a.Financial Committee - Vikki Reski provided
2014/2013 Bank Summaries (see attached).Ending bank balances as of May 31, 2012 were:$1,267.51 checking, $39,436.98 savings,
b.Acquisitions Update – Dale Bertoldi reported
that WLT closed on the 45-acre Hawk Hill Farm on April 23, 2015.A 1-year lease has been executed with a farmer
who will pasture Scottish Highland Cattle on the fields.For longer term use of the property, a
community committee is being formed to review all farmer applicants and to design
a rolling 5-year lease that would begin in 2016 after the expiry of the 1-year
lease.Trails open to the public will be
maintained on the property.More
immediately, WLT needs to raise money to rehabilitate the barn.We will need approximately $60,000 in total;
our near-term goal is to raise half of that amount by October, 2015. This will
enable us to stabilize the barn for winter use by the farmer.Chip Caton is chairing the “Save the Barn”
Campaign; contact Chip at email@example.com
if you’d like to help in any way.
c.Stewardship Update – Vikki Reski provided an
update on Lisa Lane Farm.A number of
groups including the Land Trust have partnered to set up 15 new Community
Garden Plots at Lisa Lane,
all of which have been rented for the season.Kevin Gough followed Vikki’s report with a progress report on Thrall
Farm.Our Farm Partner, Newgate Farms,
is on track (by the terms of the equity lease) to own the property within the
next several years.Kevin confirmed that
WLT will retain a conservation easement on the property ensuring that it
remains agricultural in perpetuity.
d.Upcoming Events – Our next event will be “It
All Happened on the FarmingtonRiver” on July 1st.We are cosponsoring this presentation by Dr.
Eileen Fielding with Prosser Library.Future
events will be announced in our e-newsletter.
e.CapacityBuilding – Dale
reported that At&T had withdrawn its Van Otterloo Cell Tower land-rental proposal
due to the inability to negotiate terms with the MDC. AT&T required a
right-of-way from the MDC to access the rear portion of the Van Otterloo parcel.The Board requested a motion from membership
to investigate the option of selling one or two properties that are building
lots.These properties were donated to
the Land Trust with no restrictions.Proceeds
would be used to build the Land Trust’s reserves.That motion was made, seconded, and passed
a.Review and Discussion of Proposed Amendment -
Paula Jones provided a brief explanation of and rationale for the proposed amendment
(see page 3).
b.Member vote on motion to approve changes - A
motion to approve the proposed amendment passed unanimously.
3.Election of Directors
a.Vikki Reski and Doris Johnson are stepping
down from the Board.Since Doris works
for the CT DEEP, and the Land Trust has applied for several grants funded
through the DEEP, Doris thought it would be
prudent to step down to avoid potential conflict-of-interest issues.Vikki is stepping down after many years of
dedicated service on the Board, first as Secretary and more recently as Acting
Treasurer.Vikki hopes to be able to
spend more time on Land Trust stewardship.She also recently accepted a position on AuerFarm’s Board, and hopes to
foster collaboration between the two non-profits.
b.A motion was made to elect the slate of nominees
as presented.The motion passed
4.New Business – There was no new business.
5.Adjournment of Member Annual Meeting – Member
meeting adjourned at 7:25 p.m.
6.After a social gathering with desserts and
beverages provided by Seabury, WLT
DirectorJimTrail kicked off the programming portion
of the evening.Jim talked about the
synergies he found between his volunteer activities as a Seabury resident and
as a Land Trust Director.Our guest
speaker, Julie Victoria, then provided an interesting presentation on the
revision of Connecticut’s
Wildlife Action Plan.Information is
also available at www.ct.gov/deep/WildlifeActionPlan
Amendment to Wintonbury Land Trust, Inc. Bylaws
Wintonbury Land Trust Board adopted its current “Code of Ethics and Conflict of
Interest Policy” on April 21, 2013.We
should include a reference to this policy for handling conflicts of interest in
our Bylaws to be consistent with Land Trust Alliance Standards & Practices.
language in the proposed new Article VII (below) is identical to that in
Hartland Land Trust’s Bylaws, and was provided to them by an attorney.Diane Mack reviewed this language for
Wintonbury Land Trust, and indicated that she found it satisfactory.We reviewed the CT General Statute and IRS
references cited in the proposed Article VII, and we believe our current COI
policy is compliant with the referenced state and federal
Changes to the Bylaws (last amended June 18, 2014):
1.Insert a new Article VII to read as follows:
Trust shall adopt procedures to assure that any potential “Director’s
Conflicting Interest Transaction” as that term is defined in Section 33-1127 of
the Connecticut General Statutes, or any potential “Excess Benefit Transaction”
involving a “Disqualified Person,” (including a Director or Officer of the
Trust) as those terms are defined in Section 4958 of the Internal Revenue
Service, shall only be undertaken after the requisite disclosure,
determinations and voting by Directors of the Trust as provided in Sections
33-1129 and 33-1130 of the Connecticut General Statutes and under any relevant
regulations of the Internal Revenue Service.
