Preserving, Recording and Celebrating the
  Historical Heritage of Mancos Town and Valley
Mancos Valley
   Historical Society



Mancos Valley Historical Society

Regular Meeting

June 14 , 2014

The meeting was  called to order by President Pro Temp Linda Simmons at 10:15 the VFW Hall in Mancos.  In attendance were:

David JohnsonMeryl PerkinsHeather Bailey

Jean BaderKevin CookBob Huffman

Jan RainsSally BurrowsTerri Dainty

Darrell Ellis Alice Saunders Abe Saunders

Greg Kemp Mac Neeley Linda Simmons

Andrea Phillips

Attendees introduced themselves.  David Johnson expressed gratitude for assistance with the Opera House.  He stated that Mancos Melt had contributed some funds.  In turn, the VFW wishes to have more of a presence in the town.

Meryl Perkins inquired about the danger of the VFW selling the property.   This was attempted once before, although the historical easement forestalled the sale.  David Johnson responded that there is no threat of this with the current officers and membership of the VFW.  The facility is now the county VFW post.  There is a strong sense of stability.  David assured the group that, if any discussion of sale were to arise, he would approach the Historical Society.  His personal opinion is that, some time, the town might be able to take over the facility.  Meryl suggested that the historical society might also obtain a lifetime lease.

Heather Bailey of the Colorado Historical Society was introduced as the speaker.  The CHS now has a field office in the Commons in Durango.  She offered to “be of help in any way” she could, looking at drafts of grant proposals, helping the VFW partner with other groups, etc.  She had visited the Opera House and felt the renovation was “very doable,” with a very stable building and many original features still in place.  She listed critical needs:  plumbing, electricity, making it ADA accessible, replacing the ceiling, and the facade.

The building is on the Registry of Historical Places, and the Colorado Historical Association granted an easement to the facility approximately 15 years ago.  Part of the agreement was to return the facade to its original state.  That mandate expired one year ago.  It is a legal obligation, and the CHA could take legal action, possibly resulting in the judgment including a fine.  However, they wish to see the project go forward.

The enabling legislation for the Colorado Historical Society allows assistance to only organization that have 501C3 status.  The MOHARPS organization has this designation. CHS prefers that the grant-receivers use their own procurement process for contractors, although the contractor must have experience with historical projects OR take appropriate training.  The earlier grant paid for architectural drawings, among other items, and the architect Tracy Reynolds provided a drawing of the proposed facade project.  Jean Bader supplied original blue prints, framed, to the VFW.

David Johnson stated that the next project must be the facade.  The Mancos historical society may be of help in writing the proposal and in helping to meet the financial obligations of a grant.  The VFW would have to provide 25% of the total of the project.  The VFW has some money in the renovation account.  The Mancos historical society could help raise money.  Andrea Phillips stated that the town could be a partner.  (If the cash is not in the bank, the proposal would require a list of donors and plans to otherwise acquire the 25%.)  The first step is to get an estimate of the cost of the facade project.

Heather suggested that an project for which the VFW would apply be highly visible in at least some aspect.  This helps encourage the public to donate and to partner with the group.  Greg Kemp queried whether the plan would have to include all steps of the renovation,or just the facade element.  Heather responded that the proposal requires a project history, an overall view including phases for the future, and the current project.  Heather recommended dealing with “critical deficiencies” first.

The next grant proposal deadline is October 1.  If the VFW wishes to have the CHS look at the draft proposal, it would be due six weeks prior (around August 20).  Grant amounts range from $35,000 to $200,000.  A funded project could possibly start about March.  The next grant deadline is April 1.

After the facade grant, if received, the VFW could apply for further grants, with 50% of the proposed work to be “highly visible.”  The elevator was mentioned as another future project.  For future funding, the CHS would judge the capacity of the town/VFW for funds and staff.  A grant recipient must be able to complete one project before applying for another, or at least have minimal overlap.

Linda Simmons asked how the Mancos historical society could help at this point.  It was suggested that we contact MOHARPS on this issue.  Some MOHARPS board members are:  Alice Saunders, Dave Johnson, Bert Valencia, Sandy Valencia, Wayne Noland, Monica Noland, and Carina Hampton.

Heather Bailey’s contact information is:  720-557-6991 or 303-866-2041   701 Camino del Rio, Ste. 101, Durango.

The meeting was adjourned at 11:45.

Respectfully submitted,

Linda Simmons