Garden group planning meeting 2-6-2016

Garden Group

February 6, 2016

attendees: Mindy Gallagher, Carla Helfferich, Deirdre Helfferich, Ruth Rutherford (Scott Allen hauled boxes of books and had a couple of comments but didn’t participate in the full meeting)


  • introductions, approval of agenda
  • review of library’s garden programs and facilities
  • garden-related events (past and potential)
  • garden and homesteading books
  • garden plan (grounds)
  • seed library
  • events: seedswaps/Seedstock, turnip project, seedsaving workshop, Calypso workshops


1) library garden programs include the community garden, seed library, and related events and resources such as the seed swaps, garden and homesteading books, seedsaving workshops, Seedstock, talks on related themes, etc. Cooperative events such as the turnip breeding project are also part of this.

2) library garden facilities include the community garden, the historical/heirloom gardens at the Clausen Cabin, the gardens at the Ida Lane Clausen Gazebo (perennial beds, flower baskets, and vegetables). All of these will need regular care throughout the summer. The space between the composting outhouse and the perennial bed needs soil and fertilizer (horse manure from Lorna and Clutch was suggested), as do several beds at the Clausen Cabin.

3) The beds at the Clausen Cabin need rebuilding. Community garden to continue but this time to require actual sign-in and contact info. (Should be library member. DH adding this suggestion post-meeting.) Scott Allen to be in charge of making sure garden members sign up. In previous years beds start out well but end up bedraggled by end of season and nobody harvests food or takes care of vegetables. This is a major concern of Phil and Scott—lack of followthrough.

4) Plantings will require a plan. What do we want to plant at the gazebo and the cabin? Planning to be done another day, but basic sketch includes the following elements: remove Siberian peas; transplant flowers at cabin and from Malemute (purple asters, daisies, trolius, rhubarb, columbine, delphiniums) into available space; get shrubs with edible fruit or noninvasives (crabapples, honeysuckles, honeyberries, etc.). Other plants that are coming back each year are dianthus (a.k.a. pinks/Sweet Williams/Stinking Billies) and the strawberries, chives, and rhubarb at the gazebo (also some lilies). All agreed that perennials are easier.

Extra plants could also be given to the Golden Eagle or Ester Community Association as good will gesture.

5) Events:

  • a) lectures – fruit trees, turnip project (something Trey may be able to help organize)
  • b) Seedstock – musical event, big open house/seed library event. Date TBA.
  • c) Seedy Saturdays – two to three in a row, Mindy suggests as early as Feb. 20, with March 5 as Seedstock. Need to coordinate with ECA and chili feed. DH to check with Monique.
  • d) Garden Work Weekends – April 30/May 1 garden bed prep & repair
    May 21/May 22 plant/transplant weekend

Possibility of working with 1st graders (Laura Hueffer—Mindy to contact) as part of one of these events (plant flowers such as lobelia for hanging baskets or squash).

Along with, say, Seedstock, or garden party later in spring, raffle Ida’s escapee raspberries and extra rhubarb. Possibly delphinium seed packets?

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Finance Committee Agenda 02.09.2016

Minutes from February 2, 2016 meeting

Old Business

Annual Reports progress – Phil’s portion of internal audit?

CRS2015 Completion Report

1099 IRS form

Statement of Financial Position for grants applications

New business

 IRS Forms W-9 and 1099

Board responsibilities

Names of donors to restricted funds

Membership logs

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Minutes, Finance Committee 02.02.2016

Meeting convened: 6:55 pm

Members present: Syrilyn Tong, Mindy Gallagher

Member absent: Phil Rulon, Susan Osborne, Hal Osborne

Minutes from January 2, 2016, January 9, 2016, and January 16, 2016 meetings were discussed with ST to catch her up on committee and board activities.

Old Business

Annual Reports progress:

Water Wagon payments from Oct. 2014 – Mindy checked with Deirdre Helfferich; there were two deliveries, but the first payment was possibly paid late. When the water ran out, it was not refilled because it was not being used much. To Deirdre’s knowledge, there was no problem with the system.

