A couple weeks ago we had another finance council meeting. Here are some highlights:
- We looked at the usual financial reports: balance statement, income and expense, payables. Also, a finance committee member reported on the internal audit he performed for the last few months, using diocesan forms. I'm very glad we have this extra "check and balance" up and running smoothly now.
- The new elevator ceiling and lights are now complete. Take a ride to the third floor of the offices, and see how good it looks! Total cost was $10,368. It had to be done in order for us to pass inspection.
- The timeshare property that had been donated to us for fundraising for the school is very close to being signed back into the ownership of Sheraton/Vista.
- We have a couple companies quoting on the church lighting project. We are seeking a third company. The lights are too hot, and they are certainly not as efficient as they could be, given the improvement in technology over the last three decades. We did some initial money-savings calculations, switching over to LED, and the project makes sense. The money is on hand from prior fundraising.
- Windows in the doors of the deacons' office and third-floor classrooms have all been installed.
- Within a year, two of our lawnmowers at the cemetery will approach their 2000 hour threshold. The mowers were purchased back in 2004 (a 60” mower and a 48” mower) and 2008 (another 48” mower). Although we are not going to purchase a new one immediately, we learned that a new 60” lawnmower will cost about $6,300, after a program discount and trade-in. We have been told that if we trade the old mower in before its 2000 hour threshhold we will get some return on it. You can imagine all the mowing that happens at the cemetery each year!
- It seems like a miracle to me, but we actually received a check in December from the Fostoria Economic Development Corporation for $88,503, which is half of the profit remaining from the sale of the outbuildings on the south end of the high school property, once demolition costs for the high school we're covered. FEDC provided our finance council with a list of all demolition expenses that were charged against the sale, and even a list of their expenses that were not charged to us. I really appreciate their transparency throughout this process. I also appreciate their efficient and professional management of the whole project thus far. Please pray that they find the right buyer to develop the high school property into something that will really benefit the Fostoria community.
- A parishioner noticed how the evangelists' images on the cover on our Book of Gospels at Mass was worn down. This person gave $800 for a new cover that could slip over the old one. You saw Anthony's description of the new cover in a recent liturgical article in the bulletin.
- The small tractor that we used in the cemetery to haul dirt and tools to places where trucks cannot go has died. We hope to purchase a utility terrain vehicle, preferably with a dump bed on it. Unfortunately, these are pretty hard to come by, even used. We have a $15,000 donation towards this purchase, if we can find the right vehicle.
- Last month we had a break-in: a 20 year old Fostoria man kicked in the youth room door at about 10 PM on a Sunday evening. He stole snacks, and a blowup chair. He got into the building by forcing open one of the locked handicap doors. Thankfully, security cameras caught many images of the young man, and the police found him. We are asking for restitution for the cost of a new youth room door, and all of the employee time that went into handling the crime.
- The basement window sills and frames of the rectory (several rotted) were repaired and covered, costing $2,500.
- Since beginning the process of selling the high school property, we have known that we need some type of storage/maintenance building on our current campus. On the high school property, we had four out-buildings with maintenance and festival equipment, and other items. Rob Reinhart did a fine job reducing everything. We kept what we believed we would minimally need, should the mini-fest grow eventually from downtown to include the parish property as well – i.e., grow into a bigger festival. The festival committee, and other parishioners, strongly expressed their desire to keep the festival. But it's not only festival storage. Festival, building and maintenance items for basic parish life are now stored in the two trailers on the south side of the property, behind the rectory. We also have the Easter tomb, which the FEDC has graciously allowed us to store (temporarily) in their facility. We have all kinds of maintenance equipment – tractor, salt spreader, tools, salt, etc., etc. crammed into the rectory garage. The storage building out at the cemetery is also packed. Bottom line: we need a storage and maintenance building on our property. The most logical place is immediately to the northeast of the rectory, just off the main parking lot. With a surprise check already in hand from the sale of of the out-buildings, I am asking the diocese for permission to build a pole barn. In addition to the money from the sale of the outbuildings, we received an $11,213 bequest, which we are putting towards the building. Also, we just signed final paperwork to receive a bequest (liquidated investments) for $125,000, which we can put towards the new building. These three checks will bring us very close to the final cost. With such a building in place, the parish should be set for years to come, for maintenance and storage, including development of the festival. There are a lot of moving parts involved in erecting a new structure. There is the formal diocesan process for approval. There is communication with city management. We had one meeting already with the zoning commissioner. We made initial contact with Peterman Associates to help with engineering and architecture. While we know what must be the basic interior components of the storage/maintenance building, there are some design questions worthy of discussion. I would like to form a small committee to help with design.
So, there are the highlights from the last finance meeting. Have a blessed week!
In cordibus Iesu, Mariae et Iosephus,