Monday, November 21, 2011

the next steps in flood recovery...

What a wild autumn!

Over the past couple of months, the Vestry has worked hard on preparing itself and the parish for the next steps in our recovery from the damage caused by the floods brought on by Irene while at the same time reviewing the need to address a large amount of deferred maintenance. After meeting with an historic preservation architect, our Vestry then asked the Captial Concerns Committee to meet and prepare proposals for several ways we might 1) reclaim the Parish Hall basement for space, 2) address any immediate concerns for repair or renovation that are "can't wait" and 3) begin to move us forward down the path to the restoration of our Church, Parish Hall and Rectory buildings.

Contingent on item 3: working on a development grant that will give us access to historic preservation monies that would match funds we raise to preserve our historic structures.

Regarding 2: the Vestry voted to move forward with electrical work in the Parish Hall to upgrade a subpanel and make sure our electrical service can adequately support the demands a refurbished basement will require.

Regarding 1: the Vestry will confer via conference call this Tuesday regarding proposals to renovate and restore the basement of the Parish Hall for Sunday School use with a completion date set as January 13th. This entails reviewing exactly what volunteers can accomplish, what portions of the work will by necessity entail hiring contractors and finally what expense will be required to make sure the space is safe and ready for our children to return. The date is favorable in that we are only making the Sunday School use the VFD a couple more times, as the situation of moving into and out of the hall is wearing on all involved.

The Good News, in addition to God's love for us, is that a bequest from Barbara Rasmussen has come in (actually on the day of our last Vestry meeting! God is GOOD!) that places $227,000 in our recovery fund. This is in addition to the $50,000+ that has been donated for flood recovery from the community. The challenge from God, I am convinced, is for us to rise to the occasion and do the work well so that we don't wind up redoing, or reworking, repairs before a healthy interval of time has lapsed.

Pray for your Vestry, they have a number of crucial, defining choices to make!

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