Development Updates


September-October

In response to a recent update letter concerning our dining hall project, we have now passed the $96,000 mark in fund raising toward the matching funds. A donor has promised to build our dining hall (up to $1,000,000) if we can raise the money for the infrastructure to support it ($250,000). That makes his gift a 4-to-1 matching funds pledge! Our next phase of infrastructure work is the fire protection which must go from 30,000 to 180,000 gallons of water on site in tanks. We are also planning for various smaller ugrades to our roads and athletic fields and courts and hope to line up help with those projects before next summer's camps.

Praise the Lord that we have already received over $52,000 toward our matching funds goal! For every $1 raised for the dining hall infrastructure, a donor is matching $4 toward the building itself. Please pray with us as we seek to raise $250,000 for the infrastructure. We were blessed to have a group of volunteers come from Raleigh, North Carolina, to help complete several projects. Among them was a concrete floor for our open-air auditorium. They were also able to complete fencing for a horse pasture, trenching for our electrical expansion, and several other projects. The electrical expansion, which continues to move forward, will not only service the new dining hall when built, but also provide lights and electrical outlets at our basketball court. This month we also welcome our first year-long intern, Isaiah Nuno, who just graduated from Bible college.
Praise the Lord that we have already received over $52,000 toward our matching funds goal! For every $1 raised for the dining hall infrastructure, a donor is matching $4 toward the building itself. Please pray with us as we seek to raise $250,000 for the infrastructure. We were blessed to have a group of volunteers come from Raleigh, North Carolina, to help complete several projects. Among them was a concrete floor for our open-air auditorium. They were also able to complete fencing for a horse pasture, trenching for our electrical expansion, and several other projects. The electrical expansion, which continues to move forward, will not only service the new dining hall when built, but also provide lights and electrical outlets at our basketball court. This month we also welcome our first year-long intern, Isaiah Nuno, who just graduated from Bible college.
As we gear up for the dining hall project, we are majoring on two aspects of the infrastructure: the electrical support and fire protection. The City of Williams will not allow us to build without 150,000 additional gallons of water in place and connected to the cuirrent fire hydrant system. The electrical expansion will not only service the dining hall, but will also supply electricity for basketball court lights and future buildings. While we are coordinating details on these aspects, the number one need we face is funds for the support projects. For every dollar we raise for infrastructure, a donor is providing $4 for the building itself. We are currently working to finalize the dining hall plans, get needed approvals, and seek bids. Please pray for wisdom and funds as we move forward.
Final loose ends in getting the sanitation system approved have been delayed by over two feet of snow. However, we are thrilled to have volunteers here for a week to build additional furniture to outfit more cabins. They have been building closet cupboards for two cabins. We are also grateful for the work being done behind the scenes to prepare us to move forward on the dining hall project. With a donor committed to build the building, we still need funds for the infrastructure work. The electrical component is being worked on now. We also have a lead on some affordable fire protection tanks to expand that system. We have a very important Advisory Meeting February 10 to discuss these things and are planning a fund raising banquet March 23 in Phoenix as well.
The sanitation system is done! All that remains is the final inspection and authorization to use the full system. The Lord has seen us through the largest project so far. The next major project is our dining hall. This will be the largest, most complicated building we construct. Along with a gift this fall to help us get started on the project, we have also now received a promise of funds to build the building in its entirety! We will be responsible for raising funds for the infrastructure to support it and the equipment to furnish it. In the meanwhile, we have completed a road spur into the center of camp that has been worked on here and there since May. This will enable us to have good access to the camp cabins even throughout the winter. We are also planning some short-range projects like upgrading our outdoor dining, enhancing the open-air auditorium, and adding a 14-month camp internship.
Our camps and retreats are complete for the year, yet much activity remains. Our contractor is planning to wrap up the sanitation system before winter. This will allow us to seek our permanent occupancy permits. While the tanks and lines to the tanks are already in place, the leech field is being completed and connected to the rest of the system. Our other major goal this fall is to complete the road spur that we started in May, so that the road will be fully usable throughout the winter. We also plan to use excavated dirt to begin an additional road spur and a parking area.
We thank the Lord that we were able to have running water in the cabins this summer! Though the sanitation leech field is still being installed, we were permitted to use the septic tanks and have them pumped occasionally during camp. We also made use of all ten cabins and the first aid station with the new water and propane systems. There were many last minute touch-ups in these buildings to make them ready for camp. The fire protection system was also completed before camp, and we have 30,000 gallons of water on hand in case of fire.  We also enjoyed the new commissary (food storage) to support our mobile kitchen. As a bonus, we were able to extend another section of our heavy-duty road into the center of camp. This accommodated water and food delivery as well as those arriving for camp. Now was we move on from camp, we need to tie up the sanitation system and gain authorization to discharge and also gain our permanent permit for use of the campground. We also received a great blessing of a $30,000 gift toward the next major project, the dining hall!
