Union Bridge pushes to pay off debt on new Town Hall

February 21, 1994|By Traci A. Johnson | Traci A. Johnson,Sun Staff Writer

It's roughly $10,000 down, $190,000 to go.

After putting $3,000 into mortgage payments and $7,000 on the principal of a $200,000 loan for the new Town Hall, the Union Bridge Town Funding Committee continues to make money.

"What we'd like to do is pay $8,000 [in mortgage payments] a year," said Town Clerk-Treasurer Kathleen D. Kreimer. "As we earn more money, we will pay for as much more as we can."

The government moved in October into the new Town Hall, a red brick building on Locust Street that resembles the nearly 90-year-old Pump House to which it is attached.

It is more than 10 times larger than the 180-square-foot room in a house at 1 W. Broadway that served as the town office for 70 years.

Former Councilman Scott Davis suggested during a monthly council session a few months ago that town officials commemorate the old building's many years of town service. The council agreed, but has not decided how to do it.

Helen Garber, owner of the old town office, was given the Town Hall sign that had hung above the entrance to municipal quarters for many years.

The Town Hall Funding Committee has raised about $33,500 through breakfasts, bake sales and other fund-raisers since the committee was created in March 1992.

The committee sold tickets for a gun raffle in October and cleared nearly $2,000 after 20 weapons bought from a local shop, the Gun Cellar, were claimed by the winners.

Another gun raffle is planned for next fall, said Elaine Holmes, the committee chairwoman.

The committee is also selling miniature fired bricksengraved with "Union Bridge Town Hall, September 1994."

Buyers of a $50 gold brick or a $25 silver brick receive a tiny commemorative brick as a souvenir, and their names will be inscribed on a board in Town Hall, Ms. Kreimer said.

Those who want to help, but don't have much money, may buy a bronze brick for $5 or a junior brick for $1.

"We've been selling those bricks since the first picnic [September 1992], and we gave certificates to people so they could pick up the bricks when they were delivered," Mrs. Holmes said. "But now we have the bricks, so people can actually get their bricks right away."

Community breakfasts, sponsored by the committee on the second Sunday of every month for the past 18 months, have been a major contributor to the Funding Committee's bank account.

Yesterday's breakfast at the Union Bridge Community Center was like all the others: an all-you-can eat, any-way-you-like-it feast.

Patrons were served bacon and eggs, pancakes and fried potatoes, chipped beef gravy and biscuits from 7 a.m. until 12:30 p.m. at the town's community center.

At the breakfasts, milk, juice, tea and coffee are also included in the $4 ticket price for adults and the $2 cost for children over 6 years old.

Homemade baked goods donated by town residents are always available.

"Our town seems to be very supportive and to try to help us out, but most of them say they really like the breakfasts," said Sarah Black, who coordinates the breakfasts. "We're a little different from the fire hall breakfasts and, of course, most of the things are done from scratch."

The committee is planning to improve the town's yearly picnic by adding more entertainment for children.

This year's event, scheduled for Sept. 11, again will include food stands, craft tables and wagon and helicopter rides.

"We're trying to find new things that will be interesting for children," Mrs. Holmes said. "If the children aren't interested in what's going on, then the parents will not stay."

Aside from paying two of the town's $1,544.61 mortgage payments and $7,000 on the loan principal, much of the money that was raised has gone for expenses, such as purchasing food for the breakfasts, griddles and a propane gas range to prepare food.

Mrs. Holmes said the committee has no goal other than to get the building's bank note paid off.

"We have to keep doing this until we pay off the mortgage or the town becomes very wealthy, whichever comes first," she said.

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