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Community Hall to Stay Free for Nonprofits

Updated: Jun 10, 2022

A Stay of Execution, Not a Long-Term Solution

After more than two hours of public comment and debate on Tuesday, the Tuolumne County Board of Supervisors quashed staff’s recommendation to amend Section 3.40.010(V) of the Tuolumne County Ordinance Code by adding Facility Use Fees for Hall Rentals. Staff recommended charging $25 per hour for use of any of the county’s existing community halls and meeting rooms, as well as the two new Resilience Centers in Groveland and Tuolumne. Historically, usage fees have been waived for nonprofits and other community organizations who register their nonprofit status, pay a $50 deposit, and provide a certificate of insurance.

A highly-charged issue, Supervisors Haff, Kirk, and Brandon noted they had received an almost unprecedented number of calls and emails opposing the new fee structure. Representatives of local nonprofit and community groups, including Patti Beaulieu from Helping Hands and Rick Whybra on behalf of the Groveland Thanksgiving Dinner Committee, the League of Women Voters, Tuolumne County Arts Alliance, and the Tuolumne County Genealogical Society, attended the meeting in person. They each spoke out against the new policy, imploring the Board of Supervisors to exempt community organizations from paying usage fees.

Helping Hands, a registered 501(c)(3), has been serving the greater Groveland community for more than forty years. Store manager Patti Beaulieu said, “We use the Community Hall twice a year to give away hundreds of pounds of donated clothing. People take away huge garbage bags full of free clothing for their families. It takes several days to prepare for those giveaways. Asking Helping Hands to pay $250