Community Hall board wins grant approval, adjusts usage fees

The Community Hall board members discuss the latest grant successfully acquired by President Noel Donahue at the board meeting Thursday, July 27. Diane Sieker photo

A meeting of the Community Hall board of directors was held Thursday, July 27, but community attendance was noticeably lacking.

Present at the meeting were board members Les Fin, Dan Robinson, Donald Seddon, Taz Hoffstat, Gayle Shaffer, Barbara Keller, Noel Donahue and Kyran Roberts.

“Usually people don’t attend board meetings unless they have an issue to bring before a particular board,” board President Noel Donahue said. “But the community is really missing out by not attending the board meetings for the Anza Community Hall. There was a packed agenda for tonight’s meeting.”

Donahue reported that she had been told informally about a month ago that she was successful with her fourth grant proposal, which will bring another $70,000 into the Community Hall to make Americans with Disabilities Act upgrades. The Americans with Disabilities Act governs building designs so that access is accommodated for people with special needs. Currently the handicap parking, access ramps and bathrooms at the Community Hall are not in compliance. The grant will resolve this issue.

The board announced that they received official notification that this grant has been awarded indeed. Donahue also revealed that she has received positive feedback from the fifth grant proposal, seeking a smaller amount from another source. If successful, in that additional proposal, it will bring the total to five approved grants and almost $250,000 into the Community Hall in a two-year period.

Much of the meeting revolved around tweaking of the Community Hall usage fees. The board determined that closing the swap meet for users who want the hall Saturday morning is not in the best interest of the hall. The swap meet is such an important source of income that even with an upcoming event that will occupy the hall for three consecutive days they will barely breakeven because of the loss of the swap meet income during that event. Saturday afternoons and evenings in the hall are still available for rental however.

The board voted on a slight increase in the usage fees on the weekends, but also agreed to lower the meeting rates from $75 to $50 for groups that want to meet in the hall during the week. Contracts will be issued to everyone, even to groups that provide free services to the community and are not charged for use of the hall, so that any future board will know which groups use the hall and on what days and times.

When this board took office, there were numerous filing problems with agencies including the IRS, Franchise Tax Board, Secretary of State and the California Attorney General. Some of these issues dated back 10 years. All those filings have now been settled, except a 2008 tax return that was incorrectly filed. The board resolved all the other filing issues, got the corporation resurrected and both the federal and state tax-exempt status restored in the first six months they were in office. The 2008 tax filing issue has been an ongoing battle ever since. The IRS has told the board that once again they need another 90 days to resolve this matter.

Vice President Timothy Hofus was absent again, so elections will be scheduled for Sept. 28 to seek a new board member to take his place. This opening would is a great opportunity to join the board, learn how they operate and make a smooth transition into the board that will be elected in September 2018. Noel Donahue said she will be stepping down at that time, which is the end of the current board’s term.

Also mentioned at the meeting were new memberships for the year, with 98 membership having been submitted to date. Members enjoy discounts with certain area vendors, renting the Community Hall at discounted rates and a percentage off the fee when vending at the weekly swap meet.

The board hopes to have the Americans with Disabilities Act upgrades and the federal audit completed before September 2018. The audits are a requirement of some approved grants. If completed, the board will be able to hand over a remodeled hall that is Americans with Disabilities Act compliant and also in full compliance with all government agencies to the incoming board.

A motion was made to adjourn the meeting; it was seconded, and the motion carried.

The next meeting of the Community Hall board of directors is planned for 7 p.m. Thursday, Aug. 31.

Anyone interested in becoming a member of the Anza Community Building can call (951) 428-0901 or visit Memberships are $20 per person or family with one vote per family or person and $35 per business with one vote. Cash and checks are accepted.

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