Endowment Resolutions for the 2022 Annual Meeting – Background Information, Frequently Asked Questions, and Link for the June 6th Forum
Two Endowment Resolutions for the June 19 UUCCH Annual Meeting
All UUCCH members are invited to an informational forum on Zoom, on Monday evening, June 6 at 7 pm, to learn about the two Resolutions related to uses of the UUCCH Unrestricted Endowment Fund that will be voted on in the annual congregational meeting on Sunday, June 19. The link to the forum is in the Newsgram and the 5/28 email.
One of these Resolutions would approve the extended use of Unrestricted Endowment Funds to back up building campaign pledges not yet paid. This resolution extends the prior approval given in August 2020 to cover the three-year campaign, to include pledges made in the extended fourth year of the building fund campaign. The Endowment Funds will be restored as pledges are fulfilled, and what is anticipated to be a small remainder of unpaid pledges will become a permanent withdrawal from the Endowment at the close of the pledge fulfillment period.
The other Resolution would approve the permanent withdrawal of up to $81,000 in Unrestricted Endowment Funds to pay for two crucial facilities expenses: the replacement of the failed Fire Pump that powers the fire safety sprinkler system, and the replacement of the failed air conditioning compressor that cools the Sanctuary. Both pieces of equipment are necessary to keep our buildings in operation over the coming months.
Additional background information and responses to Frequently Asked Questions on each of these Resolutions are provided below. There will be an opportunity to ask questions and discuss the proposed Resolutions in the June 6 forum. If you have further questions outside the forum, please email email@example.com and you will receive a response from the person most knowledgeable about your particular question.
Supplemental Building Fund Campaign Resolution Background and Frequently Asked Questions
The “Bringing Us Home” building fund initiative is made up of two distinct fundraising campaigns – Initial and Supplemental. The Initial campaign runs from 9/30/20 to 9/30/23. A key provision of that initiative is that UUCCH members authorized advances to be made from the Unrestricted Common Endowment Fund (Endowment) to cover any shortfalls between pledges made and pledges received. Any amounts advanced by the Endowment for the Initial campaign and not returned by 9/30/23 will be considered a permanent distribution.
UUCCH initiated a Supplemental fundraising initiative on 11/21/21 to raise funds in addition to those from the Initial campaign. This campaign runs one year longer than the Initial and ends on 9/30/24. Unlike the Initial campaign, though, there is currently no authorization to distribute Endowment funds to cover any potential Supplemental campaign pledge shortfalls. Such authority is now being sought and must be secured through a Congregational Vote.
Frequently Asked Questions
Would you give an example of how pledge shortfall distributions from the Endowment for the Initial campaign are calculated?
Assume we receive $100,000 in pledges for the Initial campaign. People have until 9/30/23 to make their payments. If we only receive $90,000 in payments by that date, the Endowment will cover the $10,000 ($100,000 – $90,000) shortfall.
In practice, the answer becomes more complicated because of cash flow. As the project moved along, Endowment Trustees advanced point-in-time pledge shortfall amounts to cover renovation costs. As pledge payments continue to be made, the Endowment will be repaid. Any amount not repaid by 9/30/23 will be considered a permanent distribution.
We already voted to advance Endowment funds for the “Bringing Us Home” Campaign. Why do we have to vote again?
Being separate initiatives, the Initial and Supplemental campaigns can potentially result in two different pledge shortfall amounts. UUCCH members have already authorized Endowment advances for Initial campaign shortfalls. Members have not, however, had the same opportunity to express their opinions on funding possible Supplemental campaign shortfalls in like manner.
Would the advances from the Endowment for any potential Supplemental pledge shortfalls be made in the same manner as those for the Initial campaign?
Yes, with one exception. The deadline to receive campaign payments for the Supplemental campaign would be 9/30/24 rather than Initial campaign’s 9/30/23 deadline. Therefore, any Supplemental Endowment advances not repaid by 9/30/24 will be considered a permanent distribution.
Regarding the Supplemental campaign, would any outstanding pledge payments as of 9/30/24 be considered a permanent distribution from the Endowment?
Does the Supplemental campaign include new pledges as well as increases from earlier pledges?
Can I extend my Initial campaign pledge from 9/30/23 to 9/30/24?
Does the Supplemental campaign modify any of the terms and conditions of the Initial campaign in any way?
Fire Pump and Air Conditioning Compressor Replacement Resolution Background and Frequently Asked Questions
The UUCCH building that contains the Sanctuary, Commons, Classrooms, Gallery, and Fellowship Hall is required by the International Building Code to be equipped with an automatic fire suppression system, commonly called a sprinkler system. A series of pipes above the ceilings feed water to sprinkler “heads” located beneath the small circular plates seen in the ceilings. In the event of a fire, sprinkler heads in the vicinity of the fire are triggered by the heat to discharge water into the affected space.
