Our vertical storage has always been intended to be temporary storage for short-term (up to 3 month) projects, to allow members to bring in material for a project, but then release the space for others to use when the project is complete. In the past it has been the woodworking warden’s responsibility to ensure that the spaces were being used for active projects and to enforce reservation renewal limits.
Unfortunately, over the years, this system has proven to be nearly impossible to manage in a fair and effective manor. When I was the wood shop warden, I tried to get the members who had vertical storage spaces to either renew their space reservations or clear out their spaces, and it took nearly 3 months to even get all of the members to respond to emails about the vertical storage. The system effectively became a first-come, first-serve permanent squatting zone for people’s idle material.
In order to fix this in our new space, and allow us to start assigning vertical storage spaces again, I’d like to propose the following changes to our vertical storage rules and reservation system:
- Limit the maximum number of months any one member may have a vertical storage space reserved to 6 months out of any 12 month period.
- To maintain the original intent of it being temporary project storage for all members, have the every member eligible for up to 3 months of vertical storage reservation in any 12 month period with no charge beyond membership
- to encourage timely release of the spaces, charge an incrementing fee for the 4th through 6th month of reservation within any 12 month period, with the fourth month being $20, 5th being $30, and 6th being $40.
- To make the system less of a burden on the leadership and wardens, I propose that we automate the reservation system in intweb. The fee for months 4-6 will be set up to use swipe, the system we already use for soda credits. Space reservations will be tracked and expiry warnings automatically generated by intweb.
- To ensure the spaces are being used for active projects, the space renewals will be required to be done in-person, in the space. A storage reservation/renewal kiosk will be built that requires a badge swipe, and allows the member to select from available vertical storage spaces or renew a space reservation. The kiosk will also display the status of every space’s reservation (reserved, available, or requires renewal) so that any warden or leader may quickly identify spaces that contain material, but are not reserved, so that the material can be removed and tagged with a parking ticket tag.
- There will be a one week grace period for spaces that require renewal. The system will generate an email reminder to renew, and flag the space as requiring renewal, but not be available to other members till after the one week grace period. After that week, any material left in the space can be removed and tagged with a parking ticket tag, and the space reassigned if it has not been renewed.
Brant martin has volunteered to lead the Intweb and kiosk engineering/coding/hacking/building. To support his efforts, I propose a budget of $200 for whatever electrical bits he needs (badge readers, microcontrollers, LEDs, buttons, etc.). I’m sure he wouldn’t mind others volunteering to help on the project either.