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Legacy Decatur amends bylaws, increases number of board members

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Legacy Decatur amends bylaws, increases number of board members

The Administration Building at Legacy Park on South Columbia Drive in the city of Decatur on August 12, 2020. The park occupies the former site of the United Methodist Children’s Home. Photo by Dean Hesse.

Decatur, GA — The Legacy Decatur Board of Directors, at its March 28 meeting, amended its bylaws and increased the maximum number of board members from 11 to 17. Although, the board agreed to increase the members incrementally and shift to 15 to start.

Legacy Decatur is the nonprofit organization that oversees the operations and programs at Legacy Park, which used to be the United Methodist Children’s Home. The city of Decatur purchased the property at 500 S. Columbia Drive in 2017.

Legacy Decatur’s bylaws were adopted in January 2020 and amended in July 2020.

“Since 2020, Legacy Decatur staff has grown to a full-time Executive Director and a full-time Programs Manager; signed a second Memorandum of Understanding with the City of Decatur as the Managing Entity of Legacy Park; and is on track to be operationally self-sufficient from the City of Decatur by July 2025,” Executive Director Madeleine Henner wrote in a memo. “With the incoming Track and Field, housing construction, and nonprofit tenant programming, Legacy Park Master Plan is visibly coming to life. With this progress, the organization requires significant board participation.”

All board members participate in committees and the full board meeting. For the organization to be more financially sustainable, it also needs a fundraising committee.

“To be able to respond to the growing needs of Legacy Decatur and Legacy Park, the Executive Committee recommends that the maximum number of members for the Board of Directors be extended from eleven (11) to seventeen (17),” Henner said.

Legacy Decatur will recruit four new board members for 2025, bringing the board to 15 members.

“If the Board determines that an additional two (2) Board members would benefit the organization, the amended Bylaws would allow for growth to seventeen (17) members of the Board of Directors,” Henner wrote in the memo.

The board also updated the nonprofit’s financial policy, which was adopted in 2020.

The changes include:

– Giving the executive director authority to sign checks that are no more than $2,500 without the approval of the treasurer or board chair, which does not apply to the fiscal agent funds

“For our fiscal agent funds that are dedicated to events, it is common for a table and tent rental, AV equipment, portalets, and other costs to exceed $2,500,” Henner wrote in a memo. “The authorized agent of each fund submits documentation for funding requests and/or reimbursement.”

– Requiring board approval for contracts over $10,000

– Establishing that the finance committee is responsible for viewing the quarterly finances

– Setting a goal that the annual fund balance be 20% of the operating budget

– Requiring an annual audit

– The executive director can apply for grants if the match is $5,000 or less.

In other business:

– The Legacy Decatur board approved the 2023 revised budget. The nonprofit gained about $4,000 more in revenue than anticipated in the 2023 budget.

“We ended the year in a strong financial position,” Henner said during the meeting.

Although individual building leases were lower than expected, Legacy Decatur is working with the city of Decatur to get some other buildings up and running.

The first floor of the administrative building houses the city’s parks and recreation staff and Legacy Decatur does not generate revenue from that. But the all exterior offices on the top floor of the administrative building and all but two internal offices are being rented.

“For our other individual buildings, we have 12 of [24] currently used and occupied,” Henner said. “We have plans to activate the creative village soon, which will add another two…and then Smith, which will be the last phase of that, will be activated as soon as we generate enough funds from the creative village to reinvest in that final housing piece.”

Legacy Decatur will request that the city include the Sam Bell, Ison, and Nickerson cottages in its improvement budget.

Legacy Decatur received about $20,000 more in event revenue than projected in the 2023 budget. The nonprofit also received $99,000 from the city of Decatur instead of $66,000 due to the timing of the invoices

“Our expenditures were about $40,000 less than we expected,” Henner said. “We were very conservative last year.”

– Laurie Lawlor will serve as the vice chair of the Legacy Decatur board of directors.

– Tai Chi 4 LIFE will rent office space at Legacy Park and also have some storage space.

“Tai Chi 4 LIFE has been working with the city of Decatur for over a decade. They’ve had classes on Saturday mornings here at Legacy Park. They’ve rented outdoor space for a number of years now,” Henner said. “They decided it was no longer feasible for them to only work out of their homes.”

The group matches Legacy Decatur’s recreation mission at the park, she added.

– Legacy Decatur has been working to install new signs at Legacy Park.

The signs are scheduled to be delivered on April 8 and are anticipated to be installed by the end of the month.

Oakhurst resident Adam Pinsley designed a new logo and signs for the park in 2022. The new signage program aims to guide park visitors to various locations throughout Legacy Park and inform them of park rules.

Signs could include a gateway sign upon entering the park, vehicular directional signage to guide people as they drive, signs to direct pedestrians, and signs that identify the buildings.

Other signs may display park rules, maps, and kiosks with information related to the park, buildings, or various nature habitats at the park. For the signs identifying the buildings, the tenants of the buildings will have opportunities to add their logos to the sign.

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