The water must be delivered at considerable amount of pressure to get volume of water needed to cool the space and suppress the growth of the fire, to allow occupants to escape and fire fighters to control and extinguish the fire. Given the building’s position at the top of a hill, and the height of the upper reaches of the structure, the water pressure available from the water main is not sufficient to rapidly deliver the amount of water necessary to fight a fire. To boost the water pressure in the sprinkler system to the required level, an electric pump was installed when the building was constructed 22 years ago.
As with all machines, maintenance is required, which has been done with the fire pump, but a machine still has a service life. The fire pump at UUCCH has reached the end of its practical service life.
UUCCH has obtained bids to replace the fire pump, the related controls, piping and fittings. In addition, a backflow preventer valve is required by the current Plumbing Code to be installed in any fire suppression system fed by a public water utility. The UUCCH system was not so equipped 22 years ago, but must be updated now as part of this effort.
Air Conditioning Compressor
As many in the congregation experienced on May 22nd, the air conditioning in the Sanctuary stopped functioning over that weekend. The system is powered by a compressor which enables the air conditioning system’s refrigerant to become extremely cold and cool the air and draw out the humidity. The compressor unit is located outdoors at ground level on the north side of the building at the edge of a woods. The system is 22 years old, and has been the subject of preventive maintenance, but long term exposure to the elements including the local fauna has had an impact.
The compressor housing became infested with an ant colony which devoured the wiring insulation and led to a system failure and irreparable damage to the compressor. To restore the air conditioning, we need to replace the compressor, and we may need to replace the refrigerant if it has leaked out of the system; this will not be known until the system is checked for pressure.
Withdrawal from the Unrestricted Endowment Fund
To cover the cost of these crucial equipment replacements, UUCCH members are being asked to approve a withdrawal from the Unrestricted Endowment Fund (Endowment) of up to $81,000: up to $65,000 for the Fire Pump replacement and up to $16,000 for the Air Conditioning Compressor replacement. There is currently no authorization to distribute Endowment funds for that purpose. Such authority is now being sought and must be secured through a Congregational Vote.
Frequently Asked Questions
Can the existing fire pump be repaired rather than replaced?
No. Parts are no longer available for some components, and a new pump is required to accommodate the changes in the configuration of the sprinkler piping to improve drainage after tests and to address new closets and rooms associated with the Sanctuary.
What is a backflow preventer valve?
A backflow preventer valve keeps water from our sprinkler system from being drawn back out of our building if there is a water pressure drop in the area.
Why do we need a backflow preventer valve?
A backflow preventer valve keeps stagnant water in the lower level sprinkler pipes, which may be up to a year old, from contaminating the drinking water in the surrounding community if a pressure drop outside the building draws water back out of our building. This can happen, for instance, if a fire hydrant is opened at King’s Highway.
How long will this project take?
The pump, its motor, and the controls can take up to 4 months to be delivered after they are ordered. These items are made-to-order; they are not off the shelf. The actual down time of the system for removal and installation should be one week.
Will we need to close the church again?
The selected contractor will wait to start work until all parts are on site. The work would begin on a Monday and ideally be complete on a Friday. During that time the Sanctuary, Commons, Classrooms, Gallery, and Fellowship Hall would be closed. If a condition arises that would prevent completion in a 5 day work week, the Sunday service would be done virtually via Zoom and installation work would resume on Monday.
Air Conditioning Compressor
Do we need to replace the compressor? Can we just open windows?
No. Humidity can be very destructive in a building, particularly one with extensive electronics and musical instruments.
How could this have been allowed to happen?
UUCCH does preventative maintenance on its systems, but sometimes nature finds a way of doing the unexpected. Moving forward, the Property Committee will be cognizant of this risk with its ground mounted systems and inspect the electronics. Application of some form of insecticides at the base of the equipment may be necessary.
When will this be repaired?
Equipment has been ordered and will be onsite within a week or two.
Withdrawal from the Unrestricted Endowment Fund
Would the $81,000 advanced from the Endowment be a loan or a permanent distribution?
It would be a permanent distribution, not a loan.
Would the fire pump and compressor Endowment distribution be separate and distinct from the Endowment draws to cover pledge shortfalls for the Initial and Supplemental “Bringing Us Home” campaigns?
Yes. These are three separate Endowment withdrawal categories.
We have already voted on Endowment draws to cover pledge shortfalls for the Initial “Bringing Us Home” campaign. We are now being asked to vote on Endowment draws for pledge shortfalls for the Supplemental “Bringing Us Home” campaign and also for the fire pump and condenser project. Why do we have to vote so many times?
One of the key documents governing UUCCH Endowment withdrawals is called the “Enabling Resolution.” That document defines the types of withdrawals under consideration as “Extraordinary Distributions.” Such distributions cannot be made without express authority from UUCCH members in the form of a Congregational Vote.
If you have further questions outside the forum, please email firstname.lastname@example.org and you will receive a response from the person most knowledgeable about your particular question.