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Council sets rates for Trafford banquet hall

| Wednesday, Sept. 25, 2013, 9:00 p.m.

Trafford residents and local community groups will pay less to rent the Manchester Room banquet hall than out-of-towners will.

Last week, Trafford Council set the rental fees for the hall. In doing so, officials kept their pledge to let the Trafford Seniors group to use the new banquet room in the $2.6-million public safety building for free.

Though paving work on a parking lot still must be completed before the room is available, council designated a whole-day rental to last from 8 a.m. to 11 p.m. Half-day rentals will be from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. or 4 to 11 p.m.

Rates are differentiated among three categories:

• Community group, any day, $50 for a half day or $100 for a whole.

• Trafford resident, Monday through Friday, $200 for a half or $350 for a whole; weekend, $250 for a half or $450 for a whole.

• Nonresident, Monday through Friday, $250 for a half or $450 for whole; weekend, $300 for a half or $500 for a whole.

Councilman John Daykon said the rates were chosen to try to drum up interest in the room in its first year, but they are subject to change. The tiers were chosen to give locals a break on the price.

“The residents of the town did fund the building,” Daykon said. “We think it's only fair they pay a lesser rate than somebody that's coming from outside the community to rent the room.”

Council briefly discussed the merits of charging community groups, with Councilwoman Rita Windsor offering the only comments in favor of exempting some.

Windsor said she thought a nonprofit organization such as the Trafford Lions Club, of which she is president, should not be required to pay a rental fee.

“Maybe you don't realize that the Lions Club, everything that they do, every fundraiser that they have, every penny goes back into the community,” Windsor said. “Every year, we give $3,000 (or) $4,000 back into the community.”

But Daykon and Vicki Megon said the fee that those groups will pay will cover minor costs so the borough isn't taking a loss on those rentals.

“In essence, they're getting the room (for) free,” Megon said. “They just have to cover our costs of the cleaning and the utilities to have the air on, the heat on, the lights. It's minimal. Where else would you rent a room like that for $50? Nowhere.”

Officials say the Manchester Room will offer seating for 300 for theater-style events or 200 at tables.

A contractor is preparing to pave the two new lots that will provide parking for the events. That work might be completed in early to mid-October.

Chris Foreman is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at 412-856-7400, ext. 8671, or cforeman@tribweb.com.

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