Mindy and Phil’s progress on internal audit — Mindy has completed review of records back to October 2011. From here she will work forward, because there is a firm foundation of how the finances were being run previously. No report from Phil.

Alaska Library Association membership – will be paid when the bill is received.

New business

 CRS2015 Completion Report – Mindy received an email on Feb. 1 from the borough that the Completion Report for CRS 2015 grant had still not been received, but that the other required documents had been. CRS 2016 money is being withheld pending receipt of this report. Using the recent records reconstruction, she filled out the budget numbers, and she and ST wrote the narrative. Needs signature of chief presiding officer (President or Vice-President).

Update of to-do list on laptop – On January 23. Susan and Mindy updated Connie’s to-do list on the laptop, adding dates and some other payments with recurring dates, and putting the payments in chronological order for better reference. Connie had left notes to remember to order W-2 and 1099 forms for IRS. With no employees, we don’t need W-2’s at this point. We need to do 2 1099 forms for contracted services totaling over $600 over the year.

One 1099 IRS form completed and mailed. A snag is currently holding up the other form.

Statement of Financial Position for grants applications – Deirdre requested an updated Statement to use for an upcoming grant. ST will be unable to help much with this, and with the due date nearing, she and Mindy decided to use current internally audited cash numbers, and combine those with non-cash asset numbers from October 2013, for which we have better confirmation. A more complete audit will need to be done later.

Need to update logs of donors to restricted funds and membership logs. ST won’t have time in the near future to do these due to other obligations. She did review the most recent membership log from 2013 and determined that we should find out where this computer list is (possibly on Deirdre’s computer?) and then transfer it to the laptop at the cabin. From here, we could update/add/delete members. There were several 10-year memberships which will require some research to find out when they were paid. This project will be tackled later.

Meeting adjourned 8:15 pm.

Next meeting will be held February 9, 2016

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Collections and inventory – January 2016

January has been a busy month! A considerable number of boxes of books (at least 60) have been placed in storage (largely by Scott Allen) to make room for upgrades to the Clausen Cabin and to clear out a bit more space in the JTEL at Frank’s. Four hundred forty-six titles were entered to the online catalog in January, 8 more than last January, and bringing the total entered to 6,293.

Work on organizing the nonfiction sections continues. Biography is almost complete, although a few titles remain to be entered into the catalog. Humor (Nonfiction) and True Crime still need work, as does Archaeology. Travel is more or less done. History & Politics, Economics, and Natural History are all larger sections with a mix of titles that remain yet to be entered and in some cases sorted.

The main issue continues to be one of a lack of space. Still, the library is much tidier, cleaner, and we will be making more space for books as we can find room in the storage sheds.

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Finance Committee Agenda, February 2, 2016

Minutes from January 2, 2016 meeting

Minutes from January 9, 2016 meeting

Minutes from January 16, 2016 meeting

Old Business

Annual Reports progress

            Water Wagon payments from Oct. 2014

            Non-cash assets

            Mindy and Phil’s progress on internal audit

Alaska Library Association membership

New business

 Update of to-do list on laptop

1099 IRS forms

Statement of Financial Position for grants applications

Need to update logs of donors to restricted funds

Membership logs

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Grants Committee Agenda for February 3, 2016

Grants Committee Meeting 4 – Agenda

February 3, 2016

6:00 PM

Clausen Cabin

Discussion of Current Grants

  1. Report to FNSB and request for time extension.
  2. Update and discussion of Phase 1 Project Development.
    1. Overall status.
    2. Draft Professional Services Agreement.

Discussion of Efforts towards New Grant Proposals

  1. Review new “Grant Tracking Spreadsheet”.
    1. Format and how to use the spreadsheet:
      1. Data entry.
      2. Multiple users via WordPress.
    2. Assignments for populating the spreadsheet.
  2. Current efforts.
    1. CAPSIS request renewal for new building.
    2. GVEA Goodcents grant for Clausen Cabin and White Building.
  3. Review potential new grants and other funding sources.

