$2,500, $700 equate to a lot of Girl Scout cookies

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$2,500, $700 equate to a lot of Girl Scout cookies

Postby Webmaster » Tue Sep 13, 2005 8:11 pm

A Sept. 13 Tomahawk Leader Editorial:

Tomahawk's Girl Scouts went into the Tomahawk School District Building and Grounds meeting with the potential of owing more than $2,500 a year in usage fees this coming year if troops continue to hold weekly meetings at the Tomahawk schools. They left with a recommendation of a one-year, flat-fee compromise of $700.

That still would be a chunk of change - a lot of Girl Scout cookies, if you will.

In these days of tight budgets, the school district should be commended in its efforts to seek ways to cover additional costs it's incurring through the presence of outside groups. A standardized building usage fee, no doubt, makes sense. And $7 per hour for the lowest fee doesn't sound extreme.

That is, unless, you're someone like the Girl Scouts - a group that never had to pay anything before - which have eight troop meetings per week in various parts of the school complex. Suddenly that new $7 per hour per room fee is multiplied by one and a half hours, and then by 30-plus meetings a year, and then multiplied eight times more for the eight different troop and you're looking at a $2,500-plus bill.

As spokesperson and leader J.J. Schiltz observed, "... There's just no way we can afford it. There's absolutely no way we can afford that kind of money!"

Quite frankly, we worry that the new fee will be a strain on many non-profit organizations once they realize the impact. The Girl Scouts, who would see their cookie completely crumble, are just the first because they use the building so much.

We agree with another Girl Scout advocate, Rejeana Ebert, that youth-driven non-profits warrant another tier in the school district's building usage rates. And, since the Girl Scouts meet right after school is dismissed, it seems logical to look at them in yet another light. Evening usage and weekend use probably warrant more significant charges. But, the 3:30 to 5 p.m. time slot when the Girls Scouts meet is basically an extension of the regular school day.

If a fee must be charged, we hope it's nominal - certainly nothing like the $2,500 as it stands right now, and we hope it ends up far less than even the $700 special flat fee that is being discussed.

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Re: $2,500, $700 equate to a lot of Girl Scout cookies

Postby Mermaid Sirena » Wed Sep 14, 2005 5:19 pm

I had to actually read this post twice because I could NOT believe what I was reading!!
I was a Girl Scout leader for 9 years....Daisies thru Juniors. What the girls actually get per box of cookies sold for their troop is quite meager. There was barely enough money for our camping trips or the cost of craft suppplies for activites and projects. We held our meetings after school in the basement hall of the school along with other Girl Scout troops. Sometimes Cub Scouts would be in the music room. If we would have been charged to use the hall, we would have had to disband our troop. We simply did not have the extra money for that. Girl Scouts and Cub Scouts are such worthwhile organizations for kids. I am appalled that they should have to pay one cent. This in my opinion is TOTALLY ridiculous!!

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Re: $2,500, $700 equate to a lot of Girl Scout cookies

Postby aphephilia » Fri Sep 16, 2005 5:16 am

I understand the need to generate $$$, but the school is a publicly funded building. Our tax dollars build it and maintain it. Why should tax payers have to pay to use it? Are the people who walk the track for exercise in the mornings having to pay a fee also? I guess it's none of my business as I don't live in Tomahawk anymore, but I am just curious.

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Re: $2,500, $700 equate to a lot of Girl Scout cookies

Postby mystic » Fri Sep 16, 2005 10:30 pm

The amount charged doesn't seem out of line. The UWMC and other institutions charge a similar room use rate. If you just want a class room to use there the rate is $10/hour for non-profits.
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Re: $2,500, $700 equate to a lot of Girl Scout cookies

Postby Dave » Sat Sep 17, 2005 10:42 pm

There are a lot of "publicly funded" buildings all over the place that are not available for free. Some of them are not available for use by the tax paying public for any price. It costs a tremendous amount of money to keep schools open and in good repair. Costs that are incurred beyond what is normal should be assessed to whatever group is responsible. They should not be applied against the school budget and thereby act as a drain upon already tight educational dollars.


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