Persons who intend to host events at community centres across the British Virgin Islands will once again have to pay fees to do so.
Deputy Social Development Officer in the Ministry of Health, Stacie Stoutt-James, made that announcement during a recent interview with the Government Information Service.
She said the fees have been reinstated as of January 6, since being waved following the 2017 hurricanes.
“The fees are not that significant that I think persons would be deterred from using the community centres. Of course, we have overhead costs and we need to look at how we maintain the centres. There was a lot of infrastructural damages and outside of that and the constant use of the community centres, that would aid us in some of those costs that we incur,” Stoutt-James said.
“We’ve done some level of work to the community centres as two years have gone by and we are comfortable that we are at a place now where we can institute our schedule of fees and wanted to share this information with the public so they are aware,” she added.
The deputy officer also said the overall schedule of fees has seen an increase from the prices which existed prior to 2017.
She said: “One of the things that we did in looking at reinstating the schedule of fees is looking at what we had before, and we only increased them by $25 each … There’s a range, so depends on whether it’s a child or an adult birthday party, that ranges from $50 to $300, depending on what the specifics are when they come to the office and fill out the application form.”
“As it relates to weddings, its $150 to $500, other parties such as anniversaries and retirement parties, that’s $50-$300. We have a lot of requests for baby showers and stuff like that, that fee is $25 to $35,” she added.
Stoutt-James, however, stated that unlike the other fees which were increased, repast fees will remain the same for persons wishing to host a gathering for the loss of a loved one.
That fee is $50 for the first four hours and $30 per hour after.
Application process changed
The application process has also undergone a few changes.
Stoutt-James said: “We are asking the public to come into our office and fill out the application form. There will be accessible online on the government’s website, and we would try our best to reach out to them within three to five business days after they reach out to us about their interest in booking the facility.”