Looks like East Palestine Village Council may be getting ready to cut its losses and get out of operating the concession stand in the park.
After months of debating whether the concession stand should be operated year round, Village Manager Pete Monteleone produced figures recently that showed the village has lost $45,000 operating the stand over the last five years.
The losses had not come to light sooner because park revenue figures were not itemized to show each funding source previously. Apparently the park has been earning enough revenue overall to absorb the loss caused by the concession stand.
Rather than closing the concession stand altogether, the village is considering leasing it to a private concern.
The village manager and solicitor are working on a lease agreement for council to consider. The lease, while requiring that the concession stand must be open when the pool is open, may also allow the leasing company the option of opening the stand at other times of the year.
This appears to be a win-win situation for the village park. Not only will the lease agreement stem the hemorrhaging of park revenue caused by the concession stand, the monthly fees paid by the private concession company will bring some money in.
We caution village officials, however, to not count on the concession stand lease contract to be a longterm funding source. If the village couldn't operate the stand without incurring a loss, there is no guarantee that a private concern can make a profit either.
In the short term, however, it looks like a quick way to stop the losses and gain a little revenue.