Designing the relocation
By Paul Cultrera
Over the course of the summer plans for the store relocation were focused on designing for long term energy efficiency. Our architects at Mogavero & Notestine have come up with a list of potential “green design” features that would have the potential to substantially decrease the new building’s energy consumption, lower our utility bills and embody our stated goal to “model sustainable environmental practices in our business.” Of course, many of those features such as natural ventilation, LED lighting, solar panels and thermal mass walls come with a higher price tag than conventional construction methods. So we have been working with the developer’s general contractor to price the alternatives, and with engineering and refrigeration firms to model the energy savings. Once all of the necessary data has been collected we’ll be able to prioritize the options based on the cost, the financial payback and the environmental value of each feature. All of this examination has slowed the process of getting to the point where we can present final plans to obtain the necessary building permits. But we’ve been willing to take the extra time because we only get to design the building once, will be in it for many years and we want to make sure that we get the planning right from the start.
At the same time we have put the final touches on our application to the California Department of Corporations for a permit to begin offering non-voting preferred shares to Co-op owners. The application was submitted in August, and the DoC responded asking for additional information. We recently supplied what was requested and are now hoping to receive the permit without much further delay. Once we receive the DoC permit, we’ll provide to all Co-op owners the full details of the offering, along with a complete prospectus. To be eligible to purchase these shares, owners must be fully vested in their $300 Fair Share investment.
At its July meeting, the Co-op’s Board of Directors accepted its Finance Committee’s recommendations regarding dividend rates for each series of the shares. Pending the DoC’s approval, here is what the shares will cost and what they will earn:
The more that owners invest in these shares, the more we will be able to afford the types of “green” features that are in line with our values, giving us an important means to create the kind of store that we want.
Another project that came together over the summer was the development of a new Nutrition Education Program that is designed to offer free classes that focus on food preparation, low-cost recipes, and shopping on a budget to Sacramento’s lowincome populations. During the series of owner listening sessions that were held last year, we heard from many Co-op owners that they would like to see the Co-op do more to reach out to people whose incomes restrict them from taking advantage of the many educational programs that we already offer. Following up on that idea, we have hired Dawn Dunlap, a woman with many years of local experience in this field to run this program that will partner with a number of local agencies that work with low income residents. The first classes will start in October with clients from River City Food Bank and Wellspring Women’s Center. For more details, see Dawn’s article on Page 10.
The need for this type of education in Sacramento is huge, and while the state of the economy has forced other agencies to cut back on similar programs, the Co-op’s continued financial strength, fueled by our customers’ support, makes it possible for us to step in to fill the gap.