By JIMMY LAWTON
OGDENSBURG -- Ogdensburg City Council voted Monday to raise rental fees at the Dobisky Center and will now charge non-profit organizations for use of the building.
Traditionally Ogdensburg-area non-profit groups could use the center at no-cost, but as the city continues to look for ways to increase revenues Ogdensburg City Council agreed that it was time to start charging.
The resolution proposed Monday originally included $1-2 per hour hikes in pricing for the centers three rooms. However, city councilors felt the increase was inadequate.
Councilor Daniel Skamperle said the city should be charging non-profit groups. He said the city repeatedly discusses how to get revenues from non-profit groups, which benefit from city services, but do not pay property taxes. He said that given the city’s current fiscal state they should be charged for using the building.
City Manager Sarah Purdy informed the council that the service groups and non-profits included in this definition varied somewhat from those included in discussions regarding taxes.
Councilor Jennifer Stevenson said that she would support charging non-profit and community groups, but suggested a 50 percent discount, since many of these groups contribute to the city through volunteer work.
Councilor David Price said the city charge the non-profits and volunteer organizations the same as any other resident or group who rented space, but still supported the measure.
In the end, council agreed to raise the fees to $15 per hour for the small room, $20 per hour for the large room and $30 per hour for both rooms. Costs for non-profits and service groups will rise from no charge to $7.50, $10 and $15 respectively.