47 members stayed after worship on June 12 for the special Congregational Meeting. Convened by Bob Schneider, Moderator of the Elders, for the purpose of considering a proposal from the Administration Standing Leadership Group (Admin SLG) that Old First purchase a new cooling tower that would replace the church’s failing air conditioning system for the Sanctuary building. The cost of this purchase and installation is approximately $23,000.
A proposal had previously been distributed to the congregation, and Larry Waddell, chair of the Admin SLG, explained the need for the new unit in relation to the likely imminent failure of the existing unit and the potential impact of the system’s failure on worship services and scheduled urban service camps. Larry, assisted by Treasurer Adam Sherr, explained the recommended funding for the purchase:
~$4,000 drawn from the maintenance line in the current 2011 budget;
~ an additional $3,000 drawn from the Endowment in the current fiscal year; and
~the remaining $16,000 borrowed from the Endowment, with the $17,000 to be repaid to the Endowment by June 30th, 2013, by reducing the budgeted draw down from the Endowment in Fiscal Years 2012 and 2013 by $8,500 in each of those two years.
Larry, Adam, and Mark Wagenveld also responded to questions concerning:
• how the use of budgeted maintenance funds for the air conditioning system would impact other planned maintenance activities for the year (after this use of $4,000 from the current budget line item for maintenance, $16,000 would still be available for other work in 2011);
• whether the price includes maintenance of the unit (no, but expected maintenance costs are low and such costs are already included in the budget);
• whether bids were solicited from other vendors (yes, but only two submitted proposals, and the one recommended is from a known firm with a good reputation).
Following a successful motion to call the question, those present voted unanimously to authorize the purchase of the new cooling tower.
Our Treasurer cut a deposit check after the meeting. And Mark Wagenveld and the vendor were at the church on Monday. The new unit has been ordered is expected to be installed and operational before mid-July.