News for those who live, work and play in the Santiam Canyon

Tool library purchases second storage unit

Contributing writer for The Canyon Weekly

Thanks to a grant from the Salem Foundation, the Santiam Canyon Tool Library was able to purchase a second Conex box.

“Our first Conex box filled up quickly and we were storing equipment off site in two different places,” said Melodie Roth, SCTL treasurer. 

The tool library received $12,000 from the Salem Foundation and $5,200 was used to purchase the new container. Roth said the remaining funds were placed in the SCTL’s account to buy tools as needed. 

“With the two containers, we plan on having a back and front wall with a low-profile roof over the top so we can store our larger equipment there,” Roth said. “Storage has been a major issue with us. Items like woodchippers, log splitters, cement mixers, rototillers, etc., take up a lot of room.”

Roth said most of the large and expensive donated equipment comes from grants and also the Good360, a charitable branch of the United Way. 

“We have had numerous donated tools from the community as well, which we greatly appreciate,” she said.

Among the tools acquired via donations this year are a professional tile cutter, field and brush mower, scaffold, paint sprayer, concrete mixer, hedge trimmer and a just-ordered brand new woodchipper with tow kit.

According to Roth, the tool library is “doing great.”

“We appreciate the ongoing support of the community and always encourage people to reach out to us if there are specific tools they need,” she said. 

“The Gates Community Church has been a lifesaver by letting us use their property, free of charge, for both boxes. It is such a great site because we are located just off their parking lot. We are so grateful to them for their ongoing support of our library,” Roth said.

Right now, SCTL’s biggest challenge is the lack of volunteers. 

“We lost our beloved secretary this year, Debbie Corning, and greatly miss what a wonderful job she did,” Roth said. “She was an active member of the community, and many mourned her loss. We are in need of a secretary to record our minutes at board meetings as soon as possible.”

Roth said the goal is to have enough volunteers to hold the library open as often as possible. 

“To volunteer, you don’t need to know anything about tools,” she said. “Volunteering is something anyone can do.”

The library uses software to track inventory and check items in and out, she said. 

“It would be wonderful to have a volunteer donate their time to learn this system in order to teach others,” she added. “We also want to make sure and let people know, if you do volunteer and are not comfortable using the computer, you can just make a note and we will check items in and out. We don’t want lack of computer knowledge to be a reason a person does not volunteer.”

Volunteers are also needed for tasks such as tool maintenance, engraving tools engraving tools, and cleanup.

“We are always open to new ideas,” Roth said. “We always need help with promotion, like on our Facebook page. Having someone who is very familiar with Facebook promotion would be awesome. We are open to any other promotional ideas to let people know we exist.”

Roth said the tool library has been an ongoing learning experience for all involved. Current SCTL board members are: Shawn Drake, president; Jose Moreno, vice president; and Roth, treasurer. The secretary position remains open. Board members include Lisa Chalidze, Carl Wilson, Scott Foster and Stephanie Drake. Other volunteers are Les Reddig, Mike Llewellyn and Brian Gander.

“We have been able to exist as a nonprofit due to the generous donations of single individuals and organizations from across our state,” Roth said. “Our future depends on them and volunteers who are interested in helping our canyon, not just recover from the wildfires, but to continue to grow in the future. 

“From the bottom of our hearts we thank every person and organization for the donations that we have received,” she added. “We hope to continue to have this kind of support in the future.”

To become a member of the tool library, individuals fill out a simple application and show a piece of identification at the Gates location, 40070 Gates School Road.

To volunteer, leave a message on the Santiam Canyon Tool Library Facebook page or call Roth at 503-881-1931. 

Information can be found on Facebook or at santiamcanyontoollibrary.myturn.com/library.
An inventory list can be viewed, and reservations can be made onsite. Send emails to [email protected].

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