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Milwaukee Makerspace Board of Directors Meeting - September 15, 2016

Held at the Milwaukee Makerspace craft lab


  • Lance Lamont
  • Carl Stevens
  • Dan Jonke
  • Keith McMillan
  • Adrian Volden
  • Harvey Matyas
  • DL Swanson
  • Rick Bowman
  • Karen Pauli
  • Steffanie Maher
  • Tony
  • Steve Pilon
  • Tom Gralewicz


Meeting was called to order at 7:00 by Lance Lamont.

Review and approval of the Minutes of the previous meeting

The meeting minutes from the previous meeting were approved.

Reports of Boards and Standing Committees

Treasurers Report

  • Membership numbers are relatively stable (net loss of 2 members last month)
  • Net income positive about $11,000
  • Cash on hand less committed reserves $19,857.96

Space Equipment Inventory

  • Previous status
    • Inventories from areas coming in, DL has been working with the procedure
    • Larry volunteered to take pictures if needed, DL to communicate that to the area champions
  • No update - DL not present

New Equipment/Donations

  • New donations from previous Kuka owner
    • Previous status
      • Adrian needs to send tax forms to Gerry
      • Items are in the East room, and we need to clear the items - Adrian coordinating, and it will be ready to be cleared on space improvement day
    • Tax forms sent to Gerry
    • Stainless steel rollers still in East Room, Adrian needs to get pictures and put on Craig's List

Building Maintenance/Issues

  • Dumpster Pad needs repair
    • Last status
      • Quotes received from two companies to repave the lot. Board selected the Poblocki Paving concrete quote as being more durable and requiring less maintenance ($27,000)
      • The board elected to budget monies for repaving, with a target of next year.
      • This will be added to the member survey
    • Carl and Dan clarified this item, the board is not actively budgeting money to replace the parking lot, pending approval from the membership
  • Rik notified us that one of the building exterior grounds has come loose - email forwarded to Tom Gralewicz

Reports of Special (Select) Committees

Space Projects Update

4x8 CNC Plasma Cutter

  • Previous status
    • Current ETA for completion is October
    • The board discussed that the project has gone on for a very long time, and the tolerance for additional extensions is thin. All members of the board present voted unanimously to require completion of the CNC plasma cutter by November 17. If the plasma cutter is not complete, and two members trained to use it, it must be removed by the end of November.
  • Steve Pilon was present and had no concerns about the cutter being completed within the allocated time


  • Previous status
    • Jake is using the Kuka until August for his project
    • Jake is paying $10/month for the space.
    • Adrian spoke with Jake, and he intends to move the Kuka the weekend of 8/20-8/21. There will be a few days of filming, then the Kuka would return, but none of the rest of the material he has been keeping for filming. He may need it for a few days for Makerfaire.
    • When the Kuka returns from Makerfaire it will be sold or disposed of
  • Kuka has returned from filming, and Jake's other materials are no longer at the space

Wood shop dust collection

  • Previous status
    • Brant has a revised proposal that would cost $500
    • The board discussed the three proposals and asked Brant to proceed with his plan
  • Update
    • “Green” dust collector online

Unfinished Business

Property tax exemption

  • Previous Status
    • Our lawyer (Stephanie) has agreed to help us, but we have missed the window for this year. Tom and Stephanie will work on this later in the year for next year.
    • Keep on agenda and nag Tom in December (per Tom)

Utility rates

  • Previous Status
    • Ongoing sales tax exemption secured
    • Lance to pursue getting past sales tax back from State of WI
    • Rick Bowman volunteered to file this for the board

New camera system

  • Previous Status
    • All cable drops in place EXCEPT
      • One to the craft lab
      • One to outside Door 1
      • Network cables need jacks and punchdown in the cable closet
      • One new camera installed (CNC room)
    • Larry requests that a camera be pointed at the Tormach
    • This will be a priority item for space improvement day
  • Update
    • Keith completed all wiring runs - need termination and cameras installed
  • Tony expressed concern that we should set a retention period to minimize possible “fishing” through footage
  • Board will look at a retention period after the camera system comes fully on line

