La Plata County commissioners on Tuesday unanimously approved a fee increase for use of the La Plata County Fairgrounds, the first such increase in more than a decade.
The fee increase is expected to boost revenue for the county.
In 2016, fairground fees generated about $79,000 in revenue. After the increase, revenue is expected to increase to $135,000.
According to General Services Department Director Mark McKibben, fees for the fairgrounds were last increased in 2006. Given the length of time since the last increase, the county looked at whether revenues are in line with similar facilities.
As a result, the county compared its fees with five other Colorado counties - Adams, Eagle, Garfield, Mesa and Montrose - as well as the city of Durango and Durango School District 9-R.
McKibben said the department also talked with vendors who routinely rent out the fairgrounds to get their feedback.
McKibben said the proposed fees are set at an hourly rate. That's because most people who rent the facility do so for one- to four-hour meetings. The changes will take effect May 1.
To rent the entire facility, for example, now costs $1,538 a day for for-profit organizations, and $1,238 a day for nonprofits.
A 25 percent discount is offered for those who rent the entire facility for setup and cleanup days, as well as a 25 percent discount to rent the parking lot.
Commissioners also approved a condition that the fees for use of the fairgrounds will increase 5 percent every two years starting May 1, 2020, so that there will not be a major increase in fees as the county was forced to do this year.
The county ultimately would like to move the fairgrounds to a new location on Ewing Mesa that was donated by Marc Katz. That project is still in the planning phase, with county officials and others invested in the project looking for funding.