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Organizational process for NTC


Fri, Jan 27th, 2012
Posted in Progress Edition

On January 16 the National Trout Center's (NTC) board of directors met for the first time for an organizational meeting at the Jailhouse Inn. Some members who sat on the Steering Committee are now on the board and some will form an Advisory Committee. Members of the committees and some members of the Preston City Council and staff enjoyed a luncheon before the board meeting.

George Spangler started by thanking Steering Committee members for their service since the committee was created and organized in 2009 by the Preston EDA.

Spangler identified members of the first board of directors including John Carlin, Jeff Cooper, Joe Magee, Dan Christianson, David Williams, Mike Tomashek, Marlene Huston, Nick Brandvold, Jeff Broberg, Phil Pankow, Kathy Dahl, and George Spangler. Because Attorney Dwight Luhmann, Chairman Preston EDA, was unable to be present, the board approved a resolution to have him notify members by mail of their board appointment.

By-laws previously adopted by the Steering Committee were adopted as presented. David Williams reviewed a history of the organizational steps leading to the National Trout Center becoming an independent non-profit organization. Articles of incorporation were filed by Luhmann with the state in May of 2010.

The temporary facility on 120 St. Anthony Street was opened in June 2010. Nick Brandvold, now on the board of directors, became the first program coordinator in May 2011. The Steering Committee approved the bylaws in September 2011. An application for recognition by the IRS as a tax exempt organization was submitted in December 2011.

The NTC has completed two seasons of summer operations with nearly 1,500 visitors.

Summarized in the bylaws are three goals of the NTC: 1) to educate people "about trout biology, ecology and behavior, trout habitat, the conservation and restoration of cold-water stream habitat." 2) "to promote the arts, cultural heritage and experience of trout fishing and angling in cold water streams and rivers..." and 3) "to develop and operate a national trout center in the city of Preston, Minnesota that provides exhibits, research, education and programs focused on trout biology and behavior, trout habitat and cold-water streams."

According to the bylaws, the board of directors can have seven to twelve members. A two-thirds majority is required for large, transactional votes. Spangler added the city of Preston can have two representative directors. They can identify two of the twelve or nominate two additional members, which will require a change in the bylaws to have a fourteen member board.

Program Coordinator and Operations Manager Karin Grimlund was appointed as an ex officio member of the board.

Officers

Christianson nominated Spangler to be chairman, saying he deserved the honor and responsibility. Spangler suggested someone new could better serve the center and broaden the responsibilities. He added he was not unwilling to continue to contribute. The chairman position will be for one year. Dahl suggested that Spangler believed Tomashek, who was not present, should be chairman.

Spangler was elected chairman and Tomashek was elected vice chairman. Pankow was elected to serve as secretary and Christianson to serve as treasurer. The four officers will make up the Executive Committee.

The board approved a resolution to empower the Executive Committee to make fiscal decisions that fall within the approved budget. The budget was reviewed. It was noted that the city of Preston has been writing the checks. Spangler suggested they should be able to relieve the city clerk of that responsibility. Christianson said they should be able to separate their books from the city's. Dahl maintained the separation of accounts can be made when the NTC receives its non-profit status.

A Permanent Home for the Center

Formation of two ad hoc committees to work toward the goal of a permanent center were approved.

Spangler said the Space-Building Committee will work on two critical needs. First, the temporary NTC is located in a building leased from George and Kay Spangler. The lease expired December 31, 2011. Currently there is a month to month agreement that needs to be resolved. Second, there is the effort to be included in the state bonding bill, to obtain funds to be used for predesign, acquisition of property, and construction of a permanent home for the NTC.

About a month ago, Spangler made a presentation to state senators on the Senate Capital Investment Committee. Spangler noted this is a bonding year. He suggested funds could come over a period of years.

There are three potential building sites. Land will need to be acquired, possibly clean up of a "brownfield" site will be necessary, and plans for the building will need to be made. Cost estimates are rough at this stage, about $3.5 million. The intention is to make the building the point of interest, including "an in-house, living stream laboratory." Broberg will serve as chairman of the Space-Building Committee.

A second ad hoc committee is the Fund Raising Committee, which will be chaired by Christianson.

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