NEWBERRY – The Canterbury equestrian center will be in the spotlight at City of Newberry’s next commission meeting.
During a city commission meeting Monday evening, some commissioners expressed frustration with lack of information made available to them. Commissioner Lois Forte said Canterbury is still a big issue, and she wasn’t as informed as she wanted to be once acquisitions talks began.
“We, as a body here, should be informed about everything that’s going on,” Forte said.
Mayor Bill Conrad said he is still trying to figure out what the community wants for Canterbury, even after hearing plenty of opinions from the town hall meeting held in September.
“I’m still getting lots of inputs, lots of email,” Conrad said. “I don’t know if I’m ready to sit down and say, ‘this is where we are at.’”
He added the City is still in “an information-gathering mode.”
Commissioner Alena Lawson said the commission should move forward together, and that discussion should be included in a regular city commission meeting, even if purchase details are not specific. She said that people stop her on the streets asking about what the City is going to do next.
“I clearly heard what the citizens said at the town hall meeting,” she said. “We clearly heard the agricultural tone.”
Commissioner Jordan Marlowe also agreed to the acquisition discussion, so that once the project starts making its way through county boards, the commission will “speak in one voice.”
Discussion about the equestrian center will be included on the commission agenda scheduled for Monday, Oct. 24.
Another issue addressed Monday was a resolution increaing rental fees for Newberry’s Municipal Building.
Commissioners drafted a new fee schedule with the assistance of Sondra Randon, assistant to Newberry City Attorney S. Scott Walker.
The proposed rate change includes a $200 rental fee for social events and for use by private organizations, while rental for weddings will increase from $300 to $350, a reasonable price and still cheap when compare to other venues said city commissioners. City-sponsored events and usage by non-profit organizations will be allowed to continue rent free.
Some city activities that will not require a rental fee include community action meetings, use by the Watermelon Festival committee and Bingo nights.
Non-profit organizations must be a valid 501c3, as determined by the Internal Revenue Code, to have the charge waived.
Walker cautioned there could be physical damage and overuse of the facilities, at which time he said the City could amend the resolution to include a usage limit.
The resolution adjusting the fee schedule is set for final review by the commission at the Oct. 24 meeting.
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