Unapproved Minutes of Meeting
Pratt Hall
Wednesday, October 15, 2008 @ 5:30 PM


Board Members and Members Present:    
Scott Perry, Sue Wilson, Marijke Dollois, Pat Farmer, Jo Anne Bennett, Parma Jewett

Scott Perry called the Meeting to order at 5:35 PM.

He thanked everyone present for continuing on the Board with him. He showcased the arrival of “The Crate” delivered by Gary Wetherbee from Ohio. Other items presented were a sheet on reminiscences by Gaston Begnoche about working at Nelson & Hall and two tokens donated by Laurie DeCuicies; these were tokens were used by workers at Nelson & Hall as “money” to purchase items at the company store. The tokens were given to Laurie by Leland Snider.

Show and Tell: 

History Quiz:
    1.     What year were women given the right to vote in the U.S.? – 1920
    2.    When did Vermont ratify the 19th amendment? – 1924 under Gov. Clement

Recognition of visitors:

1.    Minutes of 09/17/08:
    Jo Anne made a Motion, seconded by Pat to approve the Minutes of 09/17/08 as written with the following amendments:
    a)    The date of the Meeting was 09/17/08, not 09/15/08 as shown.

    b)    Show and Tell, item e) correction: the price of $1.50/card is the estimated cost of printing, not the proposed selling price. The estimated cost of printing for the large card is $2.50/card.

    c)    Treasurer’s Report – Heaton House Mortgage:
    Clarification: the mortgage is a 20-year mortgage maturing 12/10/20; the fixed rate of 6.49% is for a 5-year period only maturing 12/20/10.

    d)    Old Business, item B - John Beaty, in addition to Pat and Bill Mc, also volunteered to help clean out the tower.

    The Minutes of 09/17/08 were unanimously approved with amendments as discussed.

2.    Treasurer’s Report of 10/15/08:
        Checking Account    $    5,165.81
        Stained Glass Window Fund CD    5,540.39 @ 1.74% - matures 10/24/08
        Capital Improvement CD    1,867.66 @ 1.74% - matures 12/10/08
        Lalia Pratt Hays Scholarship CD    6,854.58 @ 1.74% - matures 11/06/08
        Heaton House Mortgage     $23,656.01 @ 6.49% fixed until 12/20/10; matures 12/20/20

    The three CD accounts are all invested in “No Catch CD’s”; the interest of the Stained Glass Window Fund will almost double to 3.5% when it matured 10/24/08, and the interest on the other two CD accounts may even be higher at maturity date.  

      Concert series report:  The Vermont Arts Council grant of $1,000 has now been received and Sue reported a profit of $210.54. Great work!

Marijke made a Motion, seconded by Parma to approve the Treasurer’s Report of 10/15/08. The Motion was unanimously approved.

3.    Membership Update:
Marijke reported the following:
    207 members - $ 9,970.00

4.    Old Business:

    A.    Speakers – Scott reported that the Abenaki presentation was well-done; he was somewhat disappointed at the small attendance.

    B.     Pratt Hall/Heaton House – Pat, John and Bill Mc cleaned half of the tower area. The powder post beetles are currently dormant. They will leave signs of the presence in the Spring at which time the tower and basement will be sprayed.

    More cleaning needs to be done. Scott proposed another work day for Saturday, October 18th at 9:00 AM. He will send out an e-mail to the Board and other volunteers.

        Jan Landowski with Bill Mc reviewed the condition of Pratt Hall. It is safe to walk above the ceiling – there are very heavy timber trusses. The west wall is sagging due to rotten sills which could potentially damage the middle stained glass window. Also, timbers have fallen inside the wall and the wall is somewhat bulging outwards. Right now the condition of the wall appears to be stable (no cracks have shown up in the new spackling).

    Jan Landowski estimated the cost of structural repair at $133,000.00. Grants have to be investigated, especially those that do not require matching funds. Bill Mc has a written report on Jan Landowski’s comments which will be posted on the MHS website.

    The Board decided on the following priorities:
        1.    Tower – the repairs could be done with local carpenters and volunteers, thereby minimizing the cost.
        2.    West wall – this is a major and critical job which will require heavy equipment and the oversight of someone who specializes in restoration of old buildings.
        3.    Basement – additional and larger columns with sturdier footings are to be placed; local carpenters could do this work.

    C.    New Board Members – No further report.

    D.        Butler Decorative Cloth –No further report.

    E.    Cards – Scott and Marijke will work on a selection of photographs to be used for sets of notecards and check out local printers for cost estimates. Hopefully one set will be ready before Christmas.

    F.    Mortgage principal reduction – No further action.

    G.        Candles and Carols – December 21st – the date has been confirmed with Andrew Massey. The Board discussed Andrew’s proposal of a “concert-like” event, but preferred to keep the same format as in the past. Marijke asked for someone to take the responsibility in finding story tellers; Scott will ask Lisa Perry and Sue will contact Jackie Kaufman and Kathleen McCloskey. Marijke will check into printing songbooks – she has a sample of what has been used in the past. Parma will provide refreshments and Noela and Marijke the decorations.

    H.     Marion Towle project – no further report.
    I.    Old maps project – no further report.

5.    New Business:
    A.    Scott reported that the League of Local Historical Societies will hold their annual awards program on November 7th in Bellows Falls. He has submitted three nominations – one for Sue Wilson to recognize her long service as Treasurer and volunteer; Steve Hays for his concert series program promoting the use of Pratt Hall, and one for the MHS in the Exhibits category.

    B.    Rosanna (Deuso) Brunton has been interviewed by Jo Anne.

    C.    The November 19th meeting will be held at the Public Safety Building in Montgomery Center at 5:30 PM.
6.    Adjourn: 
        Parma moved and Pat seconded a motion to adjourn at 6:35 P.M.  Said motion passed unanimously.

Respectfully submitted,
Marijke M. Dollois