Frequently Asked Questions

What payments are necessary and what are they for?

Upon moving into the house there are three initial payments expected of a new member; your first months rent, your membershare, and your membership fee to NASCO. Additionally there is the Food and Utilities payment (F&U), $170 at Plankton and $185 at Ol’ Wondermoth, which is paid monthly like rent, but always on the 15th.

What does my rent do?

Rent does two things, it helps pay the mortgage on the building and it is organized into a set of accounts which come back to us for maintenance funds. Rent is determined by the square footage of the room and thus varies. At Ol’ Wondermoth (208 North St) the rooms range from about $239 to $378, and Plankton’s (126 Fargo Ave) rooms go from $204 up to $300.

What is the membershare?

The membershare is a $250 payment which our by-laws require people to pay to the house in order to vote in meetings and hold a room in the house. This payment also acts as a sort of security deposit and can be returned to the member upon moving out.

What’s this crazy membership fee?

The $41 membership fee makes you a full member of our parent non-profit, North American Students of Co-Operation (NASCO). This is a one-time only lifetime membership.

What is included in utilities?

Food and utilities gets split into paying for gas, electricity, water, phone and wireless internet, and then the bulk and grocery shopping the house does. The bulk shops are usually put out every month and include the more storable necessities such as beans, vinegar, oil, toilet paper, cleaning supplies, and more. The grocery shops are every friday and monday, made by one of the house’s appointed shoppers and include more perishable items such as produce and items that we need to hold us over till the next bulk order.

When are the meetings?

Each house holds its own meetings once a week except the first week of the month, and both houses have a joint organizational meeting called a general assembly four times a year. As of the time of this writing Ol’ Wondermoth has their meetings Sundays at 6pm and Plankton house holds theirs Sundays at 7pm. Attendance to the meetings should be considered mandatory and a member who can not make it to one of the meetings should let the house know ahead of time.

When are potlucks?

Potlucks at Ol’ Wondermoth are every Wednesday at 7pm. Plankton’s potlucks are on Mondays, also at 7pm.

Are pets or children welcome?

You betcha! The one thing to take into consideration is the fact that any children will also be a part of the community and though they don’t need to fill out a separate application we would appreciate a chance to meet them ahead of time. We also appreciate it if applicants bring over any dogs they intend to move in with. Regrettably some people have allergies to pets and we do place preference on members’ physical health over pets, so we reserve the right to refuse pets. Service animals are NOT pets and are welcome.

Are all meals vegan or vegetarian? What if I have specific dietary needs? (lactose intolerant, celiacs, etc.)

For mostly historical and logistical reasons, collectively we do not purchase meat with house funds, and the main dish at potlucks is vegan/vegetarian. There is not a stigma in the house surrounding meat, eggs or dairy, however we need to be accepting and supportive of other peoples’ choices and needs. For this reason we ask that an option for people with special dietary needs is served when it is your turn to cook.

Can I sublet my room?

It’s possible but the person who would be living in the room would need to undergo the same application process so we can get to know them.

Is there a lease required? For how long?

We do require members to sign a one year lease, which lays out which room you’ll be living in and the expectations of the organization. The reason for this is essentially we want to build a community and we don’t like our friends to go away once we’ve grown to love them.

What are the additional responsibilities of the coop?

Members are expected to do a number of things in addition to paying rent and F&U:

  • First off, attending meetings are mandatory (this includes the quarterly general assemblies).
  • Secondly doing your chores is important for the happiness of the house (who wakes up happy when the bathroom is grimy?)
  • We each take turns making sure that there’s dinner on the table Sunday through Thursday and brunch on Sunday mornings. (with a house full of people you usually only need to cook about twice a month).
  • Additionally, while it is not required, members are encouraged to take on a house position or become a board member for a time. This could include things such as grocery shopper, bulk food purchaser, house or organizational treasurer, membership coordinator or maintenance coordinator.
  • Finally, the houses often host extra events such as fundraising parties and alumni weekend which will only function if the members take on the various roles necessary such as posting fliers, standing door or tending bar and the like.

How is maintenance on the house handled?

The house has regular work holidays where the current members and guests put honest manual labor into the maintenance of the house. The maintenance coordinator is responsible for organizing tasks and securing materials. Projects that are outside our means or abilities are outsourced and paid for by NASCO, using funds that we have paid in.

Can we apply as a couple?

Nickel City Coop does not accept a couple together, which just means that you each fill out an application and we vote on you separately. You can still of course live in a room together. Commonly in this situation people will split the rent payment for the room in half, and then each would be responsible for their own food and utilities payment.