Huron Valley Community Network
Board of Directors Meeting
Minutes
April 12, 1995

Board Members Present:
Arnold Barr (Chair), Ed Hayes (Treasurer), Rebecca Head, Jennie Meyer Howard, Jeff Ogden, Keith Stanger (Secretary), Mary Udoji, Linda Vengroff
Community Members Present:
Lemuel Amen

The meeting was held in Eastern Michigan University's McKenny Union and was called to order at 7:18 a.m.

Mr. Stanger distributed a draft of the minutes of the April 5, 1995 meeting. Those draft minutes, as well as the draft minutes of the meetings of March 22 and March 29, 1995 were approved as amended.

Mr. Hayes passed around the HVCN bank statement for the period ending March 31, 1995.

Ms. Howard announced that Brook Bailey, a system administrator at CICNet, wants to work with the HVCN. In addition, Ms. Howard said Mr. Bailey had a Sun workstation that he was willing to sell for a "reasonable price." Mr. Barr asked if Mr. Bailey would be interested in donating it and getting a tax deduction. Mr. Ogden reported that a used Sun Sparc 2 with 16MB RAM and a 1G hard drive would cost under $3000 and a used Brand X "Sparc 5" class machine with similar specs would cost under $4000.

Ms. Head reported that she will be attending the "Ties that Bind" community networking conference in Cupertino, CA in May.

Ms. Howard reported that she sent in the domain name registration for "hvcn.org."

The Board sang, with spirit but off-key, a round of "Happy Birthday" for Linda Vengroff. Ms. Vengroff's birthday wish was for the Washtenaw Information Networks' (WIN) Telecommunications and Information Infrastructure Assistance Program (TIIAP) grant to be funded.

Ms. Vengroff reported that the group working on preparing the WIN grant application was scheduled to meet on Saturday, April 15, 1995 and again on Monday, April 17, 1995. She said it looked like the group would complete the application by the TIIAP's deadline. Ms. Vengroff said that there were eight or nine sites targeted for the placement of WIN terminals. She explained that the two elementary schools targeted to be WIN sites were also the sites of after-school clubs that had parental involvement. Ms. Vengroff stated that she explained to the grant-writing group that when the TIIAP application was complete they should continue to work together to pursue other funding opportunities. She noted how valuable the process of working together has been and hoped to extend the community involvement already underway

Ms. Vengroff said that Ingrid Sheldon, Mayor of Ann Arbor, had provided a letter of support for the grant application, as had the supervisor of the Superior Township Parks and Recreation Department. Mr. Ogden said that he could arrange for Merit to also provide a grant support letter. Ms. Vengroff said that up to five letters could be included in the grant application's appendix, but that all organizations that provide support letters could be listed on a separate page.

Mr. Ogden reported that the TIIAP had received 3,000 letters of intent to apply for grants, which is more than received last year. He also reported that Congress is considering cutting the amount of money to be distributed by this program. He observed that given all the work that was going into preparing the grant application, the outcome could be discouraging because of the lack of money available to support many qualified community projects. He praised Ms. Vengroff for emphasizing the value of the process of working together and for pointing the eyes of the grant-writing group to other, ongoing opportunities to develop a viable community information service.

Mr. Ogden observed that for groups with small financial resources, such as GREX, HVCN, and WIN, there is a tension between designing systems that are inexpensive, but requiring a lot of volunteer time to maintain vs. systems that cost more money but requiring less volunteer effort to keep-up. Mr. Ogden suggested that for the WIN grant application, we specify the generic capabilities of the system we want to install, but not delineate the specific hardware and software we will put into service. System diagrams should give a good sense of what we want to do--provide a WIN terminal server with modems, provide access to the Internet, provide access to other WIN related sites--but not tie us to specific brands of hardware and software.

Mr. Ogden said we should consider to what degree WIN wants to run its own system vs. paying others to run the system. This applied to the modems as well as the WIN network. For example, we could buy modem support services from one organization and put the WIN system in another place, maintained perhaps by volunteers. Ms. Vengroff said we wanted to use volunteer time as an in-kind match for the grant--we don't have any cash for grant-matching funds. Mr. Ogden said he wanted the Board to be aware of the tradeoffs to be made between where money was spent and where volunteer time was used. Mr. Ogden said he would try to attend the WIN meeting on Saturday, April 15 to discuss system design options with the technical people there.

Mr. Ogden suggested that the WIN system be co-located with another Internet-connected system, e.g., Ann Arbor Public Library, Eastern Michigan University, University of Michigan, GREX, a Merit customer in the ITI building. Mr. Ogden also suggested that the WIN system should try to piggyback on an already operational ISDN centrex service. He said that for the WIN grant application we could say that Merit is committed to helping find a location for the system in Washtenaw County that already has good Internet access.

A number of Board members are scheduled to meet at noon on April 26, 1995 with Joe Fitzsimmons, President of University Microfilms, to discuss support for the HVCN. Mr. Barr will send Mr. Fitzsimmons a packet of information about HVCN before the meeting.

Ms. Vengroff suggested that the HVCN Board consider adding to itself one or two more technical people. She also observed that as the WIN consortium moved forward, HVCN must also be developed and add some substance to itself.

The next Board meeting was scheduled for Wednesday, April 19, 1995 at 7:00 a.m. at Eastern Michigan University's McKenny Union.

The meeting was adjourned at 8:35 a.m.

Respectfully submitted,

Keith Stanger, Secretary