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futura
Recruit

Posts: 46
Unit: MAR

« on: July 10, 2019, 01:31:06 AM »

The squadron commander just received this communication. We’ve got a couple of months to locate our next weekly meeting space and locate secure storage for supplies and uniforms. Life happens and we’ve all seen or heard of squadrons making temporary and permanent location adjustments.

We are a smaller composite squadron in a rebuilding mode, which on a good meeting night, has 20 members in attendance. Just curious as to which no cost-low cost meeting and storage solutions others have come across in similar situations. Appreciate everyones thoughts!
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Ozzy
Seasoned Member

Posts: 454
Unit: GA

« Reply #1 on: July 10, 2019, 01:37:07 AM »

Check with local VFW, a lot of times they would host for free or ultra-low cost.

Perhaps a local Church. A lot of squadrons do this.

You might need to change your meeting night to accommodate but as noted before, such is life.
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Ozyilmaz, MSgt, CAP
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MSG Mac
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Posts: 2,055
Unit: MER-MD-071

« Reply #2 on: July 10, 2019, 06:46:30 AM »

In my local area, we have 1 small Squadron meeting at the Salvation Army, and a very large one meeting at the County Police HQ.
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Michael P. McEleney
Lt Col CAP
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JacobAnn
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Posts: 102

« Reply #3 on: July 10, 2019, 11:17:00 AM »

Finding meeting space likely won't be the problem finding storage space will be.  The previous suggestions are good and FBOs at the local airport often welcome CAP meeting nights since it is good business for them.  But depending how much storage area you need could be a problem since many of these places can't offer CAP it's own secure storage.
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NIN
Administrator

Posts: 5,367
Unit: of issue

« Reply #4 on: July 10, 2019, 11:25:55 AM »

We were lucky that we had a place to park it, but a local storage company donated a 20ft connex to us 15 years ago. Most of our stuff is in there.
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Darin Ninness, Lt Col, CAP
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GroundHawg
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Posts: 657

« Reply #5 on: July 10, 2019, 01:20:49 PM »

Contact you local service organizations and explain your dilemma. The VFW, American Legion, churches, Freemasons, Lions Club, fire dept,  local EM coordinator, etc.... even if they do not have the space, they will know someone who does.

As far as storage, you could contact a the local self storage places and see if they would be willing to donate a space for the write off.
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jhighman
Recruit

Posts: 46
Unit: SER-FL-032

« Reply #6 on: July 10, 2019, 02:05:25 PM »

I have known of several squadrons who had a double-wide trailer set up on the grounds of their local regional airport. In many of those cases, it’s the county government that manages the airport, so you’d likely have to make inquiries through them. I don’t know how up to date the site can be, but if you look the airport up on AirNav.com, it should list contact information for the FBOs and managers.

For what it’s worth, two of the squadrons obtained their trailers were former model homes/sales offices for trailer dealerships who were moving to a newer model and wanted to off-load the old one. I also knew of one unit who got theirs donated from a construction company who used it as a site office. In all three cases, the only “cost” was that the unit had to transport it!
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Spam
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Posts: 1,318
Unit: GA-090

« Reply #7 on: July 10, 2019, 04:14:51 PM »


From a Wing perspective (having gone through these drills with several of my units the past couple of years):

1. Keep your chain of command in the search loop at all times.

2. Ensure that any proposed host agreements are documented in writing to prevent misunderstandings.
2b. Get any assumptions re: power and water, parking, after hours access, etc. in writing.
2c. Make sure that liability coverage/assumptions are carefully documented.
2d. Ensure that your Wing Legal Officer and Wing Commander approves of the plan.

3. In a way, this crosses into fund raising in that you are seeking a donation/use of a facility or services. Therefore, remember that any "donations" in kind or in money absolutely may NOT be accepted by you as a local... you have to route this through Wing and document them. We've seen IG investigations uncover bad situations where CAP members "accepted donations" that later were claimed as personal property, leading to a he said/she said fight over ownership, making CAP look really poor and shaming our status as the USAF auxiliary. Don't Be That Guy - do it right.

