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Board Meeting

Apr 16, 2000

1. Project Status - Report by President
Progress on Seed TEAM support project included extensive clearing of an acre of loaned land (fenced and heaped with wood, pipes, bricks, and other heavy items), breaking and tilling. Ron spent several days there, assisted on occasion by Nancy and Kurt. Hundreds of starter plants (including tomatoes, peppers, broccoli, and carrots), are growing well. Progress on Short Wave Radio project includes securing a building permit for the antenna pad. Progress on the Storm Shelter project includes securing a building permit and making preliminary arrangements with an excavation company doing work nearby. Progress on the Hydroponics/Aquaponics projects includes receipt of equipment and purchase of cow watering tanks. Ron has also done research into how to complete and setup the complex. Electrical upgrading of the infrastructure was completed by the site owner. A separate meter was installed to record kW hours used by the hydroponics. Shuichi applied for his B-1 Visa. Progress on the Worm Beds includes finalizing the design, puchasing and cutting the materials, and assembling several of the trays. Roger spent 3 days assisting Ron. Progress on Hand Tool video development includes locating an Amish contact. Progress on TV Film Clip include duplication, mailing copies to Board Members, and meeting requests. Progress on the Video Servers includes compiling and reviewing a buy list.
2. Quarterly Financial Report - Report by Treasurer
The Treasurer's report for April, 2000 shows $17,280 cash in the bank, with an Accounts Payable of $796.80, leaving $16,483.20 to cover designated project funding. This Accounts Payable includes all outstanding expenses (Agenda Item 3 below) not yet approved to be reimbursed. The President has computed that funds to be held for designated projects to be $16,493.57. Additional funding is expected mid-year, which should be assigned to fund minor/maintenance expenses to complete or support existing projects. There are not new projects, outside of the possibility of a Wood Gas prototype, awaiting funding at this time.
3. Minor/Maint Expense Procedure - Vote or NOT
At the last Board Meeting the issue of how to handle minor and maintenance expenses related to projects was discussed but not resolved. No vote was taken, and the issue tabled until this meeting so a table of the existing projects with a resonable expense account for minor/maint expenses could be drawn up by the President. The table is below with links to show outstanding expenses awaiting approval. The President is suggesting a Policy (this does not require a Bylaws change) whereby projects receive a dollar or percentage allowance when funded, depending on the nature of the project. Our current Bylaws are adequate to cover such a policy, referencing percentage set-asides and petty cash account.
Principal ProjectAllowanceCosts
Geson: 98-004 TV Film ClipAnnual $500/yrProduction: $720.00
Duplication: $644.00
Outstanding (postage/labels):
Overrun: $242.70
(various)98-002 Seed TEAMAnnual $750/yrTroy Bilt: $2,945.00
Trailer (allocation): $700.00
Postage/Seed (allocation): $1,200.00
Outstanding (starters/trencher):
(board) 98-003 Admin & OpsAnnual $500/yrIncorp & Register (97-00): $1,687.98
Financial (97-00): $370.00
Office Space/Use: $1,740.00
Underrun: $200.00
(various): 99-001 GardenAnnual $100/yrTiller & Equipment: $732.34
Supplies: $99.60
Outstanding (fertilizer):
Ron:99-003 Short WavePercent 20%Transmitter (shipping): $250.00
Intercontinental Antenna: $6655.00
Concrete Pad (allocation): $800.00
PVC Pipe (allocation): $300.00
Building Permit: $30.00
Underrun: $120.00
Nancy: 99-001 Demos
- Storm ShelterPercent 20%Shelter (allocation): $2,000.00
Shipping (allocation): $500.00
Backhoe (allocation): $1,000
Outstanding (saw/helmet):
Overrun: $342.22
Nancy: 99-001 Prototypes
- Worm BedsAnnual $250/yrChipper&Wringer: $645.61
Lumber/Materials: $784.86
Outstanding (travel/saws):
Overrun: $1,110.13
- HydroponicsAnnual $500/yrBeds/Lights/etc: $1,776.00
- Fish/Algae TanksAnnual $500/yrClarifier/Biofilter/etc: $1,959.00
Fish Tanks: $221.53
Outstanding (slop sink):
Overrun: $145.86
- Wetlands as FoodN/AWild Rice: $121.00
Outstanding (concrete):
Overrun: $49.80
