January 2018 - Board Meeting

1/7/2018 - Area 515 Board Meeting


  • President: Tim

  • Vice President: Don (arrived during meeting)

  • Treasurer: Meg

  • Secretary: Brad

  • Director of Education: Bailey

  • Director: Chris


  • Director: Tom

Opening Discussion - Possible New Location

  • Some board members toured possible new location at 108 Jefferson St yesterday morning.

  • The board looked at pictures and plans and discussed pros and cons.

  • It was emphasized that we want to make sure members would feel comfortable at possible new location.

  • New space would be 2850 square feet, with room to expand.

  • We ruled out the port-a-potty location as a possible new site(which is NOT the one listed above)

State of the Space


  • Principal declined our funding request.

  • Tim brought up the need to work on application for Prairie Meadows grant.

  • Regarding Bravo Grant

    • Thanks to Ben for submitting application to Bravo to fund our 2018 Artist in Residency program.

    • Grant has been approved.

    • Grant amount is the same as we got last year. (We attempted to double the size of the program, but approved funding was for the same size as last year.)

    • Meg emailed Ben asking for the details of the Bravo grant so she can account for it.

Additional Property Discussion

  • Discussion returned to 108 Jefferson location.

  • We might be able to rearrange some interior walls.

  • We would be unlikely to disturb any of the neighbors as it is zoned light industrial

  • Our sign and front window displays would be seen by fewer people, but to our knowledge the front we have now has not generated any new memberships.

  • Bailey brought up getting a sandwich board to advertise and direct people at Open House nights.

  • Ceilings in unfinished portions of building are about 14 feet. Ceilings in finished areas probably 8 or 9 feet.

  • Chris mentioned the 3 phase wiring in the building could mean we would be able to buy better equipment for lower prices. Often big industrial tools require 3 phase wiring. When companies sell their equipment most regular consumers don't have 3 phase wiring and so won't buy it. This often makes said equipment less expensive.

  • The building owner is considering writing into a lease that he would have access to our tools. Nobody raised objections to this possibility.

  • Excitingly, the possibility was also raised that we might be able to access some of his tools providing members who did had proper training.

  • Tangentially, it was mentioned that our large CNC router does not work and needs to be rebuilt. It was informally agreed that when rebuilt it should be at least 4' wide.

Application for Prairie Meadows Grant

  • Tim showed a PDF explaining everything that needs to be submitted to apply for Prairie Meadows Community Betterment Grants. The 10 page PDF was only published a few days ago.

  • Applications are due end of January. Good news is that everyone else applying for funding will have to compile their applications as quickly as we do.

  • Prairie Meadows top funding priorities are:

    • Arts and Culture

    • Economic Development

    • Education

    • Health and Human Services

  • Tim requested help from board getting application ready in time, and emailed a copy of the PDF out to all the board members.

  • It was generally agreed that the 2018 Artist In Residency program fits well with their Arts and Culture priority.

  • Brad suggested that funding could also be requested for hiring an instructor to teach members welding, and for upcoming STEM Summer Classes.

Financial Update

2017 Financial Statement of Activity (PDF)

  • Meg presented the preliminary budget for 2018 with the following caveats:

    • She will alter some of the listed expenses in the Tool Steward accounts since she has had to guess which accounts some expenses came from

    • She will be reviewing her flagged emails and may make alterations based on what she finds.

    • She will add details of the Bravo grant once she has them

  • We currently have about $18000 in checking as of the end of September

  • We also have another $5000 in CDs.

  • Tim proposed setting up another $5k CD

   Proposed: We put another $5000 in a CD. Meg will be in charge of making this happen. Where the CD will be set up is at her discretion. 
   Vote: Approval from all members in the room. (One member was having a conversation in other room at the time vote was taken. Vote was NOT intentionally held in his absence, and he later approved as well.)
   Result: Passed
  • Since the space made less than $50,000 income we will be able to file the simple tax return. There will be no need to send out 1099 forms.

  • Don submitted a small receipt and was reimbursed.

  • Don announced that Chris is now able to sign checks. The 3 people now able to sign checks are:

    • Don

    • Brad

    • Chris

  • Board discussed use of the space's debit card. Our insurance policy only covers liability of board members. Brad read the board approved debit card policy from the November 2017 minutes and it was decided to change the policy.

   Proposed: Only board members can handle the debit card and purchases require majority board approval ahead of time. 
   Vote: Unanimously approved
   Result: Passed
  • Discussion moved to our reimbursement policy. Brad read the minutes from previous meetings on the topic, and it was decided that previously considered language was too restrictive.

   Proposed: For reimbursement a receipt must be presented to the treasurer. If it is less than $100, reimbursement is at the treasurer's discretion. Any receipts above $100 require a majority vote from the board of directors in order to be reimbursed.
   Vote: Unanimously approved
   Result: Passed

Password Security

  • Brad raised topic of password security based on conversation with Chris and Don when Chris was added to check signing.

  • We discussed specifically who has access to our PayPal account.

  • Bailey said that our social media passwords change anytime our interns change.

  • The president has the power to force password changes for any @area515.org email address.

  • The location of sensitive passwords was discussed.

  • It was agreed that both the President and Vice President should have the master password for our Google account.

Welder Expense

  • Don questioned what the $339 expense in the Metal Shop Tool fund was.

  • Meg found the receipt. It was for a welder that would be owned by the space.

  • Several people thought that the money for that was raised by an "In for $10" and lamented how difficult it was to keep track of everyone who gave.

  • Bailey looked through emails and Google Group discussions and found no evidence that we ever did an "In for $10" for the welder. Instead what people were probably remembering was the In for $10 for the new Oscilloscope that occurred about the same time.

  • Members then wondered who approved buying the welder and what account the funds are supposed to come from.

  • Brad reviewed his own personal notes from the board meeting on 3/1/2017 and found that the board itself had voted to reimburse Ben for buying the welder. What account the funds were to come from were not specified at the time.

In for $10 Improvements

  • In the future when someone does an "In for $10" they need to contact the Treasurer to explain what they're raising the money for. The Treasurer can then use PayPal to create an "In for $10" button on our website's donation page so that everyone's donations can be tracked more easily.

Other Concerns

  • Brad brought up the question of additional filtering of the info email account, but nobody had ideas for how to improve it.

End of Meeting

  • The cheese stands alone.

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