Notice of Special Vestry

Tues, June 15, 2021

7pm via ZOOM

Click the image to the right for more details. 

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Vestry List and Agenda

  • The ZOOM room will be open 15 minutes prior to the start of the meeting. 

  • The meeting will be recorded for the purpose of minute taking. 

  • All voting will be done through ZOOM's polling system. 

 

Who can vote at Vestry? 

 

You may vote at Vestry if you are 

  • 16 years of age or over 

  • You have been worshipping at All Saints' for the past three months or more. we know it has been COVID and we have not been meeting in person. On-line worship counts and we trust your word. 

  • Please know that if you have been absent due to illness or travel, you are still eligible and welcome to vote! 

  • Even if you do not qualify on this basis, your presence at, and participation in Vestry are most important. 

 

Your participation matters – join us!

 

                     Agenda                Check if your name is on the Vestry List

                 Canon 6               Canon 6 Flowchart

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If you have questions regarding the Special Vestry please send them to specialvestry@allsaintspeterborough.org. We will answer them directly and share the answers here. 

  1. Having read the email of May 26th it is not clear to me how there is already a motion to sell in principle. I think it would be more beneficial to the parishioners to have a vestry of information about the Terraces before voting to move ahead with a sale.

Thank you for your question. Whenever a parish considers selling property it must follow Canon 6. The Canon 6 Flow Chart and the full Canon can be found above. The Canon 6 Flow Chart lays out the procedures. The first step is a conversation and permission from the Bishop, the second step is a Special Vestry for an ‘agreement in principle’ – all this means is that the leadership can investigate the selling of property. The actual sale must be voted on in order to complete the transaction – which would be a second special vestry, which is step seven in the Canon 6 Flow Chart. 

  2.  While I understand that the management of the Terraces has become too onerous for All Saints’, has it been

       considered that it could be more beneficial to raze the building and retain the property? The leadership

       team understands the concern some parishioners have about selling off assets. There have been many

       conversations about work arounds (leasing, partnerships) within the leadership team, with the Bishop,

       and the diocese. Demolishing the buildings and retaining the land is not optional. First, as a church we are

       committed to contributing in any way we can to affordable housing, secondly, we have no valid reason to

       demolish 7 living units in a city with such a low vacancy rate, and finally, even though the law (under certain

       conditions) allows us to terminate tenancy for demolition the cost would be prohibitive. 

   3.  I wonder if this is the best timing to consider such a large move when we are still in a pandemic.  

        Additionally, the church is not in immediate need of cash, and it may be more lucrative to wait a couple of

        years so that the real estate market settles post-pandemic. Also, it is impossible to predict how the 

       pandemic effects will alter Peterborough's social needs. 

It is difficult to predict what effect the pandemic will have on real estate and some experts are saying it will be a number of years before we know the full economic extent of the pandemic. However, waiting a few years could in fact lower the value of the Terraces as significant work will be needed in the next 5 – 10 years and the rental income cannot be raised to accommodate the expenses.  

   4.  If the building is razed, there could be an opportunity to rent the space for parking as we do with the back

        parking lot. The generated revenue would offset the loss of the approx. $20,000 a year going into the

        operating account.

If the buildings were demolished, we would not receive $20,000 a year for rental of the land as parking. The current parking lot which is twice the size of the Terrace land generates $13,000 a year. Additionally, the cost of demolition would be significant and would erase any income for a number of years. We would also have to pay back approximately $82,000 to the city for the Renovate Peterborough Grant which does not mature until 2028.

  5.  The motion includes giving preference to affordable housing entities. Would that affect the selling price, i.e.

       who would determine the “best possible price”? What weight would be given to the purchaser’s ability to

       pay? Are there any discussions that are already taking place with the Diocese about who the “potential

       buyers” are?

The best possible price is determined by a number of factors; 3 separate Opinions of Value from commercial realtors, an inspection of the units and property, and of course the market. Keep in mind that part of the Opinion of Value is calculated by the rental income, and the income of the Terraces is below even that of Peterborough housing. It is our first desire and priority to sell to a purchaser who will continue to good work started in the Terraces by All Saints’ in affordable housing, this would mean that no housing is lost in Peterborough (which would happen if the buildings were demolished), and the balance of the existing loan would be transferred to the purchaser. If a purchaser within that category cannot be found for the appropriate price, then we would open up the market to others, and we would owe the city of Peterborough approximately $82,000 for the Renovate Peterborough Grant which does not mature until 2028. There have been no conversations with the diocese about potential buyers. 

