ERBM responds to questions

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MEEKER I After business owners upset with the Meeker Recreation District’s perceived lack of support for the Range Call Celebration descended on the district’s board meeting last week, ERBM executive director Michael Weinbrecht, responded to questions presented by the business owners.
Weinbrecht said there was no letter sent from the district to local businesses, only an email proposal sent to the president of the Range Call committee. The email outlined the district’s proposal for an in-kind donation to the Range Call Celebration.
“The actual Range Call committee had asked for a donation at or above the platinum (sponsorship) level,” Weinbrecht stated. A platinum Range Call sponsorship requires a minimum $10,000 donation.
According to Weinbrecht, the recreation district board and staff considered a number of factors in regard to the requested donation for Range Call, including the Range Call committee’s lack of 501c3 non-profit status, the request came after the district’s annual budget was finalized and filed with the state, and the district’s “overhaul” of its sponsorship policy.
“Taking all factors into consideration, the recreation district decided that it was best to donate only in-kind services and materials,” Weinbrecht said.
In the past, those in-kind donations have included district staff hours utilized to run various events like the kids’ events at the ranch rodeo and the 5K walk/run, contributions of supplies and coordinating facility times to alleviate parking problems. The proposal for 2012 added a movie night, a $1 drop-in admission rate and free shower tickets for the rodeo participants and staff.
Citizens at the meeting had suggested possible donations ranging from 1 percent of the district’s total operating budget ($47,000) to covering the total cost of the Range Call concerts. The total value of the in-kind donations proposed by the district is estimated at $4,201.
“Although this is, admittedly, a less tangible donation, it does affect the amount of income the recreation center generates on those days with early closures,” Weinbrecht stated.