>Chamber gives $12,929 for new center

   At the Crooked River Ranch Board of Directors meeting last Monday night the Chamber of Commerce donated $12,929 to the Community Development Organization (CDO) to begin the planning process for a community center.
   Former owner of the The Trading Post, Roger Falk, contributed $2,000 of the $12,929.
   Receiving the check for the CDO, president Harry Simonis said, "Now we can get started. We've done the feasibility study. We've done the brainstorming and I'd like to ask everyone to continue their efforts for the community center. It's going to get done."
   Representatives from the Crooked River Ranch CDO visited the Chiloquin community center, which was described as self-sustaining by Simonis. The CDO would like to model the Crooked River Ranch community center after Chiloquin's.
   "They had a police department, a library, an arts and crafts place, a museum, a nurses' station in their community center. Different things like that would pay a small fee monthly," said Simonis. CDO believes that the community center should pay for itself and avoid passing the cost burden on to the Ranch residents.
   "We can't possibly ask these folks to be adding to their yearly dues. That's not fair to them. That's not the goal here."
   Dwight Mallery, president of the Ranch's Chamber of Commerce, explained that the $12,929 was generated from the Rim Rock Festival proceeds. "When the chamber started this fund back in 1999 we did so with the hope that it would eventually be useful to a Crooked River Ranch organization dedicated to, and capable of making a ... community center," said Mallery. "What I did here tonight was a symbolic gesture to bring the community together," he added.
   The CDO was formed in 2002 and completed a strategic plan for Crooked River Ranch in December of 2003, facilitated by Rural Development Initiatives with a grant from the U.S. Forest Service.
   The CDO is looking at several sites for the community center located around the Ranch. Simonis said that the commercial lot next to where the fire department trains at the corner of Quail and Shad is a consideration.
   Though no criteria or blue prints have been formally released, Simonis ventured to say that the Ranch needs a large meeting room that can double as an entertainment center.
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