  6.  Is the objective to maximize the financial standing of the church-related to this very significant real estate

      asset that we possess? Or, is the objective to be a Christian organization that helps support people who are

      working to achieve and maintain a self-sufficient lifestyle? To me, this distinction needs to be arrived at

      before we can consider options, conditions, parameters, etc.

The answer is both. We certainly want to ensure both financial and ministry sustainability for All Saints’, and we are a Christian church that is definitely committed to supporting people who are working to achieve and maintain a self-sufficient lifestyle. We engage in that support through the ministry of the Social Justice and Advocacy Committee. The weekly Food Security program and the community garden are two of the initiatives currently underway. You can read about others in the SJAC MAP. These are not contrary positions or considerations. 

  7.  In my opinion, I do not think the church should be attempting to make major decisions at this time.

       The pandemic alone makes informed discussion and input for parishioners very difficult. For the next year

       or more it will be difficult to know what our church will look like in terms of membership, finances, and

       future services that it can provide. Given this uncertainty, at this time if the Terraces cannot be managed,

       we should move to terminate all tenancies in the 7 units and hold the property vacant until we properly

       consider all options.

We appreciate your opinion and understand that people will have varied and differing opinions on this matter. The pandemic has presented us with all kinds of challenges, and we believe All Saints’ have responded with agility, flexibility, and faithfulness. We have a 3-year Missional Strategy, and we are committed to living into it and continuing the good work, and growth All Saints’ has experienced in this pandemic. The world is always changing around us, and we must respond as best we can. We cannot terminate the tenancies in the 7 units, like any landlord we are governed by the Landlord and Tenant Act. Empty units would also not alleviate the housing shortage, and the liability of empty units would be substantial. 

  8.  Has the City expressed an interest in purchasing them to add to their stock of affordable housing?

There have been no official conversations with any potential purchaser, if the motion before Special Vestry is approved, potential purchasers we will approach. 

  9.  Would the proceeds of the sale be held by the Diocese in Trust for the parish or go directly to All Saints'?  

Proceeds from the sale of the Terraces are not held in trust. However, Canon 6 does stipulate that the diocese is to receive 50% of the proceeds. There is a process for applying for more than 50% and in early conversations with Bishop Shaw, she supports All Saints’ seeking more than 50%.

10. How does the sale of the Terraces fit within the Mission Action Plan ("MAP")?  

The leadership team is committed to the Missional Strategy and although we appreciate that the appearance seems to be in opposition to the Missional Strategy we believe it will only enable us to engage more fully.  The sale of the Terraces is intended to support the Sustainability component of our Missional Strategy by providing a more stable income stream from investing the proceeds of the sale and by reducing our liability, risk, and increased costs for maintenance and repairs.  Selling the Terraces supports our People and Worship goals by removing conflicts of interest when faced with difficult decisions concerning tenants.  And finally, selling the Terraces supports our Missional work as we open up our minds to focus on new and different avenues to help others.
 

The proposed sale appears to:

  • eliminate an income source, 

We are committed to maintaining an income source from potential proceeds of the sale of the Terraces. As is evident from the income summary included in the materials for special vestry the income is controlled and static, but the expenses have increased and continue to increase, as an income stream the Terraces are not stable or sustainable.   As stated in the documents accompanying the Motion, we know what the income should be as the rents are static however, the net income return is diminishing as the expenses are increasing and it appears significant repairs and updates to some units will be required in the near future.

 

  • eliminate a strategic partnership (Youth Emergency Shelter), 

We are committed to our partnership with the Youth Emergency Shelter. The sale of the Terraces will change the partnership, but it will not eliminate it. 

 

  • eliminates All Saints' active participation in affordable housing in the City of Peterborough.

Three objectives explicitly stated and approved within the MAP.  

Although the sale has AS stepping back from being a landlord, it does not remove us from future participation in the needed affordable housing in and for the City of Peterborough. There may be future possibilities of developing the St. Alban’s property as affordable housing. 

11. From a financial perspective: What is the Fair Market Value of the Terraces?

We do not know the answer to this question. Canon 6 requires a special vestry of agreement in principle before we can begin any in-depth or official inquiry. After that, we are required to obtain 3 Opinions of Value from commercial realtors. In very preliminary conversations we have learned that the property is worth between $800,000 and $1,100,000. 

 

  • What is the maximum acceptable discount to the sale price when considering a purchaser?

