April 2023 - Board Meeting

4/5/2023 - Area 515 Board Meeting for April

4/5/2023 - Area 515 Board Meeting for April


  • President: Dave

  • Vice President: Jake

  • Treasurer: Meg (remotely)

  • Secretary: Brad

  • Director: Carlin (remotely)

  • Director: Tom

  • Director: Ryan

Approval of Minutes from Previous Meeting

Vote to approve minutes of March Meeting

Yes: 7

No: 0

Result: Passed


  • Our money is currently divided between 4 "buckets," one of which is a CD. The CD used to have a good rate, but doesn't anymore. Ryan said he would look for a new place with a better rate for that money.

  • The Investment Committee realized it needs to schedule another meeting.

  • It was asked how much money the space should keep readily accessable for emergencies. The board generally agreed around $10k, given that we go through around $3k per month.

  • For the year to date we are operating in the black by about $1k.

  • Dave started an "In for $10" for a new brake press. Treasurer said she would look into how much money we've received already.

  • Ward needs to be reimbursed for a purchase.

Tool Area Fees and Budgets

  • Most Tool fees don't actually cover the operating costs of their tools. Ways to deal with this were discussed. There's no desire to raise the fees right now.

  • Part of the trouble is that tool fee payments aren't closely tracked, so there's no way to hold people accountable who aren't paying them.

  • It might be nice if we could track how much time a member spends on a machine and charge them accordingly. Although this would be more useful on some machines than others. For example, it might work well for the lasers which have a consumable (the laser tube) that wears out directly with use. With the CNC on the other hand, the cost of wear and tear on the machine per hour would have to be calculated in order to make tracking member time useful. (Members provide their own consumables (bits) for the CNC machine.)

  • The different areas and their Tool Stewards should have more defined expectations. More specifically, Tool Stewards should start putting together a yearly budget proposal for their area, then we'd better understand what it takes to be sustainable.

Reimbursements Discussion

  • A long time ago in a not-at-all far away land, Bailey and Jason first purchased a batch of very nice Baltic Birch plywood, cut it into 20" x 12" segments that were perfect for the laser cutters, and left them for members to use. Members payed for the cost of the wood on the honor system. Fast forward to two years ago, Brad followed the tradition, but also put up a sign telling members how much money they needed to donate to cover the cost of each plywood panel. Once all those plywood sheets were gone, the laser cashbox was opened. The money in the box was only about half the cost of the plywood.

  • There was a brief discussion about whether or not Brad should be reimbursed for what he spent on the plywood, but it was quickly decided he should be.

  • Similarly, Jake purchased some new ceramic blocks and guides, it was similarly decided that he should be reimbursed for those purchases.

Current Members: 98

  • Full Members: 27

  • One person who signed up needed to be refunded what they had paid, everyone agreed that it should be done.

Discussion Concerning Family Memberships

  • Family Membership Discounts are not defined in our Bylaws. Recently a group of friends had asked for a family discount. The Board did not feel that they qualified, but it brought up the need for the Board to further clarify the category.

  • The discount is applicable to:

    • members who are in the same family

    • members who are romantically involved with each other whether or not they live under the same roof

    • members who do live under the same roof even if not romantically involved.

  • One director expressed support for extending Family Membership Discounts to members who are all working on the same project, although another member was of the opinion that this should constitute a corporate membership, rather than family. The possibility of changing title of "Family Membership Discount" to "Group Membership Discount" was also floated.

  • Unless it becomes a problem, we take people at their word concerning Family Membership Discounts. No proof of eligibility is required.

  • During this discussion it was also pointed out that we haven't always followed our Bylaws appropriately. Specifically, the Bylaws say members should vote on the membership fee every year and we haven't done that. All members agreed that we need to read through the Bylaws again and make sure we follow them.

Member Meeting

  • Scheduled for April 30, 2023 at 5pm

Space Updates

  • Brad broke another tool. One of the starting capacitors blew on the metal lathe while he was using it. It happened as a result of old age, not user error.

  • The Lead CNC is still offline for upgrades. The control board isn't working yet, although the company it was purchased from is being very helpful.

  • Carlin is moving all of his equipment home, including the vacuum former in the Laser Area.

  • Dave has used our new TIG welder so we know it works.

  • A storage cabinet was purchased for the Metal Shop. Caroline has started putting stuff in it.

  • Caroline got a donated 3D printer running.

  • The power adapter for the computer in the 3D Printing Area is unreliable. In the short term we need a new power adapter; in the long run a faster computer would be desirable.

  • A cache of round metal stock was offered to us by a person in Indianola. The status of who might bring it to the space and when was unknown.

  • We need to finally finish the space's vacuum former in the Laser Area. Finishing our vacuum former was jovially compared to the horizon. "More of a concept than an actual thing."

  • Don C and some members of the CEC created a digital slide show that plays on the TV screen in the classroom. It shows photos and can advertise upcoming events. All the board members and Tool Stewards have access to change it.

  • The CEC did not have a formal meeting last quarter, but there is a guest lecturer coming soon and we're hoping for a good turn out.

Meeting Adjourned

  • What follows are some examples of the high tech, cutting edge communication between board and remote members that we can only enjoy thanks to the amazing, modern age of live streaming technology.

    • "Carlin????? Are you there???"

    • "Did... did he just use sign language at us?" "That was a thumb, wasn't it."

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