Town Hall search leads to fund raising

July 08, 1992|By Mary Gail Hare | Mary Gail Hare,Staff Writer

UNION BRIDGE -- The Town Hall Search Committee has become the Funding Committee, in search of about $160,000 to renovate a 90-year-old building.

The group will announce preliminary plans at a meeting at 7 p.m. Thursday in the Community Center.

Committee members have invited town officials, community and church leaders to bring their money-raising ideas to the session.

"We also hope they will be willing to donate time and materials," said Kathy M. Ridgely, chairwoman.

The town will soon lose its lease on the present Town Hall. It outgrew those quarters long ago and also needs space that is accessible to the disabled.

A search committee, formed in January, studied several sites in town and compared them with other municipal offices in the county. Members selected the Pump House on Locust Street for the new town hall site.

"We have preliminary estimates for the renovation," said Mrs. Ridgely. "We want to keep our tax bills low and are hoping to raise a sizable part of the cost."

When Mayor Perry L. Jones Jr. proposed the annual budget with no increase in the tax rate, he did not include money for the project. He said he hoped residents would be generous with time, labor and materials.

"We have had a lot of inquiries from people who favor the project and are willing to work on it," said the mayor.

The committee will present plans for a Gay '90s picnic on Sept. 13 at Thursday's meeting.

"We have the use of Lehigh's park and Westminster Band will supply the music," said Mrs. Ridgely.

The picnic will coincide with the town Volunteer Fire Department's monthly breakfast. Toni Eder, a committee member, said she hopes people will come early and stay in town all day.

"They can listen, stroll and picnic in the park," said Mrs. Eder.

On the same day, organizers plan house tours and Lehigh has agreed to open its plant to visitors. Mrs. Ridgely hopes the county Historical Society will open Hard Lodging, one of the area's oldest homes, for tours.

Visitors will pay no admission fee to the park. Profits will come from food and tour tickets sales.

"This picnic is our first fund-raiser," said Mrs. Ridgely, whose Locust Street home will be part of the tour. "If it's successful, we would like to make it a yearly event and maybe add a flea market."

The committee has other ideas in the background, she said.

"We may have a buy-a-brick campaign," she said. "I am just getting my feet wet with fund raising, but I am hoping people will be open with their time and ideas."

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