Belding council OKs agreement for Ash donation to Belrockton

By Cory Smith • Last Updated 12:52 pm on Thursday, March 08, 2012

BELDING — A decision on the money donated from the Blanche E. Ash Trust to the Belrockton Museum has officially been made.

Members of the Belding City Council approved a motion Tuesday night at the Pere Marquette Depot to establish a Belrockton fund agreement between the city and the Grand Rapids Community Foundation.

According to Belding City Manager Randy DeBruine, $50,000 that was given to the Belrockton Museum by the Blanche E. Ash Trust is to be endowed and used strictly for the upkeep of the building and its grounds.

“After much discussion and research, the best option is to place the funds with the Ionia County Community Foundation, which is a component fund of the Grand Rapids Community Foundation (GRCF),” DeBruine said.

“The Museum Board has also voted to place the funds with the GRCF. The minimum amount to establish a fund with the GRCF is $50,000, which is exactly the amount we have been given.”

The council approved the motion 4-0, with none opposed.

The council then voted on whether to approve an agreement between the city of Belding and Belrockton Fund Agreement.

“We felt that the museum board and the city should spell out an agreement with each other over mutual understandings and respective obligations with resect to this endowment fund,” he said.

According to DeBruine, the new fund will typically pay out about 5 percent of the balance each year, which is based on a 16 quarter rolling average. At $50,000 that will amount to about $2,500 per year that will be used to maintain the Belrockton.

The council approved a motion 4-0, with none opposed.

Payor Pro Tem Andrea Belding was pleased to finally make a decision on how to accept and use the donation.

“The museum board was very excited about this,” Belding said. “These funds will go strictly for building upkeep, so we want to encourage people to continue to donate to the museum.”

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