by Mike Conroy
At the first Montgomery Village Foundation (MVF) Board of Directors meeting of 2018, recreation was the common theme on the agenda. The action items reflected a mix of committee recommendations, awarding of bids and policy revisions in preparation for the 2018 pool season.
On pool-related items, the Board approved the 2018 Pool Schedule and revisions to the Activity Card and Pool Operating policies. The Activity Card Policy included updates to pricing of special cards, as well as extending the timeframe for Activity Card renewal. The Pool Operating Policy included housekeeping items and an update to safety regulations, requiring persons who are not water safe and/or under the age of 6 be within arms’ reach of an adult at all times.
A bid for diving board resurfacing was awarded to Duraflex International, not to exceed $23,840. As a matter of safety, 10 diving boards need resurfacing for the upcoming season.
The Board also appointed two new members to the Recreation Committee, Ashton Foster and Sara Johnson. Both community volunteers have an interest and/or expertise in recreation and want to work to positively impact Village residents.
On the environmental front, Ecotone was awarded a bid for $21,600 for Lake Marion shoreline stabilization work to repair areas where the shoreline has eroded immensely. Ecotone has done work in the Village before and understands the lake and scope of work, which includes design preparation and submission of state and county permit application packages.
The Committee on the Environment (COE) recommended the Board create a tree planting program for North Creek Lake, to be held in conjunction with the annual Arbor Day Celebration. The idea called for five new trees to be planted at the lake each year. The Board agreed with the idea of committing to planting at least five new trees in this effort each year, but did not want to limit the area to only North Creek Lake. The recommendation was modified to include areas that were deemed in need of planting, as suggested by the COE, and then approved by the Board.
MVF Board President Pete Young thanked the candidates for the 2018 Board election for attending the meeting and spending some time before hand talking with residents.
Executive Vice President Dave Humpton updated the Board on several development projects around the community. He noted his participation in the Gaithersburg Cluster School Selection Committee, which is looking for a new elementary school site for the cluster. Centerway Park was identified as a potential candidate early on, but not favored at this time; the park is on a county-designated school site and can be repurposed as such when deemed necessary by the county.
Humpton also said that Monument Realty is currently negotiating with a home builder, following their site plan approval at the end of 2017. Monument anticipates breaking ground in mid- to late 2019. The new Central Park is slated to open by the completion of the 150th unit in the plan, so residents can begin to enjoy this amenity early on.
He reported that Atlantic Realty Companies (ARC), owners of the Village Center, are slated to go to the Planning Board in March to submit their latest plan, which has some changes. They are also expected to share those plans with the Commercial Architectural Review Committee in March. Humpton said that Transwestern, owners of the Professional Center, said there is a developer interested in purchasing the property for a townhouse project.
Finally, he reported on the pending sale of the Cider Mill Apartments. Humpton said that current owner, The Donaldson Group, had a private investor ready to purchase the property, however the Housing Opportunities Commission (HOC) has right of first refusal in Montgomery County. HOC is exercising that right and is working to secure the funds necessary to match the contract.
Humpton, Young and Pete Webb met with HOC staff to discuss the purchase and its impacts to Montgomery Village. All three stressed the need for good investment in the community, and the need to work with a community partner. HOC noted they would maintain and invest in the property, looking to keep the almost 900 units on the site affordable. HOC is aware of the site’s current security and maintenance issues and is committed to working on those. If further development of the site was an option in the future, HOC would consider that option.
Board Treasurer Bob Carey gave the financial report, noting MVF’s continued strong position. Carey noted that the final December report was subject to the annual audit, but as of right now, was very positive. He said that assessment receivables were down, and the delinquency rate was the lowest it has been in many years, at 7.5%. Carey reported a 5.9% Return on Investments due to a strong market and changes in the investment strategy over the last several years.
The next MVF Board of Directors meeting is scheduled for 7:30 p.m. on Thursday, Feb. 22 in the North Creek Board Room, 20125 Arrowhead Road. The meeting begins promptly at 7:30 p.m. with Residents Time. There will be a “Meet the Candidates” time prior to the meeting, beginning at 7 p.m., to meet the candidates nominated to run in the 2018 MVF Board election. 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.