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Q:  Are all of these updates needed for the church?

A:  Some, like replacement of the RE building roof, are objectively needed as soon as possible.  Others might not be “needed” to ensure the structural integrity of the buildings or the congregation.  However, all of the updates were carefully considered and selected because the Green Home Committee thought they were necessary to continue – and even improve – the vitalization of the church.  For example, air conditioning in the Sanctuary is important to expand use of the building year-round.  Expanded use of the church in the summer is expected to grow the congregation – many new visitors stop by during summer services to see what we’re about – as well as allowing for use of our beautiful church for weddings and other groups which may want to use the RE building.

 

Q:  How good are the estimated costs of repairs and updates?  Are we certain these are the best we can get?

A:  All quotes we have received so far are for tentative services.  The Green Home Committee has done diligence in obtaining fair and fiscally responsible estimates.  But as the work becomes more imminent, the Committee is confident that many of these price quotes can be negotiated down, and that the total cost of work will be less than currently projected.

 

Q:  Can we afford it?

A:  Absolutely.  Under the proposed revenue structure, no money for this project will come from the church’s operating fund.  Total church funds used will make up a relatively small portion of the project and will come primarily from reserves established for these types of updates (see below).  The majority of the funding will come from a capital pledge campaign, which has already been started and is showing overwhelmingly positive results.

 

Q:  What if we can’t raise all the money?

A:  We are confident that we will be able to raise all the money required during the Green Home pledge campaign, as well as smaller portion from various church funds (see below).  If the total needed funds are not raised by the May congregational meeting, there are several options for either raising additional funds or reducing the scope of the project which can be discussed at that time.  However, the ideal situation is for the total funds to be pledged, and there is every expectation and full confidence that will be the case.

It should be noted that the last capital pledge campaign was to make this church a more welcoming community, such as the addition of front steps and a church elevator and was over 30 years ago.  This campaign raised more money than we are asking for now.  It’s our turn to make the improvements and updates needed to continue having a welcoming community for the next 30 years (and beyond).

 

Q:  Okay, so what church funds are we talking about here?

A:  Out of the $200,000 we are trying to raise, $40,000 will come from current church reserves.  These include $25,085 from our capital reserve fund, which has a current balance of $53,144.  Additionally, the church has a Sanctuary Revitalization Fund, which includes the Memorial Fund, with a balance of $14,915, and this reserve will be used in full to fund the project.  Finally, the church will have an estimated $35,996 surplus in the operating fund, and $10,000 of this surplus is earmarked for this project, as well.  Under the proposed revenue structure, no money for this project will come from the church’s operating fund.

 

Q:  What portions of this project are the highest priorities?

A:  All of them!  The sequence of the updates will be based partially by imminent need and partly by project timeline or seasonal needs.  However, it is the priority of the Green Home Committee to complete all renovations and activities.

The project is planning on replacing the RE building roof first.  Additionally, in order to qualify for Illinois Solar Energy Renewable Credits, solar panel installation must start by next summer.

 

Q.  What are the estimated cost savings?

A:  We currently estimate approximately $4000 a year in electricity savings, and between 30-50% gas savings.

 

Q:  If the boilers are currently working, why do they need to be replaced now?

A:  The boilers are already past their expected use life, and it’s never ideal to wait until a catastrophic failure to start replacing equipment.  Additionally, running inefficient boilers is a waste of money and resources.  A logical time to plan and fund their replacement is during a capital campaign, and the goals of the Green Home project are directly and positively impacted by their replacement.

 

Q:  Is there a contingency amount included in the capital campaign goal in case their are project overruns?

A:  There is not a set amount of money earmarked for contingency funding.  However, it is estimated that the total cost of the project will be approximately 5-10% lower than the initial quotes, and these savings will be set aside in case contingency funds are required.