It’s easy to become a member of the Foothills Rural Association. NOW is the time to play an active role in the foothills community. Annual dues of only $20 per family will help support programs, events and information for our community.
We are now collecting 2023 dues. If you have questions about your membership, please contact Tommye Schwerin, membership coordinator, at 924-0226 or firstname.lastname@example.org. Your support is essential for this community non-profit organization. Thank you for your continued support.
By Mike Britton
What does membership in the Foothills Rural Association mean? This was asked of me recently, and I felt the need for someone to identify all of the benefits of our rural association as well as dues paying membership.
The Foothills Rural Association (FRA) is identified as those residents living within the station #6 of Fire District #9 service area. That area is bound on the east by the ridgeline separating us from the Newman Lake drainage and their fire district. The south limit is the northerly edge of Spokane Valley and the cliff line that follows generally westerly to Lehman Road. The west boundary is Lehman road north to the north edge of Pleasant Prairie. Then the north limit follows easterly along the north edge of Pleasant Prairie to the ridgeline served by Scribner Road. The area includes nearly 30 square miles and approximately 500 households, and is often referred to as "The Foothills".
All of the residents are geographically members of this historic neighborhood, and all receive the most appreciated service absolutely free, the FRA Newsletter. (See the newsletter for additional information regarding the FRA.) For planning purposes, Spokane County has this identified as a specific neighborhood, and the FRA Board is the neighborhood contact.
Dues paying membership includes several members-only benefits. By paying annual dues of only $20, members can vote and hold office in the FRA. Up to two family members per household are vested owners in the FRA facilities and property. Members can vote on who serves on the Board or directly manage the FRA at the annual meetings.
Facilities include the playground, play area with swings, benches, and teeter totter, the kitchen area of the Community Center, which is the addition to the historic Foothills School last used in 1960, the Community Center immediately south of the Fire Station and its large room, tables, chairs, piano, and projection equipment, and finally the "cottage" which was the original school teacher's residence now used as an income producing rental whose revenue supports the many activities of the FRA. All of the property is owned by Fire District #9 and leased for a very reasonable fee to the FRA, a tax exempt non-profit corporation under 502(C) (4) of the Internal Revenue Code, 1983.
Additional member benefits include reduced cost use of the Community Center. Members can use the facilities for $50 to defray wear and tear and utility expenses. Non-members may rent for $150 plus a refundable damage deposit of $100. The Board currently considers the Center as a community asset and it is managed for the benefit of the community and not specifically to maximize revenue. For example, the Community Center rental for all of 2013 produced $1510 revenue and the electricity alone was $1159.
A much appreciated and successful member-funded program is the annual FRA/Blue Ribbon Circle Scholarship. The FRA Scholarship Committee has awarded approximately $35,000 towards education expenses of any resident of the Foothills, not just members.
Numerous community events are conducted by the FRA and its members, including the annual Easter Egg Hunt, Fun-Run / Breakfast, Founders Day, Harvest Party /Chili feed, and Christmas Party, as well as joint Foothills Church and FRA activities such as the summer Barbeque/Show-n-shine, Family Fun Festival, joint yard sales, neighborhood clean-up days, and many other events.
The FRA has an internet site called www.ruralspokane.com and shows many of our activities and archives.
All of these activities require people and a revenue source. One of those sources is the $20 membership fee. Nearly one quarter of all Foothills residents participate and become and remain "members". Thanks to all members in the important support of all of the Foothills activities.
To verify that you have paid your dues, review the mailing label on the last newsletter issue which will indicate your current membership status. Emailed newsletters will also indicate current membership in the subject line. If you have any questions on the state of your current membership, please contact the Steve at email@example.com.