There is action in all directions as we are working to complete the campground infrastructure before campers arrive. The lines and septic tanks for the five girls' cabins are installed and inspected. The first-aid station tank and the first, larger 5,500 gallon tank are installed and awaiting inspection. That leaves the lines and tanks for the boys' cabins, a second 5,500 gallon tank, and the leech field to go. The water and propane lines are installed and connected to the cabins. The propane system is operational. The water system tank enclosures, hookup of 10,000 gallon tanks, and pump installation is done. The concrete pad for 30,000 gallons of fire protection water is completed. A lot of work to complete the insides of the cabins has been going on. The First Aid Station has only final details to go. The mobile kitchen has been upgraded with new shelving and larger capacity hot water. The kitchen commissary (storage) is complete, lacking only the installation of the new refrigerator, freezer, and shelving. Both have been approved by the local health department. Please pray for us as we complete the final details for camp.
The digging has begun! Since conditions have dried out, our contractors have begun digging trenches for the installation of the water and propane systems. Our two 10,000 gallon NSF approved fresh water tanks also recently arrived. Two volunteer crews are planned for the construction of a concrete pad and stem wall for a structure to enclose the water tanks. We also received the shippment of three additional 10,000 gallon water tanks for a fire protection system. Along with contractor work, we have volunteer crews completing venting and dry wall projects in the cabins. Please pray for us concerning the great volume of work to be done in the next two months. And, if you have the time and skill, come lend a hand!.
While February has been slow for actual construction on site, we have made progress with plans for the kitchen commissary. The county has approved the plan, some work on the room itself has been completed, and shelving has been ordered. We have also been continuing to line up volunteers for work in March and April. We could still use a couple more groups to complete all of the work. We are also thankful to have another volunteer couple, Dennis & Lynda Duncan, ready to join us in early March, relocating from western Tennessee.
Needing over $100,000 to complete this spring's projects, we just received a gift of $150,000! God has provided! Now we are earnestly praying for good enough weather to get the sanitation, water, and propane work started. We are also still recruiting volunteer workers for March through May as there is still a lot to finish. A small group from Iowa just completed the flooring in the first aid building and prepared our open-air auditorium for screening to be added in the summer.
We thank the Lord for 4 groups scheduled to help with projects this spring. We really could use 4-6 more groups or individuals (see right column, "specific help needed"). We are also encouraged with our plan review meeting with our local health department which will officially permit the camp. So far, no surprises. Concerning the sanitation work, broken-down equipment and project delays have kept our contractor from starting. He has assured us he will begin shortly after the new year. Our other great need is financial. Please pray with us for the Lord's provision to accomplish the projects needed to gain permanent approval to use the facility.
We have just received permission from the City of Williams to proceed with the remaining infrastructure construction to get our eleven camp buildings fully online. Last summer, these buildings had electricity, but we had to make other temporary arrangements for restrooms, showers, and fire protection. We believe there will be equipment onsite before Thanksgiving to begin the sanitation work. Much of the water and propane work will go on simultaneously. Our two largest needs now are funds for all these projects and volunteers in April and May to help with some work we can do ourselves.
Here in late October, we just received word that we can pick up our approved sanitation permit! With the Lord's provision this fall, we will begin work as soon as the contractor can start. We also received an unexpected gift of $25,000 toward our water system. We are still seeking the approvals needed to begin that project, but with money now in hand, we could also start that soon. There is really no way to adequately express our thanks to God for these developments! This month, we also hosted a work group which completed ten concrete pads to serve the side cabin doors. This will help us in the battle against mud. We also have begun work assembling the softball backstdonated to us in July.
Concerning our sanitation system permit, we have mostly been in a holding pattern as we wait for final approval. We believe this to be imminent. We have also been looking for volunteers to help us to assemble our new softball field backstop and fence. We would like to do this before winter because of the projects that will await us after the first of the year. So far, we have gotten feedback of potential help only in the spring (for which we are grateful!). Please pray with us that we will have the volunteers we need this fall. In light of that, we do have one volunteer couple doing work on our first aid building, even now. Thank the Lord!
