The Alabama Space Science Exhibit Commission (ASSEC) Business Committee recently met to review activities at the U.S. Space and Rocket Center including Space Camp and Aviation Challenge programs. These are the official minutes of the meeting as approved and released by the committee. Please note this document has been created using optical character recognition and some errors may be present. A PDF copy of the original document is located at the bottom of this page.
ALABAMA SPACE SCIENCE EXHIBIT COMMISSION BUSINESS COMMITTEE MEETING
March 20, 2019 — 3:30 P.M.
A meeting of the Business Committee, Alabama Space Science Exhibit Commission (ASSEC), was held Wednesday, March 20, 2019, at 3:30 p.m. in the Board Room of the U.S. Space & Rocket Center (USSRC) Huntsville, Alabama
Sprocketeers Note – The attendees’ section of this document has been omitted to save space. You can find a full list of attendees on the PDF at the bottom of the page
The meeting was called to order by Col. Craig Naudain,
Acting Chair of the Business Committee of the Alabama Space Science Exhibit
Commission. Ms. Monika Havron was present to record the minutes.
APPROVAL OF MINUTES
Col. Naudain asked for questions, comments, and corrections
to the minutes of the ASSEC Business Committee meeting held on Wednesday,
February 20, 2019. Dr. Suzy Young made the motion to approve the minutes. Mr.
Rey Almodovar seconded the motion. The motion was unanimously approved.
Mr. Louis Ramirez reported on the February FY19 ﬁnancials:
- Operating Budget
- Operating income is positive $700K
- Museum admissions, merchandise and food service
sales are ahead of plan.
- Budget is almost exactly on plan with expenses
- Accruing cost of Saturn V preservation which
have not yet been billed.
- Camp is under plan, but income is only
recognized when trainees complete the program. As camp heads into the busy
season, plan should be exceeded or corrected.
- Capital contribution budgeted for the new
building is behind plan $168K which was to be used for architectural drawings.
The new plan is to bid architectural work in FY19 and award in FY20.
- Apollo Touring exhibit costs were capitalized in
the amount of $681K. These costs will be offset by touring revenue over the
next ﬁve years.
- The $175K income budget for the Space Camp South
Korea license has not yet occurred. There has been no update from licensee.
- Cash Management
- $3.8M in cash, with another $2.9M in the
Education Foundation to move in the next few
- Foundation cash is for planned expenditures for
the Planetarium, scholarships and rocket restoration.
Mr. Joe Newberry inquired about cost of goods sold for line
items such as merchandise and food services. Mr. Ramirez discussed that with
higher admission there are higher labor costs. Col. Naudain asked how the costs
of the Saturn V restoration will be reconciled due to contributions being lower
than budgeted. Mr. Ramirez stated that the Center will postpone some repair and
maintenance items, as well as capital projects such as the Shuttle and Saturn
IB to FY20. Also, $300K was budgeted for repairs on the Saturn V, but this will
likely be recognized as a savings because no repairs have been needed. Mr.
Ramirez provided the Committees with a detailed breakdown of other income and
expenses as requested at last month’s meeting.
STATUS REPORT — CONTRACTS
Habitat 1 Roof Replacement
Mr. Ramirez introduced Ms. Kristin Luke, Director of
Procurement, and asked that she share about the state bid process. Ms. Luke
explained the sealed bid process steps, which start with collecting specs of job
project, scope, requirements, forms, and E-verify then the sealed bid is sent
out to a speciﬁc list of vendors. A pre-bid meeting is scheduled on-site to
show the vendors the project. They then submit questions based on the pre-bid
meeting. The procurement ofﬁce then distributes the answers within a few days
and the bid return deadline is set for about one week out. A public bid reading
is then held where each bid is opened, and prices read aloud to the vendors, so
they know how they stack up in comparison. The bid packets are then reviewed in
the procurement ofﬁce to ensure they are complete. The bid is then awarded
after board approval is received with a formal agreement/purchase order. A winning
bid is based on the lowest price and that they can provide a license, meet the
requirements, and references are reviewed by procurement. The State of Alabama
Disclosure form is required and identiﬁes stakeholder in any company, along
with other disclosures. Team Craft Rooﬁng vendor had the lowest bid in the
amount of $238,500. Mr. Ramirez recommended approval from the Committees.
