BMHA MEETING MINUTES, April 13, 2017
Members Present: John Rinehart, Donna Brownlee, Jan Petersen, John Brinlee (ex officio)
New Members to be voted in: Nichole Boggs, Bob Rynearson
New Members to be voted in but not present: Mary Petersen
Barkin’ Basement Manager: Dana Rynearson
Meeting called to order 6:15 PM
A. Election of new members, election of Treasurer
B. Financial report (John Brinlee); Barkin’ Basement Report (Dana Rynearson); clean-up of existing accounts w/respect to whose name is on them
C. Revision of existing policies---discussion and vote
D. Establishing a low-income spay/neuter assistance fund
E. Potential Grant opportunities
II. Election of new members
Bob Rynearson, Nichole Boggs, and Mary Petersen were nominated for membership. Nichole volunteers at the rescue one day a week and has been putting together the financial reports, and is willing to serve as Treasurer. Bob Rynearson has been in contracting and construction for many years, and his experience and expertise will be invaluable in maintenance and identifying priority items for upgrade/repair to the building as well as the Barkin’ Basement. Mary Petersen is a vet tech and would bring valuable veterinary experience to the operation and to the board. All 3 individuals were voted onto the Board unanimously.
III. Financial report:
John Brinlee presented a report on income and outgo for the Rescue to help in budgeting. He first noted that we did get our first contractual check from the County, but we were not paid the $27.00/dog/day up to 5 days that they were providing prior to the contract going into effect, so he needs to remind them of that and get the amount to them.
John Brinlee said that our income for 2016 was $72, 896.61; the expenses amounted to $117,624.01, but that does not include some payroll that will increase that expense total. John Rinehart noted that this expense number is inflated because it includes the first months of 2016, before drastic cost-cutting measures had to be effected because reserves were running dry and a contract had still not been finalized. BMHA will be getting $5,000.00 back from the State in taxes, so that will change the numbers a little. Nevertheless, now that expenses have been cut back and we are receiving funding from the County, John Brinlee estimates that we will be running in the black for 2017 and beyond, as long as the contract with the county continues.
Donna Brownlee asked how many paid employees are at the Rescue. John Brinlee replied that there is one full-time kennel person and two part-time employees, one working the front desk and the other helping with kennels. Essentially, aside from John Brinlee’s Director stipend, there are only 2 full-time equivalents, and those are paid at minimum wage. Nevertheless, payroll continues to be our largest expense due to other payroll expenses, such as Social Security taxes, that must be included by the employer.
Moreover, the Rescue received 2 large donations, one for $64,000.00 and the other for $10,000.00, John noted also that he got a call from an Insurance Company in Baker, suggesting a partial dividend from a life insurance policy. These funds are welcome, as they will allow us to perform critical maintenance and repairs on the building and start rebuilding a reserve for emergencies. Donna Brownlee noted that we did have to use a significant amount of the $64,000.00 donation just to remain open in light of the lack of a contract with Union County.
John Brinlee has also been in contact with a Portland philanthropist who works with non-profits and is very interested in working with the Rescue to obtain additional grants, donations, and additional sources of funding.
John Rinehart said that, now that the Board has a Treasurer, it would be good to prepare and post quarterly financial reports on the web site. Donna Brownlee and Jan Petersen noted that posting is not required by any State Law, which was acknowledged by the Board, but John Rinehart stressed that it would help to allay suspicions among the public as to where the money is coming from and where it is going. Moreover, the Board believes it would surprise many people to see how much it actually costs to run a rescue just in personnel costs and utilities.
Dana Rynearson presented a report on the Barkin’ Basement. Donna Brownlee noted at the outset that Dana has really turned things around and deserves high praise for her efforts. The store is neat, clean, well-managed, well-organized, and continues to garner high praise from people who shop there. Dana then said that the overall gross receipts for the store in 2016 was $41, 639.20, not including donations. Deducting expenses, that leaves a profit of $9,000.00, which then is used to help run the Rescue. Dana also presented a summary of the first quarter’s gross receipts this year as compared to last year. In 2016, Quarter 1 grossed $12, 327.45, and this year the store has grossed $9, 203.80. Dana and Donna both noted that this is likely due to the fact that Winter of 2017 has been much harsher than Winter of 2016 was, and indeed every retailer in town has been reporting reduced sales over the same period this year as compared to last year. Finally, Dana noted that April 1-8 this year grossed $1,215.30, while last year the same period grossed $1,297.35, so it’s very nearly the same, and we anticipate that sales will continue to be strong.
Dana also wants to schedule another Store-wide half-price sale, but the date has not yet been decided.
John Brinlee then discussed the accounts. The Umpqua Bank account holds both the payroll account and the BMHA account, and the ARC account is held at US Bank. John needs to revise the names on those accounts, as some people named as accessors are no longer with the Board. Therefore, Nicki Cribbs, Wendy Case, and Jeff Allen need to be removed from these accounts as a matter of securing the funds and performing cleanup on who has access. Board approved this action unanimously.
John Rinehart noted that there should be a secondary signer on all checks for payroll and all checks over $500.00. It was suggessted that this should be either the President or the Treasurer. Board approved unanimously.
With respect to prioritizing maintenance and possible upgrades, Bob Rynearson needs to meet with John Brinlee and tour the Rescue to see first-hand what repairs need to be made and to prioritize which of those are most urgent. Upon doing so, Bob will report back to the Board regarding his findings.
IV. Possible revision of existing policies:
Donna Brownlee asked if the Rescue wants to have a home trial period. This has been problematic in the past because people will take the animal and sometimes refuse to give it up, in addition failing to pay the adoption fees. If we continue a home trial period, we need to require a deposit consisting of at least half of the adoption fee up front, before the animal leaves the Rescue, to prevent theft of the animals as has sometimes happened in the past.
Donna also asked if we want to resume allowing people to enter into a payment contract. John Brinlee argued strongly against it, as so many people have defaulted on contracts in the past and it is very difficult to collect from them. The Board agreed. In addition, this must be a universal policy; the Rescue cannot offer a payment arrangement for one person and not for another.
V. Setting up a fund to assist low-income households with spay/neuter costs.
There is enthusiasm for setting up such a program. A donor has been identified who will donate $2,500.00-$5,000.00 IF the public will match the money. If this gets set up (it has not at this time), then 1) there MUST be an application, fashioned along the same lines as other such assistance programs that are present at other rescues, and 2) the fund would only pay a portion of the cost unless verifiable documentation of extreme hardship can be provided.
The fund will NOT provide spay/neuter assistance for feral cats. Only pets may qualify.
Donna then discussed some of the possible grants we might apply for, including a grant from Bissell, PetSmart (Save our Shelter is included here).
The Rescue has run out of microchips, and for a while we have not been providing them. John Rinehart argued strongly that we need to start chipping again if we can get the chips for a decent price (in bulk), because chips are one of the best ways to identify owners and reunite them with their animals. The Board did not vote to start chipping again, but will look into pricing and will likely vote to start chipping again.
Meeting adjourned 7:06PM