Willy's Boat

  • Previous status
    • The board will continue to request updates and monitor the progress
    • Lance spoke with Willy and he believes he is two months behind
    • Project continues to be live
  • Dan and Lance have seen Willy working on the project, but it will likely not be ready for Maker Faire
  • Board will continue to monitor the project

Member Survey

  • Previous status
    • Keith will work with Lance on the member survey
  • Carl volunteered to take this on, and sync up with Brant to get some input
  • Lance forwarded the most recent member survey for reference

Signs & Awnings Outside

  • Previous status
    • Tom has proposed some awnings
    • Tom and Carl to work on the application to the city including a drawing
    • Tom and Carl to add this to the member survey since the cost is close to $1000.
  • Carl has photos and needs to do the mockups

Improvements to Entryways & Meeting area

  • Previous status
    • Couch to be painted
    • Carl presented a design for the lounge/lobby to the board. Attendees had questions and suggestions on the proposed idea.
    • Carl will continue this as an individual project, or if he feels he needs more authorization or to request funds.
  • Carl continues to work on design
  • Will not be on the agenda until Carl wants further approval and has a further-along design

Craft Lab II: Trade Craft!

  • Previous status
    • The board discussed possibly making a larger area comprised of some of the smaller current areas.
    • Board to look at this again in September/October
  • Deferred - DL not present

End of Year Filings

  • Previous
    • Our CPA has retired, and is not returning calls
    • Dan and Tom to work on filling in the forms, Adrian to help if required
    • We are late in filing our forms, and Dan is addressing this
  • Dan has filed the forms, so far no news from the IRS so hopefully no problems

Long-term Budgeting

  • Previous Status
    • Adrian suggested we should be setting aside a budget for large building expenditures
    • Board discussed how to operationally do this, agreed we need to determine what costs to forecast
  • Adrian will work on this more after Maker Faire

Maker Faire

  • Last Status
    • The board agreed to have a question on supporting Maker Faire 2017 on the annual survey
    • The board voted 5-1 to approve the position of area champion for Maker Faire (Keith voted no)
    • All the board members present voted unanimously to approve 4 stipends for other Maker Spaces at $250/per to reimburse actual travel expenses to send a representative to Maker Faire
    • Additional stipends can be made by individual donation by members
  • Brant has one Maker Space that has expressed interest - Lance responded
  • Lance raised the question about renting a truck to transport projects to Maker Faire
    • Dan will send an email to try to figure out how many people and projects need to be transported
    • The board voted unanimously to authorize $250 or less for truck rental
  • Carl reviewed the list of people expecting to be part of the Milwaukee Makerspace booth at the Faire - Carl has secured a 10×30 space for the booth
    • Shane will be working on signage for the booth
  • Carl to start a thread on the boards on what should be taken to the Faire
  • Amy is coordinating a party for Saturday night - the board unanimously voted to approve $250 for funding the party

Member Free Storage Space

  • Previous Status
    • Pallet racking donated by Tri-Star - awaiting installation
    • DL expects to have all the space inventory wrapped up in the next few weeks
  • Pallet racks installed 8/28 - need plywood or other “floor”
  • Carl and Adrian to inquire with Lowes if they would give us the same discount they are providing for Maker Faire

Vault Activity (or lack thereof)

  • Lance mentions that some vaults don't seem to have any activity, and there seems to be very low turnover. Perhaps we should find a way to inquire if they are being used.
  • Last Status
    • The board agreed Lance should put notes under the door of the vaults and ask for “are you using this vault”?
  • Almost all vaults reported as active, vaults 5, 8 and 9 have not reported in
  • The board discussed what changes to make with storage if any - no particular conclusions were reached
  • Consulting key fob records, it was determined that the members renting these vaults are not frequent users of the space
  • Carl will draft an email that we can send to these members asking that they consider giving up their vaults

