International year of the Co-op 2012
If you haven’t already heard, the UN has designated 2012 as the International Year of the Co-op (IYC). I am delighted that cooperatives are getting this kind of attention on an international scale to promote the cooperative model as a solution to many different factions of our society. This area is fortunate to have several options for cooperative services, such as banking, energy, agriculture, and of course groceries. Watch for events at the Co-op to celebrate IYC in the coming year.
Last winter we struggled to keep the West Commons (seating area) warm enough despite our cranking up the thermostat. Through an energy audit last spring 2011, we learned of several small but significant areas where we could improve our operations and reduce our carbon output. You may have seen work being done in December to install ceiling fans to circulate warm air throughout the retail space, including the Commons. This is part of our concerted effort to lower our overall energy use. Insulating curtains will soon be installed at East to help keep refrigerated air in/warm air out of the produce coolers when the store is not open. Our FY2013 budget will include more funding to complete the entire list of recommendations from the audit. We will report on other improvements that you may not have otherwise seen as they are completed.
East Parking lot update
The City of Madison is requiring we bring our parking lot plan into compliance with the “as built.” In order for this to happen we have had to move some stalls and signs around. The two stalls outside the Community Room will be dedicated handicap stalls. The differently abled term was created by us as a courtesy to accommodate people without handicapped plates but with a reason to park nearer to the door (for example, but not limited to pregnant women, injured people, those with small children). We plan to relocate the differently abled stalls opposite from where they were to the area designated MG&E recharging. We are sorry for any inconvenience this may cause anyone. Additionally, we will be repainting the lines for the compact car stalls to be at an angle for better ease of use and sight lines for those drivers.
Co-op management is still talking about the future of the Jenifer Street driveway; look for an update in-store and online later this month.