Q&A from Our Annual Meeting 2020 from the Board and Finance Committee

Thank you to all who attended our first online Annual Meeting, and helped us to make it a success! There were several questions asked in our chat and with raised hands through the meeting. While we tried to answer them during the meeting, this might be helpful for more clarity. The Board and Finance Committee welcome your inputs and questions if you’d like to follow up on any of these points! (board@wsuu.org, finance@wsuu.org)


  1. Once Rev. Christopher’s visa is approved, what are the next steps?
    • We are thrilled that USCIS has approved the R-1 visa! To actually get the visa in hand, Canadians are required to cross the border. However, crossing by car is not currently allowed. Another option is to get the visa at the airport with a ticket to fly to the US. Rev. Christopher has been consulting with other Canadians from different industries who are also preparing to begin work in the U.S., and they are researching changes each day to be informed about the smoothest process for obtaining visas. Once he has the visa, Rev. Christopher will apply for his Social Security number. There are provisions for beginning work once the application has been submitted, before the SS number is received. Rev. Christopher is working with us to find the most efficient and fully legal path to beginning work as soon as possible.


  1. Why have we budgeted for full janitorial services (8K) and janitorial supplies (1.5K) – the same as last year – when we might not be in the building for most of this year?
    • We appreciate having this brought to the forefront during our budget discussion in the annual meeting.
  • This was our third major overhaul of the budget, not counting all the fine tuning that happened before and between major revisions, and we overlooked that the Janitorial Service would not be needed for the full year. As Shannon indicated in the annual meeting chat, we will need some of that amount for deep cleaning before people come back into the building. We recognize that we will not use that entire amount. Any surplus can be used for unforeseen priorities and bridging the $33k gap to the 20/21 budget. The budget is a plan, and our Finance Committee, treasurer, and board are constantly keeping their eyes on all the details.


  1. A point was raised about funding people in our budget through COVID-19.
    • A value that the Board and Finance Committee adopted to guide our continuation of operations through the pandemic, is to fund people first. We are prioritizing the well-being of our religious professional staff, and all other people who work with us in contractual arrangements. The Jones Boys, who we contract with to clean our building, are in that category. Our hourly contractors are also being paid, and their skills are being applied to new areas of need, such as video editing. For individual contractors and business contractors like The Jones Boys, we recognize that our payment is a part of their financial plans.


  1. Is our building capital reserve adequate given the age and condition of our building?
    • Frankly, no. But this is the first year we’ve been able to put money in the building reserve! It’s a start. Our current building reserve with the 3K added in this year’s budget, is 80K.


  1. What’s the deductible on our building insurance?
    • $2,500 per claim for anything building related


  1. Do we know what building and parking lot maintenance and repair needs we can expect to pay for in the next few years? For example — how old is the roof and how healthy is it?
  • We do have some building need assessments and planning documents from 2-3 years ago, and some from 4-5 years ago. All of these need to be updated. We do know that our furnace needs attention, our roof will need attention, the parking lot needs attention, and we will need to try to find the reasons for leakage into our first floor in severe rains.
  • In the past several years of interim time between called ministers, we have not heavily invested in building maintenance or repair. We are EXTREMELY grateful to the skilled volunteers who have been keeping things going for us.
  • We are in need of a Building Committee Chair, and this will be a high priority passed to the 2020-21 board and Rev. Christopher.



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