hydrangea blossoming

hydrangea blossoming
Hydrangea on the Edge of Blooming

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Worthy Projects

The Community Advisory Committee (it advocates for the Point with the County by mission, but also works with other agencies whose work affects life here on the Point) met last night with the goal of discussing possible funding mechanisms for what were described as 'three worthy projects.'  These included the necessary repairs to the Community Center, the renovation of the Julius Firehall for a new library, and the production of a lighthouse at Lighthouse Point.  Each will ultimately involve costs of about a half million dollars.

The discussion part never mentioned the Community Center repairs and I had thought that the Parks Board had developed a plan for that which would not, at least currently, involve seeking either new taxes or an additional levy.   Nevertheless, it does seem to me that the community ought to be prepared to cover maintenance costs for the main community building in Point Roberts via the tax system.  But that is not going to happen now.  So people who resist having taxes pay for anything can sleep well in their beds.

Indeed, all three projects involve funding outside of raising taxes.  There are private institutions that provide grants, there are private donors, there is grassroots' fundraising, and, to a small degree, there are government agencies that provide funds for such projects (e.g., restoration of historical buildings).

Unfortunately, the discussion seemed to drift into peoples' feeling that the projects were not the projects they wanted, sort of.  One discussant pointed out that, although he had no data, he felt the price tag of renovations for the Firehall was too high.  Thanks for sharing, was my inner response.  Another voice urged thinking 'out of the box,' and suggested putting the library in Baker Field.   Not exactly a vital location for a community library, I'd say, but definitely out of the box.  Way out of the box.  Someone expressed the view that the new library would be just the same as the old library and we would be out a half million.  However, when asked whether she had looked at the architectural plans, her reply was a succinct, 'No.'  And with an implied 'and I have no plans to do so.'

The Lighthouse Project simply presented its status and its plans.  Nobody objected, at least.

The most useful information of the evening was that the Point Roberts PREP group (which encompasses both the Food Bank and Emergency Preparedness) is currently using the Julius Firehall as a storage site for its supplies.  Obviously, if the Library project is to proceed, some other storage will need to be found for them.  

Given that my focus and interests are largely on the Library Improvement Project, I can't exactly conclude that it was an evening well spent, but maybe just hearing these dissenting voices will tell me something that I need to know.  Or, maybe not.

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