Puslinch Community Centre rental rates going up for non-residents

PUSLINCH – Plagued by parties that exceed capacity and renters who don’t respect the venue, Puslinch councillors hoped the solution to problems with rentals at the Puslinch Community Centre (PCC) might be found in the 2024 user fees and charges bylaw.

They discussed those issues at length at the Nov. 29 council meeting.

In previous discussions, staff identified the need for a full-time staff person to be in attendance at all rental functions.

This would ensure the number of guests does not exceed capacity and the facility would not be damaged by renters.

At its Nov. 8 meeting, council decided to reduce capacity limits at the PCC to 150 people for non‐residents and 250 for residents.

Council also wanted to be sure residents who rent the community centre and service groups that hold community functions there would not be penalized because of a few bad renters.

Since 92 per cent of PCC renters are non-residents, staff proposed two sets of fees – one for residents and one for non-residents.

Non-resident rental fees during prime booking time (Fridays and Saturdays) are proposed to increase from $711.01 in 2023 to $986.16 in 2024.

Bookings used to be for 16 hours (10am to 2am) but will now be for 12 hours. Any additional time would cost an extra $82.18 an hour for non residents.

Use of kitchen facilities during non-prime hours is proposed to increase from $38.91 per hour in 2023 to $47 per hour in 2024.

Staff calculated that adding another full-time employee at the PCC would add $20,000 to the budget, while increased revenue from the rental increases would yield just an additional $5,000.

In the end, councillors voted in favour of increasing the rental fees but voted to defer the staffing decision to operating budget discussions.