Other Items

  1. Determine information and action items for the March 8th Board of Directors meeting for presentation.
  2. Other
    1. Member items.
    2. Date/time for next Grants Committee Meeting.
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Grants Committee Meeting agenda 13-12-2015

JTEL Grants Committee

Agenda – Meeting No. 2

December 13, 2015
5:00 PM, Clausen Cabin

Discussion of Current Grants

  1. Review history of DLA Grant expenditures (Deirdre).
  2. Discuss methods for accommodating “reimbursable” DCCED grant. New information from grantee is that JTEL will not need to use an interim loan.
  3. Update on potential construction of underground water storage tank and replacement fill option for new building to expend remaining grant funds before they expire (Gary).
  4. Determine consensus on a course of action on time extensions for existing grants. June 30, 2016 is not enough time and extensions are possible and a grant extension has been suggested by DCCED.

Discussion of Other Grant Related Items

  1. Review potential membership in The Grantsmanship Center (
  2. Update on new State grants manual (Deirdre).
  3. Review potential new grants and other funding sources.

a. Tom’s of Maine: $20,000 potential.

b. “Pick-Click-Give” via Alaska Permanent Fund.

c. Other current efforts.

4. Determine what we want to present at the December 15 Board of Directors meeting, and how we want to present it.*

  • a. Findings on current grant protocols.

i. Not usable on Clausen Cabin or other projects.

ii. Reimbursable nature of DCCED grant.

b. Options for current grants:

i. Reimbursable grant payment cycling.

ii. Time extensions.

c. Potential construction project to use up remaining funding and move forward: Water storage tank and structural fill.

i. Scope.
ii. Estimated cost.
iii. Time line.
iv. Delivery method options:

1. Open bids.
2. Selected bidders (if allowed by grants).
3. Owner builder.

5. Other

  • a. Member items.
  • b. Date/time for next Grants Committee Meeting.

*Consider time constraints for overall Board meeting, particularly in light of Board insurance issues to be discussed, as well as other committee reports. Our report will need to be concise.

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DRAFT Jan. 6, 2016 Grants Committee

Wed. Jan 6, 2015
Clausen Cabin

Grants Committee Meeting – Draft Minutes
Start 6:10

Gary Pohl
Deirdre Helfferich
Monique Musick
Barb O’Donnell

Minutes from Dec. 13, 2015 approved as ammended

Pending amendment for time extension from State of Alaska DCCED:
The paperwork should be in the mail box. It was sent by the state

Report to FNSB and request for time extension.
Deirdre has not been able to discuss the plan for use of grant money with Shellie Severav again. Deirdre proposes submitting a report about what we have done with the grant money, what we intend to do, and the time frame we believe we can do it in- which does require an extension to the entire construction season.

Update and discussion of Phase 1 Project Development – Gary Pohl

Regarding the $100,000 budget target, that is not all direct construction costs there are other costs to consider, including fire marshal and permitting costs that could be up to several thousand dollars. Plus, the actual balance of the grants we are required to spend is $63,664 from the state and around $29,000 remaining from the Borough. When we submit the plans we can revise the $5000 that had been designated for some related costs and apply the full grant to construction.

We need to work carefully on developing the budget, including contingency, and scale back the construction if needed to keep in budget. We need to clearly have an idea of available grant funds and other available funds by working with the Finance Committee and the grant expenditure ledgers.

Gary will draft a straw budget for the current target ($93,310.03) less any  other grant-related expenses as updated by the Finance Committee.

Schedule: Spring bid, summer construction
The design is done and the schedule for getting this to bid should be on time

Project Management:
Project manager- This is a big need and someone who is experienced is necessary. Costs should be considered.

Project accounting – clear accounting for the project need established

Levels of Authority and Protocol – make clear who has signing authority and project authority

Procurement –
Gary previously offered to work on the bid documents as a donation of his time, but there is a little hickup. The terms of his contract with Samtec after USKH’s buyout limit any competition he could be engaged in. USKH’s former General Counsel advises that Gary work under Samtec for legal coverage. The details are still being discussed. But look positive. The intention is still to provide volunteer services, just with coverage. It also provides a continuity of the project within the firm even under new ownership without risking Gary’s retirement. (e.g. work as a retired temp employee with Samtec for no compensation and offer the services to JTEL free of charge.)

