LIVERMORE FALLS — Regional School Unit 36 directors have changed the policy on community use of school buildings and grounds that calls, in some cases, for $3 million liability insurance coverage and fees.
Directors voted 9-1 with Denise Rodzen of Livermore Falls opposed on May 13 to adopt the policy. She said she didn’t favor charging taxpayers to use the school facilities since they already pay taxes for them. She also was concerned about less money going to benefit students.
The purpose of the policy is to set the priority of uses for scheduling purposes, Assistant Superintendent Shawn Lambert said Monday.
The district had to tighten up the policy, he said.
The school board’s Policy Committee has been in the process of updating policies. This particular policy was last updated in 2003 and did call for some lower fees, but no one in authority could remember them being enforced.
The 2003 policy also required a certificate of insurance but did not list the amount in the policy.
School Director Jennifer Pooler of Livermore Falls, who is also on the Policy Committee, said last Friday that policies from other school districts were reviewed to put together the policy that was approved. Those included RSU 2 in Hallowell and Farmingdale and Five Town CSD in the Rockport area.
Lambert said he contacted the Maine School Management Association to determine the liability insurance coverage amount.
There are very few requests from groups outside school-sponsored entities that seek to use the facilities, he said.
Ninety percent of the time, fees are not an issue, Lambert said.
Groups sponsored by the district will have priority over other requests. They may have to pay for custodial costs based on scheduling, Lambert said, but if a custodian is on duty, that is unlikely.
Second priority will be given to non-RSU 36 sponsored nonprofit organizations such as political caucuses and adult basketball leagues. Those groups must pay for custodial time at a rate specified by the district, if required. They also will be required to have a cook present, if a kitchen is used, at a rate specified by the district and must provide a certificate of insurance in the amount of $3 million naming RSU 36 as an additional insured and covering the period under contract.
Third priority will be given to for-profit educational organizations that are not sponsored by the district but promote educational activities and benefits. These include camps, recreational activities and lessons. Organizations must pay a rental fee ranging from $25 to $100 depending on what is used and the length of time, pay for custodial time if required, have a cook present if the kitchen is used and provide a certificate of insurance for $3 million.
Other groups not sponsored by RSU 36, and that are for-profit, and plan to use facilities for a purpose not consistent with activities already in the building, such as antique shows and auctions, will have to pay a rental fee. These fees range from $50 to $200, depending on what is used and for how long.
In this case, to use the cafeteria for less than four hours, it would be $100. Over four hours, it is $200. The same applies to the gym. Fields for less than four hours would be $100, and more than four hours, $200.
These groups also must pay for custodial time if required, have a cook present and pay a specific rate if the kitchen is used, and provide a $3 million certificate of liability.