Proposed Wellness Center fees draw debate from Greene County Commissioners
Multiple batting cages at the Greene County Wellness Center can be rented either daily or monthly. Photo by Rudy Coggins / Neuse News
SNOW HILL - A fee schedule for the newly-opened Wellness Center constructed by the Greene County Recreation Advisory Board caused some debate among the Greene County Commissioners on Monday evening.
Monthly fees for membership and the exercise room, and daily rates for the batting cages drew numerous questions and responses from the commissioners.
The RAB asked for $30 a month to use the exercise room. Batting cage rates were $25 for 30 minutes, $50 for an hour and $150 for a month. Wellness Center members would be charged $40 a month if they were a county resident, and $55 if they lived outside the county.
Commissioner Susan Blizzard noted that one-third of the county's population suffers from obesity and diabetes. She also stressed income and the economic strain that a monthly fee would create among the residents.
"I just feel like the exercise room should not be part of the fee schedule of the Wellness Center," said Blizzard. "I know there are a lot of people who walk the walking trails out there. In inclement weather, that [center] would be the outlet they would use to get their exercise in. I just feel like this is an opportunity where we have given Greene County citizens an opportunity to become healthy. If it becomes a problem, then we do something different. We need to encourage people to use it."
Blizzard pointed out that Greene County has a senior center where people over 60 years old can use the exercise room at no charge. She also talked about The Body Shop, a fitness facility that has a trainer on staff who designs an exercise plan to fit a person's particular need.
"We wanted to help the people of Greene County have an alternative to get healthy if they so choose," Blizzard said.
The RAB reduced the original proposed batting cage fees to stay under competitors' prices. However, the Board asked County Manager Kyle DeHaven if it could get a more detailed explanation about the rates from a RAB member at the next meeting.
The commissioners approved the rates for the small classroom ($25 per hour/$200 per day), large classroom ($35 per hour/$250 per day) and the stage ($500 per day).
In other actions:
The Board unanimously passed a change of order for the sewer project in the Hedgefield Subdivision. Some of the drainage pipe was damaged during the installation of the gravity sewer lines. Other issues arose as well, which led to an additional $8,.690 requested to finish the project by Dec. 3, 2019.
The Board unanimously agreed to a change order necessary to account for additional funding for the Creek Snagging Project from county line to county line. Contentnea Creek has debris from damage caused by Hurricane Matthew in 2016 and subsequent flooding in the spring of 2017.
The Board unanimously approved a proclamation declaring October as Breast Cancer Awareness month.
By a narrow margin, the Board approved a funding request policy to help formalize how funds are requested from non-profit and for-profit service agencies.