Items under procurement in the agenda need not be discussed tonight in detail but represent the thoughts of Gary so far:
1. Delivery Method: Design/Bid/Build
2. Bidders: Invitation to Bid (select) vs. Advertisement for Bids (open)
3. Documents: Recommend AIA Document A105-2007 Owner/Contractor Agreement – Residential or Small Commercial Project as streamlined basis for general provisions and contract
4. Bonding Considerations:
1. Bid
2. Performance
3. Labor and Material Payment
5. Insurance Considerations:
1. Statutory
2. General Liability
3. Builders Risk
6. Drawings: USKH final professionally sealed set as basis
7. Specifications: Combination of CSI format documents and specifications on drawings

JTEL’s procurement policy needs review first. Everyone should review current policy and work on editing them if needed and or applying them to the bid project. Simplicity and streamlined paperwork are goals.

Current policy was written by Meritt Helfferich around 2010 based on federal standards and was approved by the board in place at the time.  The board did revise at one point to emphasize local preference.

Deirdre will look for the Word doc version of the policy and share with the committee.

Discussion of Efforts toward New Grant Proposals
Gary brought in an example of a tracking document format for grants research and strategy.  There are many considerations and details to consider.  Can be used to help format a tracking spreadsheet for our grant seeking and time tracking.
Monique will work on developing a spreadsheet for the grant tracking based on the examples provided.  Ideally as a Google document. Monique will explore and set-up.  Once the tool is developed we can enter in the details of all current efforts and information to date.

Pick.Click.Give. –
Last year we received more than $1000. The money is designated to the Capital Campaign.
We need someone to do marketing for the Pick.Click.Give. program. Deirdre asked a few of the people with some web/Facebook history if they would take it on (Monique, Jasmine, Amanda) but no one has stepped up to organize yet. Deirdre is receiving the paperwork still currently but does not want to be involved in the publicity.

Publicity and Public Relations are a part of the grant seeking process in that many granting institutions like to seek out projects: they can’t be applied for, your project needs to be “found” by the entity. This means we have to be noticeable.

Our distinctive passive haus design is one area that could be pushed for that purpose.

Marketing and social media needs to be a board level discussion and delegation.
Grants Committee needs to be focused on finding money, developing applications and managing the paper work.

What to present to board:
1. Establishment of a budget
2. Gary’s retirement/contract considerations
3. Procurement policy review and update
4. Report on grant tracking tool
5. Need for non-cash asset inventory

Proposed agenda item for board: marketing, social media management
Collaboration with Finance Committee for assessment of “non-cash” assets
Email from Mindy, working on complete financial report especially non-cash assets, what items and values should be considered, needs to be worked on as a specific project. The origin of numbers used in the reports is a little unclear.

Need to create a list of all non-cash assets: property, shelves, inventories (difficulty of valuing the books) – designate individuals to focus on different areas of inventory

Member Items:
Deirdre – will follow up on Borough
Work on plan with Gary for the bid package and plans
Figure out descriptions of the grants currently researched

Once we have the tracking tool we can  populate with the grant information already researched so far.

Next meeting:  by following the  first Wednesday pattern, the next meeting would be February 3, 2016

Adjourn: 7:30

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December 13 Grants Committee minutes

Dec. 13, 2015

Grants Committee Meeting
5:15 start

Deirdre Helfferich
Monique Musick
Gary Pohl (5:30)
Barb O’Donnell (6:00)

Deirdre contacted the state grants office and got the State Appropriation extended until Dec. 31, 2016. We just need to submit an explanation of why it hasn’t been expended yet, and what the timeline for utilization will be. Can submit in writing; email is sufficient.

Monique – wants to focus on operating funds/payroll options as opposed to construction only grants. The biggest gap in the business plan is covering compensation. In addition, she will look for ways, such as Vista Volunteers, to fill in needed staffing.

