November 2017 - Board Meeting

11/1/2017 Area 515 Board Meeting


  • President: Tim

  • Vice President: Don

  • Treasurer: Meg

  • Secretary: Brad

  • Director of Education: Bailey

  • Director: Chris

  • Director: Tom

Also Attending:

  • Ward

Opening Discussion

  • Tim has been receiving lots of new building ideas from people and is a little overwhelmed by them

  • Tim has tried to share access to all relevant online materials with new board members, if they can’t access something please email the board

  • Chris may be the only person with access to social media folder in Area 515 Dropbox?

State of the Space


  • From Jan. 1st to Sep. 30th, our net income was $6,414.73

  • Last year Ward, Don and Brad had ability to sign checks, now Ward will need to be removed from the check signing list.

  • Since Meg typically comes to the space on Tuesday nights to get checks signed, and since Chris is very often at the space at that time, he agreed to be added to the list of check signers as long as he doesn’t have any other financial responsibilities

  • Meg then asked the board to decide policy regarding reimbursement requests.

    • In the past, consumable expenses have usually been paid out of pop money. (Pop money being the money container above the refrigerator)

    • If people purchase a consumable item for the space, they typically reimburse themselves directly out of the pop money jar.

      • For example, Ward recently spent about $78 dollars buying trash bags and paper towels for the space. Since that purchase, he has been gradually taking money out of the pop jar to pay himself back.

      • Another example was when Bailey restocked the refrigerator with pop. She paid herself back directly out of the pop jar.

      • This does mean that not all consumables transactions are recorded by the treasurer.

    • Meg does occasionally take some of the money out of the pop money jar and put it into savings.

    • Member Ryan R recently proposed a reimbursement policy framework. (Note: His proposal would apply to all reimbursements provided by the board, not just consumables) He suggested that digital copies of receipts should be emailed to the entire board, a waiting period then follows where board members are given the chance to object to the reimbursement, if no objections are raised then the Treasurer makes the reimbursement.

      • The Treasurer pointed out that instituting a delay between receiving receipts and paying them would make it very easy to forget the paying part. It would be easier if reimbursements could happen quickly.

      • No board action was taken on this idea.

    • Discussion then focused on the question of how to reimburse smaller items like consumables.

      • The following idea was proposed: people should send all receipts to the whole board, and the treasurer is authorized to reimburse board-approved receipts or consumable expenses under $100.

      • 6 members of the board voted in favor, but before the vote was closed Don said he was still thinking, so the vote was dropped. The above proposal was pulled from consideration.

    • Discussion then jumped to what policy should be on the use of the space debit card. It has on occasion been given out to members who then use it to pay for items directly.

   Proposed: Before handing debit card to anyone it must be approved by majority of the board AND the items to be purchased must be specified in advance.
   Vote: Unanimous approval
   Result: Passed
   UPDATE: This policy was changed in  January 7, 2018 meeting.
   New policy: Only Board Members may use the Debit Card, and purchases require majority board approval ahead of time.
  • To make progress on reimbursement policy, the discussion focused specifically on the issue of digital receipts.

    • Proposed: receipts should be emailed to the whole board, the board then has 48 hours to object, if no objection and the receipt is for consumables and is less than $100 – or – if receipt is for a previously board approved expense, then the Treasurer will reimburse the receipt digitally (like using PayPal for example). If people want to be reimbursed by check they will have to use an alternate process.

    • Since there was still some hesitation about voting on this proposal, it was decided that the Treasurer would formally write up a proposal similar to the above and send it out to the board for voting by email.

  • Chris requested that the Treasurer tell him how much money is in each tool steward’s account. Meg said that she would have to research the answer and agreed that she would email the information to the whole board.

At this point, Meg had to leave the meeting.


  • We are running very low on much of our printed advertising. Specifically we need more:

    • Half sheets (There are 3 kinds of these, one is aimed at individuals, one at businesses, and one at education)

    • Quarter sheets (These also need to be updated with email address “”)

    • Business cards

  • Dave C has requested more half-sheet business flyers.

  • Printing more off the above is estimated to cost about $200

  • Tim will take the lead on getting this done.

   The board unanimously approved printing more of the above items.

Kreg Tools

  • The board discussed how to respond to a request from Kreg tools about possibly using our space for an event. It was agreed that Bailey would continue the discussion with them, and that she would invite them to come tour the space to see if it meets their needs. Since the event would be during a weekday Ward even offered to be at the space for them during the time.

New Location Discussion

  • As was discussed at the recent Members meeting, we can’t keep assuming that the move into the back space will actually happen. We then discussed how to gather the requirements we would have for a new space.

  • The process of finding a new space will probably take at least a year.

  • The space’s neighboring business signed a new lease with the landlord similar to ours in that they would move once new construction on the building was finished. They were to move into the front room of Area 515. They have mentioned the idea of trying to move into our front room despite the fact that construction hasn’t finished. We don’t know the exact terms of their lease but it would be something they would have to take up with the landlord.

  • There was a list of new space requirements made the last time we moved locations. It was generally agreed those are not necessarily valid anymore because we have grown so much.

  • The whiteboard was used to come up with a new set of space requirements as a group

  • Tom also agreed to create an email that would have all the members rank the importance of the various priorities above.

  • Tim gave some numbers on what sort of rent the space could realistically pay given our current member base, and what we might be able to afford if our member base keeps growing at its current rate.

  • Tom will ask the Crossroads 2.0 campaign for help with grant money for rent

  • It was noted that we don’t have a physical address for most of our members so it would be hard for us to rank what locations would work best for the most people. Bailey suggested we hang up a large map of Des Moines on the wall of the space and invite members to put in pins near where they live.

Other Concerns

  • Tom wants a flying car

  • Chris mentioned that we need a large drum of water for the welding area for safety. 55 gallon was the size they discussed. Tim also mentioned that putting a drop of kerosene on top of the water will prevent mosquitos breeding in it,

  • Bailey attends an event called 100 Women Who Care which raises money for nonprofits. When they meet a few nonprofits are drawn out of a hat then someone gets up and speaks for each group, in the end the whole group vote to decide who to give the money to. Bailey requested ideas for how to best describe us. Several people suggested emphasizing the young educational things we do at the space, like when Tech Journey was held here.

  • Brad and Bailey discussed the need to start planning summer classes already so they can be advertised and sign up can happen in February when most other summer sign ups occur.

Meeting Adjourned

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