Monday, February 18, 2019
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Around The Grange
February 2018 News from The State Secretary

By Todd Gelineau, CT State Grange Secretary

  February 7, 2018 --

Unlike what they used to say on “A Prairie Home Companion”, it has NOT been a quiet month in “Lake Wobegon”! With the many and varied issues we are working on at the State Grange level, the State Secretary’s job has seemed to be more like one of those plate spinners at the circus - - give each one as much attention as necessary to prevent them from crashing to the floor. OK, that might be a bit dramatic… but not by much!

In December, I sent out a mailing to each Grange requesting two things.

1) A completed 990N EPostcard form providing all the information necessary for me to complete your Grange’s IRS filing for the year. The State Grange Board of Directors voted to have the State Grange take over filing for ALL Granges in 2018 as all employer identification numbers fall under the umbrella of the State Grange. I thank all of the Granges that have done so in a timely manner. However, there is a good number of Granges that have yet to turn in their forms. Please do so as soon as possible.

2) Each Grange received notice of the 2018 National Grange Bonding Program. This is also handled completely by me. However, it is up to each Grange to review the coverage available and decide what coverage is appropriate for your particular Grange.

A complete list of the levels of coverage and the premiums required was also included in the mailing. If you have not done so already, please complete this form and return it to the State Grange as soon as possible. This was due by Jan. 15. If we do not hear from your Grange, it will be renewed at the level from 2017 and you will be billed for that premium. A single check and one complete list must be returned to the National Grange very soon. The State Grange will have to advance the money on any and all Granges that haven’t responded. The delay in responding isn’t fair to those Granges who acted promptly.

In the next few weeks you should be receiving a mailing of printed materials from the State Grange to include the 2018 Legislative Policy Book, 2018 State Directory and a new publication from the State and National Grange. The new publication is a companion to the Master’s Handbook published a number of years ago—it is “Guidelines for Grange Leaders.”

Many members have asked us for more detailed information on the responsibilities of officers and committees beyond the Master’s Station and this book should help everyone. The original book was published by the National Grange and edited by National Master Betsy Huber - we have taken that volume and formatted similar in size the to the Master’s Handbook, adding information pertinent to Connecticut. Five copies will be sent to each Grange and we hope they will be shared by everyone in your Grange and handed down to your successors, like the Master’s Handbook. Printing these books is expensive but we feel it is worth it if our Granges get useful information from them.

Your Granges will also be receiving receipts for the 990N filing with the IRS. When received, please put them in a safe place. With the extremely tight State budget and the reduced funding to cities and towns, our municipalities are looking for money everywhere. In many cases, Granges are receiving requests to renew their paperwork for tax exempt status on property and Grange Halls. Please don’t ignore it. We know many of the forms are complicated but this is a necessary process. Failure to comply could result in your Grange having to pay property tax.

In a separate article in this issue, I have reviewed the news from our new Pomona Granges so I will let you read it there and not repeat it here. I do need to repeat information you may have missed. January 1 is the time when dues become payable for many of our Subordinate and Pomona Granges. Please pay your Pomona Dues as you always have to your collector in your Community/Subordinate Grange (if that’s how your Grange handles it) or to your new Pomona Secretary (if they have been elected— Pomona A and C have done so). Also, please pay the amount you have previously paid to your old Pomona. If there is a change in the dues amount for your new Pomona, that change will go into effect for the 2018- 2019 Grange year. The Executive Committee felt this was the best way to handle this fairly during this transitional period.

Has your Grange paid its dues to the State Grange for the quarter ended December 31? If not, please do so soon. Your Grange cannot receive the 2018 Annual Word key and cipher until your report has been filed. A $25 fee will also be assessed on all reports received after Jan. 31.

As always, don’t hesitate to contact me with questions or concerns. The Central Office is well stocked with supplies, apparel, and Grange merchandise. Please let us know if you have a need we can fill.

Until next time … stay warm— spring will hopefully be here before long!


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