Letter to the Editor

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Diane Sieker photo

Dear Editor,

Thank you for covering the financial issues plaguing the Anza Community Hall, as a result of the governor’s restrictions related to the coronavirus pandemic.

The Community Hall is a privately owned and operated building by the nonprofit corporation, Anza Community Building Inc. Membership in that nonprofit corporation gives the member voting rights to decide how the Hall is to be used, run for a seat on the board of directors and essentially makes the member an indirect partial owner of the property because the membership controls the corporation and the corporation owns the building.

We are asking area residents to take an interest in and responsibility for their Hall by becoming members. If only 2,500 of the roughly 9,000 area residents became members, the basic budget for the Hall would be covered.

When the corporation was first formed membership numbers were very high, which provided the needed funds to allow the board of directors to keep usage fees very low. Membership numbers have been way down for at least the past 10 years. Typically, fewer than 200 area residents support the Hall by paying for a membership. This year the numbers were down to just over 100, when the pandemic hit.

Certain bills keep coming even with the building virtually shut down. Health permits, water testing, taxes, utilities and insurance bills still need to be paid. Over the past three months, during the shutdown, those bills have averaged $2,916 a month with almost no income coming in for all usage, because all such gatherings were prohibited.

To prevent an imminent financial disaster the board of directors has engaged in a membership drive. We approved a lifetime personal membership class for $500, normally personal memberships at $30, and we are working on setting up a personal membership with an automatic renewal at $2 a month. Business memberships are only $50. Buyers of lifetime memberships and businesses making substantial donations, over and above their membership fees will have plaques commemorating their support placed inside the Hall.

The board of directors of the Community Hall have approached the Anza Electric Cooperative about possibly giving their customers the option to add $2 a month to their utility bills, for the purpose of maintaining a Hall membership. The details and feasibility of those proposals are still being worked out but at this time, people can pay their memberships and make donations at http://www.anzacommunitybuilding.org.

The governor’s restrictions are still causing problems for Anza Days, which is typically one of the largest fundraising events. In compliance with his orders, the traditional Anza Days Kick-Off Tri-Tip Dinner will be served as a to-go meal Friday, June 26, starting at 5 p.m. Hall member prices are $5 for children and $10 for adults. Non-member pricing is $12 a plate.

Anza Civic Improvement League has offered to let people eat their meal in the park, while practicing social distancing. We are still coordinating details such as having music in the park.

We hope to see area residents coming out in large numbers June 26, to help us make this fundraiser a success and keep our tradition of the tri-rip barbecue continuing.

Respectfully,

Bill Donahue