Report from Open Forum on Rebuilding the Parsonage
An open forum for questions relating to the re-building of the parsonage was held Monday evening at 6:00 in the Fellowship Hall. Approximately 35-40 congregants attended. Chris Denson opened the forum with prayer. Billy Boyd fielded questions from the group.
Topics addressed included the following:
· Issue of moving the parsonage to a different area might give the perception of the church leaving the community.
· Impact on the long-range value of building in Wood Manor because of the possibility of school re-zoning and influx of college community rentals.
· Issue of some attendees feeling that stronger communications were needed prior to the forum.
· Issue of which location, north of the river or Wood Manor lot, will prove the greater investment long-term.
· Issue of the Trustees and Financial Committee being in a difficult situation because the matter is an emotional as well as a financial one; therefore, not everyone will be satisfied.
A Charge Conference will be held Monday evening, April 30 at 6:00 in the Sanctuary. A Charge Conference must be convened before a church can incur indebtedness. All church members are invited to attend, but only Administrative Council members may vote. Chairman of the Trustees will offer a proposal for consideration that will include, but not be limited to, building a new parsonage at 119 Windy Ridge Road, Tuscaloosa, once the Wood Manor lot is sold and finances to cover the cost of building are secured.
The parsonage decision was made based on the following facts:
· There are no guaranteed bonds or money market options that prevent the holder from withdrawing the initial promise of returns, more specifically as related to bonds.
· Monies invested from the insurance payment are accruing $300.00 per month at 1.5%. At this point, the General Budget is funding a housing allowance of $1,700.00 per month + approximately $500.00 utilities for the Pastor and his family. All monies from insurance must be re-invested in replacing the insured building. Current housing allotment is $1,400.00 per month.
· The parsonage will have no major renovation costs for 8-10 years. During that time, a contingency fund can be set up to cover emergency costs.
· The builder Billy Boyd gave verbal assurance that the cost would not exceed $350,000.00 and is willing to sign a contract verifying that amount. He also noted that the parsonage will be located in a community of homes that sell in the $500,000 range.
· A total of $293,000.00 is currently in the bank for the re-building process.
· The lot has been secured.
Building of the house per se:
· Inventory of furniture and appliances, as well as countertops, is complete. None will have to be bought.
· The basement will be stubbed in and left unfinished for later.
· Finished square footage of the new parsonage will be approximately the same as the destroyed parsonage. (<2900 >)
Chris closed the meeting with comments assuring those present that he and his family are blessed to have a place to live. They do not have a sense of entitlement. Discussions which led to these decisions have been ongoing long-term, and now the church is facing deadlines that must be met. He encouraged those with questions within the next two weeks to contact Billy, Trustees and/or himself. He will work to keep all informed as the process continues.