Calendars / Class Signups / Events

  • Calendars are a challenge, only board members can update the GCal, the groups aren't well suited to signing up for classes, not everyone has access to update the Wiki (or the knowledge about how to do so)
    • DL mentions Wild Apricot might work for events for this
  • Keith will look in to this
  • Dan says the next version of Wild Apricot may very well have some help for us
  • Still pending

Website redesign proposal

  • Last status
    • Carl to continue with his new design ideas and put up a parallel version next to our current site for further feedback.
  • No update

Weapons and Firearms at the 'space - do we need clarification on what is acceptable

  • Last status
    • A FAQ should be put out to clarify that it is illegal to manufacture firearms at the space.
  • Lance added this FAQ

New Business

  • Donation to Historic Milwaukee
    • Brant writes:
I would like to request that the BOD consider a gift of $1,000 to show support for Doors Open Milwaukee, its organizers, and volunteers. I believe that the work they are doing is both relevant and important and Milwaukee Makerspace has benefitted from their efforts. If the BOD feels the $1,000 amount is not feasible, I would like to instead consider either a $500 or $250 donation.

To sweeten the deal, if the BOD agrees to any of the aforementioned amounts, I will personally commit to research, apply for, and purchase a Milwaukee Preservation Commission Historic Property Plaque for our building. The plaque fee will be paid for myself on behalf of the group.

A FAQ about being declared a historic site can be found here:

You can read more about the plaque program here:
  • The board discussed the proposal and felt we were not comfortable spending the members dues to donate to Historic Milwaukee, but that we would support asking the membership for a donation. - Keith will follow up with Brant
  • Pete Maher present to discuss an internet proposal for Maker Faire
    • Pete owns a company that does wireless internet, is working on wireless for Maker Faire
    • Also interested in redoing the internet service for the Makerspace
    • Additionally would rework the wireless within the space including new access points
    • This would be in largely in exchange for recognition and being able to get good will with members
    • Tony will liaise with Pete on a proposal for the space
  • Proposal from Rick B to merge anodizing, powder coating and metal finishing areas
    • Rick presented his proposed floorplan
    • The board unanimously voted to merge the areas and make Rick area champion for the finishing area
  • Authorize Kayla to bring in a sand mixer for resin bonded sand casting
    • The board discussed that this area (just outside the Kuka room) seems to get very cluttered
    • The mixer is at the space today, but it is unclear if Kayla is intending for it to stay
    • This raised discussion on where the vacuum former should/would go, as Kayla proposed it leave it's current space
    • The board voted to authorize the sand mixer into the space, but it must be fit into existing area space for casting (not by moving the vacuum former). The pending reorganization of the craft area (craft lab 2) will further address this.
  • Approve Danielle as photo booth champion - after much discussion on whether the photo booth was an area, the board voted unanimously to approve Danielle as photo booth area champion
  • Issue reported by Jay Kewin
    • Jay came to the board last month with a report of an interaction with Jim Rawson, which made her very uncomfortable. She felt that Jim was harassing her
    • Jim has a history of friction with other members
    • Several board members have also had direct interactions with him that make this a credible report
    • The board discussed whether this warranted a formal warning, or what other action we should take
    • Adrian will draft a letter to Jim and asking for a written response on his explanation of the encounter, with a date by which we require a response. The letter will be reviewed by the board prior to being sent.

Good of the Space

  • Adam asked about whether the space would support a mural by a friend of the space (Jenny) on the outside of the building
    • Lance is concerned the mural be able to be maintained in the event it is tagged by graffiti
    • Carl supports the idea
    • Adrian would not support painting any of the walls that were brick
    • Lance mentioned that we would need to pursue any permitting as well
    • Adam asked if the board would match funds to pay for the mural, possibly as much as $1,500 and Lance said that that level of funding would need to go to the membership
    • Carl encouraged Adam to do a bit more research and to come to the membership possibly with the design
    • Adam will do a bit more legwork and revisit this



The meeting was adjourned at 9:25

boardmeetingagenda/2016-09-15.txt · Last modified: 2016/09/16 15:29 by raster