Renting the courthouse grounds for an event will now cost individuals or groups a minimum $100.
Renting the courthouse grounds for an event will now cost individuals or groups a minimum $100.
CANTON — Madison County supervisors increased the cost to hold events on the grounds of the historic courthouse by as much as 1,200 percent Monday.

Prior to Monday’s decision, individuals could pay a $25 deposit to host a non-profit event such as a family reunion or wedding on the grounds. Now, the cost ranges from $100-$300 depending on which part of the grounds individuals want to reserve.

The cost to reserve the entire grounds is now $300. The cost to reserve just the north courthouse grounds is $100, and the cost to reserve the south courthouse grounds is $200.

District 3 Supervisor Gerald Steen pushed for the increase in costs and has previously said merchants on the south end of the Square have complained about people taking up parking spots during events.

District 5 Supervisor Paul Griffin was the only supervisor to vote against the increase, saying he was concerned about the fees.

“I got a problem with us charging period for it,” Griffin said. “It is taxpayers using taxpayer property.”

Griffin said it limits the use and limits certain organizations from having events.

He urged the board to consider a flat $100 rental fee if they were going to impose one at all.

Steen said they have to spend taxpayer dollars to repair the grounds.