Pool season preparations top February Board agenda

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by Mike Conroy

In preparation for the 2016 pool season, the Montgomery Village Foundation (MVF) Board of Directors approved a number of agenda items that would keep MVF facilities in top shape. The 2016 Pool Schedule was approved, setting hours, openings and closings for each of MVF’s seven pools.

New portable lifeguard stands for Stedwick and Watkins Mill pools were approved, as the current equipment at each of the pools is original to the construction and is in poor condition. The new stands are the same as those replaced at Apple Ridge, Hurley Park, Lake Marion and Whetstone pools.

Additionally, the Board approved replacement of the filter system at Hurley Park Pool. This system has been in place since 1987 and has been repaired several times over the last few pool seasons. Twenty light fixtures at Hurley Park Pool will also be replaced, as well as 13 fixtures at other MVF pools. The Board approved funds for these underwater LED lights, which will be replaced during normal spring maintenance.

Other Agenda Items
Two architecture-related items were approved by the Board—the North Village Design Study and subsequent North Village criteria changes. The design study is part of an ongoing effort to identify what features in each community define those housing styles and must remain standard. Each design study is sent to the respective homes corporation for review before going to the MVF Board. Often, after the study has been sent for approval, updating community criteria is necessary. Most updates are clerical, while others are a result of new materials available for homeowners or requests the Architectural Review Board has approved.

MVF staff has been working with Montgomery County’s Tree Montgomery program to identify areas where new trees should be planted, at no cost to MVF. The Committee on the Environment (COE) identified areas in South Valley Park and Whetstone Run Stream Valley that should be considered for new plantings. The Board passed a motion to consider these areas for planting and have the COE re-evaluate those areas to determine if future funding for more plantings would be necessary.

The Board also authorized the EVP negotiate and execute contract and lease agreement for landscaping services and snow removal for MVF properties with Brickman, MVF’s current contractor. The current five-year agreement expires at the end of the year, and after consideration of past performance and improvements, staff recommended to continue the partnership with Brickman.

President's Report
In Board President John Driscoll’s absence, Vice President Pete Young chaired the meeting. Young introduced Amy Stevens, manager for the Stormwater Facilities Maintenance Program for the Montgomery County Department of the Environment, to talk about the Lake Whetstone Dredging Project. Stevens noted that the dredging project was completed and that the contractor would soon be removing the rest of the equipment from the lake. She said that unfortunately, although it was part of the original scope work, the delta at the South Village end of the lake had material too large to remove. Further, Stevens noted that even if that material was removed, it is a natural delta and it would continue to collect. Removing the sediment there would affect the bio-habitat and have other negative environmental impacts. She reported that about 19,000 cubic yards of material were removed from the lake.

EVP Report
Executive Vice President Dave Humpton reported that the Montgomery Village Master Plan was adopted by the county council on February 9. He said that it was mentioned by the county council that the Vision 2030 Plan played a large part in getting the master plan done; Humpton thanked the Board and many volunteers who worked hard to put the Vision 2030 Plan together. He also noted that the next step in the master plan is a comprehensive re-zoning of Village properties to fit what was outlined in the new master plan.

Humpton also said the South Valley Park restrooms and concession stand project was finally complete. A ribbon-cutting ceremony will be held later in the year to open the facilities to the public.

The EVP also gave a brief synopsis of a few pieces of proposed legislation that would affect the Village, seeking direction from the Board to offer support or non-support. HB 1061 would establish statewide registration for HOAs and COAs, similar to  that required by Montgomery County; the Board was not in favor of this. HB 1080 would change requirements regarding quorum for ballots, considering non-returned ballots as an “affirmative” toward the total needed, and changing the process for amending governing documents; the Board was not in favor of this as written. Finally, the Board was also not in favor of County Bill 2-16/ZTA 16-30 pertaining to short term rentals, specifically services like Airbnb. They believe the legislation would have poor effects for neighbors—traffic, parking and security—and think the proposal would need additional language addressing these issues, as well as ways for the county to monitor the rental activity before they could consider supporting it.

Treasurer’s Report
CFO Greg Snellings gave the financial report for the month of January, noting that total Revenue was slightly unfavorable to the budget at $660,650. However, this is balanced by Expenses, which were favorable to the budget at $474,430. Net Income for the month was reported as $186,220. Snellings noted that the Balance Sheet shows just under $16 million in total assets, about double the assets MVF had 8 years ago.
Snellings also reported that due to the updates to the Collection Policy made in 2015, Receivables for January 2016 were about $100,000 less than the previous year, showing that the collection process is working.

Next Meeting
The next meeting of the MVF Board of Directors is scheduled for 7 p.m. on Thursday, March 31 in the North Creek Board Room, 20125 Arrowhead Road. The Annual Meeting is scheduled for 8 p.m. on Thursday, March 31, 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 highlight 2015 accomplishments and financials.