April 26, 2001
Seeley Swan Pathfinder
Seeley Lake, Montana
In recent years the Seeley Lake Community Hall Board has provided an annual report on the status of the Hall to the citizens of Seeley Lake. We missed the 2000 report but are bringing the community up to date through this letter.
The financial status of the Sullivan Memorial Park, which includes the Community Hall, is essentially the same as it was at the time of the report in 1999. As in the past, income from rentals just about pays for the operating expenses which are largely electricity, water, insurance, and maintenance. In 1998, income ($3903) exceeded expenses ($3491) by $412 but in 1999 there was a net loss of $1196 ($3024 income, $4221 expenses) due to improvement project costs. During 2000, net income ($3772) exceeded expenses ($3377) by $396. The Community Hall reserve fund is maintained at about $14,000 to cover emergency costs. Money raised at the July 1998 auction ($845) and the August 1999 auction ($608) was used for added insulation to the building, improving the electrical system, and a variety of repairs, such as replacing the front entry stairs. The Quilters and Alpine Artisans have spearheaded an effort to improve the lighting in the Hall. The Quilters raised the money to cover the installation of full-spectrum bulbs which have eliminated the color distortion caused by conventional fluorescent lights. Permanent hooks have been installed along the tops of the walls for use in displaying artwork. They can be used for the displays and decorations which are an essential part of the Hall use. A local call telephone service has been installed at the Hall as a safety measure and as a service to the renters.
In a continuing attempt to minimize the costs for the operation of the Hall and improvements, volunteer labor and contributions have been used whenever possible. This approach has been successful in making it possible to keep the rental costs low, but it has not been without problems. Renters are responsible for routine cleaning and are expected to leave the Hall ready for the next use, or to report any needed service or repairs. Frequently we have not had volunteers available to check the condition of the Hall after each use, which has resulted in extra work for the follow-up renters. The Board has considered hiring a person to handle rental duties, but the cost has always been a deterrent. The use of cleaning and snow removal services has been considered in order to improve the condition of the Hall for renters. The Driftriders (Ron Ogden) and the Pinochle Club (Carly Boule) have volunteered to provide these services for now.
During the past year, the Hall board was approached by the Seeley Lake Driftriders to see if a means could be found to provide office space at the Hall for the Driftriders which was consistent with the purpose of the Community Hall. After a great deal of debate, it was concluded that the proposed use would be a benefit to the community, that it would not adversely affect the current uses of the Hall, and it would provide significant benefits in terms of rental income and help in hall management. With a presence at the Hall, the Driftriders would be in a position to help with inspecting the Hall after uses, doing minor repairs, and handling snow removal. A five year agreement has been reached and the Driftriders are currently converting part of the storage room into office space. The cost of the conversion is being paid by the Driftriders and they will also pay the Hall $900 per year rent. The balance of the storage room will be insulated and finished to reduce heating costs and to make it more useable both for storage and for special events. The Community Hall will provide the materials for this part of the project.
Numerous volunteers contributed time and resources to the Hall during this period. Cheri Thompson handled the rental and bookkeeping chores. Ron Pedersen kept the grounds clean and mowed. The Hall floors were cleaned and waxed by Steve Thompson, Woody Baxter, and Cheri Thompson. Wold's Valley Market donated the use of their floor scrubbing equipment for the project. Many people contributed to snow removal, including Norman Lee, Ron Ogden, Gary Berkey, Ron Pedersen, and Dick Lewis. Pat Swan Smith and Emery Johnson served on the audit committee. Maintenance was handled by Paul Conn, Charlie Burmeister, Ron Pedersen, Carly Boule and Bob Stine. Spring clean-up of the grounds has been organized by the Alpine Artisans in preparation for the Loon and Fish Festival.
The Community Hall Board officially has representation from five organizations in the community. The organizations and their current representatives are: the Community Council (Cheri Thompson), the Driftriders (Jim Kyle), the Fire District (Bob Stine), the Lions Club (Dick Lewis), and the Pinochle Club (Ron Pedersen). The Sullivan Family has a representative on the Board as well, and Paul Conn currently serves in that capacity. To get better input on community needs, the Board encourages any other interested organizations and individuals to participate in the decision-making process. The Alpine Artisans and the Quilters regularly contribute.
The Board has reviewed the Hall management policies and continues to monitor them. The rental rates are $25 for up to 5 hours, $40 for 5-8 hours and $60 for 24 hours. Renters are responsible for routine cleaning and are expected to leave the Hall ready for the next use or to report any needed service or repairs.
We welcome any suggestions on how the Community Hall might better serve the needs of the community. Please contact any of the Board members or come to the meetings, which are held several times a year as needed. The normal meeting time is 1:00 p.m. on the third Monday of the month at the NAPA Store meeting room.
Memorial Park Board
Seeley Lake, Montana