Col. Naudain asked for a motion to award Team Craft Rooﬁng
with the roof replacement job. Mr. Joe Newberry made the motion to approve. Dr.
Waymon Burke seconded the motion. The motion was approved unanimously.
Huntsville City Schools MOU – Culinary
Dr. Barnhart provided an overview of the discussions with
Huntsville City Schools regarding the CTE program(s) that was shared with the
committees a few months ago. Madison City and Madison County Schools were
approached to join or assist in the partnership before the Center was
approached, but neither were interested. Their request was for the Center to
house Culinary and Construction Arts; however, this has evolved to include only
three classes of 27 culinary students, (hand-selected 11th and 12th graders).
The classes will only occur during the school year and will not affect our busy
season. Huntsville City Schools will incur all costs, provide transportation,
teachers, portable classrooms which will be located behind the Davidson Center,
be responsible for the students while they are on our campus and everything
they would in a typical setting. Committee members voiced concern about security,
parking, protocol and other potential issues. The Center will only be
responsible for is providing the location, kitchen for use, subject matter
experts and some special projects. Dr. Barnhart stated that we owe these
children the same kinds of motivation that we provide to our STEM students. The
MOU will be for a period of less than ﬁve years, the terms and conditions are
amenable to both parties, and as both parties are State, insurance is not an
issue. If for any reason either party does not fulﬁll the terms of the
agreement, the MOU is easily terminated. This agreement will be beneﬁcial for the
Center because it is difﬁcult to hire entry level food service help, and this
will give us a pool of talent to hire from.
In the future, the hope is to have a similar agreement for
Construction Arts. Ideally, this would be housed in a brand-new facility that
would also rehouse our technical staff who currently need space and improved
working areas. In the event of a new facility, the agreement would somewhat
resemble the agreement we have with NASA for the ETF. Huntsville City Schools
would like to take the MOU to their Board next Tuesday night. As the term is
less than ﬁve years, the agreement does not require approval from ASSEC, but at
the request of Mr. Hickam, Dr. Barnhart agreed to provide it to the committees
via email for review.
Mr. Hickam wanted to give the committees an opportunity to
review and ask any further questions concerning the 2018 Audit which was
approved at the February Business Committee Meeting. Mr. Zana asked if there
were two or three ratios that were especially important. Mr. Ramirez said that
the ratios in the audit report are not very useful tools.
Mr. Newberry discussed that the Center’s ﬁnancial
performance is excellent now, but in the event of a downturn would like to have
guidelines in place for the committees to be notiﬁed before the bank reaches
out. He asked for notiﬁcations to be provided at set ﬁnancial levels. Ms.
Brenda Perez and Mr. Ramirez stated that they would pull the covenants to
examine what is currently mandated. Mr. Ramirez shared that during review of
historical records from the dark days that cash ﬂow was bad and standard operating
procedures should have been followed. The bank threatened to seize $15M in
assets from the Center, but as commission of the State, how could they seize
the assets. A $6M line of credit was negotiated in order to establish stability
and begin correcting the ﬁnancial issues.
Mr. Ramirez and Ms. Brenda Perez shared that the Center has
been working with the Alabama Department of Archives to establish a Records
Disposal Agreement. The agreement is in the ﬁnal stages for their Board
approval in April. We have helped to write a 30—page document setting out what records
are permanent, as well as identifying all our records. This has been a
slow-moving process that all State agencies are working through. To note, in
2013 State Examiners found we were delinquent; however, this was the case for
many agencies. Once the Agreement is approved by the Alabama Department of Archives,
we can ship our permanent ﬁles to their archives and shred massive amounts of
non-permanent records. Vital records such as ASSEC meeting minutes, HIPPA and
ﬁnancial records will be kept on-site. The Center will need to establish
controls, adopt a policy and potentially hire a records retention employee to
maintain and dispose of records.
ANNOUNCEMENT OF NEXT MEETING
Col. Naudain announced that the next Business Committee
Meeting is scheduled for Wednesday, April 17, 2019 at 3:30 p.m.
There was no other business to come before the Business Committee. Col. Naudain adjourned the meeting at 4:45 p.m.