Dear Fellow Woodworkers,
This is to update you all of upcoming changes and to enlist your support for them.
I feel like a worn record citing that this year has been like no other and that it has forced closings, openings, preparation for having two sites, expansion considerations, preparing to progressively assume the cost of utilities, and paying the on-going bills. As we have tried very hard to provide an equipped shop with available space and availability to the residents of The Villages at a very modest price, we have come to a point that we must increase the dues and the initiation fees in order to maintain a viable club at two sites.
The Board of Directors has approved changes that will take effect as we begin in October to collect the dues for 2021. The dues for one year will be $75, an increase of $20 or about $0.39 a week. The initiation fee (a one-time cost for joining the club that was created to help cover maintenance and replacement of equipment) will be raised from $150 to $200. I realize that changes such as these are bound to be unpopular, but when I think about all we get for that amount of money, I still think it’s a bargain. For that amount we get a premier club at two locations, twice the state of the art woodworking equipment with shorter lines, and the opportunity to satisfy our love of woodworking.
For the past sixteen years, we have been very careful with our funds. This has allowed us to save enough to make the second shop possible. While part of our agreement with The Villages includes a line of credit to tap into, should we need it to open the second shop, we (the Board and the management group) are trying very hard not to incur debt by using that line of credit. The increases in the initiation fee and annual dues will be a significant help in this endeavor.
In addition, the COVID closures threw another monkey wrench into the pot. If we had been open and able to certify new members, we would have been able to cover the monitor needs for both sites, but as you know, such was not the case. Therefore, until we reach a critical mass of members to safely cover monitor positions at both locations, we will have to ask our members to cover four monitor shifts per year (rather than three). When the membership has increased enough, we should be able to decrease that number.
I hope that we can count on your support and that you understand the needs for these changes. Thank you in advance for your consideration.