Report from the Congregational Meeting on 9/16

by Elayne Leonelli

On Sunday, Sept. 16th at our Congregational Meeting, the Short Range Planning Task Force presented 2 items for a Congregational vote. The first concerned adding solar to our building. The Task Force had invited Brent McDevitt from Apex Solar to answer any questions congregants might have regarding our possible solar project. There were a variety of questions asked and answered. Brent also discussed the issue we have as a non-profit. We are not eligible for the 30% Federal tax credits and the 25% State tax credits.

The Apex estimate we received is for a $27,189 solar project. We do get about a $3,000 NYSERDA grant and we have $5,915 of donations given in memory of John Davis that have been designated for a solar project. Using those funds, we would still have a balance of $18,196 to pay. Brent explained that if any congregants were willing to “invest” money for the project, they would be able to get the benefit of the tax credits on their income tax. If some congregants would like to “invest” in the project, but are unable to contribute more than a few dollars, we would be willing to accept $1, $5, $10, etc., and add that money to the John Davis memorial donations to help reduce the amount of money needed from larger investors. At this point some congregants have made pledges of about $12,000 toward the $18,196 project which is wonderful and very much appreciated!! We anticipate there may be a few more who might be able to add to this number. The members moved and voted to “proceed with the Apex Solar plan while looking at possible [congregant] investments for funding the project”.

The second item the Task Force presented concerned the possible rental of part of the Religious Education area. Some renovations might be needed and the Task Force had one estimate. Questions and discussion followed. It was felt we should seek possible renters before we do any renovations. The members moved and voted “to put a plan into action for the committee [Task Force] to proceed ahead with the endeavor of trying to get renters for the space, and table the renovation aspect for a later time.”

~ Elayne Leonelli