People renting portions of Washington County Historic Courthouse would pay more if county commissioners approve proposed fee increases later this month.
The increases would “better reflect market conditions,” said John Elholm, the county’s parks manager.
Proposed increases include a proposed new daily rate for Monday through Thursday evenings; a $200 rate increase on Fridays from 2 p.m. to midnight, making the cost $1,500; and a $250 rate increase on Sundays from 2 to 9 p.m., making the cost $1,000.
Fees of $100 apiece were proposed for kitchen cleaning, alcohol serving and two hours of access to the original county jail.
In 2014, weddings and other private rentals produced $110,870 in funding for the 145-year-old domed courthouse. The county anticipated earlier this fall that growing revenue from rentals would cover a greater share of the cost of operating the courthouse, cutting the annual cost to taxpayers by nearly half, or $83,400. Additional money comes from office rentals and county fundraising events.
The county reviewed fees after a private contractor took over the county-operated wedding business at the courthouse on Oct. 1. The St. Croix Boat & Packet Co. began coordinating reservations, finances, insurance, event setups and snow removal for weddings.
The county’s parks division continues to manage and staff the building, and county events have priority over private events.