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Thursday, October 8, 2020, 6:30PM

2020-2021 FICRA Board 2020-2021 FICRA Trust Board
Miguel Martinez President Howard Stapleton President
Pia Beetham Vice President Naomi Grant Vice President
Candy Wawro Secretary Gina Olson Secretary
Hal Goodell Treasurer Hal Goodell Treasurer
Howard Stapleton Past President Karen Kretschmer Director
(Vacant) Director    
(Vacant) Director    

Trust Board Attendees: Hal Goodell, Naomi Grant, Karen Kretschmer, Gina Olson and Howard Stapleton in attendance.

FICRA Board Attendees: Hal Goodell, Miguel Martinez, Howard Stapleton and Candy Wawro in attendance.  Pia Beetham was absent and excused.

Additional Attendees: Diane Abney, Jim Braden, Joan Broughton, Mike Gage, Ray Kittleberger Renee LeBon, Lance Powers, Sara Schroeter

The Zoom Meeting started at 6:30pm and the Joint Meeting was called to order at 6:40pm.  The meeting was posted and advertised to the residents of FI on the FICRA website with a minimum 10 days’ notice.

Proposed NCC Rental Presentation:  Lance Powers, together with Mike Gage & Renae LeBon, all FI residents, asked the Board to consider their request for a long‑term weekly rental of the NCC for the purpose of church services each Sunday from 4pm to 7 pm.  Lance, Mike and Renee are all Fox Island residents and part of the local community; Lance is also a FICRA member and part of the Emergency Preparedness Medical Team.  As a result of requests he has received from neighbors, Lance would like to start a church on Fox Island.  They have already met at his home and outside at the NCC the last 3 month.  He owns a 72,000sf facility rented to 14 tenants in Tacoma and wants to lend this experience to the community in making the NCC a better place.  Miguel asked how many people were currently gathering and expected to gather for the next several months.  Lance currently has 20-25 people that have shown up and would limit attendance to 37 based on his understanding of the current State COVID-19 requirements.  They would be using the auditorium, and the kitchen if possible.  Mike Gage noted that the kitchen is not part of their current program and might not be used under current COVID-19 rules.  Gina asked Lance to speak to mask wearing & COVID-19 requirements. Lance indicated they would fully comply with the requirements to the best of their abilities.  Howard noted that the current requirement of 6 feet of physical separation might further constrain capacity, and Lance acknowledged this concern.  Karen asked if Lance was simultaneously looking for other property to accommodate growth.  Lance is not looking that far forward at this time, noting the shift to virtual meetings in the COVID-19 environment.  Hal asked about pre and post event cleaning plans.  Lance will follow the State Guidelines and want to contribute to the improved maintenance/cleaning of the NCC.  Mike proposed that they would have a COVID plan in place and submit it to us for agreement.  Howard explained that the Trust Board was currently addressing NCC use issues and indicated that our Rental Coordinator would respond back to them.  Lance expressed concern that we be careful when we decide on a payment or fee, that whatever we do for one, we do for another.  If there’s another spiritual group that uses the place, they would expect to pay the same.  He also noted that, while there were not many events on the FICRA event calendar that would have conflicted with the time frame they are proposing, with advance notice, they could be flexible in adjusting their use to accommodate other scheduling needs.  Hal asked if Lance had in mind what an equitable rate would be for 3 hours.  Lance indicated he is aware of what other groups meeting at the NCC are paying and it is far below the value.  He suggested that we try to achieve fair market rent for the community center and charge appropriately.  Joan asked if they would be taking collections at their meeting.  Lance indicated they would, but most giving is done online now.  Howard asked if the event would be limited to FICRA members. Lance stated the renter would be a member, but attendance is expected to be open.

FI Garden Club Gazebo Landscaping Proposal:  

Howard noted that the written material for the proposal had been made available with the meeting agenda on the website and that this was a Trust Board vote item, then introduced Sara Schroeter, Vice President of the Garden Club.  Sara provided the following presentation to the Board.

