by Mike Conroy
At the February 22 Montgomery Village Foundation (MVF) Board of Director meeting, the Board awarded a bid for the replacement of the playground at Stedwick Community Center. The current equipment was installed in 1995 and is showing signs of wear from 22 years of use; since then, safety guidelines and standards have also changed.
The Recreation Committee gathered resident feedback and reviewed designs submitted by several interested contractors. Community feedback suggested swings, slides, climbing areas, sliding poles and interactive items, such as a tic-tac-toe panel, among other features. Different surfacing materials were also considered.
After reviewing the Recreation Committee’s recommendation, the Board awarded a bid to Playground Specialists, Inc. in an amount not to exceed $98,972.74 from Reserves. The approved design includes a climbing net and climbing structure, swings, slides, a seesaw, an overhead ladder and interactive area. The playground will be rated for ages 5 to 12 and utilize engineered wood fiber surface material.
Other Agenda Items
Following a presentation by Director of Recreation and Parks Duncan Mullis, the Board discussed the concept of improvements to the ball fields at South Valley Park. Mullis conceptually proposed planting Bermuda grass on the football field and installing an irrigation system and fencing to maintain the facility. He noted that data from the recent Recreation and Parks survey suggested that residents desired sports leagues for children, and having a “home field” or a “destination facility” could go a long way in providing the correct playing surface for that type of activity.
Mullis said that the full scope of work would be discussed at the Monday, April 2 Recreation Committee meeting, but his hope would be, pending Board approval of a final proposal, to start work in May and finish in August, in time for the Montgomery Village Sports Association football program to start. The Board was encouraging about the initial work by the Department of Recreation and Parks, and directed Mullis to continue with the process, bringing a full proposal and scope of work back for consideration.
The Board appointed resident Brenda Yombo to the Audit Committee. Yombo had previously talked with Board members, and her skills and professional expertise make her a good fit for the Audit Committee. Additionally, an e-mail vote for the purchase of MVF Office network equipment was reaffirmed. In order to meet an installation deadline, the equipment needed to be approved and ordered prior to the February meeting.
Finally, based on feedback, discussion and recommendation from the February 7 Communications Committee meeting, the Board approved changes to the Village News Letters to the Editor Policy. In an effort to help residents receive more timely responses to specific local association matters, as well as help associations continue to conduct business in a constructive manner, letters to the editor should now be in reference to topics relatable to all Montgomery Village residents. Letters about specific HOA/COA business, affairs or meeting proceedings will not be printed and instead will be sent directly to those boards, via their community manager or designated contact, for timely action or response. The revised Letters to the Editor Policy can be found online at www.montgomeryvillage.com or in the Village News.
Board President Pete Young thanked those who spoke during Residents Time for their thoughts on the agenda topics, as well as their volunteer service to the community. He also noted that the two final candidates for the Student Representative position were in attendance and that the Board would have a chance to interview them and select a finalist during closed session.
Executive Vice President Dave Humpton reported that Montgomery County HOC had come to an agreement with the owners of the Cider Mill Apartments to purchase the apartment complex. He noted that The Donaldson Group was slated to continue to manage the property and that when the settlement was complete, MVF would receive the Capital Contribution Fee from the sale.
Humpton also relayed that the county would be installing over 100 new street lamps along Montgomery Village Avenue, from Clubhouse Road to Wightman Road, as well as upgrading current lights to LED fixtures. This lighting project has been in the county’s CIP for some time and will be started in the near future. The additional lighting will help keep the sidewalks and roadway lit in areas reported to be extremely dark at night.
He informed the Board that the state legislative session was in full swing, with a record number of proposed bills regarding HOA and condominium association actions. Humpton said he and General Counsel Christopher Hitchens would keep the Board informed about the progress of potential legislation, as well as note any need for testimony.
Board Treasurer Bob Carey gave the financial report, noting MVF’s continued strong financial position. He said that MVF currently holds over $8.5 million in cash and investments, about 45% of its total holdings. Carey noted that overall, Revenue was favorable to the budget, with Village News Advertising being slightly below expectations. Personnel expenses were reported favorable as well, mostly due to payroll timing. He mentioned that auditors were currently reviewing the 2017 financials, and that 2018 was off to a good start.
The next MVF Board of Directors meeting is scheduled for 7:30 p.m. on Thursday, March 22, at North Creek Community Center, 20125 Arrowhead Road. The Annual Meeting is scheduled immediately following (approximately 8 p.m.). Residents are invited and encouraged to attend either or both meetings. The Annual Meeting will honor community volunteers and staff, as well as highlight 2017 accomplishments and financials. The meeting agenda and information packet will be available online at www.montgomeryvillage.com the week of the meeting.