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Sacred Space Team shares August details

The Sacred Space Team (SST) is happy we now have a signed contract with our builder, Keys & Walsh (K&W). Documents at the Planning & Zoning in Bryan are being completed to allow our contractors to begin soon. Our Church Mutual Insurance has accepted K&W’s insurance as acceptable without additional cost to the UUCBV until near the completion of the project.

In our SST meeting Saturday July 24, 2021, we discussed the Texas Tax Code as regards to Religious Organizations. We signed up for the real estate exemption for our 29th St property the day of our contract signing on 5/24/2019. There are restrictions that the land being built upon cannot produce revenue for the religious organization. The “use of property that qualifies for exemption… for occasional secular purposes other than religious worship does not result in loss of the exemption if the primary use of the property is for religious worship and all income from the other use is devoted exclusively to the maintenance and development of the property as a place of religious worship.” The key word here is “occasional” not “regular”. Normal use of a Church, like weddings, funerals, dedications of children, other religious ceremonies, etc. are totally acceptable. The UUCBV will be able to rent to other religious organizations as Hillel did with us. Using a Church as a school is complicated and would require legal assistance to make sure the law is followed to not endanger our property tax exemption.

We have been working with our professionals to create a “Guidelines for Access by UUCBV Members & Friends During Construction at 1719 E 29th St”. At our aforementioned SST meeting the SST members and UUCBV president Pam Johnson worked together to word smith our document.

We want to ensure that our access to the property will not impede our builders or endanger anyone. We want no avoidable insurance claims during the building process. We want to see the progress personally at times that do not encroach upon our builders. We want to engage in collateral projects when the time comes. UUCBV Members & Friends want to know who to contact if they have questions or concerns about the project.

The Board of Trustees will be presented with our recommendations for “Guidelines”. I hope that they will approve the Guidelines and the Congregation will honor them. Let’s all work together in an organized fashion to build the Church home we will all be proud of!

-Kathy Wheeler, Chair, SST

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