Almost a year and a half after tabling a recommendation from a special town committee, the Chilmark selectmen are still struggling to determine how best to regulate use of the Chilmark Community Center.

The three-member committee had recommended last July that all groups planning to charge admission to the community center pay a $500 fee, along with 20 per cent of their ticket sales. All applicants would need to live in Chilmark, or have an in-town sponsor. The sponsors would need to attend the event and provide a $200 damage deposit.

On Tuesday, the selectmen revisited the issue with committee members in response to a recent request by a town resident to use the community center for a private daylong workshop this weekend.

Chilmark executive secretary Tim Carroll said Tuesday that the workshop was not allowed under town regulations because it was a commercial venture. After being turned down, Jan Buhrman of the catering company The Kitchen Porch appealed the decision.

Current town policies require a $200 fee for parties and rehearsal dinners, $400 for weddings, and $50 for children’s parties. But the selectmen handle each case separately, and often waive the fee.

Ms. Buhrman did not attend the meeting, but former committee members James Malkin and Jane Slater were present to offer a recap of their recommendations from last year.

“It seemed to the committee that in the case of something that is a commercial or a large venture, the town should be compensated,” Mr. Malkin said. Echoing his earlier concerns, he said he did not believe the community center should be the cheapest venue on the Island.

Some of the local groups that use the community center had expressed concern over the increased fees last year, and the selectmen decided to delay their vote for further discussion.

Selectman Bill Rossi said Tuesday that he was eager to finally vote on the recommendations, but he felt the 20 per cent fee was too high. “I think 10 per cent is a fair number,” he said.

Selectman Warren Doty agreed that the town should be “stricter about commercial uses,” but also pointed to the many free or local events that benefit the community throughout the year. He stressed the importance of regulations that would work for everyone.

About 20 local groups, mostly from Chilmark, use the community center at least once a year. The building also hosts weddings, private parties, memorials and town meetings.

Mr. Malkin said the idea behind the 20 per cent fee was to evenly cover different types of events. “There could be attempts to get around charging the fee by saying they are accepting donations at the door,” he added. “So we included donations at door as part of the take.”

One sticking point for the selectmen has been how to define commercial ventures. Many of the local groups that use the building have deep roots in the community, and charge admission but do not expect to make a profit.

“I think we should open up for commercial activities if it’s appropriate in our opinion, and there’s availability,” Mr. Rossi said. But the main questions were still how much those groups should pay, and where to draw the line between community and commercial.

“If you are going to allow commercial activity, you have to understand that the building is going to take a hit,” Mrs. Slater told the selectmen. “Commercial ventures get big, and fast. They will come on the Island to use a cheap rental for whatever activity. I think you should protect yourselves from that, but it’s up to you.”

Tuesday’s meeting left many questions unanswered, although Mr. Rossi and Mr. Carroll agreed to work together to come up with more detailed regulations. In the meantime, they allowed Ms. Buhrman’s workshop to commence, but not without a $200 fee for setting up the day before.

Mr. Rossi hoped to vote on the committee recommendation as early as next spring.

In other business, the selectmen announced a visioning session for the Menemsha Comfort Station, which is often overwhelmed with visitors in the summer. Voters at a special town meeting in November approved $10,000 for a needs assessment and design services to develop a 20-year plan for the building. The session has been tentatively scheduled for 6 p.m., Dec. 22, at the Chilmark town hall.