Board shall adopt a conflict of interest policy, and review it at least
annually.The policy shall prohibit
violation of the above state and federal statutes and regulations.
2.Renumber existing Articles VII through XIII
(i.e., renumber as Articles VIII through XIV).
WINTONBURY LAND TRUST – May 13, 2015, Seabury Retirement
Caspersson, JimTrail, Dale Bertoldi, Kevin Gough, Paula
Jones, Vikki Reski, Vic Herson
1.Minutes for the April
8,2015 Board Meeting were approved.
2.There were no additions to the agenda.
3.The 2015 draft Budget was approved (see below) with one change; $5,000
of additional funding for Thrall stewardship was removed and will be deferred
to the 2016 Budget.
4.The Board approved a proposed Bylaw Amendment regarding the Land Trust’s
Conflict of Interest policies and procedures.The Board will recommend to the membership that this amendment be
approved by the membership at the Annual Meeting on June 10th.
1.Hawk Hill Property – The
closing was April 23rd.We
discussed launching a “Save the Barn” campaign; Dale estimates we’ll need at
least $40,000 to $45,000.Sten, Dale,
Vic, and Chip will form a Committee to begin work on this initiative.Dale also reported that our 1772 Foundation
Grant application for stabilization funds for this barn was rejected.
1.Updated insurance will
include Hawk Hill, with the additional cost paid from general operating
funds.Vikki applied for a 2014 (990
form) tax filing extension to August 15th.
2.April 30, 2015
balances:$13,308.70 in checking; $39,429.11
in savings; $39,047.63 in restricted funds.
3.There was general
discussion about the Treasurer duties as described in the Bylaws.There was general agreement that the
Treasurer should not be responsible for maintaining the membership
forms/dues are sent to the Treasurer, but we do not yet have a Membership
Committee Chair for the Treasurer to hand the information off to.We do not have a solution at present, but
will collectively work to keep the database updated until we have a Membership
Chair.Kevin and Paula offered to help
as best they can in the interim.
4.Board members and
Committee Chairs are responsible for managing their expenses for projects to
the amounts budgeted in the approved 2015 Budget, attached below.
1.Annual Meeting on June
10th – Paula will submit articles to the Hartford Courant’s MyTowns and to the Bloomfield Messenger publicizing the
meeting.Seabury has generously agreed
to provide the refreshments (and space) at no charge.
Seabury on May 9th –Paula, Chip, and JimTrail’s
presentation on the Land Trust was well received.Our host was Seabury’s In Support of
Democracy (ISOD) group, whose members asked many thoughtful questions about our
properties and activities.
3.Celebrate Bloomfield (5/30 to 6/7)
– The Land Trust is set for our Trails Day hikes in conjunction with Celebrate
Bloomfield week.Sten offered to staff
the Land Trust table at the SacredHeartChurch
concert on June 5th.
1.Board positions – We
will follow up with Sharon Mann regarding her interest in serving a trial
2.Membership Drive – We
will run an article in our May newsletter reminding people to renew their
memberships if they have not done so this year.We will also have copies of our new membership brochure available at our
upcoming public events.
Fields:Pending confirmation with John
Stout and Pat Sullivan, a field maintenance work day will be held on May 30th.
2.Lisa Lane:The Community
Garden opened on Mother’s Day.All plots
have been rented.
3.The annual NRCS
inspections of Lisa Lane
and Stout Family Fields are due in June.
a)Next meeting date:Annual Meeting, June 10, 2015, (2nd
Wednesday of the month), 6:30 – 8:30 p.m., Seabury Retirement Community.
Hawk Hill Farm lease – A selection committee including community members and
farm experts will be formed to review the lease applicants for the 2016
season.Dale reported that we may have
an opportunity to sign a short-term lease for the 2015 season.
c)Community Question and
Answer – Sten suggested the Board consider undertaking a “post-it” exercise
session – what is the Land Trust currently as an organization, and what is the
organization that we want.