We operate as a nonprofit corporation in Montana with 501(c)(3) tax exemption. SCRC does not fall under any county or state organization that relies on tax dollars to operate. Examples of other nonprofit organizations in Anaconda are the Elks, AWARE, Kiwanis, Rotary, and others. None of these organizations are tax-supported services for the community. SCRC, likewise, cannot vote to put a bond measure on the ballot nor raise taxes to support itself. The SCRC board is made up of community residents who serve as volunteers to oversee the organization.
We will tap into various sources: grants, earned income, foundations, corporations, and other donors. Federal, state, and local government grants help fund many programs provided by nonprofits; SCRC will compete for such grants when available. Government help may also come in the form of a land donation from Anaconda-Deer Lodge County (property on which to construct the building) or in the form of a Community Development Block Grant for facility construction. None of these funding possibilities is tied to raising local taxes.
We are in the process of raising funds to construct the building, and we are also fundraising for an endowment fund. The endowment will be used to defray operating expenses that our low user fees will not cover. Individuals and organizations can support SCRC’s endowment and its other funds with tax-deductible contributions.
A number-one goal for SCRC is to keep fees as low as possible so everyone can use the facility. It is not a club, so there will be no fees to join. Modest fees will be charged for use. Examples: Pay-as-you-go fees to use fitness facilities, aquatic facilities, and attend classes, and the option to purchase monthly and yearly passes with discounts. Fees will also be collected for event use. SCRC hired a nationally known recreation consultant to help determine the user fees. The fee structure is comparable to costs in Butte and Deer Lodge. The bottom line: We know Anaconda cannot afford high fees or to contribute TAX DOLLARS to the project with a bond measure or raising property taxes. Our fundraising activities and resulting endowment are the key to offsetting our operational costs and keeping user fees low. It is logical and can be done.
We must build the complex east of Main Street to qualify for specific construction funds. We are looking at the East Yards property owned by the county. We are also talking with AWARE about a property it owns next to the Center for Excellence and the Assembly of God property across from Benny Goodman Park. The Red Sands by the golf course is also a possibility.
Everybody: The future SCRC will have activities and facilities for people of all ages. In addition to sports and athletics, Smelter City Rec will offer a great variety of educational, social, and recreational activities tailored to the interests of Anaconda. Some examples include community events such as weddings, potlucks, after prom and graduation parties, and fairs; after-school programs; health, wellness, and exercise classes; crafts; job skills and career-readiness courses; lectures; dances; musical performances…and more. When we come together as a community to learn, play, and grow, our quality of life is enhanced in many areas.
Approximately 12 full-time and up to 50 part-time jobs for a payroll of approximately $1 million a year for the area.