This past week we had another finance council meeting. Here are some highlights:
- We welcomed four new members, since due to the new implementation of term limits of three years, three current members will be leaving the council at the end of June, after many, many years of faithful service. I am so grateful for the tremendous help they have been for me in these first couple of years! I can't imagine having stepped into this position without their wisdom regarding the many practical things we have had to handle! These members will continue to be on my short-call-list when I need wisdom in the future (if they allow it)!
- We reviewed the purpose of a finance council: to advise the pastor in financial decisions. The decisions still rest with the pastor. The finance council is required by Canon Law.
- We reviewed the standard finance statements for January-February 2022: the balance sheet, the income and expense report, the payables report. (Remember, we are meeting now every other month.)
- A member of the finance council reported that from his internal monthly audit, following Diocesan forms, everything seemed to be in order.
- Although we still are working out a couple of details for the contract, we received permission from the Diocese to accept the contract of Findlay Plumbing and Heating for repair/reconstruction of the cooling coils for the main church a/c. We asked not to have to get competitive bids from other companies, given that FP&H created the system and has been our main contractor since the church was built. The cost will be $71,579. We have the money in hand, thanks to $20,000 in generous donations once the breakdown of the coils was announced, and thanks to a very generous bequest. We will also use just over $9,000 of emergency maintenance money towards this project.
- There is really nothing new to report on unloading the timeshare that we used to use for fundraising at the school. It is in the hands of timeshare lawyers, and hopefully close to completion.
- We have just under $90,000 that was collected some years ago for putting new lights into the church. The first company that bid on the project has now pulled out. We have a couple other companies quoting the project. Since we began asking for quotes, however, costs have risen significantly. The latest quote was as high as $134,000. I'm not sure when we will be able to move on this project, but we will continue to receive quotes and discern what to do, given the other projects that now have to happen.
- We ordered a utility terrain vehicle for work at the cemetery ($19,000), since the tractor that has been doing the work is now kaput. We received a $15,000 donation for the vehicle, and we will use $4,000 from cemetery funds to cover the rest. This makes sense, since for many months now we have not been using cemetery funds to pay for cemetery upkeep. Our parish maintenance men have been handling all the care of the cemetery, but the cemetery account historically paid for cemetery upkeep. We are considering reimbursing the parish from cemetery funds for the work now being handled by maintenance employees. We have to study and then implement a prudent system of reimbursement.
- We met with Peterman & Associates and AEP to talk about powerline poles surrounding the space where we intend to put the new storage/maintenance building. Peterman already gave us a couple proposed footprints for the building, based on AEP input. We are considering the proposals, and asking necessary questions. A major bequest (about $125,000) that will go towards this building has yet to arrive, but we have been told it is close to arriving. We had been told it would arrive this past fall. After Peterman & Associates helps us design the building, then we will be seeking general contractors to put in bids. Don Mennel is helping me as co-manager of the maintenance/storage building project. I am very grateful for his willingness to help!
- We continue to follow up and insist on payment for the door that was busted with the break-in to the youth room a couple months ago. The local police have been super helpful in every way, helping us discover the perpetrator, and work with him to make amends.
- As of the writing of this letter, we are at 54% of our ACA goal. I sent in my own, personal donation this past week. It was definitely sacrificial! Thanks to all who have donated thus far! Please consider even a small donation, if you haven't yet given anything to the Bishop's ACA.
- Our fiscal year July 2022-June 2023 budget is due to the Diocese May 1st. Deb Brickner has been working with the staff to forecast numbers. I always say it takes three years to get a budget that closely matches reality. As helpful as our budget this past year has been, I hope that we get closer this year.
- Our organ is coming up on its 30th year since installation. That means some major re-leathering of stops, etc. Four years ago the quote for this refurbishing was about $15,000. We should do this within the next couple of years.
- The floor and toilet of my bathroom suite in the rectory once again needed repair. The cost was about $2,800. Last year we addressed a leak. The fix this time is more structural and should prevent future break-downs.
- A few weeks ago, the fire suppression pipes on the west side of the gathering space sprang a major leak. The emergency visit from the repair company, as well as the repair itself, cost about $2,000. In addition, we are going to install a valve that will allow us to separate the dry suppression system from the wet system ($850). When there are leaks in the future, this will allow us to still remain fire code compliant (keeping the dry system alive) while we repair the wet system. Otherwise, we have to have a fire watch (a live human person circulating through the building during any event) if we have the system down for repairs. Given the age of the pipes, lined with resting chemically-laden water, we were told to budget for such repairs each year. All the pipes in the system should be looking like the pipes we replaced – with some of ragged-seamed edges from corrosion – and holes. We are studying ways to proactively replace deteriorating pipes. And, is there a modern material available, rather than the steel pipes originally installed?
- We noticed that the baptismal font has a white scale/scum on it that is very hard to remove. Additionally, the grout between marble sections is cracking. We are beginning to study how best to address these issues.
So there are some highlights from our meeting. Have a blessed week!
In cordibus Iesu, Mariae et Iosephus,