Last Call for Committee Members for the Dark Site Exploratory Committee
Happy Hump Day! So far we've had 3 members volunteer to be a part of the Dark Site Exploratory committee. They are, Scott Mecca, Richard Thibault and Matthew Cook. I've also received some great input regarding the initiative from several others - thank you. There's room for more folks to help with this effort. Please let me know before Thursday's virtual club meeting if you'd like to participate on the committee. Thanks.
Original email sent Nov 25th:
At the November's virtual club meeting there was a proposal and discussion about BBAA taking the leap to purchase it's own dark site. I volunteered to chair an exploratory committee to look into the possibility. Establishment of the committee was approved of course or you wouldn't be getting this email.
There might be several advantages to having our own site and you might be able to come up with a few more than are listed below. Of course, it would be prudent to come up with a list of why it wouldn't be a good idea as well and weigh the two before going forward. Some of the positive reasons might be:
1. The potential for darker skies, less light pollution
2. Ability to hold public or private member-only activities
3. It might be a good recruiting tool to increase membership
4. The possibility to develop the property when feasible to enhance observing and camaraderie such as having improved parking, building an observatory (RORO or Dome), on-site storage shed, picnic pavilion, bunk room, electrical power, restroom facility, etc...
Some of the negative reasons might be:
1. Site would require effort from club members to maintain.
2. Would there be future development that might diminish the site's advantages for being dark?
3. Security might be an issue depending on how the property is developed
4. Naturally, it would cost $$$ to build and maintain. Perhaps we might be able to get a grant or find another way to procure the funds. Other than the land, perhaps 3 total acres or so, initial maintenance cost would probably be very low to none. The costs would only start increasing as we developed the site.
5. Property taxes? Could we get an exemption?
6. We'd probably have to form as some legal entity, e.g., LLC, for financial and liability reasons.
Well, these are just a few thoughts. If you are interested in participating on the committee, let me know at the email below. I'll report to the group at the December virtual telcon if there is any interest in getting an exploratory committee established and if there is, I will plan an initial Zoom telcon in January to get things started. If there isn't any interest, and I'm talking about at least 5 folks, i.e., a minimum number to make it a viable committee, well that's fine as there's lots to be said for how we are operating now!
P.S. If you can think of additional positives and/or negatives, regardless of whether you might like to be a member of the committee or not, just send 'em my way! Thanks.
My email is rsaun58043@....