Facility Fees: More Groups, More Money

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The Payson school board, at its Aug. 8 meeting, tabled a motion that would charge user fees to almost every outside organization that uses school facilities.

Currently, no fees are charged for school clubs, Boy Scouts, Girl Scouts, booster clubs, PTA and Arizona Youth Soccer.

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Superintendent Sue Myers

Fees are charged, however, to churches, the community college and civic and government organizations.

According to schools Superintendent Sue Myers, district lawyers advised her to charge fees to all organizations using facilities except those directly connected to the district.

In complying with the lawyers' directions, administrators designed a fee chart of five classes of users.

Class 1 includes all school-sponsored clubs, professional education associations and The Friends and Neighbors (FAN) or booster club.

Under the proposed plan, they could continue to use the school facilities free of charge.

Class II contains nonprofit, school-related organizations -- Girl Scouts, Boy Scouts, youth soccer, youth football and Little League.

Unlike the current system in which most of those organizations may use school facilities without cost, they would pay under the proposal that went before the board.

Although the proposal was tabled, a compromise might have been reached. PUSD Director of Maintenance and Transportation Tom Piowarsy offered to allow nonprofit groups to work one Saturday a month in exchange for free or partial payment use of school facilities.

"We think that could work well," Myers said.

In the district proposal, Class III organizations -- churches, colleges and government entities -- as well as Class IV -- profit-making organizations -- would continue to pay fees.

Class V, the town of Payson, would not pay fees because it and the school district have a mutual trade-out agreement.

Fees under the new proposal can range for Class II organizations from $20 per hour for a classroom to $50 per hour for the football stadium with lights.

Class IV would pay $50 per hour for a classroom and $200 per hour for the football stadium.

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