VFW seeking funding for replacement roof

VFW Post 9599 has had a challenging year. After raising $15,000 in donations for paint, new flooring, kitchen appliances, fixtures and repair to the roof, members have now determined the building needs a new rubber roof. Cost of that is estimated at $11,900.

The post closed the building last winter due to health concerns created by black mold. Without a building, the post has been unable to conduct its usual fundraisers – chicken and fish dinners and weekly bingo games.

Included in the first $15,000 was a $5,000 from the Greene County Community Foundation and $5,000 in Louis Dreyfus funds from the Greene County board of supervisors.

Post commander Don Ihnken returned to the board of supervisors Monday and asked for another $15,000 in Dreyfus funds. Ihnken explained that in repairing the roof they found the roof had not been properly constructed and that any weight on the roof, like a good snowfall, would cause the roof to leak again. He hopes to put a 4-inch rubber roof over the entire building.

“We probably put the cart in front of the horse by working on the inside first, but this is something that needs to be addressed before winter,” he said about a new roof.

VFW paint jobIhnken added that the interior work is done and the building will open again to the public in another month or so. Members of the National Honor Society at Greene County High School recently worked as volunteer painters inside and out, putting vibrant red, white and blue on the front of the building, They even repainted the collection box for discarded flags at the back door of the post.

“I’m struggling with this,” board chair John Muir said and the fund request. “There’s a limit on the Louis Dreyfus funds we have available to work with.”

The board receives $50,000 a year from Louis Dreyfus Commodities LLC in Grand Junction in lieu of property taxes. Half of that is budgeted annually for county libraries, congregate meals and such, and half is reserved for special projects like the VFW’s building remodeling.

With the start of the county’s fiscal year July 1, the supervisors have heard other requests for Dreyfus funds recently. The supervisors two weeks ago approved $5,000 in Dreyfus funds for the Jefferson police department for an in-car computer. They also agreed to $5,000 a year for three years ($15,000) total for the new Grand Junction Community Center. The board is in the third year of a three-year, $15,000 commitment to the Sierra Community Theatre.

The application did not list matching funds to the desired Dreyfus fund money. Ihnken told the supervisors, “We’re working on that.”

The board has a precedent of not funding more than $5,000 at a time, and it followed that precedent. “In my mind there’s nothing more important than the veterans. If it wasn’t for them, we wouldn’t be here,” supervisor Tom Contner said.

The board approved Ihnken’s request unanimously. The board has now committed the use of $20,000 in Dreyfus funds. Auditor Jane Heun calculated that $4,676 remains in the fund for this fiscal year, which ends next June 30.

Ihnken hopes donations from other sources will cover the rest of the cost of the new roof.



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