Music Non-Profit Didn't put Upper Milford on the Map
Rent increase caused Listen Live Music’s relocation to the Macungie Institute.
Listen Live Music (LLM) moved. Out of Upper Milford Township. Some residents wonder why such a great organization moved away. (LLM now provides its music from the organization's new home at the Macungie Institute.)
The volunteer-run organization began in Upper Milford in 2009, making “good music available to a small town,” according to Val Minett, chair of LLM. She also said the group was “appreciative of our home in Upper Milford” and that they enjoyed the area and facilities.
Each month, the organization would host an open mic night and a concert night, allowing local talent to perform, as well as nationally known artists who performed folk, blues, jazz and rock music.
Upper Milford Township, in addition to many other municipalities, faced a budget deficit for 2012 and needed to make some tough decisions. One of those decisions was to increase the rental rate for the auditorium by 25 percent.
LLM estimated their annual rent accounted for a third of the township’s projected annual auditorium income, and appealed to the supervisors to be excluded from this increase of approximately $550 per year ($25 per month).
- They are a non-profit organization.
- Listen Live Music brings value to the community and surrounding area.
LLM, it seems, expects other groups and organizations to pay the increase for the auditorium usage, while they (LLM) continue to pay the old usage rate.
It appears LLM feels they should pay less because they are a non-profit organization, and that non-residents should pay more than residents to use the facility. Minett even suggested the supervisors double the rate for non-residents. That way, LLM’s rate would remain the same, with no increase, she said. How selfish to ask such a thing; after all, it’s only $25 per month.
According to Minett, Listen Live Music deserves special treatment because the group provides a service to the community and has put Upper Milford Township on the map.
I guess no one else provides a service to this community…only Listen Live Music.
One of the supervisors of the township suggested, and I agree with him, that the door donation be raised to cover the increase—a mere 75 cents. But LLM didn’t want to do that either.
Because the supervisors refused to exclude LLM from the rental increase, Upper Milford Township has been accused by Minett of having “no value for the arts or the community service that something that takes place in the Municipal Center provides.”
I congratulate the township manager and supervisors for not giving special privileges to anyone and for keeping the rental rate equal for all groups.
Listen Live Music wants the township to put them on a pedestal and say, “Look at us. Look what we did for the community.”
Well, Upper Milford Township was here for over 250 years without LLM. We will be here another 250 years without them.
And we have always been on the map!