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Next monthly members meeting is coming up soon.

Tuesday, January 16 - 7pm
At the Makerspace - Unit #19, 275 Rocky Lake Drive

On the agenda is:

- HRM Community Grant suggestions - as we mentioned in a previous meeting we will be looking at applying for a grant that could provide funding for equipment or space improvements. Come with your suggestions so that next month we will have a list to vote on.

- Collaborative projects - It's been a while since we jumped in on a large group project and we thought we should get that ball rolling again. We will have a few ideas to consider and are open to suggestions.

The final item is regarding the renewal of our lease at Rocky Lake Drive. It warrants more than a bullet point so here is a letter from the board:

Dear members,

Thank you for your confidence in the current board to kick-start the new location for the Halifax Makerspace Society (HMS). We, your board, hope we have earned that confidence and delivered a great workspace for all the members. We’re members too, and we are very proud that Halifax is home to a physical space with such a large variety of opportunities for makers to realize their projects.

Over the past 6 months we’ve been able to count on many of you to help install, build, or improve the new space in Bedford. We’ve also been able to count on all of you to make and keep the financial commitments to see this through. This has been crucial to the successes we’ve achieved together so far. The society is financially stable and we’re working to make sure we can keep it that way for the foreseeable future. Increasing our membership and providing continued opportunities for the current members to stay engaged are critical to this future. 

This month we’re entering the next phase for HMS. It is one that we’ve looked at both with excited anticipation and, in all honesty, also with some trepidation. When the initial lease was signed for the current location, we negotiated a 12-month term with the option to renew (and renegotiate) a further 3-year agreement. Under the terms of the current lease agreement, we need to start negotiations on that next lease agreement by January 31st. Obviously this is a big commitment for any not-for-profit society and we need to carefully consider the implications of committing to such an agreement.

If we choose not to renegotiate the lease agreement for the next 3-year term, we owe it to the property owners (Universal Properties) to give them notice to quit and vacate the premises by July 31st. That is why we have looked at this with some trepidation. It’s really an all-or-nothing choice to stay at this location or to consider a different future for HMS.

As your board, we recommend starting negotiations and seeing where that leads. If the terms are viable, we will recommend that the members vote on the new lease agreement. The current situation and small, but significant, positive trends make us think that negotiating the 3-year lease agreement is warranted. We do have some concerns about how to sustain the current, positive trends in the near future, so we would have preferred to be in a better position before starting these negotiations. We’ll share the necessary information with you before asking for your support. We’ll also discuss the proposal and conditions we would consider viable, based on our current financial and membership numbers and trends.

In the upcoming members meeting on January 16th, 2018 at 7pm we will call for an official vote by the members to start negotiations with Universal Properties. Per the HMS bylaws, members eligible to vote are those full members (associates may attend but cannot vote) currently in good standing (i.e., all dues paid up to and including January) and have attended at least one previous members’ meeting (i.e., either of the 2 members’ meetings of our current fiscal year in November or December). 

With your support, we will start negotiations immediately and keep you updated on the proposal and the negotiations throughout the process. We look forward to seeing you in large numbers at the meeting and commit to informing everyone of the proceedings. 

Adam, Shawn, Peter, Marcel, and Tom.

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