Minutes – May 13, 2014

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May 13, 2014

City of Danville Voorhees Building


The meeting was called to order at 530 PM by Chairman John Mason

Attendees:  Steve Houghton*, John Linville*, Kevin Fretty*, John Mason*, Darrel Jacobs* Joanna Collum*, Jerry Venute*, Joe Schatz*, Ruth Schatz*,

Steve Lane, David Williams, Brad Wheeler* (interested and agreed to membership on the Leadership Team)

Elisabeth Grzelak* absent due to sudden onset illness.

  • Leadership Team Members

Minutes of December 5 meeting on website: review–old business items-grass, 3 dog rule, clamatis

New Relationship with City of Danville

History, Timeline and Conclusions: JMason

July, 2013 we were informed by Gayle Lewis that since our startup was completed we needed to manage our own financial affairs and she wished to conclude our financial dealings with her office.  I met with Gayle, an accountant, Pat Owens, and the city attorney to investigate our options.  None of them sounded as good as our present arrangement. We hoped that we could continue as we were by minimizing our requests for money and re-structuring our accounting.. However that was not the total problem.  Short term accounting solutions were not adequate.

On March 12, 2014 Gayle arranged a meeting with City to address our situation and the future of Fetch Park. JMason and EGrzelak met with Mayor Eisenhower, Doug Ahrens, Steve Lane and Gayle Lewis in Mayor’s conference room at the City Building. We would not be able to continue as we were and changes had to be made where we would be responsible for our own funds and liability insurance would be necessary (Memorandum of Agreement May 19, 2009 3.” Dog Park Group agrees” B. financial management, E. Liability Insurance.  Examples of City startup help were the Soccer Complex, Horse Shoe Pitching Complex and Youth Football were given and their organizational models discussed.  They felt the Dog Park Group and its Leadership Team had developed a nice asset and requested that we try and continue to operate it.  Mr. Ahrens agreed to assist us in the next steps. Seven meetings were held over the next two months to reach solutions.

  1. Liability  New Business Action Item

DAhens, EGrzelak, JMason met with an insurance agent and discussed costs and what organizational changes would be needed. Cost will be at maximum $900.00 per year. Present organization is adequate.  The web site, minutes, rules are adequate evidence of an organization.  We felt this was the way to proceed and we authorized this.

Discussion: The $1,000.000.00 policy and its purposes along with adding the city was affordable

A motion was made by Brad Wheeler, seconded by KFretty to approve this action. A vote was taken and the purchase of Liability insurance for Fetch Dog Park Group was approved.

Discuss waiver of Liability Form:  A comprehensive waiver of liability form used by another park was reviewed.  A suggestion was made that          we develop a similar form and combine it with our other requirements so that memberships to the park could be obtained by downloading forms-fill out, mail in with appropriate check and be issued a tag by mail.

A motion was made by Ruth Schatz and seconded by Kevin Fretty that we proceed to develop this option for our web site.  A vote was taken and this action approved.

  1. Financial Management New Business Action Item

Volunteer groups raising funds (tag sales, donation) for a specific purpose (maintenance and enhancement of the dog park) can have a Tax ID#.   BUT DONATIONS ARE NOT TAX DEDUCTIBLE.  WE ARE NOT A 5013C  We have applied for and received a Tax ID for Fetch using JMason and SS#.  However to open an account we need two responsible officers and signature for check privileges.  EGrzelak and JMason agree to assume the responsibility of managing this account.and doing all the necessary bookkeeping and recording.

Discussion held and in view of the lack of timetable on Elisabeth Grzelak availability it was felt  that an acting Sec/Treasure should be named.

Motion made by Darrel Jacobs and seconded by Kevin Fretty that John Mason serve as Chairman, Elisabeth Grzelak serve as Sec/Treas and Brad Wheeler serve as acting Sec/Trea

Vote to approve JCMason Chairman,  EGrzelak Sec/Treasure, Brad Wheeler acting Sec/ Treasure as the responsible officers for Fetch Dog Park Checking account was unanimous.  John Mason, Chairman and BradWheeler, acting Sec Treasure will proceed to open a checking account at the north branch of Old National Bank (near Elisabeth).

Management of Fetch Dog Park and Leadership Team going Forward

With the new structure and officers the following was formulated after discussion

Spring (annual) Meeting May

Review finances, insurance and prepare for summer season, maintenance issues, select officers

Fall October

Review season, consider rules, incidents and actions, maintenance

Review finances,? raise fees

March– meeting or communication to determine agenda items for May interest, availability of new Leadership Team members and officers

Old Business              .

Park Layout Issues: _SLane

  1. Some decrease in tall grass area is planned and will be worked out with Kevin Fretty and Jerry Venute (mowers)
  2. Clamatis issue.  The plants while pretty can cause GI upset in dogs so they have been cut down and will be kept down
  3. Bulletin Board: SLane showed his research on the issue and recommended a style 48×39 with plexiglass covering. .  After discussion of the needs a motion was made and approval given for purchase. Steve will purchase, install and then we will reimburse him from our funds.

Estimated cost $1000.00. Liability waiver and membership forms can be posted.

  1. Timeout area JVenute

Could we have an area within our park where dogs could be calmed down or unpredictable dogs allowed to play in a separate area?. One such area might be in southeast area of park where a separate entrance could be arranged. .The discussion concluded that there was no objection to exploring the idea and its costs.  If not too expensive there could be a trial of it. Darrel Jacobs and Jerry will investigate and report back.

  1. Handicap accessibility: improve entrance stability        .

3 dog rule JMason

In the December meeting a member expressed concern that the Park had a rule that was not being followed.  Several members came with more than 3 dogs.  There have not been any issues with these members or their dogs. After discussion of changing rules, exceptions or waivers on request it was decided to drop the rule by changing its wording and intent.  No owner/handler should bring more dogs regardless of temperament than he can responsibly manage.  Where this does not happen discipline can be instituted.  This action was agreed upon by the group so web site and our guidebook will reflect this change. Motion and vote taken to confirm approval of this change.

Maintenance for upcoming season

  1. Mower maintenance needed-battery,   filters, oil change, sharpening.  Since City to shorthanded for this we have an estimate of around $200.00 from B&D.  Darrel will see it is done and present bill to Steve for payment
  2. Weed spraying being done
  3. No fertilizer this spring

Other Business-New or Old

            There is $12,454.23 in the Dog Park Fund with the city.  From that fund we will owe $788.00 for insurance, and $1000.00 for our bulletin board.  Steve Lane will help us with payment arrangements.  The remaining balance will be transferred to our new checking account when arrangements are made with City Finance Officer..  This account will be opened by Chairman John Mason and Brad Wheeler Acting Sec/ Treas.

Adjournment 730 PM

John C. Mason, Jr  Chairman