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Board Meeting Minutes for July 18, 2014

Meeting Time: 7pm-9pm
Location: Lenox

Pete P. gave Chris H. his proxy by phone prior to the meeting beginning.


  1. 7:05 - Review Royce's email on letting the LLC expire
    1. Nothing needed if we let it expire
    2. $25 per year to keep or to re-file/transfer
    3. Group decided to let it expire, will reapply for if needed later
    4. Tom explained tax ID numbers are unique and many entities/companies can be under a single ID
  2. 7:07 - Non-profit status
    1. Provisional at this time (applied and filed, not yet approved)
    2. Tom said we should continue to use School Factory for donations for now
  3. 7:08 - By-Laws Revisions
    1. Dan asked if we should open this back up
    2. Group mostly agreed revisions should be ready for members to vote on prior to board elections
  4. 7:11 - Lapsed Members
    1. Joe R. indicated that he is spending a considerable amount of time contacting lapsed and late-paying members
    2. Joe noted asking lapsed members to complete a new application form also creates work for him
    3. Tom and others considered the options available:
      1. Do nothing, no penalty for paying late and no reapplication needed
      2. Have the rule, but do not actively enforce it
      3. Have the rule and enforce it (this is our current policy)
      4. Create a new, simpler form that is less work for the Treasurer to process
      5. Deny access for remainder of the month or longer (dismissed, would create other problems)
    4. VOTE: The Board unanimously agreed to draft a revision to the By-Laws that would allow lapsed members to reapply at the Board's discretion, i.e. members with a history of billing issues would be handled on a case-by-case basis)
    5. Board agreed to discuss the working of the By-Laws revision in greater detail on BOD mailing list
    6. 7:20 - Treasurer's Report coming soon
      1. Joe R. noted it takes longer than it should to create a Treasurer's Report
      2. Tom indicated reports and audits will be generated instantaneously once we have QuickBooks set up
      3. Joe R. did state that we have roughly $18K in checking, $30K in savings, and $1K in the other accounts such as Paypal, Dwolla, Square, etc.
    7. 7:22 - Quickbooks migration
      1. Joe R. said Royce was looking into how to integrate Quickbooks with the access control system
      2. Dan J. and Chris H. said they should have what is needed to integrate the two, however Dan J. was too busy with work responsibilities to help at this time
      3. Access control system is Linux-based and we need it to talk to the Quickbooks software, which is Windows and cloud-based
    8. 7:25 - Cash surplus and investments
      1. The question was raised if we need to spend a certain amount of money to remain a non-profit
      2. If so, how should we spend it?
      3. The Board has previously discussed owning part of the building by purchasing shares from those in the Milwaukee Makerspace Investment Group, LLC (MMIG)
      4. If we achieve non-profit status and own the building, we can apply for property tax exemptions and save money; possibly as much as $11K per year
      5. Tom explained two ways MoMI could own the building:
        1. Buy shares from individual MMIG shareholders
          1. This has the benefit of purchasing shares slowly
          2. Buying shares would be discretionary and we could start/stop as needed
        2. Broker a deal with all MMIG shareholders to purchase all shares at once
          1. This would tie up a lot of money all at once, but would move faster
      6. 7:33 - Joe R. asked if getting a separate mortgage would be worthwhile
        1. Tom said it could, but it would have bank fees also; up to $5K possibly
        2. Tom also noted the shares could be used as a down payment in some cases
      7. Joe R. indicated that we have a surplus of approximately $1500 per month
        1. Tom noted that means we have saved about $30K in 18 months (since moving)
        2. Joe agreed that rate sounds accurate
      8. Shares in MMIG (i.e. the building) cost $2500 each
        1. When asked, Tom indicated the share price could change but he did not believe there would ever be a reason to change it; taxes and accounting would get trickier also
      9. The group considered buying one or more shares each month whenever a surplus allowed it
      10. VOTE: The Board unanimously agreed to purchase 3 shares of the building.
      11. Tom indicated he would inform the shareholders on our behalf