Our purposes in the proposed renovation of the gazebo garden include making it more attractive, keeping plant material within FICRA’s desired borders and height, reducing excessive pruning needed to do this, providing more joy to the community and educating people about plants. The project began with a request to limit the height of some of the plant material. Plants that were once appropriate for the space have outgrown their space. Due to the mature size, pruning creates unattractive plants and severely limits the blooms for which many of them were originally selected.

The proposed plan includes removing several of the overgrown shrubs including the spreading rosa rugosas, transplanting some of the remaining plants and filling the vacated space with plants that will be more maintainable. The proposed planting plan indicates the areas that we will be replanting. We have provided some information about the major shrubs included in this plan for which Jim has forwarded pictures. The Sensory Garden indicated has not had all the plants determined as they will be more involved and dependent on what we can find at nurseries.

A major part of our garden club’s purpose is to educate. As such we thought we would include a sensory garden on the south side facing the playground. It would include plants that appeal to as many senses as possible (other than taste as we don’t want to encourage children to eat from it). Some of the considered plants also have fun names that would be labeled. In addition to being an attractive garden, it would encourage visitors to smell, touch and even listen to plants that move in the wind. Some possibilities for plants include: Mouse Plant whose bloom looks like a mouse back end sticking out of the plant, large flowered Alliums that bloom early spring and then have dried flower heads that stay for the summer, Cock’s Combs which look like large versions of their namesake, plants like Lamb’s Ears and Artemesia that have soft foliage to touch and some fragrant plants like the Daphne and chocolate cosmos.

We are excited to take on this project and make sure this area continues to be enjoyed by the community and rental clients of the facility.

Sara stated that they are ready to get started as soon as possible, with volunteer help to remove existing plants.

Miguel liked the idea of smell, touch, feel type plants but wants to know if this would damage the plants.  Sara responded that the sensory garden is just a small part and this would not cause any problems.  There would also be signage/advisory on how to enjoy the garden.  Miguel also asked about the level of maintenance required.  Sara stated that the amount of time the club was spending to maintain the existing shrubs was one of the reasons for undertaking the project.  The current plants are around 20 years old and are not well suited for the location at that age.  Maintenance of that garden is something their club has always felt responsible for, organizing at least a couple work parties each year and additional time for watering.

Candy asked if irrigation lines were needed.  Sara replied that there is irrigation there, but it is not functional and they have been watering by hand for years.  Jim has agreed to look at the irrigation and make it functional again.  Candy asked for additional details regarding mulch and irrigation.  Sara noted that micro sprayers would be better when used with ground covers and mulches will be used as necessary, but the plan is for green mulch (ground cover).  

The Trust Board voted to unanimously support and approve the plan as proposed.

Minutes of the Joint FICRA & Trust Board Meeting from August 20, 2020 were unanimously approved.

Treasurer’s Report: Hal Goodell

Hal reviewed the financial reports as of September 30.  The following information was provided:

FICRA Checking: Sep 1: $ 17,071.20   Sep 30: Cleared Balance: $ 21,060.51

FICRA Money Market: Sep 1: $ 31,017.21   Sep 30: Cleared Balance: $ 31,023.58

FICRA PayPal: Sep 1: $ 2,091.87   Sep 30: Balance: $ 538.59

Trust Checking account: Sep 1 Balance: $ 25,484.10   Sep 30 Balance: $ 31,466.12

Trust Capital Checking: Sep 1 Balance: $ 3,925.45   Sep 30 Balance: $ 3,925.45

Trust Reserve Checking: Sep 1 Balance: $ 1,541.00   Sep 30 Balance: $ 1,541.00

Trust Money Market:  Sep 1 Balance: $ 184,997.23   Sep 30 Balance: $ 185,080.86

Trust Savings: Sep 1 Balance: $ 295.69   Sep 30 Balance $ 295.70

Trust PayPal: Sep 1 Balance: $ 2,512.55   Sep 30 Balance $ 567.74

Hal reported that the current membership is at 297.  He will be getting together with Miguel to send out a letter to all who have not yet renewed.  Hal also mentioned that we seem to have a lot of new members and people who have not been members for a considerable period of time joining again.  He is still seeing a good response to the membership forms mailed out in the Flash in August. 

