Most unincorporated Violet Township and Pickerington residents will pay between $75 and $195 for annual memberships to a community center, if the project is funded through a tax levy on the May 7 primary election ballot.

Although the fate of a proposed $46 million Violet Township Community Center hinges on passage of a 4.6-mill, 25-year levy on the May 7 ballot, it is now known what annual memberships to use the facility would cost.

The Violet Township board of trustees unanimously approved membership rates for the proposed center Feb. 20.

If the center is built, individual adults who live in Violet Township or Pickerington would pay $75 for an annual membership. Those prices would rise to $128 for a family of two, $169 for a family of three and $195 for a family of four or more.

Military veterans living in the community would receive a 10-percent discount on annual fees, and senior citizens 65 years old and older would pay nothing to use the facility.

Members would have the option of paying the fees up front or on a monthly basis.

"Violet Township staff worked diligently to ensure the cost to residents is comparable to surrounding communities when you factor in both the property tax and membership fees," said Holly Mattei, Violet Township development director.

"Township staff utilized information provided by our consultant, Moody Nolan, regarding competitive membership rates for other nearby community centers.

"We adjusted those rates to reflect the fact that residents will also be paying property taxes."

Non-residents would pay annual fees of $375 for individual memberships, $650 for a family of two, $800 for a family of three and $950 for a family of four or more.

Non-resident military veterans would receive a 10-percent discount on fees, but non-resident senior citizens would pay $150 per year for a membership.

Additionally, the township would offer daily rates of $7 for adult residents and $5 for children ages 3-15 who live in the township or Pickerington.

Non-resident daily passes would be $14 for adults and $10 for children 3-15.

Military vets would pay $5 for a day pass and children 2 and younger would be admitted for free.

"The estimated expense for the community center is approximately $3 million annually," Mattei said. "The estimated revenue with these rates is $1 million annually.

"The (May 7) parks and recreation levy includes $2 million in operating funds to cover the remaining operational costs."

As conceptually proposed, the township seeks to build a 95,000-square-foot facility that would include two gymnasiums, a welcome desk, staff offices, a child-care area for parents who are using the facility, three multipurpose rooms and a study or "quiet" area on its first floor.

Those designs also include a competition swimming pool and a leisure pool, separate locker rooms for men and women, a universal family changing room and "team" room on the first floor.

The second floor, as proposed, would feature a 0.1-mile track.

Inside the track would be a fitness space, two exercise classrooms, a "messy arts and crafts room" and the facility's mechanical equipment.

The entire project, including donation of the land on which it would be built at the southeast corner of Pickerington and Refugee roads, is contingent upon the levy's passage.

The levy would cost homeowners $13.39 per month per $100,000 of total appraised value of residences as determined by the Fairfield County Auditor's Office.

The annual cost would be $160.68 per $100,000 of valuation.

Local homeowners can find the total appraised value of their residences at co.fairfield.oh.us.

Information on the township's economic development website, investwithviolet.com, states the median home value in Violet Township is $200,800.

The annual costs for a residence valued at that price would be $323.29.

According to a feasibility study commissioned by the township, the rates compare favorably to those of other central Ohio community centers and YMCAs.

That study states Dublin charges $200 for individual annual memberships for residents and $580 for nonresidents, and individual membership rates go up for residents who use community centers or YMCAs in Groveport, Prairie Township, Westerville, Worthington, Canal Winchester and Delaware.

Likewise, Dublin provided the closest prices for residents with families.

According to the study, Dublin families of two pay annual rates of $345, families of three pay $455 and families of four pay $520.

Resident seniors pay rates ranging from $100 in Dublin, to $185 in Westerville.

At this time, it's unclear if Violet Township community center users would pay additional fees for specific classes or programs.

"We are continuing to explore best practices regarding additional classes and programs, etc.," Mattei said.

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