Policies and Procedures

  1. 7:44 - East Room Survey Results
    1. Brant briefly reviewed the East Room Survey Results
      1. The Board concluded that the responses show the status quo is sufficient for most of our members
      2. Brant indicated that most of the participants felt floor and vault rental rates could be increased or remain as-is
      3. After some discussion, the group generally agreed that vaults should always be more expensive than floor spaces
    2. Tiffany introduced the idea of an “exploding” rental rate
      1. Tiffany and Lance brainstormed this previously
      2. Members would be rented floor space for specific projects with prescribed durations
      3. After the duration lapsed, the rent rate would increase
      4. One month over the deadline could be double, two months double again, etc.
      5. This would encourage people to finish projects quicker
      6. The Board had mixed opinions about this idea
    3. Brant asked the group if any members were having problems finding space to work when needed
      1. No one new of any specific problems at this time
      2. Joe R. said he believed member storage is still in a state of flux due to the member dues changing in March 2014
        1. Members who had storage prior to March are still determining if they want to purchase more space, keep what they have, etc. and that complicates the answer to this question
      3. Tiffany said she believed we will need more storage (shelving) soon, but not immediately
  2. 7:53 - Reconfiguring current storage space
    1. Dan J. suggested that carts stored in the East Room be moved under the pallet racking
      1. Pallets under the racking would be relocated or moved up higher
      2. This would free up floor space and space under the recently built member shelves (with snow fence dividers)
      3. This would also allow both sides of the “snow fence shelves” to be utilized
      4. The group generally agreed with this idea
    2. Brant wondered if we should charge a reduced rate for floor space in the vault hallway to encourage people to rent there (out of the main rooms and out of sight) first
      1. This idea was dismissed
  3. 8:03 - Limiting space rentals
    1. The Board discussed setting a maximum limit for space rented by any one member
      1. This would include vault and floor spaces
      2. Tiffany suggested 100 sq.ft. as the limit for everyone
        1. The group generally agreed with this idea, but noted it would affect some members who are currently renting more than 100 sq.ft.
        2. These members include Tom, Willie, Char, Ray, and MattN
      3. The Board agreed to discuss the possibility of a rental max limit on the BOD mailing list
    2. 8:03 - Someone (?) asked Tiffany if any one had requested floor space recently
      1. Tiffany replied that two or three people have asked
      2. She asked them if they had a specific project in mind at the time
      3. Two members did not and ultimately they decided against pursuing floor space
      4. One person was a guest looking to become a member and might still want floor space in the future
    3. Tom expressed concern that Tiffany should not be discouraging people from renting floor space simply because they do not have a project in mind
      1. (Tiffany indicated after the meeting that she had given floor space to others when asked)
  4. Building Topics/Projects:
  5. 8:13 - Server rack closet
    1. Brant and Chris H. indicated that they would like to build a wall between the server rack and the rest of the Telco room
      1. They have concerns over the potential for damage to IT equipment, security camera system, and access control for the doors; either accidental or malicious
      2. Chris has also personally loaned several pieces of equipment to the space (not to mention sweat equity)
      3. A wall could also provide a more rigid backdrop for the photo studio, as previously discussed with Tiffany
    2. The group had mixed feelings about the idea
    3. Tom thought less expensive IT equipment could be donated/loaned to reduce the liability if something were damaged or stolen
    4. Chris also noted that the need for a PoE (power over Ethernet) device could be avoided if power adapters were installed at phone locations
      1. Chris was not interested in this approach as he has already put forth a lot of effort to wire the phone system for PoE with a centralized power supply
    5. After some more discussion, the group voted
    6. VOTE: The Board unanimously agreed to allow a wall and door be installed to secure the server rack with a maximum budget of $300
    7. Tom asked that steel studs be used, they terminate a few inches under the ceiling tiles, and a scrap door be used to save money
  6. 8:20 - Picnic table and bike rack
    1. Tiffany indicated that she and some other members would like to build a picnic bench and a bike rack
    2. Tom noted that he thought he could get his hands on a bike rack from Harrison Metals
    3. No funding was requested for these projects
    4. VOTE: The Board unanimously agreed to allow a picnic table be built for the north side of the building and a bike rack be installed outside Door 4, under the awning near McDonald's.
    5. Tom noted that someone should mount the access control box outside Door 4 so it can be used
      1. Brant volunteered to do it
  7. 8:23 - Creating a Shared CNC & KUKA Room
    1. Tiffany indicated that Matt N. plans to bring the Kuka to Maker Faire for demonstrations and that there would be an opportunity for the new 4×8 CNC Router to be moved into the Kuka Room
    2. Tiffany and Steve P. said that the goal would be to create a room that houses both machines
      1. Tiffany noted that some members are concerned that the 4×8 CNC Router will take up too much space and be too noisy if it is moved into the Wood Shop; smaller wood projects would be driven out of the room
    3. Some members expressed concerned about moving the Kuka, the risk of damage in transit and mounting at the Maker Faire
    4. Tom believed the Kuka could be moved out of the room without removing the door or walls
    5. Some asked if the enclosure around the room would need to be modified or made bigger
    6. Joe R. (?) suggested french doors be added to better facilitate moving materials and tools in and out of the enclosure
    7. The group suggested looking into locating the pendant, Kuka controller, or transformer inside the room to free up space outside it if possible
    8. The group asked Steve P. and Tiffany to submit a floor plan sketch of the proposed room layout
  8. Member Projects:
  9. 8:30 - 4×8 CNC Router
    1. Steve P. received $300 from the Board in matching funds today
    2. Works continues on vacuum table and wiring the end stops
    3. Tom K. is helping
    4. Steve P. still plans to hold a class after it is finished
  10. 8:33 - 4×8 CNC Plasma Cutter
    1. Joe R. said three parts have been milled
    2. He plans to assemble them soon
    3. Ed C. has offered to help with the wiring
  11. 8:35 - Jewelry Area
    1. Jon H. working on the table
  12. 8:36 - Metal Finishing Area
    1. Bill W. has moved some grinders over to the area
    2. The metal stock rack has been relocated
  13. 8:38 - Pottery Area
    1. DL has been unavailable lately due to other commitments
  14. Tiffany indicated she has been updating the list of Area Champions on the wiki
    1. She would like to see two champions per area
    2. The group agreed with this approach, two champions per area makes sense

