Annual meeting minutes, Sept 23 08

on Oct 1st 2008

Putney Historical Society Annual Meeting Minutes
Putney Community Center
September 21, 2008

Board members present: Stuart Strothman, Tim Ragle, Tom Jamison, Jane Rawley, Maryanne Toffolon, Ruth Barton, Barbara Taylor
Also present: Selectboard member Josh Laughlin, Paul Bruhn of Preservation Trust; maybe 150-175 PHS members and other attendees.

President Stuart Strothman called the meeting to order.

Malcolm Donaldson, a Putney School student, performed song inspired by the Putney General Store fire.

Business Meeting

Approval of last years minutes.  Ruth moved to accept minutes.  Seconded by group.

Financial statement.  Moved by Ruth Barton.  Seconded by Maryanne Toffolon.

Marianne read slate of officers for PHS.

Pres. Stuart Strothman
VP Tim Ragle
Sec. Lindley Speers
Treas. Tom Jamison

Ruth Barton moves to accept slate of officers.  Seconded by group.

Painted curtains Oct. 4th Saturday will be on display in Town Hall.

After discussion of Store project, members will be asked for show of hands if they approve the project.

Slides of store history.  Started as mill at the dam till about 1845.  Corser store, Christmas presents, tug of war.  Telegraph office was in the store.  S. L. Davis store.  Fairchilds in early 1970s.

Lyssa Papazian presented current status of project.  Should PHS purchase store?  Task force formed.  Discussions and information shared by Paul Bruhn, Susan MacMahon, , Chip Greenburg, Jonathan Bump, Stuart Strothman, George and Laura Heller,

Discussion—Is it feasible? Bob Stevens reports it is structurally sound, financially feasible – grants, loans, donations, etc.  The task force will organize project.  Stage 1 is purchase and stabilization.  Task Force is looking for the support from the PHS board and membership to allow it to go forward.  Various state agencies and the Putney selectboard have been supportive—Josh Laughlin present.  The store may stay as a non-profit and lease to a manager who will run the store, or it could change hands to a for-profit.  The best option seems to be leasing the ground floor to someone to run the store.  The second floor might be used for the PHS, apartments, offices, etc.  Stage 2 would involve consideration of business possibilities.

Questions.  If sold to for-profit, would that be a problem for grants – like River Garden.  Is there any income from insurance?  It would be a different owner, so that is not an option.  Tax abatement?  What is the ownership status now?  Who would it be transferred to?  What is the sale price?  Has it been appraised?  How much gross does such a store have?  Store is there because it is at confluence of river, brook, roads, etc.  This project is a confluence due to energy costs, community support, etc.

Lyssa asked if members will authorize board to make decisions regarding General Store acquisition and stabilization, based on recommendations of task force.  Strong vote (about 145 of 150 people) to move forward.

Submitted by Tom Jamison

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