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S. Hill to decide whether to charge at community center

Published July 13. 2010 05:00PM

Although Summit Hill Council approved regulations a couple of months ago for using the community center, it is obvious not all situations have been addressed.

For example:

Should a Girl Scout troop be charged to hold meetings there?

Should there be a fee when Little League baseball teams hold sign-ups?

Monday night during a meeting of Summit Hill Borough Council, it was suggested that a Lehighton woman holding Zumba classes, for which she charges a fee, be permitted to use the community center for free.

By their tone, it appeared the council didn't want to charge the Girl Scouts or baseball players.

They were divided, though, over a fee for the Zumba classes. Currently, the rules state that non-profits pay $25 per hour for use of the center.

Monica Marshall, chairman of the borough's Recreation Commission, who does the scheduling for the community center as a volunteer, said she attends the Zumba classes which are currently held in St. Joseph's Catholic Church. She said sometimes only three people attend.

She told the council that the fee of $5 per person would not make it financially feasible for the instructor to pay to use the center.

She said numerous people have asked to use the facility for various purposes including aerobics and yoga. She said she doesn't feel they should be assessed the $25 per hour fee.

"My opinion is that the building is there to be used," she said.

Councilman Michael Kokinda commented, "The intention (of the building) isn't to make money. But we don't want to lose money, either."

"It's Summit Hill people" attending the Zumba classes, Marshall said.

Kokinda said his concern is "opening a can of worms" regarding who would be able to use the facility for free.

"The problem is, 'Where do we draw the line?'" asked attorney Joseph Matika, the borough's solicitor.

He advised the council that no matter who uses the facility, that a user agreement be drawn up.

Marshall remarked that "it's not a difficult thing" to grant usage for such events as a Zumba class, but Councilman Michael Alabovitz responded, "It is a difficult thing. Where do you draw the line?"

"You figure it out as you go along," Marshall answered.

It was agreed that Marshall will get recommendations together on who could use the community center for free and then the Recreation Commission and borough council will meet to discuss the proposal. The discussion probably will occur at a special meeting of the council scheduled for 7 p.m. Monday, July 26, in the borough hall.

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