On Thursday, September 29, we had our first finance council meeting of the new academic year. Below are the highlights:
-We reviewed the fact that the finance council is a consultative body for the pastor, and we explained that we are trying to get back to the recommended three-year term limits for committee members, all-the-while acknowledging the great service of finance council members who have served literally for decades in the recent past.
-We reviewed the balance sheet, profit and loss statement, and the accounts payable report.
-Two council members give a quick review of their internal audit of the last number of months. Every month a couple council members use a diocesan form to check reports and records internally. This was a requirement we started following, as a result of the diocesan audit that happened soon after I arrived.
-We gave an update of various aspects of the Divine Mercy School finances:
= We should realize an additional $33,600 in state funding because of the changes in our tuition structure this year. Anticipated tuition income for 2016-2017 will be $122,200. Last year’s tuition income was $81,458. The new restructuring of tuition, and the Ed Choice scholarship use has made a difference. This will course help to reduce the parish subsidy of the school.
= 47 families have enrolled in FACTS tuition management and need assessment system. Five families still have not enrolled.
= The Rosswurm Golf Scramble Fundraiser Brought in $6778, which will be used to cover student technology fees this year ($25 per student). We are very grateful for all the support for this event from local businesses and individuals.
= Each school in the Diocese has available some $862 per student (dispersed by the Diocese) of ASP funding. This is money that can only be applied for materials that students will directly use. Last year this money was used to purchase the Smart Boards which we installed this past summer into each classroom. [I’ve used these for my classroom visits several times now; and they are awesome! They somehow make me feel more intelligent when I am teaching 🙂 ] Then we purchased various books and materials for students. The reading teacher’s salary is also covered by this money, as well as some of the cost to administrate the ASP fund in our office. The Diocese recently told business managers of parishes to make sure they are aware of this money and how it is being used, so that we take advantage of it as we are able.
= Last month one of the air-conditioning units at the school broke down, a repair which cost us $5,860.
-Regarding the Vocation Endowment, no statement from the Catholic Foundation has been received yet, but the $100,000 (restricted for use only in vocation promotion and support) that was donated by Doris Phlipot was deposited with the Diocese near the end of June. We can expect our first quarterly report in October. Pray for vocations!
-The Antwerp belltower project is very near completion. All that remains to happen is the curing of the plaster in the stairwell, and then the final painting. I am convinced that the single most important improvement is the new louvers in the belltower, with much more depth and overlapping. Stop by and see how much better everything looks.
-All that remains of the Payne rectory razing project is to add another load of dirt, which should happen soon, to fill in where the ground that has settled. Then new grass has to be seeded. We will extend the cement pad beside the Morton building to allow for two clergy parking spaces. This will help immensely with clergy parking during the Mass and during school hours when kids are at recess. Those who are interested in some type of Divine Mercy grotto or a grotto to Our Lady at Payne could start organizing and presenting some ideas.
-The 2016 Beer and Wine Tasting Event at Grant’s Hall raised $5,336, after expenses. Everyone agreed it was a very nice evening for fellowship, all three campuses involved very much! Proceeds will go to improvements at each campus of the parish.
-The pew missals and hymnals are being paid for as follows: the liturgical grant from the diocese – $10,000; money already in the budget for the paper missalettes – $6000; private donations from parishioners – $10,700.
-Recently as we encountered some expenses for the Rosary prayer garden at our Paulding campus, questions arose about money from an account that was specifically for upkeep of the prayer garden, money which was merged with the rest of the parish funds back in 2008 with the merger of the whole parish. I learned that people used to be able to give specifically for the prayer garden upkeep (mulch each year, light bulbs, some gardening materials, etc.), but that stopped once the funds were merged with the rest of the parish funds. Diane Jones is doing a study to figure out whether there is still some money that should be tagged specifically for the prayer garden, since that would be the purpose for which it was given; and the finance council will get a report when we figure that out.
-We addressed some of the current Mission Fund requests: we agreed to give $2,000 to Habitat for Humanity; $3,000 to the Society for the Propagation of the Faith for training clergy in the poorest countries; $1,500 to our local Food Bank; and finally $500 to the IPFW Students for Life group, since we have some parishioners who are students at this college and involved in that group.
-The choir loft risers are built at our Antwerp campus. Carpet is soon to be installed on the risers.
-New chairs will be put in the loft at Antwerp, chairs more appropriate for the liturgy (paid for by the private donation of a parishioner)
-We are looking at some type of small speakers for under the loft at Antwerp, because parishioners complain about how “dead” the sound feels under the loft. We also plan to move the speakers from up behind the risers in the loft to a position more towards the front of the choir loft, so that people in the loft don’t get overwhelmed by the sound of speakers right behind their heads. I am looking for advice from somebody who knows sound systems.
-The garage roof at Antwerp has needed repair for some years now. The new roof will cost $3,582.
-At each campus we are installing keypads on one of the doors (the handicap ramp doors at Antwerp and Payne; and the back Narthex door at Paulding). We will come up with a simple code that parishioners know, so the parishioners can make visits to the Blessed Sacrament even during hours when the doors are normally locked. We are trying to strike a balance between being responsible to avoid vandalism (which has occurred) and still providing access for parishioners’ personal prayer times (precious!). This should even help to avoid some of the juggling that now has to happen with keys for those people who volunteer to clean the parish.
-There was a recent break in the water main going into my rectory. (No water for about 5 days!) This repair cost $492.
-We have had $10,225 designated for a rectory project since even before I arrived over two years ago. This was one portion of a $100,000 gift, given while Father Filman was still here. The rectory seems to have reached a saturation point, where in very little time it can start to smell musty, if it is not air-conditioned in hot weather. But running smaller air conditioners upstairs and downstairs has proven to be pretty expensive. So we decided to use this money towards a Mitsubishi air-conditioner system like the one we just installed at our Paulding campus. There is no duct work currently in the rectory for central air-conditioning, so the Mitsubishi header system makes most sense. The designated funds we already have a cover almost the entire cost of the new system. Overall I think this will save us money, and keep the rectory in better shape.
-We have one quote so far for repairing the Payne church parking lot: $75,000. We will be looking for two more quotes for comparison. The parking lot at Payne is in need of too much repair to simply patch and resurface it. I think we are looking at doing this project in the spring.
-We still have our list of dream repairs – fixing the bells at each campus. Verdin Bell Company out of Cincinnati handles bell repair for many of the parishes in the Toledo Diocese. They quoted us the following for repairs, after examining the bells at each campus: Antwerp – $14,000, Paulding – $9,000, Payne – $17,000.
-Finally, at a recent meeting of deans with the Bishop, it was decided that the Diocese would raise the amount above which a parish has to ask for permission and provide three quotes for a project. For many decades the amount has been $20,000. With inflation over the years, what $20,000 used to purchase is very different from what it purchases today. So the new amount will be $30,000. I am not sure when that new amount will go into effect. We will await the official decree from the Diocese.
Have a blessed week!
In cordibus Iesu et Mariae,