This month we have been working to nail down correct cost estimates on several projects. Since the City of Williams is permitting us to scale back our fire protection to accommodate only our existing buildings, we are adding this project to our 2015-2016 goals. This system will include three 10,000 gallon tanks, water lines, and two fire hydrants. We also need to construct or adapt facilities to accommodate a support commissary for our mobile kitchen (county requirement). We have gathered all the information needed toward the propane system needed for the cabins (water and heat) Still no word on the sanitation permit, but we have confirmed that we can design our water system without state permitting! When the design is completed, we will renew efforts for a more accurate cost estimate.
God has provided many miracles this summer! Not only did he provide an amazing amount of funds to come in to outright purchase our new mobile commercial kitchen, but he also provided the funds and workers so that we completed electrical service to all eleven camp buildings. We had two great weeks of camp on site with several young people saved, and dozens of spiritual decisions made. Our summer staff also worked hard before campers arrived to enhance walkways and activity areas, and to fully put together our initial open-air auditorium. Since camp ended, we have also received a donation of materials to assemble a new softball field backstop. On the infrastructure front, our engineers have been hammering out final adjustments to our sanititaion system. We are praying for the permit by September 1.
God is answering prayer! Just a few weeks ago, we put out the word that we needed $55,000 to purchase a mobile commercial kitchen and complete the electrical infrastructure for the cabins and first aid building. Not only has all of the money come in, we have also been able to start putting more money aside toward the rest of the sanitation need. Praise the Lord! As we turn from April to May, we need just $43,000 to have what we need for sanitation. On top of this, we have been able to complete fundraising for a couple of smaller projects as well. Now we just have to get the work done! As of May 1, about 75% of the electrical work is done. We also have two work weekends scheduled this month. Also, we are about to officially submit the sanitation plan changes to install the system incrementally. God is indeed answering prayer.
Still rejoicing that our sanitation estimate has dropped from $280,000 to $125,000, we are actually concentrating on other aspects of the projects now. While the engineer continues to deal with sanitation details required by the county, we are focused on getting our electrical work complete for the eleven buildings. We are using both a contractor and volunteers. The contractor will begin trenching within days and the volunteer labor is scheduled for the end of this month. We have also developed a new food service plan to use for the next couple of summers. We are purchasing a $43,000 mobile commercial kitchen. Here's the best news: a friend of West Branch has offered to match up to $20,000 that we raise for this purchase!
We have just received great news! After switching gears to install our sanitation incrementally, it reduced the initial cost from $280,000 to $125,000! We are now just under $49,000 away from what we need to complete fundraising for that project. We have also received the remaining bids to get all ten cabins and the first aid building online with water and electricity. We now need less money to complete the entire cabin infrastructure than we thought we would need for the sanitation alone! Please be praying for wisdom in coordinating the work that needs to be done on site in the next couple of months. Please also pray that the Lord would provide the remaining funds needed to complete the infrastructure as soon as possible.
Our  plan to install our sanitation system incrementally has been approved! Our contractor is now working to give us a new bid on this revised plan. Additionally, we have been researching the water system, electrical system, fire protection system, and temporary food service plans. Coconino County and the City of Williams are giving us the perameters to have camp this June under a "special event" provision. So, as we continue to pray for these incremetal infrastructure steps to move forward, we are also working on several "Plan B's" for this June's camps. Please pray for all this coordination and for the financial provision to keep moving forward. With volunteer help, we are nearing completion of the lean-to addition which will accommodate a 100+ seat open air auditorium this sum e justmer.
We asked the Lord to double the $30,000 we had raised for sanitation before the end of the year, and He did more than that! He has provided $74,500 for the project so far. While many friends have donated funds, we have also been continuing to pursue a way to install the system in segments, allowing us to pay as we go. Please continue to pray for God's provision through consistent gifts and larger donations that may be possible through land sales, etc. (Several friends have expressed interest in helping in this way.) We also have two brave families coming to volunteer here in cold January! We are very grateful for those who labor with us to complete the many projects around camp that need to be done.

Dining Hall Video

Our next major project, the Dining Hall, will also contain an upgraded auditorium. Watch this video to learn how the funds raised for infrastructure is being matched four times for the building!



    Over the past two years, God has allowed us to see these projects completed:
  • Open air auditorium
  • Electrical support to camp buildings
  • Sanitation system
  • Water system
  • Propane system
  • Mobile kitchen & Food storage commisary
  • Fire protection system
  • Youth cabins & First Aid building details
  • Road spur into the center of camp

West Branch of
Bill Rice Ranch
2501 E. Pinetree Dr.
Williams, AZ 86046
westbranch@billriceranch.org
Phone: 928-635-2097

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