Parish Council Minutes January 17, 2013

St Clare Parish Council Minutes

January 17, 2013

  1. In Attendance: Margie Stelzer, Tom Karasienski, Bob Rucker, Fr. Michael Flanagan, Charlie Homa, Diane Zekind 
  1. Opening Prayer: Fr. Michael 
  1. Reviewed and approved November minutes 
  1. Schedule for Council Members at Mass
    1. January 20: Bob
    2. January 27: Margie
    3. February 3: Tom
    4. February 10: Jon Pryor
    5. February 17:  Julie Lebrun 
  1. Pastor’s Report
    1. Lent & Easter: Ash Wednesday February 13

11 a.m.: St. Joseph Hospital

Noon: Possibly Berea College

5 p.m.: Mt. Vernon

6 p.m.: Ash Service at McKee

7 p.m.: St. Clare

    1. Ministry Fair: Scheduled for next fall in September or October
    2. Adult Education Series: 4 classes on Vatican II in March, April or May
    3. Apartment RentalSee attached document “House Rental, Berea”.

Council reviewed the attached document on house rental and Finance Council’s letter of approval for new living quarters for Fr. Michael. After little discussion, Charlie moved, Tom seconded and council unanimously approved a motion for Fr. Michael to proceed with renting his top pick, 100 Rockcastle St. Apt.

    1. Fish Fries: Julie is no longer able to run the Lenten fish fries. Bob agreed to ask the men’s cooking group to take leadership in organizing and running them. We need servers. Bob will ask the Knights of Columbus if they would be willing to help. Fr. Michael will talk to John Roche to see if the Newman Club is interested. 
  1. Old Business: Fellowship Hall Security

Introduction: Our present key security system has been a long standing security risk with anyone, parishioner or otherwise, having easy access to the parish hall. Fellowship hall has been found unlocked and with no one on-site on several occasions. This problem has been an on-going conversation among council members and parishioners.

Proposal: Diane proposed that we mount a key safe on the rear of the F.H., re-key the locks and institute a key sign-out system through the parish office. Copies of the new keys would be distributed to committee chairs and other leaders of the church and an up-to-date record kept of who has copies. The rest of the parish would have access to the F.H. using the key from the safe. The key safe access code would occasionally be changed to maintain security. Council approved this proposal.

Communication: Fr. Michael and council agreed that circulating this change effectively to parishioners is a priority. Diane agreed to place a notice in the bulletin and on the St. Clare blog.

  1. Committee/Group Reports
    1. Youth: No report
    2. Finance – 2012-13 Budget & Actuals – Larry Sabo who was to attend meeting was unable to make it. Finance committee is working to be more transparent by circulating regular reports.
    3. Peace/Justice
      • Before Christmas in cooperation with Union Church, hosted a community alternative gift fair as well as sponsored an alternative gift display table at the Christmas Bazaar.
      • May host a simple meal and discussion on a social justice issue during lent.
    4. Music – New keyboardist at Saturday mass.
    5. Liturgy
      • Need new liaison person from P.C.
      • Attendance was notably low at Christmas. Parishioners have been moving out of the parish. Committee will be meeting to discuss if something can be done liturgically to more fully engage the congregation.
    6. Building/Maintenance
  • Green House: Council agreed that we need to take steps to decide what can/should be done with the green house. Diane with meet with Berea Codes Dept. to discuss what uses are allowed under zoning regulations. Bob is also interested in being present at that discussion.
  • Committee will meet to talk about wants and needs for a rectory, office and meeting spaces.
    1. Hispanic Community
      • Communication between Fr. Michael and the Hispanic Community has been sketchy. Fr. is working on ways to improve that.
      • Spanish mass attendance has increased.
      • Discussed integrating more bi-lingual liturgies and possibly inviting Fr. Eulices to co-celebrate upcoming masses. (i.e. Easter)
    2. Newman Club– Fr. Michael has plans to begin offering Sunday evening mass on campus
    3. St. Clare Guild–Christmas bazaar made a record $7600. 
  1. Other Business
    1. Knights of Columbus have offered their assistance to St. Clare parish. We just need to propose a project.
    2. Follow-up on solar panel leasing-See attachment “Berea Municipal Utilities Announces Solar Farm Expansion”.
      • Margie brought in information from Berea Municipal Utilities about leasing panels from the Berea Solar Farm. Council agreed that this would be a positive way to support the community and to be public examples of our Catholic social teaching to care for God’s creation.
      • Margie moved, Tom seconded and council unanimously approved a motion for St. Clare to purchase for $750.00 a 25 year lease of one photovoltaic panel from Berea Municipal Utilities pending Finance Council’s approve. Fr. Michael will bring the proposal to the next Finance Council meeting. 
  1. New Business
    1. Candidates for new Parish Council members: We need three new members to come on to council in June. Committee members encouraged to begin recruiting candidates.
    2. Garden Update – Margie presented a new brochure describing St. Clare prayer garden that will be made available on the website and in the Narthex. 
  1. Closing prayer – Charlie 

