CENTERVILLE -- Increased use of city hall is creating a burden that could mean no more wedding receptions at the facility.
Keeping up with the demands of wedding reception rentals has become difficult for the part-time maintenance staff, requiring extra help from the parks crew at times to prepare the facility for rentals.
This work has increased with users ignoring restrictions, such as moving plants and furniture, removing public signs and notices and using the facility past the scheduled times, according to a staff report.
The solution they propose is to change the policy, eliminating the facility's use for wedding receptions and other formal occasions. Since city hall was remodeled and other uses are being made of the council room, rentals have become increasingly burdensome, the report states.
Assistant City Manager Blaine Lutz said this proposal was discussed, but no decisions have been made. The plan is to receive public input before making any changes to the rental situation.
"We want the (residents) to be involved in the decision," said City Councilman Paul Cutler. "We want to see if people feel strongly about the issue."
So far, the city council has only heard the perspective of city hall staff.
Since city hall was built, the council chamber and lobby have been rented as an alternative for receptions in the city. The report states that when it started, there were only homes and churches as options in the city, but that has changed with construction of the Davis Performing Arts Center's Centerpoint Legacy Theater and the Megaplex Theater.
"We are thinking that now that we have other venues for receptions, does it make sense to change what we're doing?" Cutler said.
While the options for receptions have increased, so have the demands on the use of the chambers with city and interlocal activities.
This increased use has been challenging for the maintenance staff as they tried to keep the building on a cleaning schedule, according to the report. It notes that everything has been manageable except wedding receptions, because their formality raises the bar of what maintenance staff need to do.
Extra work needed includes blocking off the court dais and council dais, securing and removing the metal detector, cleaning carpets before and after the event, and moving large items, including unwanted tables, chairs, garbage cans and candy machines.
These additional preparations have been needed only since the city hall remodel, as the extra table and chairs, court equipment and metal detector were previously stored downstairs away from the events.
"It's a challenge," Cutler said. "We are wondering if the hassle is worth it."
Besides, he said, the council chambers are rented only a few times a year.
If the council decides to continue allowing wedding receptions, it may consider increasing the cost, because the parks department is having to help prepare the facility.
Cutler said it could be some time before a decision is made, because they need to gather public feedback and formally consider the issue in a council meeting.