We are uncertain of the meaning of the question, but we are assuming that you are thinking that selling to a Not-for-Profit end user who would continue the good work of affordable housing would require us to discount the property. We are committed to seeking the best possible price. If a purchaser in the Not-for-Profit category cannot meet the price, then we will open up to other purchasers. Many of the potential Not-for-Profit purchasers we may approach already have properties and part of their mandates is to increase their real estate holdings.  

We will evaluate that issue as we move forward and will provide various options at a second Vestry meeting when final approvals are sought from the congregation.

 

  • The Terraces contribute approximately $25,000 annually to support the general operations (salaries, utilities, etc).  What is the plan to replace this income source? Invest the proceeds - What is the gross investment and required annual return to generate $25,000 annual income?  

Accompanying the motion is the income statement for the Terraces. The income from the Terraces has been declining over the past 10 years and is expected to continue to do so.  Proceeds from the sale could generate the same amount of income or more if invested properly, without taking on the risk of being a landlord with an older building. We are committed to replacing this income source and will be looking into different ideas and possibilities. 

 

  • Renovations - what will the proposed elevator or kitchen upgrade contribute towards the $25,000 annual income?  

The thinking at present is that investing a portion of the proceeds will replace all or part of the $25,000 annual income so that upgrading the church or parish hall is not required for that purpose.  

 

Additionally, the suggested renovations will:

Kitchen upgrade - this upgrade has been a priority for AS for many years. Over the last two years, our Food Security ministry has grown exponentially. This is a ministry we can all be really proud of, it is a ministry that builds relationships between the church and our neighbours who are food insecure, it feeds families, and it offers dignity and hope to the neighbours Jesus commands us to love. As COVID restrictions continue to lift this ministry will continue to grow; monthly community meals will be added, and children fed through our partnership with KYO’s, Upbeat after-school program. 

 

The elevator will allow access to all three levels of the church proper. This not only increases our accessibility but also brings our building into a level of compliance with the Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act (AODA). Both of these improvements would also increase the scope of rental possibilities. 

 

  • In the recent past, our only experience in selling an All Saints' capital asset was the sale of the Rectory.  In retrospect, was it a good financial decision? ie does in the investment income offset the housing allowances currently being paid?

The records show that the rectory was sold for a number of reasons; the priest at the time did not want to live in it and the rectory required some work. There was a discussion regarding the pros and cons of selling versus renting the rectory and in the end, the vestry made a decision to sell the rectory. The current investment income from the Rectory Fund held by the diocese does not cover the current housing allowance. 

 

  • How do the future repair costs of the Terraces compare to the $70,000 Repair Reserve included in the Annual Financial statements as of December 31, 2020?

There has been a commitment to put aside $10,000 per year in the maintenance fund for the Terraces. In the last four years, we have only managed to set aside $20,675 of the proposed $40,000. By the end of 2021, it is expected that we will have spent approximately $30,000 of the $70,000 to complete the repairs currently required.  In addition, we must remember that the property taxes, insurance, and other monthly invoices continue to increase.

12. Why does the management of the Terraces take so much time when a property manager has been hired?  If the Leadership Team is dissatisfied with the current Terraces property manager, what steps and other options have been explored?

 

The property management company has specific roles - a collection of rental income, they are the first line of contact for tenants, and they arrange for repairs. Despite this, the leadership team spends an inordinate amount of time making decisions relating to the Terraces. Also, perhaps the most important consideration is that engaging a property management company does not remove AS from the liability of owning an operating rental property. we are still the landlord with the liabilities, responsibilities, and the conflict of being a landlord whole at the same time fulfilling our social and missional commitments.

 

There may be better property management companies available, and they of course charge considerably more than the one we currently use, which obviously reduces the income available at the end of the day.

13. I'm intrigued to understand the Leadership Team's long-term vision for the All Saints' campus footprint? 

The leadership team is committed to fulfilling the vision within the Missional Strategy, (which contains input from many in our congregation), by investing in the pillars of People, Worship, Sustainability, and Mission. We continue to develop our strengths, learn from our trials, and grow into an integral community hub for our neighbourhood and city. Our campus footprint is love and justice lived out in relationship with our neighbours, and includes our history, our present, and a future written by the Spirit going in and through our faith. That footprint includes everything from buildings and assets to mission and worship. 

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Annual Vestry Meeting for 2020 was held on Sunday, February 28, 2021 ~ 11am - 1pm via ZOOM. 

Documents are available below. 

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