How were Shambhala Mountain Center’s finances affected by the evacuation?
Being evacuated for our busiest month, and cancelling programming for a second month of the year obviously had a tremendous financial impact on Shambhala Mountain Center. We had to cancel many programs and refund approximately $600,000 to participants whose programs were cancelled, of which $405,400 was reimbursed in cash and $143,400 was taken in program credit and $51,300 was donated back to SMC.
We were able to host the Kurukulla and Magnetizing Gesar Abhishekas, Scorpion Seal Assemblies 3 and 4, Shambhala Sangha Retreat, and the Meditation Instructor Gathering in the Boulder Shambhala Center and at Naropa University’s Nalanda Campus.
Another way of looking at the financial repercussion of the fire comes from the forensic accounting firm working for our insurance company. They calculated our lost net income due to the fire at $516,746. They also calculated extra expenses due to the fire at $130,246. This amount includes the costs related to taking care of staff and participants who were relocated and fed away from Shambhala Mountain Center. We have recovered $400,000 from the insurance company, and are in final negotiations for recovering the remaining balance due as calculated by the forensic accountant.
What is happening with the Waste Water Treatment Plant? What are the next steps?
Since 2009 we have been progressing with a project to build a new waste water treatment plant and collection system that will allow Shambhala Mountain Center to adequately serve the number of guests we host each year, even at the height of our Summer Season when we can have up to 500 people on the land on any given day. Through our Pure Land, Pure Water, Pure Heart campaign, we have raised roughly $1,000,000, nearly half of the total needed to complete all phases of the project.
The waste water treatment plant is completed, and is operational using temporary bypass piping to connect the downtown buildings. Phase I of the collection system will include installing larger piping to accommodate direct connection to all of the downtown buildings as well as the additional flows from the Red Feather campus to be established in Phase II. Phase II is projected to be completed in 2014, which will allow us to meet all of the state’s deadlines for completion of the project by May of 2015. We would like to put this project out for bid in the early spring so that Phase I construction can begin in the fall of 2013.
What is the present situation with the pine beetle epidemic?
In 2011, approximately 2,300 pine trees on Shambhala Mountain Center’s land were found to be infected by the Mountain Pine Beetle. After a determined effort to curb the spread of the beetle population, we found only 1,500 infected trees in 2012. This year, we are delighted to share that our survey revealed only 195 infected trees. Our Land Steward is working with local and state officials to see if the trend seen at Shambhala Mountain Center is linked with more general trends of the epidemic throughout this region. We are looking at what the next steps will be given this dramatic decrease.