The Trust continues to receive Citizens’ Patrol donations.  The other primary source of income for this period was clothing sales.  There were no changes in Capital Checking or Reserve this month.  Hal reminded us that the Money Market is a single bank account that he divides in QuickBooks into Trust General Checking, Capital Money Market and Reserve Money Market accounts.  He mentioned Ray Kittelberger’s comment regarding painting and indicated it will be reflected as an expense and not a depreciable item.

Jim asked if Hal was ready to present the Capital Expense Report and Reserve.  He noted that the Reserve is back on track since the Trust was able to get the painting done for the planned $10,000 amount.  He has worked with Hal to close out several items in the Capital Expenditures Report and would like to see the excess funds from these projects be used to cover other overruns.  He also pointed out that there is at least one project (Blinds for Classrooms) for which he has been unable to locate approval documents and he would like to see the Board clean these up.  Ray stated that his concern with the painting cost is not over which checking account or capital account it comes out of, but that painting is an expense that should appear on the Income Statement and not be added to Fixed Assets on the Balance Sheet.  Hal acknowledged that it would be treated as a maintenance cost and he would include a line item in the budget for it.

Candy asked why the Garden Club was paying for the plants instead of the Trust.  Jim responded that they pay for these types of items as part of their mission.

Hal will work with Jim and Howard to develop current documents showing all Capital Projects, surplus funds from completed projects, overruns for which funds have not been approved, capital funds available from other sources, and recommendations for Board actions.

FICRA Apparel Sale Wrap Up:  Gina reported that the Oct 25-16th “FICRA Fair T-Shirt & Apparel Sale” event went very well.  All the 294 items of the 2020 order were sold, except 3 shirts and 31 masks. 68 residents made between 1-6 purchases.  The total cost of goods was $2,293.65 for gross sales reported by the treasurer of $3,500.00, with net income from the sales of $1,206.35.  The remaining 31 masks have been donated to the Museum (to sell as they wish).  Thank you to Jim and Miguel for helping prep the NCC, Hal and Judy for cashiering, and to Vanessa, Naomi, Candy and Pia for their excellent assistance with “Covid” Concierge-style sales.  Although there have been a few requests for reorder, the consensus after reviewing details, is that there will be no reorders.  Planning for the 2021 Fair shirt will begin soon.

NCC and Grounds:

Fall Cleanup & Remaining Maintenance Projects – Jim reported that the Fall Cleanup held Saturday, October 3, 2020 had a good turnout (13, with an additional 4-5 on other days) and went well.  There are a number of items remaining to be completed, with the highest priority digging up the gazebo garden area so the new landscaping can be completed.  Maintenance items are shown on the Capital Projects Report that Hal displayed and the priorities can be changed by the Trust Board as appropriate.  Jim requested that we provide recognition for those who participated.  There was a discussion on how we could recognize folks, from small gift cards to recognition on social media and via our Flash publications.  Gina noted that people don’t normally volunteer expecting monetary rewards and that sincere appreciation might be the best approach.  Miguel suggested that he could cowrite a personal thank you letter and provide that along with social media recognition.  Jim agreed to provide some material to Miguel for a letter along with a list of volunteers.  Jim and Hal have done many of these letters in the past and Jim can provide some material.

Additional NCC Rental/Use Requests – Jim reports that near the end of October there was a request for a 50-75 person wedding.  At this time, it is difficult to use the facility in compliance with the COVID-19 Requirements.  There was some discussion regarding the COVID-19 requirements and Trust Board policy on NCC usage and rates.  Miguel notes that we are continuing to see use requests and we need to be in a position to respond.  Hal believes we need to put a written COVID-19 plan in place for the NCC.  Naomi noted that the COVID-19 monitoring and compliance requirements rest on the Trust as the owner of the facility.  When the Chapel pursued this question, they were told they were responsible for compliance and if someone was noncompliant, they would have to address that through the renting party or directly.  Howard has agreed to schedule meetings on the topic and will include both boards and the Finance/Audit Committee in the invitations.

