Sunday, May 13, 2007

Meeting of May 12th, 2007.


In attendance: Davis Bookhart, Carri Harlan, Ilya Goldberg, Jeremy Caradonna, Dave Saffell, Ari Schenk, Rich Dean, Mark Geier, Harry Hochheiser, John Shepley, and Bill McComas


Missing Key...

1) The first order of business was to figure out a solution to missing key problem. For some reason, the key to the back side of the tank suddenly disappeared this week, which proved a major issue when Taylor Oil tried to drop off its fuel on Thursday. As a result, the co-op has decided to cut off the old key lock with bolt cutters and replace it with a combination lock. Dave Saffel has agreed to undertake this project by Monday evening. Taylor will need to come back out on Wednesday or Thursday, as the tank is currently empty.

Bill McComas

2) Davis discussed a meeting that he and Ted had with Jim and Bill McComas. Bill is a lawyer and Jim is the owner of oil company interested in getting more involved in the biodiesel industry. Jim (who sat in on the meeting) and Bill are interested in collaborating with the co-op and possibly becoming the new supplier. The idea was broached of somehow combining forces: leasing or buying delivery trucks from them, undertaking mutual business referrals, etcetera. The co-op agreed to continue discussions with both Jim and Bill.


Moving the new tank

3) The co-op decided--assuming Doug Carrol agrees--to remove the broken concrete next to the 500 gallon tank, prepare the ground with gravel and other stabilization equipment, and transfer the 1000 gallon tank to that site. In other words, the 1000 gallon tank will sit next to the 500 gallon tank, and closer to the driveway.


This will require a series of steps.


  • First, Dave Saffel will haul out the concrete (for a relatively small fee) at some point during the next week.
  • Second, John will drop off some gravel to help stabilize the tank and level out the ground.
  • Third, co-op volunteers will either dig a small hole for the tank--so that it won't roll away--or stabilize the tank with concrete blocks (or wood), depending on whether there is concrete or dirt underneath the broken pieces of concrete.
  • Then, Dave will ask Jeff to use his forklift to transfer the 1000 gallon tank to its new resting spot.
  • Finally, John Gutierrez will be commissioned to build a new security cage and roof for the new 1000 gallon tank.


There are a couple of reasons for moving the 1000 gallon tank to the plateau.


  • First, it makes it easier to link the two tanks into a single fuel system. This would otherwise be impossible if one tank were several feet below the other.
  • Second, we want to minimize the amount of space that the co-op is using. It would be best to concentrate car traffic in the sub-driveway that we are currently using, rather than blocking the area next to the current position of the 1000 gallon tank.
  • Third, the new automated pump--discussed below--needs to be on the same level as the two tanks. Note, also, that the old tank will stay in its current location, and will be used, in the short term, as the regular tank. Once the new tank is up and running, the co-op will decide what to do with the old one (remove it, fill it with B50, use it for back-up fuel, etc).

Membership process

John and Carri discussed some ways of streamlining the process in which membership agreements reach the treasurer's desk. Membership forms will be kept in stock at the kiosk and sent to John as they are dropped off. New members should continue to send their checks to John, and, in return, John will send out a welcome packet to new members, in addition to membership cards. This entire system, however, might change in the near future if a computer system is installed at the kiosk.

IT Committee Formed and bookkeeper

5) John, Andrew, and Ilya agreed to form a new IT committee to investigate a new bookkeeping system. The co-op agreed that, if need be, a professional bookkeeper should be paid (around $50/month) to help keep things in order.

Website Update

6) Andrew has officially taken over the website from Keith. Andrew is now responsible for updating information on the website, with the noteable exception of the volunteer calendar, which remains in Mare's control. Andrew has the ultimate say as to what shall and shall not be added to the website.

Back up attendant

7) Although Mare and Paul were not able to attend the meeting, the recent staffing problems were briefly discussed. Jeremy agreed to post his cell number at the kiosk, to be called as a back-up attendant, in the event that a volunteer does not show up for a shift. Short of that, however, it is Paul and Mare's responsibility to ensure that all volunteer slots are filled ahead of time.

Running out of fuel

8) Harry discussed possible means of warning members if the co-op has run out of fuel (a recurring issue as of late). Volunteers should alert the co-op, via the yahoo group, if the tank is about to run out of fuel. The co-op also agreed to schedule more regular fuel deliveries to alleviate this problem altogether.

State Grant

9) The co-op briefly discussed the grant that we received from the state, but which is currently being held by CSBA.


Pump Purchasing

10) Mark brought in a ton of information about purchasing an automated pump for the co-op, in addition to a computer system to handle on-site transactions. He and Bill McComas have formed a Pump Procurement Committee with the intention of procuring a pump by June 15th. Ideally, the co-op will be able to find a used pump (with proper biodiesel fittings) that could be donated by a gas station or oil company (and written off, by them, as a dontion to a non-profit organization). If not, the co-op will purchase a pump with the $7000 grant (although the pump should probably not exceed $5000). In addition, Mark has agreed to donate some computer equipment for the new set-up, which he s able to procure from his job. The new pump will most likely stand about 4-feet in height, and will be installed next to the 1000 gallon tank (on the side of the driveway). Both the tank and the pump will be underneath the security cage. It is simply not possible to mount the automated pump on top of the tank. There will need to be an electrical line that runs from the new pump to the outlet (and computer system) at the kiosk. The co-op has left all of the details of the pump (brands, etc.) to the discretion of Mark and Bill. Also, it appears that the majority of the co-op is in favor of two levels of security: both a lock on the cage AND a pin number to activate the pump. The majority of members also favor a system in which any credit card can be used at the pump (once the pin number has been entered). In other words, the co-op will not be saving any credit card information in our computer system.


11) The issue of incorporation was touched upon briefly, and will be revisited at the next meeting.




Secretary of the BBC


Sunday, May 6, 2007


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