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Groups should expect fees to jump

Only those that are for-profit and use district facilities would pay more.

June 26, 2010|By Max Zimbert, max.zibmert@latimes.com

GLENDALE— Starved for revenue, the Glendale Unified officials are expected to raise fees on groups that use district facilities.

By how much fees will jump should be settled next month at a school board meeting. But during a presentation Tuesday, board members said the current proposal, which would have more than doubled most rates, was too much.

"A lot of the for-profits are not in business because they are making a lot of money," school board member Christine Walters said. "There may be a reason why we're getting some of these rentals because we are more affordable than some of our neighbors. My concern is … will they take all their money and go someplace else?"

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The fees would apply only to for-profit programs or companies, of which there are now 36 that would see their rates rise, district officials said.

The prices were modeled on a scale used by Burbank Unified School District. There are hourly and daily fees that range from $20 an hour for classroom use, or $250 for the Glendale High School auditorium or $120 for the Toll Middle School auditorium.

Those fees would have been more than doubled in the current proposal discussed Tuesday.

"It's a huge jump," Chief Financial Officer Eva Lueck said. "There was some concern it may not be feasible for some groups."

District officials were without an estimate of the revenue that could be generated by new fees. Because the district earns so little income from these fees, there wasn't really much calculating the business staff could do, Lueck said.

"We really don't gather a lot of money from this area," she said. "Where we truly receive dollars from this area is when studios rent our facilities."

Board members instructed administrators to return with more modest fees that they could enact immediately.

"We have hard decisions to make as a board, even though we may not want to hurt some of these groups," school board President Greg Krikorian said. "If we're laying off teachers, we've got to look at ways to cut these expenses."

The fees apply to classrooms, cafeterias, multi-purpose rooms, gyms, dance rooms, lecture or music rooms, pools, stadiums and all middle and high school auditoriums, except at Roosevelt Middle and Daily High schools.

Nonprofits, government and civic groups serving Glendale Unified students and programs are exempt from the fees.

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