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Hall rent may still undercut competition

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Hall rent may still undercut competition

The Manteca Transit Center’s community room during the reception that followed last month’s dedication ceremonies.

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POSTED September 6, 2013 12:36 a.m.

Manteca is a city council vote away from having another event venue.

And it’s a nice venue at that.

But concerns about whether the city’s initial proposed pricing plan for renting the community rooms inside of the $8.3 million transit center undercut businesses that already offer the same services prompted the council to form a committee to come up with a different rate schedule.

And when the committee met on Thursday afternoon, they came up with something that is still cheaper than what you’ll find at committee member Matt Sickler’s The Emory or the MRPS Hall that was represented by committee member Ed Fichtner. It gained unanimous support nonetheless.

It’ll now be up to the council to determine whether they agree.

“I’d still rather have it not be here, but it’s fair and it’s in the competitive range and provides something for the non-profits in the community,” Sickler said. “It’s still cheaper than mine, but I think that it should generate some money for the city and help cover the operating costs of offering the service.”

Sickler sat down with Fitchtner, Dave King, Larry Byrd and Jack Snyder – as well as city transit manager Johanna Ferriera – to come up with a structured plan that would be fair in terms of what it provided the community at large, but also keep the city’s interests in mind.

Here is a synopsis of what will be proposed to the council:

•On weekdays, from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m., people can rent the small room in the complex for $15 an hour, the large room for $25 an hour, and the entire complex for $35 an hour. There is a four-hour minimum, except for non-profits that will be allowed a two-hour exception. After 4 p.m. the prices will go up to $25 an hour for the small room, $35 an hour for the large room and $50 an hour for the entire space. This excludes Friday nights, when the entire complex can be rented for $650 for residents and $750 for non-residents.

•On weekends, residents can rent the entire complex for $1,100. Non-residents will be charged $1,200. Use of the kitchen will be extra.

•Deposits for events will range from $500 to $800 depending on the event, and a non-refundable deposit of $400 that will be applied towards the cost of the rental will be required at the time of booking. The remainder of the balance will be due 30-days prior to the event.

•All events are set to end by midnight, and the building must be cleared out by 1 a.m.

•Local non-profit organizations will be able to schedule one free event inside of the facility each year. They will be given a 45-day window. Any events that are held beyond that will be charged the regular price.

When the committee was formed it was given 60-days to come up with a formulation to give back to the council, but they could end up reviewing the proposal as early as their next regularly scheduled meeting now that the group has reached a consensus on a pricing platform.

The community room has capacity for 452 people seated without tables with that space being able to break down into two smaller rooms — one handling 318 and the other 134. The overall number of people that could be accommodated for dining ranges from 200 to 250.

Based on a pricing schedule that was prepared by Ferriera, The Emory – located at 1028 W. Yosemite Ave. – charges $1,200 for their weekend rentals. The MRPS Hall charges $1,500 for its ballroom and $1300 for its dining room. Manteca’s Masonic Hall charges $450 for a 24-hour period, and the Senior Center charges $800 for the full-facility, or $150 for the smaller south hall.

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