Fulton County to increase rental fees at some facilities

Kathy Mills’ zydeco group meets monthly at the Dorothy Benson Center in Sandy Springs to teach Cajun dance.

But with Fulton County commissioners voting Wednesday to raise the rental fees at the Benson Center and other senior multipurpose facilities, Mills doesn’t know if she’ll be able to afford to keep the club going.

“Our budget is very tight,” she said. “There are not a lot of options.”

The new fees represent a 27 percent increase in costs for the Atlanta Cajun Zydeco Association, said Mills, the group’s membership coordinator. With such a jump, it’s a potential hardship for some groups.

But the rental fees hadn’t been increased since they were set in 1995, said John Thompson with the Fulton County Department of Aging and Youth. Most of the groups that support the facilities had given their support to the increase, saying the existing fees weren’t generating enough money to cover increasing costs of staffing, cleaning and securing the buildings.

Under the new fee schedule, the cost for Fulton residents to rent the space for a non-profit is increasing to $600 at one facility and $700 at others, from $475. Private rentals for Fulton County residents will be $75 higher, and application fees are doubling, to $50. Rental costs for non-Fulton residents, which top $1,000, are unchanged.

The new fees are effective at the end of the month.

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