The Sylvan Lake Community Center at 2456 Pontiac Drive is the city’s gathering place.

The Sylvan Lake Community Center at 2456 Pontiac Drive is the city’s gathering place.

File photo by Matt Mollan


Sylvan Lake council approves Community Center rental amendments for nonresidents

By: Sherri Kolade | West Bloomfield Beacon | Published January 24, 2019

 A fireplace adds to the atmosphere at the Sylvan Lake Community Center. The center now requires a full-day cash security deposit of $600 for rentals by nonresidents.

A fireplace adds to the atmosphere at the Sylvan Lake Community Center. The center now requires a full-day cash security deposit of $600 for rentals by nonresidents.

File photo by Matt Mollan

 The change to the rental policy was made during a City Council meeting this month.

The change to the rental policy was made during a City Council meeting this month.

File photo by Matt Mollan

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SYLVAN LAKE — The city’s gathering hub has been in the spotlight as of late after the Sylvan Lake City Council unanimously approved amending the Sylvan Lake Community Center policy and rental application during a Jan. 16 City Council meeting.

This now requires a full-day cash security deposit of $600 for nonresident rentals.

The current security deposit for the center at 2456 Pontiac Drive for Sylvan Lake residents will continue to be $250 for all rentals and may be paid with cash or check.

Sylvan Lake City Manager John Martin said before the vote at the meeting that residents previously paid a $250 deposit to rent the center, and it was a $350 deposit for nonresidents.

Martin said that what led to bumping up the deposit fee for nonresidents was how the Community Center has been treated.

“Unfortunately, we’ve had some incidents where people have gone in a whole day early, so we would normally charge them a whole day’s rental — the security deposit doesn’t cover that,” Martin said during the meeting, adding that trying to get that money paid to the city from a nonresident “is challenging” at times.

He also said that if the city accepts a check for the deposit, it is “real easy” to do a stop payment on the check, which has happened.

The new rental deposit fee for nonresidents can now only be paid in cash when Community Center renters pick up the Community Center key.

“So that cash is in our hands for maybe three or four days,” Martin  said.

Mayor Aaron Lorenz asked if there was a difference in the treatment of the building between residents and nonresidents.

Martin said he doesn’t want to say that “it’s just terrible,” but he notices a difference.

“There’s been a difference with care, so nonresidents are sometimes a little harder on the building, but we’ve also had residents hard on the building.”

City Councilman Ben Clarke asked if a stop payment scenario has ever happened.

Martin said yes.

“We have had checks that bounced,” he said.

Lorenz said the big thing is that the city is doing a cash deposit rather than a check.

“Because what happens is, the people who are nonresidents are renting the building. If they know we are going to take some of their deposit, they are quick to cancel their check, and now we have no deposit,” he said.

Martin said the city will treat a cash deposit as it would a check.

“We would stick it in the safe and hold it — if everything comes back, we give them the cash back,” he said. “Now if they cash a check, we have to hold the whole accounts payable process and issue them a check in return. If we cash a check and return ... money now, we have to go through that process.”

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