month.”
Pritchard felt rules need to be established as to what purpose a resident or group is eligible to utilize the community center. Brobst said events like direct sales parties are not allowed.
“I don’t think it should be used for political fundraisers,” said Pritchard. “What if we have a hate group (want to come in)? Yes, there are legal implications, but there’s also decorum.”
Madison Township Police news
Madison Township Police Chief Gary York asked for authorization of an agreement with Armor Express to purchase ballistic helmets and tactical vests for the police department.
“They would be issued out to each of our officers,” York said, noting that the ballistic level of the helmet is resistant up to a certain caliber firearm. “This is something they’ll carry in their cruisers. It’s an essential piece of equipment.”
The tactical plate vests—which have the same ballistic capability as the helmets—would be for on-scene use and have a shelf life of 15 years. The vests are adjustable and customizable.
“It’s a piece of equipment we hope we never have to use, but we have to give them (officers) the necessary tools to do their jobs,” said York, who hopes to partner in training with outside agencies who would respond to a tactical situation where the ballistic vests and helmets would be needed.
The $27,168 contract provides 19 sets of helmets and vests in a carry bag. The trustees also accepted a $3,861 grant reimbursement award from the attorney general’s office for the Ohio Law Enforcement Body Armor Program Grant for ballistic vests.