by Mike Conroy
For the last 50 years, Lake Whetstone has been a focal point in Montgomery Village. It attracts residents and visitors, and is a scenic area for nature observation, fishing, paddle boat rides and open play. Among the picnic tables and benches sits a sand volleyball court and two concrete animals that have been the subject of photos and climbing for 50 years.
With the completion of the dredging work at the lake and the restoration of the park area, the Montgomery Village Foundation (MVF) Board of Directors is looking to add additional play equipment to the area that fits with the natural surroundings and offers park visitors more options for recreation. The Recreation Committee, with input from residents and the 50th Anniversary Committee, investigated several companies and options of equipment that fit the description. At the January 26 MVF Board meeting, the Board approved a proposal from Cunningham Recreation to furnish and install play equipment at Lake Whetstone Park.
The $45,096.60 bid includes natural play climbing features—UltraPlay boulders, a log tunnel and tree stumps and slices—fitting the play area with drainage and filter cloth, wood fiber safety surfacing and wood borders. The play area would also include the existing concrete animals. The play area would abut two picnic tables and will also include the installation of two 50th Anniversary Commemorative benches for an additional $5,429,42. This project is funded by the Capital Contribution Fund. It is estimated the equipment will be installed in early spring.
Other Agenda Items
Also on the agenda were a number of items in preparation of the 2017 pool season. The Board approved the 2017 Pool Schedule, which can be found online at www.montgomeryvillage.com; a bid for $24,004.68 to Southern Company for pool furniture for the soon-to-be-finished Apple Ridge Pool; and revisions to the Pool Operating and Activity Card policies. Policy changes included an increase in the guest pass fee; the elimination of the August Trial membership for Annual Pool Memberships; updates to language based on new laws and health regulations; language pertaining to the use of features at the new Apple Ridge Pool; and an update to pool use concerning teaching swim lessons at MVF facilities.
In committee affairs, Alex Vespoli was appointed to serve on the Commercial Architectural Review Committee (CARC). Vespoli has a background in master planning and development and currently works in commercial real
Also on the agenda were items pertaining to MVF facilities, which were forwarded from the Board to the Recreation Committee for further consideration and recommendation. Eastgate Homes Corporation is requesting consideration of a change to the basketball court at Martin P. Roy Park and Patton Ridge Homes Corporation is requesting consideration of overflow parking at North Creek Community Center during non-use hours.
Board President Pete Young noted the importance of voting in the upcoming MVF election and thanked the Nominating Committee for their work in putting forth a slate of candidates for the community. He also said that he was honored to be among the candidates for consideration and asked residents to take the time to learn about the candidates, make an informed decision and vote by the 5 p.m. Friday, March 3 deadline.
Executive Vice President Dave Humpton reported that MVF is still awaiting completion and reports on DOT studies for M-83 from the county council. He said that the county council may need input from Park and Planning or may hold a public hearing, however there is still no funding in the CIP for M-83 or improvements other further study of Bus Rapid Transit (BRT).
Humpton also said he and General Counsel Christopher Hitchens were following the legislative session closely again this year, especially the return of a few bills that would affect MVF and the HOAs/COAs in the Village. He noted that MVF is currently seeing the lowest collections rate since December 2007.
Finally, Humpton advised that residents stay away from Lake Whetstone while the riser work is being completed by Montgomery County. It was noted that there is trash in the lake that could be retrieved with the lower water level, however, residents should not attempt to cross the lake to do so, as the ground could be unstable. He said the water level will be restored in the lake after the county performs its final inspection of the riser repairs.
Treasurer Bob Carey gave a brief overview of MVF finances for December 2016, noting the numbers would not be finalized until the annual audit was completed. Carey reported that Revenue was approximately 3% over budget, while Expenses were approximately 3% favorable to the budget, showing overall strong results for the year. He noted that the planned use of Undesignated Reserves was unnecessary in 2016.
Carey mentioned that the Investment Committee recently met and noted a 4.4% ROI in 2016. He said this was mainly due to the amount of equities currently held by MVF. Finally, he reported that delinquencies and bad debt continue to decrease due to the collections efforts of staff and an improving economy.
The next MVF Board of Directors meeting is scheduled for 7:30 p.m. on Thursday, Feb. 23, in the North Creek Board Room, 20125 Arrowhead Road. The meeting begins promptly at 7:30 p.m. with Residents Time. Before the meeting, residents can meet the candidates for the MVF Board election from 7 to 7:30 p.m. Residents are invited and encouraged to attend both the Meet the Candidates event and the Board meeting. The meeting agenda and information packet will be available online at www.montgomeryvillage.com the week of the meeting.