4. On trailers... ensure that your Wing Commander is in the loop before ever engaging outside CAP about the potential to secure new trailers, emplace them, or accept their use. We've seen the negative results of local units which "scored" post Katrina FEMA trailers to build a unit HQ at a local airport, only to leave CAP and the Airport authority with a legal and financial nightmare years later when the unit folded. What has happened (more than once) is that the airport ends up with a decaying unsafe eyesore on their property and bills Wing for a bulldozing removal effort to the tune of many thousands of dollars. That's absolutely unacceptable to take "free" stuff without having a plan accepted by Wing to include life cycle support costs/assumptions documented. Don't leave your brothers and sisters volunteering in other units left with a nightmare to clean up (literally, in some of our cases as we all pitched in with gloves and safety gear to physically tear down abandoned "gifts"). Don't be That Guy, do it right.

5. Especially since you say you have a small unit, carefully consider CPP with respect to who will have access to your cadets. You don't want to be in a situation where you have unscreened, untrained people (even, or should I say especially, pastors and priests and otherwise well meaning folks) who have an assumed ok to access cadets to "help us out". Don't put those host personnel, our cadets, or CAP in an ambiguous and legally liable position. We've had units at churches or other facilities where CAP members had to go through additional youth worker screening/training (e.g. Catholic Diocese training, Methodist "Safe Space" training, etc.). Get those assumptions all documented up front, to avoid misunderstandings, to ensure compliance, and to above all control access and keep our cadets safe.


Best of luck
Spam


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Eclipse
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« Reply #8 on: July 10, 2019, 04:33:27 PM »

3. In a way, this crosses into fund raising in that you are seeking a donation/use of a facility or services. Therefore, remember that any "donations" in kind or in money absolutely may NOT be accepted by you as a local... you have to route this through Wing and document them. We've seen IG investigations uncover bad situations where CAP members "accepted donations" that later were claimed as personal property, leading to a he said/she said fight over ownership, making CAP look really poor and shaming our status as the USAF auxiliary. Don't Be That Guy - do it right.

IANAL, but the last time I looked into this for a unit, a building owner cannot write off the value of a building or facility as a donation to
CAP unless they literally donate the building itself.

This comes up all the time when walking hat in hand to someone who has an empty property "I could write this off if you use it."

That's a tax code thing, not a CAP thing.
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Spam
Salty & Seasoned Contributor

Posts: 1,318
Unit: GA-090

« Reply #9 on: July 10, 2019, 05:02:30 PM »


Good point.  Your note about empty properties prompts me on another one:  beware the hidden costs of an apparently attractive unused meeting place. I've seen several units covet abandoned/disused federal, state, and local facilities, only to find out that there were serious pest control, structural safety, or hazmat clean up issues with that "perfect meeting place with the motorpool, classes, and drill pad". In many cases there were Reasons why it was disused in the first place that no one could remember...

Why, we've even had some sad stories of Wing HQs like that.  HQ in a state mental hospital, HQ spread throughout three condemned private houses just off the airport, HQ in a rotting, unsafe 1940s former base commanders house, etc.  Desperate times aren't something that should push us into unsafe conditions.

V/r
Spam





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NIN
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Unit: of issue

« Reply #10 on: July 10, 2019, 06:04:16 PM »

Interestingly, occasionally I have come across former "classsroom trailers" that are "free for the taking, you gotta move it."

Usually in a school district that saw some substantial population growth before they could build legit building space, so they used trailers for a couple years until they could fund the buildings.

If it costs $1500-2000 to move it, well, that might be either  "oh, we can do that" or "oh, geez, no way," but a call to the local trailer movers might get you a nice little "donation" in terms of moving them, etc.

All of the aforementioned caveats apply.

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Darin Ninness, Lt Col, CAP
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The contents of this post are Copyright © 2007-2019 by NIN. All rights are reserved. Specific permission is given to quote this post here on CAP-Talk only.
futura
Recruit

Posts: 46
Unit: MAR

« Reply #11 on: July 11, 2019, 12:10:02 PM »

Thank you all for your insight and suggestions. Please keep those posts coming. I agree that storage may outweigh meeting space, at least at this time.

Will keep everyone in the loop as we go on this journey so that other squadrons might benefit from our experience.
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