Mateel sees improvements and change for Reggae 2014 plan of operation; Board will not request increase in water usage

The Mateel Community Center board heard about improvements to the hall and changes to the request for more water for Reggae on the River's plan of operations at their meeting on Tuesday, March 18 at the Civic Club in Garberville.

Hall manager John Jennings reported that plans are completed for the new deck for the "back 40," outside the Mateel Community Center hall, in back where improvements and landscaping have been done. The structure is planned to be 32' x 20' and can be used for outdoor events like the San Francisco Mime Troupe, the Hoedown, weddings and other events at the community center. It is hoped that the first phase of building will be completed by early summer.

Jennings said he had made a down payment on the new stage for inside the hall. It is being manufactured in the United States, he said.

New stairs to the hall from the lower parking lot at the community center are done, but the railing is not quite completed yet, Jennings reported.

Mateel general manager Justin Crellin reported that the Reggae on the River management team was preparing for the planning commission hearing on April 3 to seek approval for their plan of operations for this year's event. He reported that the Mateel has decided not to request the additional use of water they had initially asked for in their 2014 plan of operations for the festival, due to the persisting drought scenario. He said they plan to stick with the permit allowances of last year's event and are working on a forbearance plan to become a model for other festivals. The Mateel is working to make Reggae on the River a water-neutral, water-positive event in the future, Crellin said. They have plans for a filtration system and a percolation trench and additional storage tanks. There is potential for a permit for a pond for the 2015 event, he added.

Other reports included a letter from Gail Eastwood about the Youth Alive! Peace leadership program, and a report that Babette Bach has been hired as chef for the Mateel Meal. Financials were reviewed and the board discussed the staff handbook. Two board members attended a board training put on by NorCAN and got a book about nonprofit fundraising by the presenter of the workshop.

In response to a letter from a member of the public and in celebration of this year's 30th anniversary of Reggae on the River, the board discussed creating a slide or video presentation for the festival honoring the history of the event and all the people who were instrumental in bringing it about.

In the public comment portion of the meeting, Dave Rigney, of the Got Respect Store in Garberville asked the Mateel Community Center to produce a Got Respect festival and to let the Got Respect team have booths at the Summer Arts and Music Festival and Reggae on the River for their water bottles and t-shirts. Rigney said he wants the Got Respect event to start small and build up.

Board members suggested that Rigney consider producing the Got Respect event, but he might be able to rent the hall for it if the calendar has room.

The Mateel could sell the Got Respect canteens at their general store, Crellin said, and they can sell the Got Respect special bottled water for drinking water again this year at Reggae, and that will help support the cause of

A board member pointed out that the Mateel has their own event to benefit water issues, Water Day.

The board explained that Rigney could apply for a booth for Reggae by following the Mateel's vendor application process, but the deadline for applying for a booth at the Summer Arts had already passed.