Facility use fee unfair

I would like to draw attention to the Milton Town School District’s facility usage fee. A fee that has always existed on the books but never enforced until now.  The excerpt below was issued in an e-mail from MTSD business offices to several coaches of youth programs in Milton.

“Could you begin letting groups know that there will be a fee beginning July 1, 2018?  This would be for AAU and any outside groups not under the district program athletic department. The rate will be $25/hour for gym space for practices and events taking place when our buildings are open and custodial staff present. This would be a space rental fee which currently we aren’t charging. When the buildings are closed (weekends) and our staff not normally present the fee would be $50/hour (for custodial staff $25 and space rental fee $25).”

I asked a representative of the school board for an explanation of the change in policy. He had the subject placed on the board’s agenda and it was discussed. Below a segment of their response:

“Milton is apparently one of the only districts that was not routinely charging for the use of our buildings, and as such, the building is used regularly by lots of groups, both from Milton and beyond. Because the after-hours work for the custodial staff was not budgeted, it results in about a $10-$15,000 loss per year. The board felt that it is just not feasible for the cost to be absorbed by the school, and should instead be passed to the organizations that are utilizing the space after hours.”

Unfortunately this does not explain why they are charging for the hours in which the schools are open and custodial staff present. 

Many youth programs are going to be affected by the policy shift.  Many youth programs may not survive the policy shift. It is not just the youth programs; it is adult programs as well. Every group that uses the school’s facility will be impacted.

The schools are paid for by the taxpayers of Milton, and I feel the schools should be available to the taxpayers of Milton at no additional costs.

Tim Palermo
President , Milton YouthWrestling Club