Karen Peters called the meeting to order and we held our open discussion on the Wilmington Town Dam and Lake Everest. At the conclusion of the open discussion Karen called for the Secretary’s report. Bob Cressey made a motion to accept the November minutes as read and it was seconded by Peter Yuro. The motion carried unanimously.
Bob gave the treasurer’s report. He reported that our bank balance is $1,894.97. We had income for the month of $117, including $110 from memberships and $7 from sale of photographs. Our expenses of $520.85 included $90.02 for supplies, $208.83 for postage and $222.00 for purchase of Wilmington books. Bob mentioned that we have more membership checks which are not included in the above amount because he has not deposited them yet. Peter offered a motion to accept the Treasurer’s report and it was seconded by Doug Wolfe. The motion passed unanimously.
Since last month Bob completed our federal advance ruling period form (IRS Form 8734). The purpose of this form is to allow the IRS to determine whether we are a publicly or privately funded organization. We anticipate that the IRS will declare the WHS to be publicly funded. Bob then reported that he had checked the availability of the accounting software that we voted to purchase from “Tech Soup”. It is now available, but he discovered that we need to register our organization and go through several steps to prove that we are non-profit before we can make the purchase. One of the requirements is to provide a physical address because they will not ship to a post office box. However they also state that if the address does not match that on our IRS letter of determination we must send a letter explaining the reason for the difference on the WHS letterhead. We decided that it would be a good idea to add “7 Community Center Circle” to our letterhead from this point forward. Bob also mentioned that he will be purchasing some supplies he needs to maintain our treasurer’s records.
Karen reported on communications. Several of the usual newsletters we receive from the various organizations WHS belongs to were made available for our perusal. WHS is again listed in the new “Meet the Town 2008” pamphlet with some revisions, including information about our research hours. We received the Annual Report from the Northern New York Library Network which gave us some new ideas on how to present the budget information in our own report. Upstate History Alliance (UHA) will be presenting four online programs for $25 each, including “Basic Care of Paper”, “Basic Care of Photographs”, “Climate Control for Small Institutions”, and “Introduction to Reformatting”. We received an email from Jack Wolfe regarding our decision to stick with the terms “surplus” and “deficit” as opposed to “profit” and “loss” in our budget. He cautioned that we need profit to run our programs and our non-profit status means only that the profits can never be distributed among the members. Helen Marshall sent us a Schenectady newspaper article about the Whiteface 50th anniversary celebration. Karen sent a letter to David Roe who had requested some historical information about his property from the WHS. She also sent thank you notes to Ginny Crispell for donation of postcards and to Joseph Provancha, Essex County Clerk, for donation of Wilmington Tax Assessments from 1850 to 1905. We sent a letter to David Heim thanking him for donation of tickets for our VRS fundraiser.
We had no new acquisitions in January.
Merri presented the Audit Committee Report. The committee met January 2, 2008 and examined the following records: Two check books, one held by Bob and the other held by Karen; all tax forms; membership applications from 2005, 2006 and 2007; bank account records; receipts for large purchases and fundraising receipts information. There was one finding that receipts for small purchases were not available. The committee made several recommendations as follows: 1) Include the year with date in check register, 2) Date membership applications with date received and date funds deposited. 3) Keep file of Excel spread sheets to cross reference. Since the committee meeting Bob has started retaining all receipts including those for small purchases and he is attaching all receipts to a copy of the monthly financial report.
We had a number of requests for historical information and research. Jack Leavitt, a developer who plans to build 40 homes off route 86 in the Quaker Mountain vicinity is looking for a historically significant name for his development. Doug suggested “Quaker Ridge” or something similar and all present agreed with the idea that “Quaker” should be part of the name. Karen responded to a list serve request from a Little Falls organization through UHA. They asked for sample copies of constitutions and Karen sent them a copy of ours. Karen also reported that she received a thank you from Harold Hinds for recopying some probate records for him. Kathleen Gezzi requested permission to use a photo from our website. She purchased fourteen photos from us and will credit the WHS in her book. Doug suggested that we should ask her for a signed copy of the book when it is published. We also received a request from Alan Oppenheim for information on the White Stagg Inn which was built in 1963. Merri suggested a title search and Karen provided Mr. Oppenheim with a number of sources for information about the property. Doug mentioned that Jean Huntington has compiled some information about the properties in that area and may have some relevant knowledge.
Merri reported for the Library, Museum and Historic Sites Committee on the progress she has made with inputting records into the Past Perfect software. She has made some progress, inputting all the deeds of gift, but she was interrupted because the computer crashed again. The records are backed up on the laptop, but she did not want to continue until the problem with our computer is resolved. Bob Peters will look at the computer and try to resolve the problem. Entry of all our records will be a time consuming process.
Doug reported for the Publications and Programs Committee. He gave a talk in Lake Placid in January on Whiteface Mountain history. The talk covered early ascents of the mountain and some skiing history. The program was well attended and enthusiastically received. Doug will repeat the talk on March 14 here in Wilmington. Karen handed out copies of our tentative program schedule for 2008. There was nothing new to report on the development of the walking tour or history “tidbits” for the Whiteface Mountain Regional Visitor’s Bureau. Doug reported that he provided some history information for the Whiteface 50th Anniversary celebration and he appeared on a WPTZ television news story about the subject.
Nancy Cressey reported for the Membership and Nominations committee. In the last month we received 21 memberships for a total of $470.
Karen reported that the Wilmington Community Enhancement Council had a speaker who talked about business opportunities for use of solar energy at their last meeting. It’s not clear how much application this will have for construction of a new community center building for Wilmington.
Karen advised us that the Board of Trustees will need to review our Collections Management Policy. Doug pointed out that the Collections Management Policy does not really address computers, CDs, or other modern technology in a specific way. Our Collections Management Policy is more or less standard among similar organizations, but the technology issue is one we may need to look at in the future.
Karen informed us that Professor Harold Hinds will send a letter of intent regarding donation of his library to the WHS. This will be useful to us for obtaining grants Merri advised that we purchased and received five copies of each of two new volumes of the Wilmington book series. The new books are Volume 9, Wilmington School Records and Volume 6, Wilmington Cemetery Records.
As a result of a recent inquiry to New York State concerning sales tax, we found that we do not need to charge sales tax for orders placed over the internet. The state sent us a letter stating this policy.
Nancy passed around a sample thank you note card. It has the photograph from which our logo was derived. Nancy will purchase some blank cards and produce a stock of thank you cards.
Karen handed out copies of the 2008 planning document that resulted from our planning meeting in January. She said that we will need to identify some 10 year long term goals as part of our permanent charter application process. The WHS disaster plan that Karen and Merri have been working on is nearly complete. As soon as it is done Karen will be emailing the board for a vote on the resolution to apply for a permanent charter.
Bob moved to adjourn the meeting, Merri seconded the motion and all voted in favor.