February 2022 - Board Meeting

2/2/2022 Area 515 Board Meeting

2/2/2022 - Area 515 Board Meeting


  • President: Dave

  • Vice President: Jake

  • Treasurer: Meg

  • Secretary: Brad

  • Director: Carlin

  • Director: Tom

  • Director: Ryan


Approval of Minutes from Previous Meeting

Vote to approve minutes from January board meeting

Yes: 7

No: 0

Result: Passed

Zapier Member Payment Automation

  • Automation to process both membership and tool fee payments has been running for about the past month. It's had 100 successful interactions, and only 2 failed interactions. The 2 failures were related to extremely old PayPal accounts that had unknown end points. (Note: The Secretary's account is one of them.)

  • Since some accounts renew annually, we will look for those accounts that are older than the Secretary's, as these are the ones most likely to fail.

  • Going forward the Secretary will get an email if someone's membership expires. Secretary will keep moving expired members off the Current Members list. (Note from the future: The Secretary didn't receive any of these notification emails. Did I misunderstand this?)

  • This automation doesn't solve the problem of people who pay in cash. Brad will make a QR code to put on the cashbox so that anyone paying in cash can easily notify the board of the payment. The board briefly discussed not accepting cash anymore, but this was rejected.

  • When Tool Fees come in, the automation first looks at what the expiration date is for that member's fee. If it hasn't expired yet, the automation will advance the date by 1 year. If the fee has already expired, the automation will set the expiration date to be 1 year from the current date.

  • It should also be noted that when the automation updates family memberships, it looks at the email on the PayPal account, and searches the Current Members list for the first email address that matches the PayPal account. It updates that membership, and then searches for the next one, and so on until the payment is gone. (Put another way, if there are 3 members on a family plan, and a payment is made for a 2 person plan, the automation will not error. It will only update the first two entries it finds and not the third.)

  • The system will send notification emails if the following events occur

    • Member Payments from anyone not in Current Members (ie. brand new members)

    • Tool Fee payments from family memberships, that way a human can decide exactly which membership to assign the tool payment to.

    • Tool Fee payments from anyone not already in the Tools sheet.

  • The system is not set up to handle Starving Hacker Rates. Therefore, in the future SHRs will simply be set to expire in 6 months. When it comes time to renew, the board can go back and check that the member made all the required payments, rather than having someone check for them every month.

  • Jake and Brad will continue working on this.

Trello Board

  • Discussion took place over whether or not the board and Tool Stewards should use Trello, which is essentially an online board for organizing tasks.

    • The downside is that a number of people would have to learn to use a new system, and a Tool Steward meeting would need to be called to get everyone on the same page.

    • The benefits would include: we would be much more efficient and could communicate better. It could help when creating the meeting agenda each month. Tasks could be reviewed monthly to make sure projects stay on track. It even has a smart phone app.

    • Ryan and Caroline have already been successfully using Trello to manage the Metal Shop.


  • Meg filed our tax return already.

Tool Updates

  • Chris has reiterated that he will bring his TIG welder to the space, although he hasn't specified what his terms are.

  • Carlin has offered to bring in his saddle sewing machine. However it is fickle and easily damaged. He asks that if he brings it in for members to use, that the space be willing to pay for repairs to it.

  • We acquired a sand blasting cabinet.

  • We will sell the sprayer and air compressor that we acquired as they aren't big enough to run continually.

  • We acquired a large ultrasonic washer in the Auto Shop.

  • We should be able to run compressed air pipes to the Metal Shop for little to no cost.


  • The board members' view on this can still be summarized by the following meme

Space Updates

  • Carlin was approached about the space hosting the "Iowa Hammer In." It would occur on a single day in October, 9am - 4pm, and consist of about 50-75 people. Attendees would divide up into classes. We could possibly sell food and drink. A lot of well known metal working teachers would attend. Area 515 members would still need to pay to attend. Most likely date is October 22. The board expressed approval for this.

Great Des Moines Restaurants that Serve Asian Cuisine

  • There's one on College and 2nd that has really really good food. They probably have the best General Tso chicken and rice.

  • Oishi, which is Japenese for delicious, was also mentioned.

  • There's also this ramen place that just sort of pops-up around the city that's a great too.

Tool Funds Reset

  • Since many of the Tool Funds are negative as of the last reckoning, and some discussion about possible missing payments in some funds, Jake proposed that all Tool Funds simply be reset to $200.

Vote to reset all Tool Funds under $200 to $200

Yes: 7

No: 0

Result: Passed.

Additional Space Updates

  • Jake proposed creating a quarterly email that could be sent to all members. The email would list what Tools they're certified on, and what Tool Fees they've paid. The board agreed this would be a great idea.

  • The 3D Printing area is seeing more useage. Jake would like his Prusa back, but the space could use a second printer so...

Motion to purchase a new Prusa 3D Printer

Yes: 7

No: 0

Result: Passed

  • There is also a Delta printer sitting by the front door that needs to be returned to Reg. Ray knows Reg but doesn't have the time to take it to him.

  • Caroline is almost done upgrading a different Delta 3D printer. Many of its parts have been replaced with metal parts. Currently she's waiting for a guy at DMACC to finish machining the new bed.

  • The Metal Shop still needs to buy metal to finish building more welding tables.

  • Jake wanted to build a new shelf system for the Piranha, Carlin volunteered to help with that. The CNC Stewards have yet to be consulted though.

  • One board member expressed opposition to using Keepass. Other board members expressed approval for it and no alternatives were proposed.

  • Dave will post on the google group to drum up interest in the Red Bull Soap Box Derby.

Meeting Adjourned

  • "Hear ye, Hear ye... don't quote me on that." - President upon starting the meeting.

  • After a brief discussion of what we would do with our soapbox derby car after the event... "You should make a decision after its built and you see what it looks like."

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