The Joe Simonet WØTBC Memorial Award
OXB Special Install
Ice Station WØJH 2014
2023 Simonet Memorial Award
Release to Listen Award 2013
2017 SARA Officers
2014 SARA Officers
AGØH 2013
Fitzgerald Crew 2011
2019 SARA Executive Officers

BOARD MEETING MINUTES – February 21, 2024

BOARD MEETING MINUTES – February 21, 2024

Stillwater Amateur Radio Association

This was a Zoom online meeting.

Roll Call of Officers – Present:  Joe KCØOIO, Bob WØGAF, Shel NØDRX, Dave KØAIF; absent: Dave N9JNQ, Brad VE3MXJ, Brian KØPU.  A quorum was present.

President: Joe KCØOIO

The meeting was called to order by Joe KCØOIO.

Secretary’s Report – Dave N9JNQ

The January Board Meeting and Membership Meeting minutes are up-to-date can be found posted to the club website.  Dave N9JNQ is out of town this month and will be preparing both the February Membership Meeting and these Board Meeting minutes from the recorded sessions.

​​Treasurer’s Report – Dave KØAIF

Beginning Total Balance:   01/01/2024     $17,894.63

  • SARA

Balance:                                                   $6,896.08

Income:                                                   $443.00

Expenses:                                                $584.95

Ending Balance:     01/31/2024         $6,754.13

  • RBF

Balance:                                                 $10,998.55

Income:                                                  $0.00

Expenses:                                               $0.00

Ending Balance: 01/31/2024        $10,998.55

Ending Total Balance: 01/31/2024       $17,752.68

Joe KCØOIO reported that he and Dave KØAIF discussed Dave’s processes for keeping the books and they look good.  Bob noted that he would be submitting expenses for reimbursement incurred for the SARA POTA Challenge awards, but the expenditure has already been approved by the Board at a previous meeting.

Trustee’s Report – Shel NØDRX

Shel NØDRX stated that there was nothing to report other than routine matters.  He has submitted the paperwork to continue SARA’s status as an ARRL Affiliated Club on February 4, 2024.  The paperwork for the ARRL Special Service Club designation does not need to be submitted until December of 2025.

Upcoming filings include:

  • The IRS 990N not-for-profit forms, due May 15.  Shel normally gets it in early, so will take care of that in the next week or two.
  • MN Article 317A not-for-profit report due at the end of the year, although Shel tries to get it in mid-year.
  • The annual report to the Minnesota Repeater Council due in September 2024.  We hope to have someone in place as a SARA repeater manager to handle those duties before it is due.

There is an issue regarding the payment of dues by a member that needs to be addressed.  A member paid $40.00 in dues for two years (2024-25) last June, then mistakenly paid $20.00 online once again in November for 2024.  Shel contacted him and recently received a request for a refund of $40.00.

Shel made a motion to refund the member $40.00 for dues mistakenly paid; Dave KØAIF seconded the motion; the motion passed unanimously.

Shel will forward the member’s name and address to Dave for payment.

Reports of Standing Committees:

Activities & Events:  Dave WØOXB & Bob WØGAF

Ice Station WØJH –  Joe KCØOIO reported that the event went well and thanked Dave KØAIF and Anne KØVOB for their hospitality once again.  Joe noted that we had many of our recently licensed member show up for the event.  Shel NØDRX reported 823 QSOs were made, more than at last year’s event.  Joe reported that Monday’s activity was slow, it was difficult to make contacts.

Remembering the Edmund Fitzgerald Special Event – She NØDRX reported that reservations for the shelter have been made with the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources for the 2024 event and the reservations have been paid.

Field Day 2024 – Tim KFØJEL thanked Zack AAØU for securing Valley View Park and its shelter for the Field Day weekend, June 23-24, 2024.  This is the same location as last year.  Tim asked that those with more Field Day planning experience let him know of the timing of what needs to be done and when in preparation for the event. Bob WØGAF said he would walk Tim through it.  Bob noted that he will help organize the CW tent.  Bob made the following suggestions:

  • The club gets points for having an appointed Safety Officer, so Tim and Ray KFØEKD should line one up ahead of time.
  • They will need to organize the food and beverages.
  • They will need to line up someone to pick up the club trailer and return it after the event.
  • They will need to submit the club’s performance form to the ARRL after the event.  The form can be found on the ARRL website.

Joe KCØOIO noted that there will not be a club aggregate this year.  He also suggested that the antennas be arranged perpendicular this year as opposed to parallel as was done last year.  Bob noted that we usually have a site inspection as one of the Hams in the Park Thursday Eyeballs before the event to scope things out.  It was noted that WARC bands are not available for Field Day contacts.

2024 SARA POTA Challenge – Bob WØGAF reported that he would post the January 2024 tallies to the website, and noted that Joe KCØOIO had gotten the 2023 POTA Challenge Awards Ceremony slide deck on the website.  It was noted that there appeared to be a lot of interest expressed in the Challenge at the February Membership Meeting, and the following Thursday’s hybrid Eyeball session, where the topic was POTA, generated a lot of interest, comments, and questions.

