by Mike Conroy
Even though the recent weather has been warm, most residents are probably not thinking about the summer pool season just yet. But, to be ready for when it is time to take that first dip, the Montgomery Village Foundation (MVF) Board of Directors approved bids for pre-season pool work at their February 23 meeting.
The Board reaffirmed a previous e-mail vote to replace the wading pool slide at Whetstone Pool. The current whale slide did not hold up after a few seasons, despite being resurfaced once already. After much searching, with the aid of Paddock Pools, a new, all-fiberglass alternate was identified. The Board authorized $24,232 for the purchase and installation of the new slide.
Bids were also awarded to Winkler Pool Management and Poolservice Company in the amounts of $20,200 and $16,400, respectively, to perform caulking, skimmer replacement and de-winterization of MVF pools. This prep work covers preseason renovation, repairs and maintenance either required by Montgomery County or to maintain MVF pools at a high level, ensuring they are ready for the summer demands.
Other Agenda Items
The Board also approved changes to the MVF Personnel Manual, as recommended by the Personnel Committee. Clarifications of employee categories were due to the new Montgomery County Sick and Safe Leave Policy.
Village residents Christine Scott and John Llewellyn were appointed to the Communications Committee. Scott and Llewellyn bring a vast amount of communications, marketing, IT and strategic planning experience to the committee.
Finally, the Board approved Executive Vice President (EVP) Dave Humpton to negotiate and execute a limited pool use agreement with Thomas Choice Condominium for the 2017 pool season. Terms of the agreement may also include an automatic 5-year renewal, with reasonable fee escalation based on the Consumer Price Index.
Board President Pete Young thanked the residents and candidates who attended the “Meet the Candidates” event prior to the meeting. He noted that ballots were due soon and encouraged all residents to vote. Young also mentioned that it was nice to see so many neighbors and residents out enjoying the unseasonably warm weather. He said that during a time when we’re used to being cooped up inside, it was a great reminder of how great the community really is.
EVP Humpton invited Assistant Director of Recreation, Parks and Culture Scott Gole to give an update on the county’s Outfall Tower repair project at Lake Whetstone. Gole reported that the concrete work was completed in mid-January and must fully cure before the water level is restored to normal. Once the water level is restored (which is dependent on rainfall), the barge will be able to install the slue gate and trash rack. Work is expected to be finished by mid-March, with the park re-opening in mid-April. Humpton added that as much trash as could be safely reached was extracted from the lake. Residents are reminded not to venture into the lake while the water levels are lowered.
Humpton also noted that TransWestern, the owner of the Professional Center, was working to board up and secure the center. They report that they currently have a contract pending on the site. Humpton said even if the contract went through, it would easily be two to three years before there would be any development on the site. In the meantime, county police will include the site on their daily patrol.
Regarding current legislation, Humpton asked the Board for opinions on supporting two bills currently under review. HB789 proposes that condominium and HOA bylaws be changed by less than the current 66 2/3% quorum and redefines “good standing” as a resident no more than 90 days delinquent. MVF’s previous position on such legislation was not in favor; however, in doing further research, along with three of the Village’s largest HOAs, would support recommending a 55% quorum and “good standing” as having no delinquency.
Regarding HB651 – Reserves Studies, the bill would require HOAs of more than 50 units to perform regular Reserve Studies to replace common elements. MVF’s position is that it is advisable for boards to perform reserve studies and plan for future, and therefore would support this legislation. The bill does not specifically require hiring a Reserve Specialist to perform the work, but the concept of planning for the future seems reasonable and responsible for associations.
Treasurer Bob Carey reported on MVF’s financial health for January 2017. Carey noted the Balance Sheet reported activity for 2017 and showed MVF’s continued strong financial position. MVF currectly has just under $8.5 million in Cash and Investments, and Equity of $14.9 million, a 7.3% increase over last year.
Carey said Revenue for the month was $726,000, and favorability to the budget in these areas was due to timing and will correct over the course of the year. He noted the same for Personnel costs, saying they were below budget now and will even out with seasonal work later in the year. Carey reported that Expenses followed the same trend, especially landscaping, as the unseasonably warm weather meant no snow events, and hence, lower expenses.
Investment income was also reported as favorable to the budget, due to the recent positive changes in the stock market.
The next MVF Board of Directors meeting is scheduled for 7 p.m. on Thursday, March 23, at North Creek Community Center, 20125 Arrowhead Road. The Annual Meeting is scheduled immediately following the Board meeting (approximately 7:45 p.m.) on Thursday, March 23, also at North Creek. Residents are invited and encouraged to attend either or both meetings. The Annual Meeting will honor community volunteers and staff, as well as highlighting 2016 accomplishments and financials. The meeting agenda and information packet will be available online at www.montgomeryvillage.com the week of the meeting.