UPDATED: Info on Special Congregational Meeting – Sept 28

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Information and Call to a Special Congregational Meeting for September 28, 2014

Updated with motions and rationale on 25 September 2014

Call to Meeting

Members of the Storrs Congregational Church are called to a Special Meeting, Sunday September, 28, 2014, immediately following the worship service to:
  1. act on a request from the Board of Properties to use funds from the Major Projects Reserve Fund to address roof repair needs;
  2. act on proposed adjustments to the 2014 operating budget from the Board of Finance;
  3. act on a motion by the Church Council that the Bylaws Of The Storrs Congregational Church, Inc., United Church Of Christ be amended as follows (all edits in bold with deleted words struck-through and added words underlined & italic):
    Article IX. Boards of the Church
    Section 1. Membership and Election
    Each Board shall have six members elected by the Church for three-year terms, two members to be elected each year. Upon completion of a two full terms or their equivalent in consecutive years, a Board member shall not be eligible for election to the same Board until one year has elapsed. All Board members must be members or associate members of the Church.

As these motions each come from a ‘committee’, no second is required. A two-thirds affirmative vote is required for the motion to amend the Bylaws to carry.

Motions & Rationale/Background

#1:  a request from the Board of Properties to use funds from the Major Projects Reserve Fund to address roof repair needs

Formal Motion:
MOVED by the Properties Board that $49,100 be authorized used from the Major Projects Fund for roof and gutter repairs.

The Properties Board chair, Rich Cowles, has provided the following background/rationale:

For many years, the SCC has worked with a roof maintenance contract with a limited budget.   It is now apparent that our previous roofing contractor conducted many substandard temporary repairs.  Some of these patches have led to long-standing leaks and water damage to roof decking.  Dripping of water onto ceilings has been a cause of paint peeling on the ceiling of the Meeting House.

The Education Building has a flat roof at the peak, above the area of the visible slate roof.  This roofing is about 50 years old, and is starting to leak above Room 201.

Finally, the long gutter along the Education Building is coming apart at the solder joints, and is allowing water to enter the building.  Replacement of this gutter is an involved process, including removing two courses of slates, installation of new ice dam barrier, and reinstallation of a new copper gutter of a heavy construction.

We have the following quotes:

  1.  Parish House  – $ 2,250
    • 38 slates need replacing
    • Clear and clean gutter
    • Secure loose crown molding
  2. Education Building (slate work) – $13,130
    • 18 slates need replacing
    • Replace gutter on front of building
  3. Meeting House – $ 3,920
    • Replace 60 slates
    • Patch gutters
  4. Education Building (flat roof work) – $29,800
    • Tear off and replace flat roofing
    • Masonry repointing at coping stones

It is my opinion that these are all needed repairs.  We currently have quotes from two companies on complementary aspects of this work.  Additional quotes have not been submitted in a timely manner, and I believe that we need to proceed with the highly respected companies that have provided us quotes.  Once properly functioning, we will be better able to prevent further damage to our buildings from water intrusion.

Richard S. Cowles, on behalf of the Properties Board

#2: proposed adjustments to the 2014 operating budget from the Board of Finance

Formal Motion:
MOVED by the Finance Board that the 2014 Operating Budget, adopted by the congregation in meeting assembled 1 December 2013, be amended by:

• increasing the appropriation for the senior pastor health/dental insurance (account 5313) by $489; and
• increasing the aggregate appropriation for the Board of Finance by $2,676.


The adjustment in the Board of Finance’s total appropriation represents an unforeseen increase in property and liability insurance premiums imposed on us by our insurance carriers since the current budget was approved last December; the Treasurer and Finance Board are in the process of seeking quotes from other carriers in the hope of lowering our premiums for next year, but the costs for this year have already been incurred.  The adjustment in the health insurance costs for the senior pastor represents a budgeting error on the Personnel Committee’s and Board of Finance’s part as the 2014 budget was originally being prepared.

#3: Bylaws Amendment

Formal Motion is as appears in the Call to Meeting above.

The Church Council voted to forward this motion to Congregational Meeting on September 2, 2014. The proposed amendment to the bylaws comes at the request of the Nominating Committee. The matter of a member of a standing board who shows skill and continuing interest in that board’s respective ministry area being able to continue in service on the same board has been raised numerous times previously.

It should be noted that significant changes in our congregation’s governance, and corresponding changes in the structures for ministry-area leadership, are currently under development by our Governance Task Force. First implementation of the proposed shifts is likely to happen during the 2015 calendar year. Thus, in this time of impending structural shifts, this proposed bylaws amendment is seen as prudent to allow the Nominating Committee to complete their necessary work for the immediate term in a more efficient manner, since the current structures still need to be staffed for the time being.

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