Next meeting: February 21, 2013

Opening prayer: Bob

Minutes: TBA

Closing Prayer: Tom

Respectfully Submitted: Margie Stelzer

House Rental – Berea

  1. Went with Bob Rucker – 105 Maple St, Apt. #1 on 12/24/12

$550/month

Utilities not included

Total electric
Built 2004

No A/C
Too small

  1. Via John Roche – 100 Rockcastle St, Apt. #6 on 1/3/13

$425/month

Water/sewer/garbage included

Delta gas (gas heat + gas hot water) + electric

~$80-$100 month

Two stories

Two bedrooms

½ bath downstairs

Ample kitchen (refrig, stove)

1-year lease

Built 1990

Newer heat pump for A/C

In best condition

Like best

  1. With Bob Rucker – 2 houses on 1/7/13

$675/month

House #1 – 110 Christmas Drive

Two bedrooms, no air

House #2 – 69 Hurley St. Apt. B

Three bedrooms

Not impressed with either one

Reasons for Moving:

  1. Reduce person wear & tear
  2. Allows more time for productivity ( extra 40-80 minutes/day)
  3. Greater parish availability
  4. More time to be productive with parish administration (computer access)
  5. Closer to hospital/parishioners emergencies (only 2 minutes from hospital)
  6. Financial wash – little to no extra cost for parish 

Announces Solar Farm Expansion

The Berea Municipal Utilities recently announced that an additional 132 solar panels are now available for lease from the Berea Solar Farm!

Currently, the Berea Solar Farm consists of 120 solar panels on the grounds of the BMU building on Harrison Street. Those panels have been leased, installed, and are now generating electricity being credited to customers’ accounts. When complete, the announced expansion will more than double the size of the solar farm. The 132 new panels will be located on the grounds of the BMU Waste Water Treatment Plant.

Background and hopes for the future

Berea Municipal Utilities (BMU), with support from the City and an EECBG grant, established the Berea Solar Farm – arrays of photovoltaic (PV) panels to generate electricity. The purpose of the Solar Farm is to provide BMU customers who want to invest in local solar generation an opportunity to do so. The program invites community members to come together in moving Berea toward a better energy future. 

Leasing for the first 60 panels began October 25, 2011. Those 60 were leased out in 4 ½ days, and the decision was made to offer a second 60 panel array as part of the same construction project. All of the panels were leased in less than four months. A very promising beginning! 

One way that sustained growth in the Berea Solar Farm may occur is for participants – whether residents, small businesses, churches, or schools – to plan for a gradual increase in their panel holdings in order to reach some goal they have set for the extent to which their total electricity use is offset by their solar panels’ generation. This announced expansion of the Berea Solar Farm is the first opportunity to move toward achieving such goals.

How does the leasing work?

Customers (and others) are invited to lease solar panels (no limit on number) for a one-time lease fee of $750 per panel. This one-time fee covers a 25-year period. In return, customers will receive credit every billing period for the electricity generated by their panels. In this way participating customers gain access to solar generation at an excellent price (about $3.15 per installed watt). The panels are owned and maintained by BMU and located on city property with excellent orientation to the sun and no shading. 

Although anyone may lease panels, only metered residential customers (class 1 or 9) and commercial customers (class 2 or 3) may receive Panel Production Credit (i.e., credit on their electric bills for the electricity produced by these Solar Farm panels). For each panel leased, a location within the BMU service territory must be specified.

Who may want to lease solar panels?

Anyone, including people who don’t live in Berea! But the Berea Solar Farm would seem to be ideal for customers (and others) who want local opportunities to invest in clean energy and

  • have homes, apartments or businesses – owned or rented – not well suited for solar installations due to issues with shade or directional orientation

  • can’t afford the relatively large cost of installing an entire system on their property

  • do not want to undertake the responsibilities of ownership

  • are attracted to the idea of leasing panels but donating the billing credit to an organization such as a church or school in the BMU service area

  • are attracted to being part of a community effort that will increase our energy resiliency and decrease the flow of Berea dollars out of the community

  • are attracted to helping Berea demonstrate the viability of one model for how local communities in Kentucky and elsewhere to respond to the need for leadership in the face of pressing global, national and statewide energy problems. 

How can I sign up?

BMU began accepting reservations for the new panels on October 29, 2012. Given the uncertainty about when the new panels will be installed and go live, there are two options at this point for reserving them.

Option 1: Complete a License Agreement and return it with a check made out to BMU for the total amount due. Each panel is $750. You can pick up a License Agreement at the BMU office or download it from the link at http://bereautilities.com/?page_id=821 . Please deliver your completed License Agreement and check weekdays between 9:00 and 4:00 to the BMU contractor’s office (to the right of the main customer service entrance) or mail to Joyce Hendricks’ attention at Berea Municipal Utilities, PO Box 926, Berea, Kentucky, 40403-0926.

Option 2: Simply send your name, address, phone number, email and the number of panels you plan to lease to Joyce Hendricks atjhendricks@bereaky.gov or to Joyce Hendricks’ attention at the address above. You can then complete the leasing transaction closer to the time of installation.

In either case, full payment and a signed License Agreement are required to complete the leasing transaction. 

For more information or questions, please call Joyce Hendricks or Ed Fortner at 986-4391 or visit the solar farm section of the City website at http://bereautilities.com/?page_id=348 .

 CLICK HERE to download the Parish Council Minutes for January 17, 2013 in a pdf file you can easily save to your own computer.

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