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.