DUBOIS – After some debate Monday night, DuBois City Council voted to set new precedent in terms of for-profit use of the Edward V. Cherry Amphitheater stage at the City Park.
The council heard a request from Daniel Minns about using the stage every Wednesday, beginning June 21 and ending Sept. 27, for Zumba lessons. He would charge $5 per person per lesson.
“What does he do with the money?” asked Councilwoman Diane Bernardo. Other council members stated it was their personal belief that he would profit himself.
Bernardo stated that she could not recall anyone ever using City properties for personal profit. City Manager John Suplizio stated tennis instructors have done so in the past.
Councilman Edward Walsh stated a baseball camp’s profits were split among the coaches.
He also pointed out that council had considered a previous request from a couple who wanted to use the park for a daycare location.
“If you are having a baseball camp or teaching tennis lessons, it is essential you be at the site itself,” stated City Solicitor Toni Cherry.
She explained that baseball and tennis – by nature – have location requirements.
“It isn’t really fair to other businesses. He could rent off of me,” stated City Controller Lisa Becker.
However, Cherry responded that: “There are lots of places in this community where you could have this.”
Council, along with city officials, discussed how they handled renting out the park and other places.
It was noted that the stage is essentially free, and there is a $100 security deposit that is returned if the stage is clean and the keys are turned back in after usage.
Additionally, pavilions cost $25 to use at the park, and each of the fire stations set their own costs.
The council debated on the correct course of action. Bernardo likened adding a fee for for-profit use of the park to parking tickets.
She stated that parking tickets have neither stopped people from coming to DuBois nor from shopping within the city.
Suplizio said that parking tickets are different, at least in a public parking lot, where they discourage High-Rise residents from parking there.
The council voted to allow Minns to use the stage for Zumba lessons if he still wished to, but it would be at a cost of $10 per day.
In the future, the cost for for-profit use will be determined on a case-by-case basis, and it will not affect non-profit requests.