Yelm Community Center
Photo credit: Yelm Chamber of Commerce
– Editor’s note:
One of the “Most Popular” current Nisqually Valley News stories is about Yelm’s Community Center operating in red ink.
Why is this even in question?
After all, Yelm voters twice rejected the bonds to construct the community center after which then Mayor Ron Harding did an end-run around the voters, improperly utilizing a low-income grant plus a $1 million addition to the Yelm Library Bond without public input to build the facility, which the complicit council voted/approved (including then-councilor JW Foster)! Within the last year and a half, Councilor Joe DePinto has questioned the ability of the city of Yelm to recoup projected annual expenses. This facility is going to be a boondoggle on Yelm taxpayers’ backs for years!
– “Yelm Community Center Running In the Red”
“Labor, Overtime, Repairs, Debt Service Totals Unaccounted For”
“Yelm City Administrator Michael Grayum presented a two-year update regarding cost and revenue of the Yelm Community Center at the council study session last Tuesday.
The building remains a center of controversy as two bond proposals failed and the city spent a combined $70,000 out of the water and sewer fund and more than $71,000 out of the reserve fund. The total cost of the project was almost $2.7 million and about $2.5 million was funded by bond proceeds and the legislative capital budget.
A big grievance from the community has been the cost to rent the facility, Grayum said. The current rate is $50 per hour for the North or South event rooms or $100 for both and events without alcohol require a $250 damage deposit and events with alcohol require a $500 deposit. City sponsored events are free while commercial events are double. Rentals Monday through Thursday have a minimum of two hours while rentals Friday through Sunday have a five hour minimum. The kitchen costs an additional $100 for the full day along with an additional $50 per day to use audio and visual equipment,” by Andrew Kollar, Nisqually Valley News.