What’s the best way to research grants?
Multiple websites, Foundations, individual training programs and grants web pages

Reviewed DLA grant expenditure history. Not very much has been spent.

Deirdre has been advised against getting a construction loan and paying it back with the state funds. It could be seen as questionable money management. Instead we were able to get the deadline extended. The money from prior reimbursements should be reserved for construction.

Gary spoke more with the structural engineers. Some provisions will be necessary for building the water tank prior to the rest of construction, namely water-proofing around the tank to keep water out. There will need bracing to constrain the sidewalls.

Caitlin Frye, State grant administrator, agreed to extend the appropriation through December. Once we submit the paperwork. We can give the board official notice Tuesday.

Need to report expenditures to the board.
Would be good to go to the borough and provide a report on the expenditures. It would be best to do that soon. Contact is Shellie Severa. Deirdre will request an extension from them as well. They will also likely want information on the delay and plans to expend the funds. Explain that we are now going for a phased approach in order to use what we have while we work on raising the rest of the funds.

Grantsmanship Center,
Membership costs are fairly high: 1-year $495, 2-years $695 3-years $795
They also have training available. They assist with reviewing grants.

There are other less expensive forums and services. Seems best to wait until our business is all straightened out and we are ready to actually apply for grants. It’s a lot to spend if we don’t get use from it.

State sent a new handbook update for the appropriation management. Not much different than it was before. Gives information on grant administration, project management and documentation. There are two changes: now we must provide a financial progress report along with project report. The handbook lists additional documents that they want to have submitted.

Potential new grants

Toms of Maine, $20,000 – Sitka recently received it. One award per state per year.

Pick.Click.Give. funds have been going to the capital campaign for the past two years. The use is part of the description on the website. Would we want it to go to the endowment? Bring that up to the board.

Barb –

Glaydis Brooks Foundation – Past recipients have been primarily East Coast

Kresgie Foundation – very specific funding, not sure we match

Placid Foundation – not much information

Laura Bush Foundation funds libraries

National Home Library

Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation

Carnegie Whittney

Ideas: Kinross Gold, Usibelli, Pogo

Contact North Pole library about their recent expansion. Did they get any grant funding? Through whom?

BP is currently being worked on. Was a recommendation from Beigich’s office.
Smaller amounts, less than $100,000

Paul Allen Foundation – fund in multiple areas including community, libraries
Carla had been working on this one, researching requirements

Berry Foundation – were having business changes last time Carla researched them

Contact Jim Moody – he’s shown interest in the new place, historic Ester connection

Consider Department of Energy because our passive haus design is pretty cutting-edge.

We are going to have a hard sell. It is hard to ask for $40,000 for example when there is so much more we need to raise. We will need to have a funding plan, some way of showing our plan for getting the rest.

Murdoch has put us through initial screening, but want us to have 40% to apply

Rasmusen prefers to fund at the end- for completing projects

Set up a chart with the various agencies, foundations and what is required from each to apply. Will help provide the framework for a funding strategy.

Do some specific funding drives, like for the masonry heater

Online options: indigogo, gofundme, kickstarter
Crowdsourcing options

Had a successful indigogo campaign for the stained glass replacement. Still have some money for hiring a laborer to do the install

Deirdre will work on a spreadsheet for tracking the grant information

Gary will send some examples

Once we have an invoice they can advance the payment as necessary

If the board approves the idea of doing the first phase, then there will be some work to prepare the design, bid package, etc.

Check the requirements for RFP, bids, we can get a few bids without going for public announcements

We should review and update our procurement policies and procedures – Monique

Base it on the state guidance

We should address the board with the following:

  • Time extension for State Grant
  • Signing authority for Deirdre should be part of the checking account
  • Tank first phased construction – Gary will present

Adjourn 6:43

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Pick.Click.Give. when you file by March 31st and be entered to win an extra PFD. Ten lucky Alaskans who share part of their PFD through Pick.Click.Give will be given an extra dividend.

Check out the link for more info.

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