Trust Board Meeting Minutes 07-08-2021

FICRA Building Trust Board Meeting Minutes 
Thursday, July 8, 2021, 8:00PM 
Nichols Community Center, Fox Island, Washington 

2021-2022 FICRA Trust Board
Howard StapletonPresident
Arlyn LawrenceVice President
Gina OlsonSecretary
Hal GoodellTreasurer
Craig McLaughlinDirector

TRUST Board Attendees: Hal Goodell, Gina Olson, and Howard Stapleton in attendance.  Arlyn Lawrence and Craig McLaughlin excused.

Other Attendees:  Jim Braden (Project Manager), Joan Broughton (Audit Committee), Philip Craven (Nature Center Committee), Wes King (FICRA Board), Candy Wawro (FICRA Board & Rental Coordinator).

Howard Stapleton called the meeting to order at 8:05PM, immediately following the FICRA Board meeting.

President’s Report:  There will be a public meeting on 07/19/2021 to discuss the Sandspit Nature Preserve Shoreline Restoration Project.  The Pierce Conservation District and PenMet Parks are holding their 2nd public meeting on Monday, July 19th, 2021 to discuss their proposed restoration project at the Tacoma DeMolay Sandspit Nature Preserve.  The proposed project will remove 600 feet of failing bulkhead on the beach to restore the natural shoreline condition in the area.  Additional information is available at the PCD website.

Stephanie Lile, Director of the Harbor History Museum, is looking at the potential for creating a taxing district initiative that would appear on the November ballot.  Washington State law allows the creation of Cultural Arts, Stadium and Convention Districts and Museum Districts that appear to focus on tourism but can also fund a variety of cultural purposes.  Providing public meeting space in a community could potentially be considered a cultural activity.  The proposed initiative would likely be based on the Peninsula School District boundary and would provide a significant amount of funding that could be used to support the operations of eligible nonprofits.  Howard noted that the Trust and FICRA can decide to participate in and support this effort or choose to opt out.  He suggests further discussion as additional information becomes available.

Meeting Minutes:  There were no changes to the 6/10/2021 Board Meeting Minutes as posted on the website. There was a motion to approve, which was seconded and unanimously approved.

Treasurer’s Report:  Hal Goodell shared the financial reports as of June 30, 2021 with attendees.  The following information was presented:

Building Trust Balances

Trust Checking account: May 1 Balance: $ 20,060.91   May 31 Balance: $ 19,907.31

Trust Savings: May 1 Balance: $ 475.20   May 31 Balance $ 475.22

Trust PayPal: May 1 Balance: $ 5,532.32   May 31 Balance $ 6,278.78

Trust Capital Checking: May 1 Balance: $ 7,983.22   May 31 Balance: $ 3,413.22

Trust Reserve Checking: May 1 Balance: $ 319.98   May 31 Balance: $ 319.98

Trust Money Market:  May 1 Balance: $ 354,099.95   May 31 Balance: $ 354,172.71

Hal will be sending thank you letters to the companies (Walwrath and United Rentals) that donated the soil and sod cutter for the baseball field.

Standing Committees Reports:

Nature Center – Phil Craven reported that the grounds are mostly looking beautiful, although some areas look like a slump (black berries, holly, fallen trees, wet and flat).  In one of these wet areas, they have been working to pull blackberry roots out and make new plantings, and there have been a successful return of native skunk cabbage and horsetails. There are another 2 areas which look pretty bad, covered in blackberries, which are still in progress.  Jim Braden added that the Dead Alders are set to be dropped in September to respect nesting season.

Audit Committee – Joan Broughton reported that work on the 2020 audit is in progress.

Citizens’ Patrol – Jim reported that things are looking good overall. Doug Nelson attended a meeting on Bella Bella drive.  There will be an increase in Sheriff activity to patrol the problem there concerning a transient, who may be homeless, trespassing residences.

Emergency Preparedness & FIARC – Jim reported that it has been quiet for a while and that keeping volunteer personnel active has been a challenge.  Neighborhood volunteer meeting happened recently. He is currently seeking carpenter help to complete construction projects, including shelves in the EOC radio room and emergency exit stairs in NCC).  Sunday evening FI Ham Radio Net continues to meet at 7 pm. This has been a healthy communication.

