The Washington County Conservation Board has updated the holiday rental rates for the Conservation Education Center. In April, Director Zach Rozmus informed the board what the profit margins look like when they allow rentals on holidays. The typical daily rate for renting the Conservation Education Center is $175, which lines up with what it costs to provide staffing for the day. However, on county holidays employees receives two and a half times their typical wage, which turns holiday rentals into a net loss for the county. At the April meeting the board agreed to close the center for rentals for Thanksgiving, Black Friday, Christmas Eve, Christmas Day, New Year’s Eve, and New Year’s Day.

Board President Craig Capps added that in addition to the margins, he’d like to see staff be able to spend the holidays with their families, “In my opinion, the money is nothing, but the staff needs to be home with their family. We don’t need to be open on Christmas Eve or Christmas Day, and Thanksgiving.” Thursday the board voted to raise the rates to line up with added costs on holidays. During holidays where rentals are available the new rate with be $75 an hour, with a minimum of three hours. Rozmus added that his goal isn’t to make a lot of profit, but to close the profit gap to more efficiently use county money. The board also agreed to grandfather all existing rentals for the dates and rates previously agreed upon.

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