In early fall, John Coleman from Madison Gas & Electric contacted us about installing one of their five vehicle charging stations for hybrid electric cars in our parking lot. At no cost to the Co-op, the first two parking stalls across from the front doors have been equipped with one of the stations as part of several technology demonstration projects. No worries though, if you don’t have an electric vehicle, the stalls are not restricted to only electric vehicles, however the two-hour time limit will still be enforced for any vehicles parked (or charging) there. A big thank you goes to our neighbors at MG&E for exploring ways to reduce our local carbon emissions. For more information about this project, please see:

Let the sunshine in
Meanwhile, in our efforts to reach a deeper shade of green, we are pleased to announce the installation of a solar thermal system on our roof at 1221 Williamson Street (see next month’s full article) to pre-heat city water for the building’s uses and reduce our need for fossil fuels. Unlike the solar collector panels installed in 2005, which cannot be seen from the street, the new solar thermal collectors will be a bit more visible from the parking lot, so look for them to pop up once the snow has cleared. Some other environmentally conscious activities already practiced in the Co-op include the recycling of paper, cardboard, glass, compost, plastic shopping bags, light bulbs and printer cartridges.

Back on the bus
If you are one of those who have requested that the Co-op offer bus passes for sale, your wishes will soon be coming true. We are working with Madison Metro to finalize the details and provide this convenient service to our community.

Sowing seeds
Early in the fiscal year, the Board of Directors adopted a strategy for better educating themselves on Board governance matters. Now, a portion of each Board meeting will be dedicated to presenting informational sessions on topics such as, finance, strategic planning, owner linkage, etc. At the December meeting, David Waisman, Director of Finance, presented a segment on finance that was especially well-received by Board members attending the session.

10% Surcharge, to be or not to be
In case you hadn’t read the December GM report... I would like to remind everyone of their opportunity to provide insight to the committee that is reviewing the 10% non-owner surcharge (please see the article on page 13).

From this driver’s seat, I would report that we are making significant in-roads to improve several facets of our Cooperative, and we’re looking forward to navigating more opportunities in the coming months...
Happy New Year!