PSSC disputes being ‘strapped for cash’

The Pondera Shooting Sports Club (PSSC) would like to respond to the April 15 article in The I-O “Shooting Sports Club ‘strapped for cash.’ “

Although it is true that we are exploring options to save money for the club by possibly running liability insurance under the umbrella of the county, the PSSC is by no stretch of the imagination strapped for cash.

In the past two years we have built a $600,000 facility with only $26,000 remaining debt. Not many businesses or organizations can build a new facility and carry over less than five percent of the total value as debt.

In addition to this noteworthy capital accrued in two years’ time the PSSC has a thriving membership which has more than doubled since 2009. There is regular income-generating activity at the PSSC including fund-raisers, meetings, shooting tournaments, room-rental, bow hunters, small bore rifle and trap shooting.

We also create traffic through the building by providing Hunter’s Safety and Bow Hunter’s Safety with a new hands-on location for classes. In addition to this we have also received huge, and much appreciated, donations to time, materials and money from individuals and businesses in our community, in addition to substantial outside grant funding. These donations have been and will continue to be the catalyst to our success.

The 4-H Shooters finally have a permanent home for their program, plus other 4-H events, at the shooting sports complex, and they have worked hard to help contribute financially to the project.

Now rather than paying rent somewhere else, they can re-invest in a building that is designed, in large part, to fit their needs and ensure the future of their program. Their support also helps with the financial security of the facility.

As PSSC board members we are seeking to limit to limit unnecessary expenses and are being good stewards of our funds, we are not concerned long-term about our cash flow.

We wanted to take this opportunity to provide The I-O readers with the correct financial facts, and to reassure our money supporters that the group is financially solvent and will be here to serve the needs of the county residents for a long time to come.

The contributions of time and money from this community have been well invested, and will pay out dividends in the form of a multi-purpose facility and more people coming to Conrad to participate in the many events held there.

We would like to invite the readers and you, Buck, to the PSSC open house scheduled for Sept. 18 where everyone will be able to see the facility and our accomplishments for themselves.

PSSC Board: Jack Judisch president, John Shevlin VP,  Michelle Botsford treasurer, Marliss Picard secretary, Scott Johnson Membership and Gary Olson, Randy Brenteson, Roger Erickson, Brad Birch, Kip Judisch, and Bruce Martin, directors.

Editor’s note:  I am glad to hear the PSSC is solvent. Your board and readers need, also, to know that headline in question was not made up. It is in quotations, meaning someone said it.

That someone is your Vice President on the PSSC Board of Directors, who, and again I quoted directly what he said to the commissioners, “We are strapped for cash, we need money,” in asking for the PSSC to be put under the county’s umbrella for liability insurance.  I was sitting right next to him at the commissioner’s table at the public meeting to report what was going on, from the regular commissioner business meeting, much the same as with city council meetings.

And now, this naturally just begs the question, If you are not strapped for cash and don’t need the money, (a good thing) why is your vice-president telling the commissioners you are? Let alone right in front of the editor of a newspaper with pad out taking notes. The result would have been the same, no matter what group or organization was present.

At this point readers need to know the PSSC meets the criteria as a non-profit and is exempt from paying property taxes. The PSSC pays $125. on a land-lease per year to the county.

The I-O is and always has been a supporter of the PSSC. Myself, Adele Stenson and Lisa Schmidt have all done very good, positive stories and/or photos of your progress, events, and tournaments which have appeared on the front page of The I-O and will continue to do so because we are a big believer in the PSSC and its activities.