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Day: March 18, 2015

Lakepoint church usage fees explained

Lakepoint Community Church’s use of the Keizer Civic Center is highlighted by its free ServeFest each fall, which gives free services such as haircuts to thousands in the community. (KEIZERTIMES file photo)
Lakepoint Community Church’s use of the Keizer Civic Center is highlighted by its free ServeFest each fall, which gives free services such as haircuts to thousands in the community. (KEIZERTIMES file photo)

By CRAIG MURPHY
Of the Keizertimes

One councilor’s question of finances led to others extolling the virtues of a local church.

Lakepoint Community Church uses the Keizer Civic Center each Sunday for its church service, paying the city $535 per week for the rental. Services start at 11 a.m. and are attended by approximately 150 people.

A resolution for a two-year extension on the agreement was part of the consent calendar during the March 2 Keizer City Council meeting.

While such a matter would typically be passed without discussion, in this particular case councilor Amy Ripp used finances as a basis for discussion.

Ultimately councilors approved the two-year extension unanimously.

“It looks like it’s been a great partnership,” Ripp said. “My question would be with the numbers. It’s been a great relationship for a great cause. But the numbers don’t add up to me. They receive more than a 50 percent discount. I would like to discuss it before we approve it.”

City Manager Chris Eppley noted the weekly rentals add up to about $28,000 a year.

“It is a good relationship,” Eppley said. “It’s a steady flow of income throughout the year. Sunday morning is the lowest use time for us. Because of that, it’s a good deal for them and for us. It seems like a fair rate for them.”

City Recorder Tracy Davis noted Lakepoint was originally paying $300 a week for a four-hour time period when using three rooms. The rate was bumped up to $535 once the church starting using the whole building.

Use fees for the community center are listed as $220 an hour for the main ballroom, $90 an hour for three other rooms and $15 an hour for the smallest rooms, thus leading to Ripp’s question.

Eppley pointed out the usual rental fees have more service attached to them.

“The other thing is we don’t provide any staffing,” he said. “They do their own set-up and clean-up, unlike any of our other agreements. We do no work for it.”

Councilor Kim Freeman emphasized people at the church don’t just return the facility to the condition it was prior to Sunday.

“They do set rooms for our use on Mondays,” Freeman said. “That’s a huge savings for the city. They may be receiving a discount, but we’re also getting labor from them for Mondays.”

Councilor Roland Herrera mentioned Lakepoint puts on ServeFest each fall, which gives free services to thousands of community members including haircuts, family photos, lunches, a wellness clinic, bicycle repair, a children’s carnival, free school supplies and personal care items.

“The most astonishing thing I’ve seen in this building is ServeFest,” Herrera said. “It affects thousands of people. These people do some wonderful things. Whatever we give them is well worth it for the community.”

Mayor Cathy Clark said Lakepoint personnel take care of any maintenance items that come up while they are using the building.

“The people at Lakepoint are trained on how to use facility, maintenance and care of the building including the moveable walls,” the mayor said.“It is in-kind labor.”

Ripp was pleased to hear what the church members do in exchange for use of the space.

“I felt it was important to have the conversation so it’s consistent with what we’re doing for everyone,” she said.

Comcast helping Big Toy project

Tim Goodman (left) from Comcast thanked Janet Carlson (right) and pledged his company’s support to the Big Toy project during the March 2 Keizer City Council meeting. (KEIZERTIMES/Craig Murphy)
Tim Goodman (left) from Comcast thanked Janet Carlson (right) and pledged his company’s support to the Big Toy
project during the March 2 Keizer City Council meeting. (KEIZERTIMES/Craig Murphy)

By CRAIG MURPHY
Of the Keizertimes

A cable TV company learned about a big park project in Keizer thanks to e-mail.

That led to Tim Goodman, director of Government Affairs for Comcast Cable in Oregon and Southwest Washington, publicly thanking Janet Carlson at the March 2 Keizer City Council meeting.

Carlson, the Marion County commissioner, is co-chair of the fundraising task force for the Big Toy playground project, scheduled to be built by community volunteers over a five-day period in June at Keizer Rapids Park.

Part of the public thanking included a $1,000 check and a pledge to help in the future.

“Sometime back in the early fall Commissioner Carlson e-mailed me some information about a park here in Keizer, that you guys were developing a Big Toy,”Goodman said.“She indicated some financial help might be needed. Upon her request, I put in a request to Comcast. I was able to get a little bit of

money.”

But that wasn’t all.

“In addition to that, I believe you guys are looking at a June construction date,” Goodman said.“I talked to our local tech op who manages all the local (Comcast) cable guys in Salem-Keizer.They are interested in putting together a team to come help ya’ll put it together.”

Goodman then explained why he wanted to do the presentation while sitting next to Carlson.

“I have to give Commissioner Carlson credit, because we wouldn’t have known about it if it hadn’t been for her bending my ear a little bit,”he said. “I’ve had the check with me for a couple of months, but we were trying to coordinate a time when we could both be here together. I have a check for $1,000 I wanted to give you tonight, and a commitment for a work crew for when you do the construction in June. That’s why we’re here tonight. I wanted to give her some recognition.”

Carlson noted she had responded to what seemed like an open invitation from Goodman.

“When he asked me, ‘What can we do to help in Marion County?’ I said, well, we’ve been working on this project in Keizer,” Carlson said.

According to Goodman, the project hit a nerve for him since he was formerly a parks and recreation person for 14 years in California.

“We did a project similar to this back in the day,” Goodman said. “I know how this works. I have a check for whoever wants to take it.”

Mayor Cathy Clark had councilor Marlene Quinn, chair of the Community Build Task Force, accept the check and pose for a picture with Goodman and Carlson.

The following evening, Carlson gave a fundraising update during the monthly CBTF meeting. Carlson noted she’ll be talking about the project this spring on Comcast Newsmakers, while fundraising co-chair Richard Walsh has been talking to churches about getting volunteers for the June 10 to 14 build dates. She also commended former mayor Lore Christopher for “going like gangbusters” in getting financial commitments.

According to figures from Carlson, recent contributions have included $2,500 from Mountain West Investment Corporation, an additional $2,000 from Keizer Rotary for a swing set (in addition to $30,000 already contributed by Rotary to the project), $5,000 from Keizer Elks for a log cabin, $1,000 from Northwest League of Professional Baseball for a bench and $8,000 from Salem-Keizer Volcanoes for a new volcano slide, which was highlighted in last week’s Keizertimes.

Carlson’s figures show more than $223,000 has been raised. With the budget recently being lowered to $319,000 in light of a cheaper surface, approximately 70 percent of the funds have been raised.
“This is looking real good,” Carlson said.

Carlson noted sometimes additional funding ends up being a wash, as exemplified by the funding from the Volcanoes.

“Another interesting thing is sometimes there are puts and takes,” she said. “The Volcanoes are providing money, but that’s also an expense we didn’t have previously.”

Carlson also emphasized fundraising isn’t necessarily done once build date arrives.

“Even if we don’t reach the $95,000 left to raise by then, there will still be people who want to donate later once it is built,” she said. “We’re not going to say it’s over until it’s over. The build date is not the end date for fundraising. We will probably need to think of ongoing maintenance costs and grants for activities in the park. June may not be the end.”