by Mike Conroy
At the August 24 Montgomery Village Foundation (MVF) Board of Directors meeting, the Board discussed and approved a proposal from Executive Vice President (EVP) Dave Humpton to modify the way MVF handles security for its parks and facilities. The proposal calls for hiring two new full-time, benefitted positions, in lieu of a hired security contractor.
The Park/Facility Assistants would be hired to patrol, observe and report incidents at MVF-owned facilities and parks, and would be managed by the Parks and Property Manager, under the Recreation and Parks Department. Proposed coverage for these positions would be more flexible and robust than MVF’s current security contract allows, and could be modified easily depending on issues or needs that arise. Costs for the full program are built into the 2018 Draft Budget, but do not exceed the costs of MVF’s current security contract.
The Board also approved the 2018 Draft Budget for publication. The proposed budget includes a $.55/unit/month increase in the MVF Fee and a $1.15/unit/month increase in the Designated User (DU) Fee; for more information on the 2018 Draft Budget, see the article on page 1 and the proposed budget insert on pages 25 to 32.
Per recommendation from the Audit Committee at their meeting just before the Board meeting, Pat Seery and Keith Silliman were appointed committee chair and vice chair, respectively. Also recommended by the Audit Committee and approved by the Board was a change in the Reserve Investment Policy, adjusting the allocation targets of the equities and fixed income to allow more profitable long-term return on investments (ROI). Treasurer Bob Carey noted that MVF has gained recent excellent returns on equities, but up is against the cap imposed by the policy; the change in the policy allocation will let MVF capitalize on its ROI and provide the flexibility to move forward.
Revisions in criteria for The Downs (East Village) and Club Hill (Stedwick) were approved. Replacement roof materials in The Downs will now be considered on an individual basis, and the “Oak Brown” deck stain color was added as a standard acceptable color in Club Hill. These changes were considered based on recent Property Improvement Requests and changing materials in the marketplace. Both criteria revisions were approved by the respective homes corporations they affect.
The Board authorized the EVP to negotiate a purchase option agreement for a conservation easement with Ecotone, Inc., allowing them to perform various stream restoration activities in specific areas of the Village. The proposal from Ecotone is in conjunction with a grant program from the State Highway Administration for stream restoration projects. The easement would cover nearly 2,800 feet of stream between Montgomery Village Avenue and Wightman Road, behind North Creek Community Center, between Overlea, Greentee II and the Rothbury Apartments. Any project work by Ecotone would be subject to public comment and feedback during a design phase.
Board President Pete Young thanked the staff and Audit Committee for their work in preparing and reviewing the 2018 Draft Budget. He especially noted the hard work and positive results that EVP Dave Humpton and CFO Greg Snellings have proved over the last 10 years with the organization.
EVP Humpton updated the Board on several topics, noting that more information was available in his full report included in the meeting packet and online. Humpton said that Monument Realty’s Site Plan for the former golf course property is in review with the county, and a hearing is likely later this year. He also said that Atlantic Realty Companies (ARC) have submitted a Site Plan to the county for the Village Center, and anticipates a hearing by the end of the year.
Humpton noted that the county is preparing for more legislation that could affect the Village, and that he and General Counsel Christopher Hitchens would be keeping a close watch on progress. Of particular interest would be a Zoning Text Amendment regarding telecommunication towers; legislation allowing short-term rentals through sites like Airbnb; and the county Roadway Reimbursement Program.
MVF Treasurer reiterated some sentiments from CFO Snellings’ earlier budget presentation, noting MVF’s continued strong financial position. Carey said that both Revenue and Expenses reported as favorable to budget for 6 of 7 last months; he praised staff for their work in maintaining a positive budget.
Carey reported a few trends in the 2017 budget including reduced Village News Advertising Revenue and decreased Collections Fees. He said the decrease in collections is good, as it also indicates a reduction in delinquencies. He further observed that both personnel and operating costs—both major components of the budget—were consistently favorable to the budget due to good controls.
The next MVF Board of Directors meeting is scheduled for 7:30 p.m. on Thursday, Sept. 28 in the North Creek Board Room, 20125 Arrowhead Road. The meeting begins promptly at 7:30 p.m. with Residents Time. Residents are invited and encouraged to attend. The meeting agenda and information packet will be available online at www.montgomeryvillage.com the week of the meeting.