Darien BOS agrees on rent deal for Darien Arts Center
Published 2:20 pm, Thursday, July 28, 2011
The town and the Darien Arts Center managed to broker a rent deal after concerns were raised about the cost of hosting dance lessons at the senior center.
The issue with how much rent the DAC pays came about after the town sent an invoice which said the cost of renting the building would be $15 per hour when the building wasn't being heated and $27.50 when the heat was running. One of the issues that arose as a result of the request to pay separate rent charges depending on the heating was that the DAC had already established a fixed rate for the dance lessons.
In order to rectify the problem, First Selectman David Campbell said he spoke with DAC Director Amy Allen and initially proposed a rate of $21 per hour. However, Allen said that amount didn't reduce the bill enough and said the DAC would like a rate of $17 per hour. Campbell said the town then proposed a rate of $19 per hour.
The new rent agreement would reduce the amount of money the DAC owes the town for the use of the senior center from $13,656.25 to $12,055.50. However, Democratic Selectman David Bayne voiced a concern that the town should make sure it would break even on the deal or it would otherwise appear that the DAC was being subsidized. The DAC is a private, nonprofit organization.
Bayne's concerns centered on whether or not it would set a precedent for other organizations that would want to rent town facilities for their own use.
Campbell said because the senior center building is not in the best of shape the heat wasn't always turned on at times and there were instances where the DAC had to bring a heater.
Republican Selectman Jayme Stevenson said the Town wouldn't subsidize programs and the goal for future rent deals would always be to break even.