On Air Activities – The on-air activities are doing fine.  Joe KCØOIO reported that he was Group Leader for a recent Two Meter Tuesday and had 12 check-ins.

Education and Training – Bob WØGAF

Bob WØGAF reports that Technician classes will start February 29, and at this point there should be between 7 and 11 folks participating.  There was an incorrect telephone contact number in the class announcement published in the Pioneer Press Dispatch, but hat has been addressed.  The article also included the club website link, and the correct telephone number has been included on the website.

A Skywarn class will take place Saturday March 2, 2024 at the Stillwater Public Library.  We will make an announcement that classes have just started and folks are welcome to come and participate.

Bob reports that up to six folks have expressed interest in an Amateur Extra License study group.  Bob will meet with them on their first night to get them going and will follow up with them periodically.

VE Team – Shel NØDRX

The next VE session is scheduled for April 25, 2024.  Shel has secured a room at Boutwells for the session, but will need approval to pay the Boutwells fee of $25.00.

Bob WØGAF made a motion directing that Boutwells’ room rental fee of $25.00 be paid for the VE Session; Dave KØAIF seconded the motion; the motion passed unanimously.

Shel suggested that the club should consider buying a new Amateur Extra License manual to be donated to the Stillwater Public Library as a new manual will be coming out when the new question pool is issued this summer.  The price is currently $32.95 plus tax, less a break that is given to instructors.

Bob made a motion to purchase a new Amateur Extra License manual to be donated to the Stillwater Public Library when that new manual becomes available; Shel seconded the motion; the motion passed unanimously.

Reports of Work Groups:

Website:  Collin KEØIYN & Bob WØGAF

Collin KEØIYN reported that our website Midphase has announced that they are changing from the cPanel interface for management of the website to another panel type.  It looks as though we will need to use their servers rather than to just download.  There will be a short downtime for the club website, as well as the Minnesota POTA Day website, when the change is made.  Collin has been attempting to get in contact with Midphase, but has yet to be successful.  He expects to be told that nothing will change, but his experience leads him to be skeptical.  So Collin just wants to put out the word that there may be increased costs coming and migration issues.  This may be a good time for considering changing the website host.


Nothing to report.

Repeater – Shel N0DRX, Henry K0HAS, Doug N9TOW

Nothing to report.

Remote Bases Technical Committee – Pat WAØTDA

Joe KCØOIO noted that the remote bases are operating fine.

Member Assistance Programs

Joe KCØOIO noted that Shane WØNKA will be moving out of state for work and thanked him for his efforts with the NHRG.  Shane reported that Brian KØPU will be taking the loaner equipment back.

Meetings & Programs – Dave N9JNQ, Zack AAØU, Mike N9MA

Nothing to report.

Room Reservations – Dan KEØIYF

Joe KCØOIO reported that rooms have been lined up through May for the Eyeballs thanks to Dan KEØIYF keeping up with the club’s room needs.  Our Radios in the Park will begin May 16, which will be New Ham Night at Valley View Park.  Every third week Eyeball will be at Valley View, which will be May 16, June 6 & 27, July 18; August 6 & 29.  June 6 will be the Field Day site recon night at Valley View Park.

Shel NØDRX stated that he usually likes to make the September through May Membership Meeting room reservations with Boutwells about this time of the year.  At the current $25.00 charge per reservation, he would need Board authorization to pay for the reservations in the amount of $225.00, unless there is a change in price.

Joe made the motion to authorize that the expense of the September through May room reservations when they come due; Dave KØAIF seconded the motion; the motion passed unanimously.

MN Parks On The Air Day June 8, 2024Joe KCØOIO reported that we are now in the promotional phase.  He recently gave cards to Aaron WØADL and Don KCØDWZ for distribution.  Joe will be attending the Buffalo Hamfest and will set up a table, and may attend the Arrowhead/Superior Hamfest, where he would set up a table.

Unfinished Business:

SARA Club Equipment Inventory – The inventory is ongoing.

Remote Base Relocation Purchases– Joe KCØOIO noted that we will be ironing out the last of the needs and modifications this spring when the weather improves.

SARA Signals Newsletter – Joe KCØOIO will start to push harder to move the newsletter along.  Collin KEØIYN reported that he did some investigating and discovered that the SARA website does have the capabilities to post articles in a newsletter-like format.

W0JH Repeater Manager Position – Joe KCØOIO has approached the recruit he and Shel NØDRX had discussed but has yet to receive a response, so we are in the waiting mode.

Club Banner –  It had been discussed at the previous Board meeting the need for a nice club banner to use at events, and Joe KCØOIO had shared the layout of a 36 inch banner.  Joe now proposed at 45 inch banner, which would cost about four dollars more.  The current cost of the 45 inch banner is $33.90, plus tax.  The Board agreed that the 45 inch banner would be preferable, and that purchasing two banners would be advantageous as there are often opportunities to put up banners in multiple locations at an event.

