Pine Valley Presbyterian Church Fellowship Hall, 1:35-3:25pm
Present: Liz McLellan, Bill Schuhle, Bill Shields, Ruai Gregory, Mark Christianson, Denise Cristianson, Steve White, Larry & Celinda Miller
Finance Report. The financial report, which is available separately, was read to the group. There were no additions or corrections. Denise indicated she thought the $250.00 paid to Cindy Thayer for writing the Ford grant was very reasonable. The question was asked as to how many hours Cindy spent on the application, but no one had the answer.
Bandstand Update. Bill Shields indicated the bandstand was for all practical purposes finished with only a few items yet to be completed. Lights are yet to be installed. The installed access stairway on the right rear corner is not being used very much so the plan now is to add steps on the front as well. The deck is now sealed with material donated by the Chamber. The back wall of the stage still needs to be painted/sealed/paneled. No decision has yet been made on which way to go. Cedar paneling has been suggested. Bill stated that he has done all he’s going to do in terms of installing paneling and if more is to be done, someone else will need to do it. After some discussion, the decision was taken to seal the back wall by the end of this summer to protect the existing paneling and leaving open the options to either paint or add paneling in the future. Steve took responsibility for getting the sealing done. Mark will find a champion for doing the paneling if we so decide. Bill went on to mention modest positive economic impacts of the stage so far with Old Pine Market developing a local line of bratwursts to sell at events and some banner printing business going to William Jackson that he had not had before. Stephanie’s is also getting some new business because of the stage.
Ford Leadership Training Update. Ruai indicated that approximately 27 people are signed up for the training coming to Halfway this fall, ranging from high school students to seniors.
Ford Grant Application Discussion. Bill Schuhle who, in his position as UCP Treasurer is the designated contact/reporting person with Ford as regards this particular grant, expressed several concerns that arose for him after reviewing the grant application as submitted by our contract grant writer. He felt that some of the wording possibly overstated UCP’s role in the two partnered projects described in the application. He noted also that the list of UCP board members submitted with the application omitted the names of Bill Shields and Celinda Miller. After considerable discussion, it was agreed that past president Ruai Gregory, who, of current active members of UCP, is the most conversant and comfortable with both the grant process and with the Ford Family organization, would contact them by phone (with Bill Schuhle present for the conversation as well), correct the board member list, inform them of our concerns, offer revised wording that more accurately described our role in the instances in question, and inquire as to whether this information should be submitted in writing as well. This resolution to handling Bill’s original concerns seemed to be satisfactory to all concerned.
As a result of our discussion, it was also emphasized and agreed that all the steps in the process of submitting a grant application will in the future be delineated and codified in our bylaws, an issue to be taken up in our impending discussion of process.
Bylaws Discussion. Bill Shields suggested contacting NEOEDD and asking them to come facilitate our process of re-writing our bylaws. Ford Family/Rural Development Initiatives could also provide such assistance.
Our Grant Writing Process Discussion. Liz expressed a desire to do a “post mortem” on the current Ford grant process and asked for suggestions for improving the process. Bill Shields suggested a written contract between UCP and its grant writers as well as a written description of what is needed and expected on the part of UCP. It was suggested that a grant sub-committee could be formed of UCP officers and/or other UCP members who cared about and were conversant with the subject matter of a particular grant who would be responsible for reviewing the grant prior to submission.
Emergency Water Project Update. Bill Schuhle shared that Mike Beidler indicated that other individuals in the community were interested in supporting fund-raising for the project and asked if UCP might act as a funds collection point for those donations. He also pointed out that, should the emergency components be purchased and stored and end up not being used prior to the City completing a more comprehensive water/mini-hydro project, the then-redundant components could be sold and the proceeds given to the City as a partial reimbursement on their project. Liz pointed out that with Mike’s precarious health status, if there is not a champion for this project, then UCP’s discussion of it is moot. Steve didn’t see any need for UCP’s involvement as a bank account for donations could be set up by the interested parties apart from UCP. It was agreed that unless a champion is forthcoming, there will be no more UPC time spent on this issue.
Rodale Regeneration Project Update. Celinda talked with Bill Shields about previous meetings held in Halfway to do a “SWOTs” (Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, Threats) process and the possibility of gathering the information gleaned from those. She also plans to continue studying the Rodale materials to find information relevant to our situation in Halfway.
Inclusive E-mail Discussions. Liz encouraged everyone to use the “email@example.com” address to easily send comments to the entire group and urged that responses be handled the same way so that everyone is in the loop when a subject is under discussion.
Our next regular meeting will be August 5, 2013, and will be held at the Presbyterian Church Fellowship Hall at 1:30pm.
Bill Schuhle, Secretary/Treasurer