BOONE COUNTY — Open for business — with conditions.
That was the theme of the conversation that was had between Boone County Commissioners last week as they voted unanimously to open community centers throughout the county after months of no activity in observance of COVID-19 safety measures.
With the openings, the county will offer the facilities for rent for graduation parties and birthday parties — to the delight of families looking for space to celebrate.
Centers in Danville, Madison (Memorial Building), Morrisvale, Racine, Orgas, Spruce river Wharton and Van will open.
Initially, the discussion between commissioners started with the concept of opening four of the centers but eventually moved to all of the centers, where senior citizens are not currently eating, according to county officials, and would not be exposed to an unnecessary risk. Danville, Van, Wharton and Racine were initially on the table for a limited opening.
Officials stated that Morrisvale, Racine and Spruce River are among the most utilized in the county, based on rental requests.
Initially, rentals for the day would cost $50, plus a $50 deposit for cleaning, and officials say that many renters would choose not to clean and surrender the $50 deposit.
Commissioners noted that the only way they would consider keeping the centers open would be with the understanding that renters are expected to return the spaces clean and that if they are not and/or there is a increase in COVID-19-related cases in the county, they would not hesitate to shut them down again.
“I think that we must stress that if they aren’t returned clean after usage, one bad apple may spoil the whole bunch, as the old saying goes,” said Commission President Craig Bratcher.
Commissioners collectively preferred to open all of the centers.
“Instead of picking and choosing, I say we open them all up and we just have to hope our citizens are willing to clean up,” said Commissioner Brett Kuhn.
Commissioner Jacob Messer questioned, “Do we have the ability to raise that? I think a steeper price, they may clean it to ensure that they get their money back.”
Commissioners moved to raise the price to a daily rental of $75, plus a refundable $75 cleaning deposit for all community centers within the county.
The Boone County Commission meets on the first Tuesday of each month at 3:30 p.m., the third Tuesday of each month at 3:30 p.m. and the last Tuesday of each month at 5 p.m. at the Boone County Courthouse Annex, third floor. Call 304-369-7303.