Ernie: 99-001 Video ServersPercent, 20%Server (allocation): $4,000.00
4. Headquarters Fair Use Procecdure - Vote or NOT
The nonprofit headquarters are hosted at a furnished private residence. This includes a furnished reception area and office, hosting numerous prototypes, and housing nonprofit members wishing to help with the effort. No rental was originally requested, but to assist in the cleanup and refurbishment of the site, the nonprofit reimbursed the homeowner $2,140 for cottage repairs and $1,740 for office upgrading. An additional $5,000 is being spent on the cottage by the homeowner. To quantify fair use reimbursement, the President and site owner would like to move to a rental/use arrangement, a new nonprofit Policy - $40/month each for rental of the office and reception area, $20/night per guest for use of the cottage, $10/day for meals for a guest. Those nonprofit members staying on site and paying room and board are obviously exempt. Note that the site owner, being the President, is also the Office Manager and Residence Manager and the Principal and Project Manager for all projects at the headquarters (except for Short Wave Radio project where it is Ron). By adopting this policy, the $3,880 already paid by the nonprofit to reimburse expenses would thus be decremented, by use To Date, by $1,230. 
5. Additional Funding - Report by President
The President has received word that the anticipated mid-year funding of $10,000 (from an existing donor) will be forthcoming. The possibility of additional funding from related sources has also been raised. None of these funds are in hand, as yet, however. In light of the IRS requirement that nonprofit receive broad public support or risk being considered a Private Foundation, the President has made an appointment with the CPA firm to discuss how to handle large contributions.
6. Compensation - Discussion Item
In anticipation of additional funding, the President would like to broach the subject of compensating some of our hard working members for their efforts. To date, in order to get the projects going, all efforts have been gratis, and in many cases equipment and supplies have been purchased by members personally in order to expedite work efforts. Outside of a Wood Gas prototype that Ron can now start, as he has a site owner in a rual area who will support his efforts, there are no projects awaiting funding. Thus, new funding can be allocated to compensation without endangering project schedules. The President does not anticipate funding that will allow the nonprofit to hire employees, with benefits. However, compensation for past work efforts does not require this kind of committment from the nonprofit. The President is requesting that Board Members mull this over and discuss among themselves what efforts deserve compensation and to what extent.
The President and Treasurer would like to suggest the following approach:
- Board and Officers should not be compensated for simply attending internet chats (Board Meetings)
- Officers who perform regular duties (bookkeeper) or produce products (1023 forms/web pages) qualify
- Grant Proposal work (asking for funding) should never be compensated
- ad hoc volunteer/helper time (days or hours) should not anticipate compensation
- Principals responsible for results who produce products (classes/servers/recipes) qualify
In this light, the President would like to list for consideration the following past work efforts:
- Ron, who has spent weeks wrenching Seed TEAM space from land long idle
- Roger and Toni, for their continuing support of numerous growers
- Ron, who developed the Short Wave Radio classes
- Nancy, who regularly webs the meetings and projects, couple days each month
- Shirley, who achieved a Morse Code license but does not have proper radio equipment
- Ron, who spent at least 2 weeks getting the books ready for a formal CPA review, and maintains them
- Nancy, who spent weeks getting the Bylaws finalized, the IRS (1023) status, Wisco registration, etc.
- Geson, whose talent and skill produced an outstanding film clip suitable for TV stations
- Ron, who spent weeks clearing trees from the headquarters so demos and activities could begin
- Ron, who has taken responsibility for worm bed design and construction
- Ron, who has taken responsibility for hydroponic/aquaponic equipment setup success