CPI discusses park updates, financial reports

Susan Hodges

The Latham Memorial Family Park is one step closer to being an independent nonprofit.

Members of the California Progress Inc. (CPI) Board of Directors discussed an update on making the park a separate entity at its Monday meeting in the Moniteau County Library at Wood Place. Also discussed at the meeting were plans to transfer treasurer reports to the organization's accountant and financial needs of the organization.

Susan Hodges, executive director, started discussion on the Latham Memorial Family Park with an update on a paver that has been on backorder since the park was dedicated on May 30. She said the paver, inscribed with names of donors who helped make the park a reality, will be a donation from Capitol Monuments due to the delay.

Mike Robertson, board member, said the 501(c)(3) registration needed to make the park an independent nonprofit organization has been filed. After CPI developed the park, it was deeded over to the city at the end of September.

"I met with Ann Perry (the attorney who helped with the process) again and while we were there she actually went in and filed (nonprofit registration) and made the call and got everything done," he said. "We had to check with an accountant and some other stuff, but we've got everything set up for Jan. 1."

Robertson said Perry donated her services for completing the process.

After hearing the update on the Latham Memorial Family Park, the board discussed simplifying duties for its treasurer.

Jeannie Marsh, current treasurer, inquired about transferring the monthly financial reports to Evers & Co LLC, the organization's certified public accounting firm because she will be leaving her role in January. She said the quoted price for the service would be $4,500-$5,000 per year, which would include end-of-year reports and tax returns. The organization already pays the firm $2,000 per year for tax preparation services, which she said could decrease since they will likely file taxes using the short form this year.

The switch would greatly lighten the workload for the incoming treasurer, Marsh said. Their main responsibilities would be assisting in compiling bills and other documents for Evers & Co, along with writing and reporting checks. The proposed services do not include writing checks or the quarterly payroll tax report.

Because Evers & Co already has much of the documentation for CPI, a representative told Marsh the transition would be "a pretty seamless process."

"This is their business, this is what they do, day in, day out," Marsh said, voicing her support for the transition. "I think it would be best to spend the money and put it over to them."

Marsh said the organization would likely need to fundraise to make the transition.

The board also discussed financial needs as it mulled ideas to submit to the E.M. Burger Foundation, a local endowment that has gifted money for community projects and organizations. The foundation is accepting ideas for gifts and donations in 2023.

"The person that I talked to said 'Put in your wishes, not just for the park, but if you have anything else go ahead and put it in,'" Hodges said.

CPI will next meet at 5:30 p.m. Jan. 9, in the upper floor of the Moniteau County Library at Wood Place.