It’s been a couple months since my last letter. Things are slower in the summer. I’ve been working on getting to know the Property, Finance, and Stewardship committee members and the Church Council. I also crashed a Ministry & Missions Board meeting and I was allowed to visit Adult Education.
June and July Financial Results
They look good for late summer. For the first three months of Fiscal Year 2019 (May thru July),
· Total Revenue received is $185,300 and we budgeted $163,200
· Total Expenses are $179,000 and we budgeted $184,100.
· That puts us $6,300 in the black where we expected to be $20,900 in the red.
On the principle that every silver lining must have a cloud, be aware that we got to that revenue surplus because a couple of families paid their pledges sooner than expected. And some of the expense underruns will catch up. Still, it’s better than my normal “disaster is imminent, repent and pay up now” late summer pitch. Our job now is to continue to control expenses and not get carried away by a good summer. I’m pretty sure I can generate the necessary pessimism.
The parking lot repair got done and looks good. The cost was as expected, and Wilder Elementary is covering about a third of the cost. You may have noticed we didn’t do much with the small strip of the parking lot next to the Memorial Garden. This pavement might get removed during the building remodeling so we didn’t see much point in putting money into it.
We’ve given some funding to the new safety and security committee for essential equipment.
There’s a door from Biel Hall to the deck that just doesn’t work. We’ve fixed it so many times that we’ve worn it out. Property thinks it best to completely replace the door with something very solid that we won’t be fixing every summer, something similar to the main doors, at a cost of up to $5,000. That’s not in the budget of course, but a permanently broken door is an eyesore and says nothing good, so I’ve asked Finance to see where we might liberate the money.
We continue to have little panic attacks over “what if the rooftop cooling units die and have to be replaced at a cost of up to $200,000 and we don’t know where it’s coming from”. I’ve asked Finance Committee to prepare a contingency plan. You probably know that the existing rooftop units, at 20 years old, are difficult to maintain and parts are no longer manufactured. The maintenance company is pretty good about splicing in off-the-shelf pumps and piping, but the cardboard “media” that holds the water for evaporation is not scroungeable, and if/when it falls apart, we are in hot air.
There will be a stewardship drive. (Are you surprised?) That committee is working on details now.
The remodeling project now has a set of concept drawings, and is in the process of discussing them with specific members and deciding how to go forward. The remodel committee is a special committee of Council, not part of the Property and Finance Board, and Dr. Rich Boorom is its chair. At this point, however, several members of Property and Finance have joined the remodel committee, including Jack Dunn (Property), Lee Ann Smith (Finance), and me. We hope we can be useful as the project moves towards design and implementation.
This effort remains a modernization project, with a goal of making the space more usable and more attractive, especially to families with children.
I know that sounds vague. The committee is deliberately not circulating a lot of details yet because we are still working on whether we think the entire project can be paid for. We don’t want to build expectations until we’re sure about realism. I don’t expect a lot of new details until after the Stewardship Drive.
Finance Committee and Council are agreed that we are not taking out a mortgage that we can’t afford, or that will impact our ability to pay or staff. And I’m not letting anyone buy earplugs.