The community will have greater access to The Commons under new building policies that will increase the availability of the main lobby to the public. The new policy will keep The Commons open and accessible to all members of the community more frequently and reliably by suspending rentals and closings of the Miller-Tangeman Lobby.
“The Commons has traditionally served as our community’s ‘living room,’ offering the public a place where they can gather and relax,” Mayor Kristen Brown said. “These new rules will provide community members with more consistent and reliable access to The Commons to enjoy this important community building at the heart of our city.”
The Commons is owned by the public with 80 percent of its $1.57 million budget funded by property and income taxes. Revenue from rentals of the Miller-Tangeman Lobby of The Commons in 2014 was expected to total less than $10,000, a relatively insignificant amount compared to the significant funding provided by the taxpayers of the city.
The Commons is expected to generate about $314,500 in revenue in 2014 but needs $854,773 to operate. The City budgeted $540,273 of economic development income taxes to financially assist the operation costs of The Commons next year. The City also is paying $716,000 in debt service on the building from property taxes.
Following Mayor Brown’s recommendation, The Commons Board is reviewing further policy changes that could include a requirement to keep the Miller-Tangeman Lobby open at all times during The Commons hours of operation, further increasing its accessibility to the public. Special exceptions, such as the Columbus North and East high schools’ prom, could be made for large local events.