PHS meeting minutes, Sept. 27 08

on Oct 1st 2008

Putney Historical Society minutes—September 27, 2008
Present:  Barbara Taylor, Tom Jamison, Tim Ragle, Maryanne Toffolon, Stuart Strothman, Lyssa Papazian
President call to order:
Minutes of the annual meeting are in process—will be reviewed at next meeting.

Veterans Memorial—we know of a few more names to put on the memorial, and will check with Laurel and/or Marion Daley.  We still have money to add names.
We have a Boy Scout who wants to do a history project for  his Eagle badge—we will talk to Laura  H and do some research to see what we have for  him.
Pierce’s Hall is seeking grants—will look to Windham Foundation, and will have no conflict there—they will seek a letter through the Preservation Trust for possible additional support.  We mentioned a few other grant sources, and Anne said she’d look into that.
Painted Curtains Event Oct 4, 11-4 at Putney Town Hall— came in and started to repaint—will come back and paint all day on Oct 4, and we’ll be open for public display—Barb is trying to get 14 tables for that Saturday—town is hard, but will look into church and/or Putney School.  She’ll get back to us if needing help.
General Store Project—Stuart briefly introduced our status as of Thursday evening’s task force, which had a unanimous recommendation to proceed.  We then began to look at a project management spreadsheet prepared  by Lyssa, and she discussed our financial picture at this time, reviewing loan and grant status, and community donation.  There was a variety of detail shared.  Chittenden’s Arne Hammerlund has been very helpful in securing loans, and we have charitable guarantors to back the loans, all of whom the bank is happy with.  For a second loan we are considering having the property as a guarantee, but we do not have appraisal in hand yet.
Tentative assurance of grant support has come from Secretary Dorn, but we are not in cycle, so cannot get the money yet.  Date for application is 11/4, and Susan MacMahon of the WRC, along with Cor Trowbridge, a Putney resident with grant experience, who will help write the application.  We will not hear about the decision until Feb of 09, at which time if successful we can push for early response. The CDBG (Community Development Block Grant) is a federal program which does have hoops and requirements for grant management.  The board meeting is Feb 11 and 12.
We have a stabilization bid of approximately $120G from American Construction—we need to quickly decide whether we will go out to bid again.  We have a writeup on scope from Bob Stevens, who completed a structural assessment.
We are adding into the budget a monthly amount of $1500 for project management, which has been strongly supported by Stuart, as Lyssa’s work has gone above and beyond what anyone should expect from a volunteer.  This amount should be reimbursable, both by grants and donations.
There have been a number of offers for services, including Randi Ziter of Putney Inn offering to do fundraising dinners at cost.
Prospects for Phase 2, past acquisition and stabilization, are varied—we discussed sale with conditions of maintaining a general store, holding and leasing to a general store owner and using the upstairs for PHS, and apartments upstairs.
We discussed different store owners in town their perspectives, and models of the past and present.
When it came to voting, after expressing concern about not having all board members present and affirming that related information had gone out to all board members, we clarified that there were back door options protecting the board and the organization from financial responsibility if all were to fall through.
Barbara wondered if we agree to phase 1, can we vote again on Phase 2?  The answer is yes.
Maryanne made a motion to continue with the General Store Project, take out a loan, and take title to the building, considering the success and prospects of success of our project, as well as feasibility reports.  Tim seconded.  The vote was unanimous.
A motion to adjourn was seconded and passed.

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