City officials are updating the meeting room policy at Columbus City Hall to balance the needs of city employees with requests from the public to use the space.

The city’s Board of Works has approved new City Hall meeting room fees and guidelines, which includes a $150 three-hour rental fee for the large Cal Brand meeting room, with the fee being waived for nonprofit organizations. Additional rental hours are charged at $50 per hour. The total cost to rent the meeting room in City Hall for a full day is $300, the policy states.

Mary Ferdon, executive director of administration and community development, told Board of Works members that the City Hall conference rooms will now be used internally by city staff members.

The city will have the Cal Brand meeting room available when not in use by city officials, with a revamped application process in place, Ferdon said. The room may be rented between 8 a.m. and 5 p.m. weekdays but will not be available on weekends because of the need for custodial and security staffing, she said.

Acceptable meeting formats are business, educational, civic, cultural or government-related meetings, the new guidelines state. Personal, private parties or political activities are prohibited in the meeting room.

While Board of Works members this week approved the new meeting room rules, city officials said all events that were scheduled prior to the change are grandfathered in under the previous policy and those arrangements will not change. However, the changes will take place immediately for all newly scheduled events.

Ferdon said the new guidelines and the application are being reformatted and will be placed on the city’s website when completed.

For more information

For more information about renting the Cal Brand meeting room at Columbus City Call, visit the city’s website at or call 812-376-2500.

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Julie McClure is assistant managing editor of The Republic. She can be reached at or (812) 379-5631.