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Fairness or Favoritism? More Debate About Building Use Fees in Rocklin

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It’s home to American Legion post 620 once a month on Tuesdays, but several nights a week Rocklin’s community center is also home to the area’s girl and boy scout troops.
“We would have to raise our fees in the pack to $100 per scout, $240 per boy scout,” said Jeff Sherer, Troop 29 Chairman.
That’s the kind of change scout leaders are trying to avoid as webelos, gold star girls, cubs and eagle scouts crowded into city council chambers Tuesday night.
They were there to protest paying for use of a building that’s been free to them for decades.
“I think this is very unfair… actually, we’re a non profit organization… I think if we have to start doing this we’ll disintegrate in this area,” said Emily Garcia from Troop 1921.
“If we’re the ones out there helping everyone else… then shouldn’t they at least give back to us a little bit,” said Kelly Whelan who’s been a girl scout for 10 years.
The good work of scouts isn’t in question, so what is? A  pattern of treating Rocklin’s community  groups differently.
“It just no longer seemed equitable for some of them not to pay fees and most of them to pay fees,” said city of Rocklin Public Affairs director Karen Garner.
Seven of the 20 or so groups that use city facilities have had the $90-an- hour fee waived for years – something hard to explain as the city has swelled to 58,000 and new groups want space.
After just four speakers from the crowd at the council meeting, early comment was cut off so the council could attend to some business with paid consultants.
“They were a little dismissive, but we’re just gonna have to wait and see,” said girl scout mom Sara Garcia.
The uncertainty has  many young cubs like Amor Jackson worried that some of what they love about scouting could disappear.
“I would feel kinda sad about that,” he said.
Scouting groups gave the Rocklin council a 500-name petition in support of their current free use of building.
Since the fee issue was not on Tuesday’s agenda, the council could not take any action on the matter.
Plans are in the works for an ad-hoc city committee to try and find a solution before the fee takes effect next April.

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