Trust Building and Grounds – Jim would like the Trust Board to decide on signage on the NCC grounds. When signs are selected and language set/determined, then the Board can further discuss design. Jim reported that the person who originally said that were available to help install “buy-a-brick” and field irrigation has not been responsive to scheduling. He is working on a second bid now. The front windows are completed and we are waiting for final signatures on our grant from the County to proceed on the west wall windows.

Wes King is hoping to walk the grounds with Jim and create a list of things that he would like to see improved. There is a short list including picnic table repair, BBQ upright, sanding and treating benches with linseed oil, and rehoming the scout bench in the woods.  Wes also has Scouts involved and they will be working with them to make improvements.

Gina made a motion that the Trust approve Wes’s proposed repairs and restoration of the grounds using volunteers.  Howard seconded the motion and it was unanimously approved.

Unfinished Business:

NCC Internet Service – Howard reported that the estimated cost for service is $150 for installation (which may be offset by a rebate) and $130/month (100 Mbps service) or $165/month (200 Mbps service).  He noted that the FICRA Board voted to share the installation and ongoing cost for internet service with the Trust at their July meeting.  Howard made a motion that the Trust approve the installation and recurring cost for 200 Mbps internet service, contingent on FICRA splitting the cost with the Trust.  The motion was seconded by Gina and unanimously approved.

Interim Revisions to Rental Agreement and Facility Rules – Document revisions are still in progress.  Craig McLaughlin has provided language from another rental agreement and Howard has contacted our insurance company for comments.  Proposed revisions will be shared with the Trust Board for review and provided to the Rental Coordinator.

Status of NCC Usage and Rates Discussions – Work is in progress.  There will be an island-wide meeting to obtain feedback from Fox Island residents before final policies are proposed.

New Business:

Refund 2020 FICRA Usage Fee – Howard noted that FICRA was charged an NCC usage fee of $3,500 for 2020, even though no activities took place due to COVID. There was a brief discussion on how the fee was determined, with Hal reporting that the number was based on an estimated 7 annual events at $500 per event.  There is no other specific definition as to what the charge covers and Hal noted that the Finance Committee needs to work on this.  Joan agreed that it should be better defined and stated that the Audit Committee should review it as well.

Howard moved that the FICRA Trust refund the $3,500 annual fee charged to FICRA in 2020.  The motion was seconded by Hal and unanimously approved.

Professional Services to Prepare Legal Documents – Howard asked if we should hire a person to prepare legal documents. Jim suggested the Board consider use of an attorney on a case-by-case basis, since different issues may require different legal skills.  He added that an attorney did some pro-bono work about ten years ago to clear up FICRA and Trust property deeds and tax agreements.

Property Tax exemptions for NCC and Nature Center – Howard suggested we explore property tax exemptions for the NCC, similar to what the Chapel has done.  The Nature Center is currently paying around $200 per year in taxes because it is designated as open space, but the NCC pays substantially more.  A nonprofit exemption would be reassessed annually.  Phil Craven suggested we might want to continue the open space designation for the Nature Center because it also stipulates back taxes are due if the property designation is changed.  Howard encourages the Board to pursue this question further.

Resumption of Men’s Coffee at the NCC – Men’s Coffee would like to resume their Wednesday meetings at the NCC. There may be other groups that would like to resume their use of the facility as well.  Hal made a motion that the Trust, on an interim basis, make the NCC available for use by those groups who were previously using the building.  This decision would be reevaluated after the FICRA Board determines what groups they sponsor.  The motion was seconded and unanimously approved.  Jim will advise the legacy groups.

FICRA Fair – Hal reported that the FICRA Fair is on track for Saturday, August 14, 2021 Saturday. Information about the Fair was included in the Newsletter that was sent out. Gina reported that the FICRA Fair Shirt Committee has placed the order for apparel, including some of the popular items from last year (apron, golf towels, V-neck tees, V-neck long sleeved tee, French terry hoodies, sweatshirts, youth and toddler/infant tees). The product quantity is 232, with a total cost of $2458.80.  The original budget amount for apparel was $2200.00.  Howard made a motion to approve the revised amount of $2,500 for apparel.  The motion was seconded by Hal and unanimously approved.

The meeting was adjourned at 9:20PM.  The next FICRA Trust Board Meeting is tentatively scheduled for 8:00PM on Thursday, August 12th, but may be cancelled due to its proximity to the Fair.

Respectfully submitted by Gina Olson, Jim Braden and Howard Stapleton