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CHR collects from Mardi Gras title sponsor

By Staff | Nov 21, 2013

Presenting the check Tuesday, in front from left, Bank of the Islands CEO Geoffrey Roepstorff, CHR executive Kelly Collini, CHR board member Ray Pavelka, and bank president Robbie Roepstorff; back row from left, CHR event chair Melissa Rice and board president Richard Johnson.

Bank of the Islands handed over a check to Community Housing & Resources (CHR) Tuesday to fulfill its financial support as the title sponsor for the second annual Mardi Gras event next spring.

“We are excited to have this wonderful contribution from Bank of the Islands,” said Melissa Rice, CHR board member and event chair. “At CHR we have observed that many Sanibel businesses have good reason to be thankful to CHR, since it provides affordable housing on the island for key staff. It is clear that Bank of the Islands recognizes this vital connection.”

The title sponsorship is worth $5,000 to CHR, which benefits from the Mardi Gras fundraiser held at the Dunes Golf & Tennis Resort.

“Affordable housing is key for a thriving community,” said Bank of the Islands CEO Geoffrey W. Roepstorff. “Robbie and all our banking team join me in applauding CHR’s efforts and in looking forward to a great Mardi Gras benefit.”

Bank of the Islands is one of 10 sponsors committed to the event so far with many more expected as the days and weeks count down until Saturday, March 1.

“We’re really focusing on Mardi Gras,” CHR board development committee chair Tim Garmager told the full board at Monday night’s monthly meeting. “We have two bronze level sponsors ($100) so far, but expect bronze to grow exponentially.”

Garmager also informed the board that the annual appeal letter will be going out early in December, some of those personalized for prior donors, and the general donation letter goes to all islanders.

The board’s top item on the agenda was a recommendation by the executive committee relative to minimum rent and SHIP regulations.

After a lengthy discussion and some minor changes to the wording, the board passed all four items. They included a recommendation that current tenants whose annual income times 30 percent does not produce the required minimum rent payment of $350 will receive the difference between the sums in the form of assistance. Currently CHR has three tenants who fall into that category and CHR uses funds donated to its tenant assistance fund to aid those tenants.

The second item establishes that applicants whose annual household income times 30 percent does not equal the $350 minimum will not qualify for acceptance into the program.

Additionally, since all of CHR’s limited equity ownership (LEO) properties have now been sold to first buyers, the board is simplifying and revising its policies to deal with LEO buy-backs. The board approved a recommendation that the prior one-year warranty on LEO homes will not apply to resales of the homes. Board vice president Ray Pavelka was designated as the sole board contact to work with an attorney in simplifying the resale documents for LEO homes.

Pavelka also informed the board that the estate of one of its LEO owners is willing to sell the unit back to CHR by the end of 2013. CHR has one prospect on the waiting list with several others having expressed interest in the process.

“I went to look at the unit when the family was there and it is in excellent shape,” said Pavelka. “I do not anticipate a problem in selling it, though we are looking at ways to fund the transaction.”

The annual LEO homeowners’ meeting is set for Dec. 5 at the CHR office.

City Council liaison Mick Denham updated the board on council’s Civic Core project unveiled to the public at its last meeting. The project has the Center 4 Life, which shares the building with CHR on Library Way, is a stakeholder in new facilities in the Civic Core.

CHR president Richard Johnson asked Denham about plans for the current building, which would serve that organization’s needs adequately. The buiding, however, has several issues structurally that need to be assessed and dealt with.

“I can’t answer that because there are no plans yet on what to do with the building,” said Denham.

Johnson also relayed to the board that as the nonprofit beneficiary of the recent Bailey Fest celebration, CHR soon would be receiving a sizeable donation from the sale of beer and wine “and we will probably round it up to the next $1,000.”

Lastly, treasurer Melissa Rice reported CHR continues to operate financially in the black through October 31.

“We are paying our bills each month, with a little left over,” Rice said.

The total income/revenue received is $131,390 from rent collection, public support and fundraising donations through October. Two major depository accounts designated for reserves and LEO appreciation have been established.

The next scheduled CHR board meeting is Monday, Dec. 16.