Rental rates could go up for events and weddings held at the Chilmark Community Center if selectmen choose to move forward with a new fee structure at their meeting next Tuesday.

Rate hikes were recommended in a report presented to selectmen during their last meeting that was drawn up by a three-member town committee formed in June. The committee decided on the new rates after reviewing the current rental fees of similar buildings in other Island towns and interviewing Chilmark town officials who stressed that the building is suffering from the strain of heavy use.

“The wear and tear from larger events is problematic,” selectman Jim Malkin said. “There’s a concern that the stress on the facility is beyond what the town and community center currently receive for use of the space.”

The proposed fees are broken down into several tiers, though all require paying a $250 refundable cleaning deposit, up from $200 now. One-day rentals for weddings would go up from $400 to $1,500, with an addition $500 per additional day, up from $200. Events charging entrance fees or offering items for sale would be subject to the same rate increases.

One-day rentals for private and non-commercial events would decrease from $200 to $100 under the new rates. There would be no charges for one-day memorial events.

The report also concluded that a Chilmark resident sponsor should be secured by non-residents of the town, and sponsors must attend the event.

“We talked to a lot of people and tried to be fair,” said committee chairman Jane Slater. “We have to raise our costs so we’re not the cheapest place on the Island.”

Chilmark Town Affairs councilwoman Nan Doty said that increased rates are needed because community center rental rules stipulating that the town-owned building is primarily for town, school and resident use aren’t being followed.

“We need to be sure we’re cultivating town community in that building,” said Ms. Doty. “It’s being used as a venue and destination place for events.”

Mr. Malkin agreed. “The community center is there to be used by the school and the town,” he said. “It’s not there for the strain of events that have nothing to do with the town of Chilmark.”

Concerns over the proposed rate increases and how they would apply to Chilmark residents and non-residents drew comment from selectmen and the public. Currently, the same fees apply to both residents and non-residents.

“I think it’s very important to keep some sort of significant difference between resident Chilmarkers able to use the property and people coming to use it for any reason,” said Debbie Hancock.

Selectmen agreed that a final decision on the rate changes be made at the next meeting of the selectmen on Tuesday, Dec. 4 to allow for more feedback from residents.