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Legacy Decatur approves budget, increases rental fees at Legacy Park

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Legacy Decatur approves budget, increases rental fees at Legacy Park

Legacy Decatur Board Members Mark Ethun and Tony Powers, Executive Director Madeleine Henner, Board Members Allen Mast, Patti Garrett, Peggy Merriss and Andrea Arnold held the board's annual retreat on Dec. 7, 2023 at Legacy Park. Photo by Zoe Seiler.
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Decatur, GA — The Legacy Decatur Board, at its Dec. 7 meeting, approved its 2024 budget and increased the rental fees for venues at Legacy Park. 

Legacy Decatur is the nonprofit organization that oversees Legacy Park, which was formerly the United Methodist Children’s Home. Legacy Park is located on South Columbia Drive in Decatur.

The pricing for event spaces in Hawkins Hall, the auditorium, the Cochran Building, the dairy barn and outdoor spaces increase by about $50-$100 depending on the space. For non-residents, the rate for outdoor space increased from $100 for two hours to $225 for two hours. The rate for festivals increased from $1,500 to $2,000. 

Programs Manager Dymond Generette said the increased rates will cover the additional cost of staffing, as well as payroll and event coordination. The prices for Legacy Park tenants, however, will remain at the current rates.

“With increased event bookings, it is no longer feasible for Legacy Decatur staff to cover every event at Legacy Park without limiting the number of events,” the meeting agenda states. “Legacy Decatur hired and trained a team of skilled contract 1099 employees to work as Legacy Park venue staff. To account for increased costs associated with event staff, Legacy Decatur staff recommends authorization of 2024 price increases for venue space at Legacy Park.”

The board also added a $500 rush fee for events and a 3% processing fee to cover online payments. Events booked before Jan. 1, 2024, will maintain the 2023 pricing.

Here are the rates for 2023 and 2024: 

Venue2023 Pricing2024 Proposed Pricing
HawkinsResident Rate: $300 for 2 hours, $50 for each additional hour

Non-resident rate: $450 for 2 hours, $75 for each additional hour. 

Resident Rate: $350 for 2 hours, $75 for each additional hour

Non-resident rate: $525 for 2 hours, $112.50 for each additional hour

AuditoriumResident Rate: $100 for 2 hours,

$50 for each additional hour

Non-resident rate: $200 for 2 hours,

$75 for each additional hour

Resident Rate: $200 for 2 hours,

$75 for each additional hour

Non-resident rate: $300 for 2 hours,

$112.50 for each additional hour

Cochran 

Building

Resident Rate: $150 for 2 hours,

$50 for each additional hour

Non-resident rate: $225 for 2 hours,

$75 for each additional hour

Resident Rate: $200 for 2 hours,

$75 for each additional hour

Non-resident rate: $300 for 2 hours,

$112.50 for each additional hour

Dairy 

Barn

Resident Rate: $200 for 2 hours,

$50 for each additional hour

Non-resident rate: $350 for 2 hours,

$75 for each additional hour

Resident Rate: $200 for 2 hours,

$75 for each additional hour

Non-resident rate: $350 for 2 hours,

$112.50 for each additional hour

Outdoor SpaceResident Rate: $50 for 2 hours,

$12.50 for each additional hour

Non-resident rate: $100 for 2 hours,

$25 for each additional hour

Resident Rate: $150 for 2 hours,

$75 for each additional hour

Non-resident rate: $225 for 2 hours,

$112.50 for each additional hour

Festivals$1,500$2,000

“Given that Legacy Park is managed by a nonprofit that is required to be operationally self-sufficient from the city by July of 2025, we are charged with not just cost recovery, but generating revenue because events aren’t part of our mission statement. It’s the way that we fundraise to cover our mission areas for the park,” Executive Director Madeleine Henner said. 

The dairy barn rates stayed the same at $350 as the space will be impacted once construction of the track and field begins.

“The reason we kept the barn the same for the base hours is that the construction is closest to the barn and until this point, we were able to use the gym bathrooms for barn events. Moving forward, once construction starts, that’s not an option,” Henner said. 

A few board members noted that the new rental prices are consistent with the city’s parks and recreation fees for outdoor spaces. 

“What we’re doing is trying to offer space for people to use and in the context of just like if staff from Decatur rec has to be somewhere to be a presence for a larger group, we haven’t done the same thing here [and need] to acknowledge that part of it,” Board Member Patti Garrett said. 

To rent outdoor field space through Decatur Parks and Recreation, the fee is $200 for the first two hours for a field with lights, and $150 for two hours for a field without lights.

“That’s saying what’s being proposed matches what was recently adopted by the city for outdoor field space,” Board Member Andrea Arnold said.

In other business, the board approved the 2024 budget, which plans for $304,920 in revenue and $294,180 in expenditures. 

“This coming year, there are a lot more variables than there has been in the past,” Henner said. “[The finance committee] thoughtfully suggested creating a tiered revenue stream projection in how we, as an organization, look at each of those tiers.”

Legacy Decatur is working to become a self-sufficient in its operations, which means the organization will receive less money from the city each year. Last year, Legacy Decatur received about $66,000 from the city. This year, that amount is $49,000.

The nonprofit is also anticipating film and event revenue will decrease significantly in 2024 as construction of the South Housing Village and the track and field begins next year. To mitigate the revenue loss, the Legacy Decatur staff proposed prioritizing fundraising and leasing new individual buildings. 

Legacy Decatur is aiming to raise at least $10,000 in 2024 through fundraising. The organization is also looking to lease Sambell, Leigh and Nickerson Cottages at Legacy Park and would generate about $48,610 in rental revenue from the cottages. 

Expenditures in 2024 include $25,000 for the signage project, payroll expenses, $36,000 for communications and marketing, and other operations, professional services and program expenses. 

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