Winona Lake residents can now rent picnic tables for a nominal fee, but the community service will likely cost the town money in the long run.
Town coordinator Craig Allebach proposed the matter during Tuesday’s regular council meeting noting the $5 fee per table per 72-hour period is modeled after Warsaw’s policy. Basically, town residents who want to rent picnic tables off the park property where they are located, can pay $5 per table and the street department will deliver them.
Calling it “a service to the community,” Allebach said he knows the nominal fee will not come close to cover the labor of the employees to deliver the tables or even the fuel needed to make the delivery, but said the town has been doing it for free until now. “There’s no profit to the town, it’s just a benefit to the residents,” he added.
Just prior to the discussion, the council voted to increase the employee user fee for usage of the Senior Center. The current fee of $25 was not enough to cover janitorial services after any rental. The fee was increased to $50 so the town could break even.
That prompted councilman Greg Winn to question the picnic table rental fees.
“We’re trying to break even on the Senior Center, we should at least try to break even on the picnic tables,” Winn said.
During discussions, street department superintendent Pete O’Connell noted his department can have a minimum of 45 minutes in delivering picnic tables “and we can only deliver three at a time. We won’t come near breaking even.” But it was determined that by allowing residents to move tables themselves it creates a liability to the town.
Winn ultimately made a motion to implement the picnic table rental fee to $30 per table to cover labor, fuel and wear and tear on town vehicles. Allebach replied, “If you set it too high, they’ll just call Warsaw and have them deliver tables.” Although most everyone agreed that would be fine, they also agreed that setting some kind of fee is necessary.
Winn’s motion died for lack of a second. The full council, however, did vote unanimously to implement the $5 per table fee. The tables are free to use in the park.
In other business:
- MedStat was selected as the town’s primary occupational health services provider
- An update on the Prestwick Subdivision road reconstruction was provided. Construction is on budget and on schedule with a projected completion date of July 31.
- O’Connell noted mosquitoes and ticks are “really bad this year” and the street department expects to spray twice a week. “It’s a special formula we have to use due to the lake,” he explained, noting the product costs about $4,000 for a 50-gallon drum. Each drum will provide 10 to 12 applications.
- Titus noted the entrance to the bike trails on Roy Street is in need of attention. “It looks really bad,” he said, adding that the no parking sign is being ignored.
- Clerk-treasurer Kent Adams noted work on the 2014 budgets will next month and department heads will be given notice of July deadlines.