FICRA Trust Responsibilities:

Nominating Committee – Howard asked attendees for input on creating the Nominating Committee for 2021 Elections.  With no immediate suggestions available, Howard suggested that our target group for representation on a Nominating Committee should be families on the island with school aged children.  Miguel has given the topic a great deal of thought and talked with neighborhood families, but people have not always been forthcoming.  One of the common themes is they feel FICRA and the Trust are outdated.  When he has asked for ideas on how to address this, many of the suggestions on what we could do (community swimming pool, full size basketball court, etc.) would require significant resources and volunteer work to become a reality.  He doesn’t feel we currently have the kind of sustained fund-raising capabilities and resources to take on these kind of grand scale projects.  Howard noted that many of the resources we have on the island today (NCC, Chapel, Historical Society and Museum, FIYC) were grand ideas with large costs when they were originally undertaken, so perhaps we can encourage some of the current ideas and enroll community participants who want to see them happen.   Miguel stressed this will take collaboration and time to move this forward and perhaps we can get some conversations started.  Miguel also feels there is the mentality that we are a closed group.  Candy has had similar conversations and suggested we do more partnering with other organizations.  Ray discussed how the corporate world uses 5-year plans and long-term strategies to help guide these efforts.  He also discussed the senior and sporting facilities in Gig Harbor and considering strategies that leverage these resources.  Miguel reiterated the desire of local families to be able to do activities on Fox Island.  Candy asked about increasing involvement by getting a student leader from the local high schools to provide input on what youth are looking for.  Jim talked briefly about the Youth Board tried back in 2012 and the difficulty getting them together because of their time constraints.  He would like to see this tried again.  Candy also recognized the current COVID-19 limitations but believes we can be planning for the future.

Rental Coordinator Responsibilities – Howard asked for input on how other island organizations meet this need.  Naomi discussed the Chapel, which has a Rental Facilities Coordinator as a point person, with the Board making all decisions on rates.  The Coordinator is paid on a commission basis (percentage) when there is a contract that comes to fruition.  They handle all showings/discussions/correspondence, start to finish, but are not the host/hostess for the event (this is a separate person).  Miguel asked if the Rental Coordinator was a volunteer or paid position.  Diane Abney provided some additional details on the paid (commission) position and also mentioned the Chapel’s Board Sponsored Activities (Recitals, Member Concerts, Community Talks, etc.), which are entirely staffed by Board volunteers.  Jim described the current Trust process, which uses a Rental Coordinator paid on commission (20% of secured rentals) and Board events handled entirely by the Board.  Diane pointed out that the Chapel has a new COVID form the renter has to sign & they have a host on site to observe the event.  They forfeit their $500 deposit if they don’t follow the rules.

Facility Cleaning & Repairs/Maintenance – Howard noted this is a necessary business expense and the costs need to be included in our budget and rates.  Candy mentioned that she was approached about a workplace site for special needs students and we may want to look at this down the road.  We currently have a monthly thorough cleaning service that we have not used recently.  Jim is currently working on a contract with a local island resident for cleaning the facility on an event basis.

New Business:

Ray joined the Senior Center at Gig Harbor and their Planning and Program Committees.  They are now including us in some of their materials and Fox Island residents participate in their programs.

Candy asked what FICRA is doing for Halloween.  Miguel reported that we will be doing a Drive‑In Movie with prepackaged goodie bags for the kids, using a paid resource.  They will set up and conduct the event, we will be doing the promotion.   Jim stated that he spoke with the Wickline family about some type of film/music presentation for Christmas.  He will work with Miguel on this.

Meeting Adjournment:  The meeting adjourned at 8:35pm.

Next Meeting: The next FICRA and FICRA Trust Board Meetings are scheduled for Thursday, November 12, 2020 at 6:30pm via video/teleconference.  The meeting notice and instructions for receiving the Zoom meeting invitation are posted on the website event calendar. Respectfully submitted by Gina Olson and Howard Stapleton

Per Washington RCW 24.03.120, except as may be otherwise restricted by the articles of incorporation or bylaws, members of the board of directors or any committee designated by the board of directors may participate in a meeting of such board or committee by means of a conference telephone or similar communications equipment by means of which all persons participating in the meeting can hear each other at the same time and participation by such means shall constitute presence in person at a meeting.