Bob WØGAF made the motion to purchase two banners at the $33.90 plus tax price each; Shel NØDRX seconded the motion; the motion passed unanimously.

Tabletop Display –  Joe noted that the purchase of the Tri-fold Tabletop Display was approved at an earlier Board meeting, but since approval the price has gone up from $53.99 to $62.99.  He will coordinate with Dave KØAIF to make the purchase as soon as possible.

New Business

Review of Annual Financial Audit – Joe KCØOIO reported that Bob KFØHZG completed his financial audit of the SARA books and included with the agenda Bob’s report.  Bob reported that he reviewed the financial transactions, bank statements, receipts, and minutes and other related documents and found that the recorded balances accurately portray the financial position of SARA.

Bob found two discrepancies to the operating procedures.  First, Bob found that there was a reimbursement for expenses in the amount of $72.33 for the 2023 Ice Station WØJH that was without recorded approval by the Board.  Joe noted that we now have procedures in place to make sure such expenditures are approved.

Second, Bob found that there was a missing receipt for the purchase of General License Manuals.  Joe noted that this purchase was made pursuant to Board approval through emails, and Joe provided Bob with the email string as support for the purchase.  The Board need to make sure we memorialize these expenditures in the minutes.

Bob WØGAF made the motion to accept the audit of SARA’s financials; the motion was seconded by Dave KØAIF; the motion passed unanimously.

SARA Lanyards – Joe KCØOIO reported that the club has only ten SARA lanyards left.  Collin KEØIYN reported that the club has made two purchases of 100 lanyards since 2017.  They currently cost $103.00 plus tax for 100 units.

Bob WØGAF made a motion to purchase 100 lanyards at the cost of $103.00 plus tax; the motion was seconded by Dave KØAIF; the motion passed unanimously.

Upon approval of the Board, Collin ordered the lanyards.

Cost Sharing Electric and Internet at W0JH Remote Base – As is known, the W0JH Remote Base Station is being hosted at the cabin property of Brian KB9TBB in Hayward, Wisconsin.  The Board has discussed that it would be fair to share the cost in electricity and internet service at the site as Brian’s costs have increased.  Brian proposed the following:

1) Internet at the cabin is $45 per month, electric has a base rate of $47 plus usage.
2) I estimate increased usage due to the remote station at $6 per month based on review of November and December data.
3) I don’t see huge value in focused tracking on how much extra electricity the remote station uses.
4) There isn’t a solid reason for us to keep the electric and internet turned on for winter months, though we have been doing so for convenience.
I’d like to propose a seasonal cost sharing of just the base rates, at 75% SARA for winter (Dec, Jan, Feb) and 25% SARA for the rest of the year.
This would put SARA on the hook for 0.75*92=$69 per month for 3 months, total of $207, and 0.25*92=$23 per month for 9 months, for another total of 207, with the grand total being $414 per year.

After discussion, the Board found that the proposal was logical and fair.  The expense would be an ongoing budget item, but should be revisited each year by the Board as the costs are not static and may change.  How it will be paid (that is, annually, quarterly, or monthly), can be worked out with Brian.  The expense would come out of the Remote Base Fund.

Bob WØGAF made a motion to the electric and internet expense for the remote base in Hayward, WI from the Remote Base Fund in the amount of $414.00 for 2024; Dave KØAIF seconded the motion; the motion passed unanimously.

Article V Meeting Quorum Requirement – Joe KCØOIO noted that the by-laws require “[a] minimum of twenty percent of the Club’s regular members shall constitute a quorum for transactions for business at Regular, Annual and Special Meetings.”  The question arose that, with approximately 150 members, we could have trouble meeting the quorum requirement.  However, it is now clarified that “regular” members does not include associate of complimentary members.  Our current total of regular members is 115, so a quorum would be 23 members.  The club’s attendance at Membership Meetings consistently is at or greater than 23 members.  However, this is something we need to keep an eye on and consider when we are conducting club business at a Membership Meeting.

Minnesota Amateur Radio Consortium– Joe KCØOIO shared a letter from Mike Miller, NØNY, regarding the current plan to incorporate the MN-ARC as a non-profit 501(c)3 organization for the purposes of continuing with planning and holding an annual MN (ARRL) State Convention.  The organization planned and hosted its first convention last year, and it was considered a success.  Mike asks clubs to consider membership in the Consortium for the purposes of organizing and holding the 2024 and future state conventions.  This would entail having a delegate appointed by each club to participate in the organization on behalf of the club.

Bob WØGAF was involved in the loose coalition that organized and sponsored the convention last year.  He reports that articles and by-laws are being circulated and considered with legal help.  There is talk that each club would pay about $50.00 to be a member, with the convention being self-funded.

Bob agreed to be the SARA delegate to MN-ARC, and noted that he has already committed as a volunteer for next year’s convention.  Joe thereby appointed Bob as the SARA representative to MN-ARC.  Bob accepted the appointment.

Bob WØGAF made a motion to adjourn the meeting; the motion was seconded by Shel NØDRX; the motion passed unanimously.