October 2017 - Member Meeting

10/29/2017 Area 515 Member Meeting

Attending: Brad F, Ben B, Bill C, Ian W, Ryan R, Don C, Tom P, Dave C, Laura V, Ray S, Ward M, Bailey S, Tim S, Chris J, Jason B, JP L

Voting by Proxy: Meg I, Matt G voting via Tim S, Alisa P voting via Bailey S

Space’s accomplishments from the past year

- We have maintained around 50+ members

- Artist Residency Program was a success; some artists may remain members

- Acquired New Tools:

  • Loom (currently at Tim’s house)

  • Router table and router

  • 2nd Laser cutter

  • Atlas metal lathe (which Ryan R is making functional)

  • Oscilloscope

  • Kiln & Slip Table – Note: This brought up discussion of need to clean garage.

  • Cordless drill and driver

- Space Improvements:

  • Garage electrical & lighting

  • Painted storage area

  • Back back room is more presentable

State of the Space

Construction Update

- In discussions with Mike from property management company, they insist more construction is being held up by fighting with the city. We are skeptical of this but have no way to check. Therefore we should not assume that landlord plans to finish back area construction.

- We should look at moving options while also continuing to build membership at current location.

- It was noted that for most other properties nearby that we could rent, their leases are “triple net”

where the final cost per month is almost triple the given price of the rent alone.

- Ryan R asked about requirements for new space. Tim responded that they’re not well defined, but members have requested not moving very far. Dave C said he looked at commercial space in Urbandale.

- Our current square footage: 1750 square feet indoors, 1100 square feet in garage

- Tom P has been and is continuing discussions with Des Moines Partnership Capital Crossroads 2.0 campaign.

  • Their desire is to keep Des Moines towards the top of city rankings on various lists. Whether or not a city has a maker space has been of increasing importance in the various lists’ rankings. Therefore it is in their interest to see us succeed and grow.

  • Tom P is working to find out what they can offer us.

  • From previous discussions with them we have made clear that we as a maker space must keep being run by our members. We have said in the past that we do not want to be just a business incubator.

  • Tom P mentioned that the city of West Des Moines is interested in having us move there, for the same reasons that Des Moines is interested in us remaining here. (ranking higher on various lists)

  • A very long term goal might be to set up a space close to us where businesses can start up, and get corporate memberships with us so they can use our tools to produce their product.

  • For right now, we are staying where we are and will continue to try growing.

Grant Applications

- Bravo – Funded our 2017 Artist in Residency program. Ben B reapplied for same in 2018

- Principal – We have applied for operational funding. This would be awesome if we got it!!!

- Prairie Meadows – Will apply for funding when they start accepting applications, Meg has friend who will help review our application.

- Bailey & Tim have been looking for more sources of funding and welcome ideas & help from everyone

- Discussion ensued regarding other possible funding sources. Ryan R mentioned knowing someone very familiar with grant funding

- It was also noted that many grants require a full financial audit, which we haven’t done because they cost around $3000. Meg has been working to organize our finances for when we are audited.

Methods of Buying Stuff

- Primary Tool Stewards can now spend their tool use fees

- Pop money is still being used towards consumables

- Large purchase funding:

  • purchases under $500, if 10 members will pay for half the cost of the purchase then the space will pay for the other half of the purchase (With a note that if an “In for $10” comes close but fails, organizers should still contact the board and they may consider funding over half.)

  • Purchases over $500 will be conducted on a case by case basis through the board of directors

2018 Budget

For full details please see the 2018 FY Budget document.

(Note: Treasurer was not present and so this was presented by Tim S as best he could.)


- expect $31,690 income

- expect $30,256 liabilities

  • includes $2,500 for space improvements

  • includes $2,500 for expected tool purchases/upgrades

-expected “profit” of $1,434

  • This budget does include some donations like, for example, how John Deere will pay for some of the time that Tim S volunteers to the space, but does NOT include large grants like those listed above.

- We discussed that we should do more to advertise corporate memberships. Dave C and Chris J discussed trying to conduct more classes with fees.

- Insurance

  • We added more coverage.

  • Tim S noted that for some reason, tools from external entities (aka non-members) are covered under business insurance.

In other Financial information:

- The space put $10,000 into CDs last year.

- Net Increase in Assets: $10,781

- Increase in Cash Balance: $5,781

Anyone with more financial questions should email treasurer@area515.org

- Ideas to increase income were discussed. Chris J suggested members make things for the space to sell and using that money for new tools. Chris J also suggested some kind of reward system for members who make these things.

- Something called Patreon was also discussed. This author didn’t quite understand what that was so I’m just going to leave that word here and pretend I understood it. Heck, I’ll bet only 2 or 3 people will read this far through the meeting minutes anyway. I could go off on some diatribe about how my wife and I have 7 week old twins who keep us up all night and I’d be surprised if anybody notices. Unless of course a grant funder starts going through our records with a fine tooth comb in which case, hello, person reading this! We are an awesome organization with a truly great bunch of dedicated people. Please ignore the fact that the secretary was really sleep deprived when he wrote this. He promises that his twins won’t be infants forever.


Number Voting Members: 23

Voting Members Present: 12 + 3 proxy voters

With proxies, we have enough voting members to reach quorum.

   Supporting to Full Memberships:
   Jason Bentley and Laura VanWaardhuizen were formally voted to Full membership

Note: Afterwards, Voting Members Present: 14 + 3 proxy voters

   Bylaw Amendments: Section 3, Subsection 1 - change “community member” to “person”
   In Favor: 13 + 3 proxies
   Opposed: None
   Result: PASSED
   Bylaw Amendments: Change “Security Chief” to “Board Member”
   In Favor: 14 + 3 proxies
   Opposed: None
   Result: PASSED
   Bylaw Amendment: Article 4, Board of Directors, Section 4, Meetings – change “shall meet once a month” to “generally meet once a month”
   In Favor: 12 + 3 proxies
   Opposed: 1
   Result: PASSED

Per the Bylaws, nobody forwarded a motion to change membership fees therefore they will remain as before.

Note: Bylaws can be amended by a 2/3 majority at any member meeting if changes are proposed 10 days in advance by a Full member.

Board of Director Elections

   President: voting conducted by secret ballot with Ray S counting.
   Tim S – 12 votes
   Ben B – 5 votes
   Result: Tim S elected President
   Vice President, Treasurer, Secretary: only 1 person nominated for each post, therefore voting was conducted on all 3 positions at once by show of hands.
   Result: Don C elected Vice President
           Meg I elected Treasurer
           Brad F elected Secretary
   Directors: conducted via secret ballot, everyone voted for 3 people, ballots counted by Ray S and recounted by Dave C


Number of Votes

Chris J


Ward M


Tom P


Bailey S


Ben B


Laura V


   Result: Chris J, Tom P and Bailey S elected as Directors.

Meeting Adjourned

- This probably shouldn't be its own heading, but tough.

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