01/03/2017 Board Meeting
Presiding Officer- Jeff Monks
Minutes recorded- Polly Porter
Members Present- Jim Willmann, Lori Dobbin, Carol Limaye, Randy Thompson and Bill Cason
Open Items / Future agenda items:
- Jeff - TSBVI storage rule, status of cleanup.
- Jeff- Front gate sign for emergency contact.
- Jeff- Provide estimated costs for garden weather station.
- Plant Sale
- Randy - Discuss Master Gardeners table with Ila.
- Jeff - Order compost.
- Randy - find a tomato expert to take over when he leaves at 11 (day of sale).
- Carol - will look for a way to get volunteers through local organizations - key club, Dell, etc.
- Randy - Find volunteers to manage 1) silent auction 2) manage vendors 3) man a table to hold plants for shoppers and answer garden questions.
- Randy - Provide text to Polly for Weeder for open volunteer positions.
- All - Should we require 2 hours of spring service hours to be related to the plant sale.
- Jeff - Contact mushroom compost seller to confirm organic and obtain pricing.
- Carol - Look into hiring a part time CPA that specializes in non-profits.
- Jim - Update on tool shed project.
- Carol - Put all previous financial reports in Evernote.
- Carol - Prepare a simplified version of five-year plan options for all hands meeting in May.
- Jeff - Coordinate brochure change suggestions.
- ?? - Add a sign in the bathrooms to not flush paper towels.
- December Meeting minutes approved.
- We will NOT implement a secondary gardener rule change due to the very small number of gardeners affected. The intention was to apply to secondary gardeners the site rule limiting number of plots a member can be assigned and to eliminate the ability for a secondary gardener to inherit multiple plots unless grandfathered in.
- Initiative to support the Shoal Creek conservancy as proposed by Philip Whiley.
- Move the metal gate sculpture in the middle of the lawn over to replace the broken bamboo passion vine trellis.
- 2017 budget approved - Evernote link.
Shoal Creek Conservancy proposal from Philip Whiley
- 1. Authorize Philip to offer them a table at the annual spring plant sale.
- 2. Authorize Philip to coordinate with the Conservancy getting a brief write-up in the weekly Weeder 2-3 weeks prior to the sale.
- 3. Philip lead liaison efforts going forward.
The Shoal Creek Conservancy mission includes helping organize community energy to mitigate flooding while creating a hike / bike / run path from Lady Bird Lake up to the domain, and creating a sense of place and markings along the way. Their founder also was a founder of the Austin Parks Foundation, has been a longtime advocate for parks, gardens, and preservation of open space - clearly our interests and goals are aligned.
Plant Sale update
- We need someone to manage the silent auction.
- We need someone to manage all the vendors.
- The Master gardeners may have a table. Randy will discuss with Ila.
- Previous years we have had a table where people can leave their plants while shopping. This table could also have members willing to answer gardening or garden questions.
- The seedlings in the green house are doing well and will be ready to move to pots soon.
- The Tent has been paid for.
- The Porta Potty has been ordered including one for disabled.
- Jeff will order compost.
- Randy will leave about 11am the day of the plant sale to attend a wedding. Will need a tomato expert for after Randy leaves.
- We should consider requiring 2 hours of Spring hours to be at the plant sale. This is not necessarily the day of the plant sale.
- Carol will look for a way to get volunteers through local organizations - key club, Dell,
Exempt Status Gardeners
- Exempt Nancy Seibert as honorary past plant sale organizer.
- Exempt Janee Trybyszewski as oldest gardener.
- Polly will email 5 names below that they will no longer be exempt starting in Feb.
- Zone coordinators should be informed of all changes in their zone (Secondary gardener changes, Withdrawals). Polly will inform zone coordinators of these types of changes via email for now.
- Polly is will be assessing database needs over the next few months.
Tool shed upgrade project
- Redo the floor and add new lights (solar).
- This should be a budgeted 2017 project
- Jim will get with Robert and Jay to scope out the project
- Should be about $300 (lights, plywood)
Bill Diggs / mushroom compost (previously used to grow mushrooms in)
- $560 for a trailer load
- Jeff - will check that it is organic and confirm prices.
- Will use in 2017 a few weeks before plant sale for gardeners only, late Jan, Feb
Financial Report / End of year for 2016 - As posted on Evernote
- We received a $2000 donation from NRG.
- Donation budget versus actual was different (higher)
- Plant sale revenues continue year after year.
- Low expenses continue.
- We are making a profit
- Carol - Put all previous copies of financial statements in Evernote
5 Year financial planning - As posted on Evernote
- Carol's research determined that most nonprofits have a one year reserve.
- 5 scenarios - Assumes plant sale revenue does not decrease dramatically
- Question - What do we want our reserves to get to.
- We can increase plot fees some each year. If we change this year it only affects new gardeners.
- We need to discuss in all gardeners meeting in May with a simplified version of the scenarios.
- Increase in water
- Increase in conference costs
- Projects - Some funded from 2016 carryover
- Adoption of 2017 budget - Approved by all
- We should look at hiring a part time CPA who specializes in non-profit.
- Carol will see if we can find someone through the non-profit organization.
- Changes recommended by Carol - "I would like to see more information on why we are a benefit to the community. I think we can mention that we grow and deliver over 1 ton of fresh, organic produce to a food pantry each year, that we maintain community compost piles to provide an environmentally sustainable way to process garden waste, we work with TSBVI to assist in their horticulture program, and give tours to the school groups and other members of the public to demonstrate organic gardening. Also, we probably should not feature the bi-annual price of a plot if we are discontinuing that option. We could mention that the tool fee allows access to garden implements available for community use. I didn't know that the wait period was only about a month!"
- Omit rates - link to web site for current rates. OR state current rates and statement that they may change.
- Add more vegetable pictures.
- Paper towels and tree roots caused current clog.
- Plumber can come out every 2 years to clear the pipes.
- Need a sign in bathrooms - Don't flush paper towels
- Bill will have recommendation based on one he is about to install.
- Jeff is still researching.