Agenda for Meeting 3/26/09

Agenda for Board Meeting on March 26, 2009

The next board meeting will be at Fellis Jordan’s house, 72 Broadview Road, at 7 pm.

A few minutes of celebration – it looks like we are really going to have a farm!  Thanks again to everyone, especially all of you who have stuck it out through the three long years since we first started writing the proposal.

  • Checklist from Michael Milone for our lease with the town
    • Letters from the state Department of Public Health and Chesprocott saying that our proposal for water management is ok.  (We need to resolve the portable toilet issue with Chesprocott for this to happen, I think.)
    • Get building permits.  Brenda is working on this for the tool shed and veg. prep shed.  I wonder if we need a permit for whatever platform we need to build for a water tank (300 gallon or potentially the larger one from Carmody).
    • Specification of services to be sought, obtained, and paid for by FOBK (e.g. portable toilet) including regular pickup schedule for toilet.
    • Liability agreement for volunteers, public on site, and any damages caused by food items off site.  We already have a liability form for everyone who steps on the site, required by our insurance.  We need to send this form to Milone & staff for review.  I am not sure what is required for damages by food items off site.  I would think this would be covered by our farm liability insurance.  I also talked with Rick Macsuga of the Dept. of Agriculture about becoming something called a “certified food provider.”  I discussed our plans for organic management and water management plan with him, including minimal washing of vegetables on site, and he approved, so I think getting this certification would be no problem and might help.
    • Label and locate water tanks to be used separately for irrigation and hand washing.  This should be no problem – our plan is to have them on opposite ends of the cultivated field.
  • Employment Agreement for Brenda:  I will work on a job description for her and a document describing the responsibilities of the board of FOBK.  I will send it to Brenda for review and also to Ben Alderton (perhaps we should send it to Jeff’s accountant, too.)  We will also need a compensation plan.  What we discussed, and I have described to Brenda, is that we plan to pay her a regular salary that would come from the CSA shareholder fees and the estimated restaurant income.  We need to subtract out the payments we must make to FICA, etc. as her employer, and pay those to the appropriate authority.  I would suggest that the compensation plan take the CSA fees, minus the employer expenses, divide by 12, and pay Brenda that amount monthly.  Then, we also have a clause that says if we expand to 10 more shareholders, we add on the appropriate amount starting in August.  And similarly with restaurant income.
  • Treasurer’s report: CSA memberships, donations (monetary and physical), cash in checking account and in the Community Foundation for Greater New Haven.  Taxes paid to state of CT (no taxes owed to Feds).
  • Need to submit form for exemption of state sales tax for farm purchases.
  • Cash flow:  Once we have decided on a plan for paying Brenda, we need to figure out all the items that are essential (such as the portable toilet and the insurance), and those to which we are already committed (repayment to Brenda of NOFA Bulk order and water tank, materials for tool shed).  We then need to figure how much money we need and when, at least through the next few months.
  • Fundraising plans:  We should be able to get the letter out before this meeting.  Susan has the mailing labels, I think, so we need to check over the letter one more time, make copies, get envelopes and stamps, and put it in the mail.  With the article in the Herald and in other local papers, we have about as much local recognition as possible, so we need to get this out while we are on everyone’s mind.  Other plans – Report on Whole Foods Meeting. Dinner at the Farm?  Bicycle event? Follow up with local businesses?  Request for $30 donation from all shareholders (with priority for returning next year).
  • Plans for upcoming work days.
  • Filling post of Secretary.
  • Kathryn Frund, who has signed up for one of the work-intensive CSA shares, would like to document the beginning of the farm in photos and articles.  These could go to the Cheshire Herald, if they are receptive.  I invited her to the board meeting – she is enthusiastic and wants to help.  We could consider recruiting CSA shareholders for the board.
  • Other assistance Brenda needs from the Board.  She asked if a board member might take on the job of scheduling CSA volunteers.  Other assistance in outreach, etc.?

Next meeting:  Regular schedule would put it on Thursday, April 23.

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