Fees to use some city buildings increased

Published 9:24 pm Thursday, February 16, 2017

The Selma City Council voted Tuesday night to increase rental fees for some public buildings.

The increase was made to help find revenues to go towards the city’s general fund budget.

“It will help the general budget overall,” said Selma City Councilwoman Angela Benjamin, who chairs the Public Buildings Committee. “If all of us go through with our assignments of finding revenue generators concerning the department that we chair, then a little here and a little there will significantly help our general budget.”

Email newsletter signup

The city rents out six different venues – The Carl C. Morgan Convention Center, the George P. Evans Reception Hall, the Larry D. Striplin Performing Arts Center, the Vaughan-Smitherman Museum, the Riverfront Amphitheater and 19 Washington Street.

“It’s hard to find a rental building in Selma that’s not booked up,” Benjamin said.

Benjamin said the increases were discussed by the committee with help from Public Buildings Director Terry Davis.

The increase won’t affect all six venues. The fee for the convention center was raised to match the cost to rent the reception hall.

“Terry said the convention center is just as accommodating as the Evans Building, and it has more actually,” Benjamin said.

“So with her insight, we decided to bring those two buildings to the same price. One stayed the same, but the other one came up to par to match the building.”

The fee to rent each building costs $300 for events scheduled for Monday through Friday, $500 for events on Saturday and $600 for weddings. It costs an additional $100 for the reception hall with a dance floor.

The old cost for the convention center was $175 for weekday events and $250 for weekend events.

“What the council is doing is trying to find different areas to generate more revenue instead of going to last resort things that would be taxing on the citizens,” Benjamin said.

The fee for the Riverfront Amphitheater, which is $1,500, will stay the same until the council decides otherwise or until the amphitheater is completed.

The cost of the Performing Arts Center stayed the same. The cost to rent the reception hall is $125, and the cost to rent the theater is $175, but it can only be rented on Monday through Wednesday due to movies. The cost for both is $200.

The cost to rent the Vaughan-Smitherman Museum did not change. The cost is $250 for events scheduled for Monday through Friday and $400 for Saturday through Sunday.

The cost to rent the building at 19 Washington St. is $150. It increased from $125.

The increases will not affect events that were booked prior to the new fees going into effect.

“If they were already booked when the new fees went into effect, they still have the old price,” Benjamin said.

For more information, contact the Public Buildings Department at 874-2146.