by Sarah Squires
For years Winona has had two prices for the rental of its buildings from Lake Lodge to Holzinger, one rate for private residents, one rate for nonprofits.
But for years, the Winona City Council has completely waived the fee for certain nonprofits and events, usually a routine unanimous vote for any nonprofit or local organization that elects to go before the council and ask. Until now.
Council members discussed the possibility of gaining some revenue by using the nonprofit rate and halting what has been a routine waive of all fees during recent budget talks, when city leaders have begun pinching the city’s purses in light of a shrinking budget and declining state aid. And earlier this month, the council tested those waters, with a unanimous vote to charge Habitat For Humanity the nonprofit rate of $35 to rent Lake Lodge for an upcoming event.
The city will likely recoup about $2,000 if it follows suit for the rest of the 20-25 rental fees the council typically waives each year.
Winona owns over a dozen buildings, facilities and shelters it rents for events ranging from weddings to family gatherings to triathlons and concerts. On the high end are Holzinger, Lake and Valley Oaks lodges, which go for $155 per event for private nonresident gatherings.
More information on city rentals can be found at www.cityofwinona-mn.com under the Park and Rec tab.