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Pictured is the West Point Depot on 3rd Avenue in West Point. -- Dustin Duncan

West Point Council discusses Depot rates

WEST POINT — The West Point City Council could look to increase its revenue by lowering the price on one of its venues.

At the Aug. 8 work session for the West Point City Council, Councilwoman Gloria Marshall proposed the council consider lowering the price of the West Point Depot 10 percent to attract more usage.

“I do think that for the city of West Point, the price for the depot is a little bit too expensive,” Marshall said.

City Manager Ed Moon said the revenue coming in from The Depot isn’t covering its operating costs.

Currently, The Depot rents for $1,010 from 8 a.m. to 10 p.m. on Friday, Saturday and Sunday. From 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. on the weekend, the price drops to $700. Nonprofits get a discount on rental rates.

During the week, a full-day — 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. — rents for $440 and a luncheon meeting — 11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. — rents for $220.

Weeknights from 5 p.m. to 10 p.m. rent for $320.

Mayor Steve Tramell said a 10 percent reduction would drop the weekend, full-day rate to about $910.

“The visual of being under $1,000, to me, would help,” he said.

Councilman Henry Hutchinson said if the council drops the price, it can drive usage to cover the operating costs. He said in 2018 The Depot was only used 110 times.

“If we lower that cost to where it is feasible for regular people to use it, then I think it will get used as much as possible,” he said. “Then, it will balance itself out to where it’s at least self-sustainable.”

Marshall said she has been approached by several constituents who say they would like to rent the venue but can’t afford the price.

“My biggest concern is the weekend,” she said. “That’s where I get most of my complaints from.”

Hutchinson said he thought a price of about $750 to $800 would be suitable.

Councilwoman Deedee Williams said the council doesn’t want to drop it too low to where it costs the city to have the facility and rent it.

“However, it doesn’t pay for itself now because it’s not being utilized,” she said.

Tramell said he would caution the council on dropping it too low because it would be hard to go back up if the revenue isn’t there.

“We can drop it down a little bit, but if you drop it down a bunch, you can’t go back up,” he said.

Councilman Gerald Ledbetter suggested offering the discounted rate to West Point citizens and keeping the full price available for out-of-town renters.

“If somebody is coming from Atlanta, they can pay the full price,” he said.

The discussion was pulled from the Aug. 12 regular business meeting because the council felt more discussion was needed.

Marshall said she felt it would be best discussed when the entire council was available. Councilwoman Sandra Thornton and Councilman Joseph R. Downs were not present for the work session.