New equipment/donations

  1. 8:40 - Steve P. indicated that he is heading up this effort and he left a voicemail with the donor recently
    1. The Faro arm will be delivered soon, but the donor is very busy and has a newborn
    2. Dan J. also knows the donor
  2. New Cisco WAP and PoE switch on loan from Chris H
  3. Tiffany and Pete speaking with Milwaukee Tool about possible sponsorship/donations


  1. 8:45 - Neighborhood Picnic
    1. Date changed to August 8th so Tiffany and Lance have more time to plan
    2. Dan J. and Brant indicated they don't care when the picnic is, they just want the event to happen eventually
    3. Community rain barrels to be announced at picnic
      1. Chris H. and others have been working on acquiring rain barrels, specifically intermediate bulk containers (IBC's)
      2. Joe R. said he has some he could loan/donate
      3. Two IBC's would be piped to/from the downspout to store approx. 500 gallons of rain water for later use
      4. Chris H. and/or Tiffany said that neighbors would be invited to use the water as well
  2. 8:50 - Consumables
    1. Joe R., Tom, and Dan J. noted to the group that donation box money is being deposited into our checking account and then used to reimburse Area Champions for consumables such as welding gases
    2. The group generally agreed with this approach
  3. 8:55 - Restrooms
    1. Dan J. noted that Karen has repeatedly offered to clean the restrooms in exchange for monthly membership dues
      1. The Board has expressed concern over compensating any member in this way and has avoided doing so thus far
      2. The Board is not interested in hiring any “employees” due to tax and insurance issues
      3. However, the Board noted that the restrooms are not being cleaned regularly enough
    2. Dan J. and Tom suggested hiring a cleaning company to come in twice a week for the restrooms
      1. If a member wants to create a small cleaning company, we would be able to hire them
      2. This is similar to the plowing/salt service in the winter
      3. Tom mentioned that as long as we don't pay any company more than $800 per year, we don't have to report it to the IRS
      4. VOTE: The Board unanimously agreed to actively look for a cleaning service, roughly $40/mo. budget

SWOT Meeting

  1. 9:00 - Strategic Planning/Future
    1. Mission statements intended to guide leadership in the future
    2. SWOT analysis
      1. Brant shared a draft SWOT table for discussion purposes
      2. Brant asked everyone to take one copy of the SWOT table home and think of other topics to add
      3. Brant said he would put the list on the wiki for others to see
    3. Dan J. Proposal - The Milwaukee Makerspace Mission Manefesto (The M4)
      1. Everyone read aloud from the draft copies Dan brought
      2. Some suggested revisions were discussed, including removing references to ages and non-profits
      3. The Board will discuss and revise the draft on the BOD mailing list
      4. Dan and Brant noted some similar ideas they had on what the space “is and is not” as part of the mission statement
  2. 9:15 - Other topics
    1. The group briefly discussed the prospect of MoMI buying new tools/equipment
      1. Nothing was decided at this time
    2. Staffing a booth in New York
      1. We need to respond to Liquid Wrench soon
      2. Four people have shown interest in attending if they could have their travel subsidized
      3. Tiffany and Dan indicated that those attending the races could also staff the booth when not racing
      4. The group generally agreed that it would be cheaper to send only a small group

Board Meeting Agenda for July 18, 2014

Meeting Time: 7pm
Location: Lenox

  • 5 minute time limit per highest-level bullet point.
  • All members are welcome to attend, and non-board members can join the conversation when invited.
  1. Legal/Financial:
    1. Review Royce's email on letting the LLC expire (do we need to do anything?)
    2. Non-profit status
  2. Policies and Procedures:
    1. East Room Survey Results
  3. Building Topics/Projects:
    1. Server rack closet (let's build a wall part deux)
    2. Preliminary CNC/KUKA Room
  4. Member Projects:
    1. CNC Router
    2. CNC Plasma Cutter
  5. New equipment/donations:
    1. Status of Faro arm (delivery?)
  6. Events:
  7. Strategic Planning/Future
    1. Mission statements
      1. Dan J. Proposal - The Milwaukee Makerspace Mission Manefesto (The M4)
      2. SWOT analysis (Brant)
  1. Any topics from members who are present
boardmeetingagenda/2014-07-18.txt · Last modified: 2020/05/20 20:21 by branth