On November 15 we had another finance committee meeting. Because I wanted to cover in my bulletin letters the first three weeks of our Marian consecration, the finance committee highlights did not get published right away. Here they are now:
-We reviewed the monthly financial reports: balance sheet, profit and loss statement, Accounts Payable.
-A couple members summarized their internal monthly audit, saying that everything seemed to be in place.
-Regarding the school, 11 Ed Choice scholarships were received, with the first installment of $22,320 (which greatly helps to reduce the parish subsidy of the school).
-In its first quarter since being established, the Divine Mercy Vocation Endowment ($100,000 investment) recognized $1,627 in interest.
-As of this meeting, the Antwerp Moisture Repair project is almost done. There remain only a couple inspections to do, to make sure everything was done according to contract.
-In a meeting some months ago with a couple parishioners overseeing the prayer garden at our Paulding campus, I learned some of the history behind the finances of the prayer garden. They used to be a separate account for the prayer garden, so that people gave money to support it, expenses would clearly be paid from that account. The beef and noodle dinner at the Flatrock Festival used to support the prayer garden, but once the funds were merged, the dinner became a fundraiser for the pro-life activities. Once the parishes merged, that account was merged with the general parish savings, and no more record was kept of the money that was given for that specific purpose. So we researched the situation. We found that the prayer garden account had about $10,500 and it at the time it was merged with the rest of the parish savings. We pulled out all of the expenses that we could see from our records since that time, and it looks like there remains a balance of $3,541 which should have been earmarked clearly for the prayer garden. So that much is now earmarked for the prayer garden, and we will be keeping record of the expenses from now on. We will have a special income line and an expense line that pertains to the prayer garden, since it is an ongoing entity. It looks like we have spent about $500 a year on the prayer garden since the merger. If people feel moved in the future to give towards the upkeep of the prayer garden, we will be able to earmark the income and track the expenses accordingly.
-We looked at what remains of $100,000 anonymous donation given several years ago. There remains about $7,000 that was earmarked for various projects. $6,381 of that was to go for parking lot repair (still to be done at Payne; finished at the other campuses). The remaining total is from the many projects which did not end up costing the full amount set aside for that purpose.
-Participating in the Amazing Parish Conference in March will cost us about $3600. But we are still working to decide exactly how many will go. I think I have an outside source of funding to cover this whole effort. Right now I know of about five other parishes that are committed to attending the conference, as well as the Bishop.
-Regarding the school, we have quite a lot of ASP funding to spend by the end of the school year. This funding is renewed every two years, so we’re at the end of the cycle. We are examining the possibility of purchasing Chrome books for all the students to use at school; also charging cards for them, and carrying cases for those that would probably go home with the older grades.
-Regarding the school, it looks like we’ll get a couple philanthropic donations from a chain store to purchase and install a border around the gravel playground that the students use. Right now we have a few too many scraped knees and elbows, because the gravel that gets kicked out onto the pavement with the kids play basketball and kickball is pretty slippery. A border around the gravel will keep it in place.
-At Antwerp the risers up in the choir loft are ready for carpeting, which will be completed by Tony Wilson. We also received a donation to purchase chairs for up in the loft which are more suited to the liturgy. Those have been ordered. They will include a book rack space for hymnals under each seat.
-I still want to find somebody who can help me address the sound problem up in the loft at Antwerp. I think we need some smaller speakers, which would be placed more towards the front of the loft, so that those up in the loft to seating don’t get blown away by the volume of the speakers right behind their heads. I am also considering small speakers underneath the loft, so that that area doesn’t feel so “dead” soundwise. The contractor who helped me fix the sound problems at our Payne and Paulding campuses is no longer in the area.
-The garage roof at our Antwerp campus is being re-shingled. That quote was for $3,582.
-The gutter guards around the Paulding church are now completed. They look great, and I’m convinced this will keep us from having to clean out the gutters each year (quite expensive task, given that people have to get a man lift in to accomplish that), and it would keep us from future clogs, like those which led to the water damage in the church. The cost for this was $9065. A generous donation covered most of this expense.
-Flooring repair and purchase of shelving and file cabinets is complete for the choir loft at Paulding. Donations of $1,266 helped towards this expense. It looks like we will be able to add significantly more storage space by building storage boxes into the choir risers. We do not have a cost for this yet.
-We have now obtained two quotes for replacing the pavement in the Payne parking lot. A third will be obtained, since both quotes came in about $70,000. The Payne parking lot is in bad enough shape that we cannot simply patch it and resurface it. I envision this project happening next spring. We have already received a couple very generous donations adding up to $21,381 towards this project.
-The keypad lock on the handicap door at Antwerp is finished, so the people can get in outside of Mass times with a simple code. The doors at our churches in Paulding and Payne presented some difficulties, and the requirement for a crash bar on each door. It will cost $2,000 per door to fit them with a keypad lock and a crash bar. Given the usefulness of the keypads, this will be a good investment.
-Given the fight against mildew and mold in the Paulding rectory, I decided to use the money that was set aside from the $100,000 gift some years ago towards the rectory, by installing an air-conditioning system like the one we put into the church. The five window/wall air-conditioners used for a number of years now were not very efficient or cost-effective. The new system cost $11,393, most of which was covered by the $10,225 earmarked from the gift.
-Finally, we shared the good news that the Diocese has decided no longer to tax bequests given to the parish. For some years now, it is been the policy of the diocese to take 5% of any unrestricted gift given to the parish. The Diocese used this for its own commitments to various charities. Now that policy has changed (in the Jubilee Year of Mercy!). The bishop only asked that we put a little bit more effort into supporting the Annual Catholic Appeal.
So there you have the highlights from a very packed finance council meeting!
Have a blessed week!
In cordibus Iesu et Mariae,