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Getting the Community Back Into the Co-op Community Center

Sometimes the fair thing to do isn't free.
By: Claire DeSantis, Board President | 2018-04-19

It is our job as the Board of Directors to oversee the direction that the Co-op is heading and evaluate if we are making financially sound decisions. We frequently look at the Co-op's expenses and perhaps any missed opportunities.

We have had a lot of old faces leave the Board of Directors in the last election to be replaced with fresh, new eyes; eyes that may see some things a bit differently than the older ones. We were looking at the expenses recently and noticed that while there are several expenses for the Community Center, there is no income. The Community Center generates quite a bit of traffic, but not any income.

We looked at the schedule and saw that it is generally booked every day of the week. So why isn't this room making us any money?

When we talk about the sales floor, sometimes we are drilling the numbers down to sales per linear foot! And here we have a 700 square foot room generating ZERO dollars! It's actually costing us money with utilities, staffing, and supplies.

Upon looking further into the details of the room, most of the reservations were the same things week after week for months at a time. Most of our members weren't able to get a reservation because so many weekday evenings were booked indefinitely. Many of these events were not open to our members at all, they were all private. During an average month we've typically only had 5 unique users (renters using the room for one party or event). With a membership of over 8,000, this doesn’t even scratch the surface.

So, in an effort to give this room back to you, our membership, we have decided to attach a modest fee for members. If you're having a party and need to rent a space, we think that you'll certainly view this fee as a small price to pay for such a great location and all that comes with the space when you rent it.

Starting on June 1st, we will be charging a modest fee of $25 per hour to member-owners and $50 an hour for everyone else. There will be fee vouchers available for special groups or events that fall within the guidelines of our ends statements. Vouchers will be approved by a committee. We will also be asking the members what types of classes they would like to attend, what kinds of things they would like to learn about. With the room generating money, we can afford to bring in some bigger events and perhaps even offer refreshments and finger foods.

If you have any questions or concerns, please don't hesitate to contact us via email at board@wfcerie.coop or attend one of our Board of Directors meetings held generally on the third Wednesday of every month at 5:30pm in the Co-op Community Room. You will see the scheduled meetings on the Community Room Availability Calendar.