Columbia Association Board of Directors
February 11, 2021
NANCY’S NOTES (Click here for the meeting agenda and packet.)
Christy Baker spoke to the Board about her love of the Haven. She spoke about how it changed her life. She started at Haven two years ago. She has lost a lot of weight, but she loves the classes, and the helpfulness of the community there. She was asked what she would do if the Haven closes. She would pay more for her Haven membership.
Alex Hekimian spoke about the outdoor pools. He wants all 23 pools opened next month. He says if there is a will there is a way.
Gunther Gottfeld is not happy that some neighborhood pools will be closed. He says they are a critical aspect to summers in Columbia.
Work Session Topics: Easement Request – Guardrail Maintenance Easement
Dennis Mattey, CA, Director, Open Space and Facilities Services, told the Board that Howard Hughes Corporation is obligated to take care of the wooden guardrails or to get the county to take responsibility for them. Easements will only be transferrable to the county.
Work Session Topics: Capital Projects and Open Space Updates
Dennis reported that there will be a bridge replacement on Rumsey Road. He also gave the Board an update on what is happening with Open Space. Increased and improved technology has made work easier for those working in the field.
Work Session Topics: FY 2021 Budget Update
January preliminary results are in. The Board will be getting quarterly reports in about a month. Bottom line of $17.7 million. Susan Krabbe, CA, Vice President/Chief Financial Officer, made the presentation. Dick Boulton asked her about the reserve funds and whether this is an actual $2 million in a reserve fund.
There is currently more than $2 million in cash or cash equivalent in an account. This is loan proceeds that CA has not needed to use at this time. If the Board approves the cash reserve fund, then it will be earmarked as such.
The reserves are needed because of environmental vulnerabilities. It can reduce the need for borrowing but the expenses still need to be paid. There will be a policy forthcoming for the reserve fund. If a future Board decides not to keep the fund, or to use the fund, it is up to the Board at the time to determine what happens with the money.
Work Session Topics: FY2022 Draft Operating and Capital Budget Discussion
Staff recommends that the Board put money into a reserve fund. There were questions about how the reserve fund can be used. $2 million in a reserve fund is a lot of money when facilities and programs like Haven are closing. The Board needs to see what is more important – the community or the money.
Alan Klein suggested that if CA can have a reserve fund, CA should support the Villages having a reserve fund as well. I totally agree. The Villages also have been hit hard by the pandemic.
The Haven was hit hard by members of the Board. CA has two golf courses. One is more expensive than the other. But the Haven is a unique facility. CA does not own the Haven but pays a hefty lease. It has a stand-alone membership because it must be self- supporting. Why? None of CA’s facilities are self-supporting.
There were questions about staffing and saving money. Hours will be expanded but staffing cannot be reduced because of safety issues. Because of the pandemic, life at the pool will be very different from past summers at the pools. Distancing may still be required until the pandemic ends. Safety is first.
It seems that the feelings of having 23 pools in the future are not good. Rouse’s vision of neighborhood pools is simply too expensive now.
The discussion went to what are the most used CA facilities – and the response was fitness classes. The bike path and outdoor pools got higher ratings than the fitness centers. Far more use fitness clubs than use the pools. Those with co-morbidities are the ones who have suffered the most during the pandemic. Health and wellness need to be given the value they deserve in this community.
Speaking of pools: People will likely have to reserve space at the pools this summer. Be prepared, though pools are opened it will be different.
Currently the center is charging teens $25 a month. The Board seems to want to discontinue the charge.
Stay warm and safe. Spring is coming.
Email me at Nancy.McCord@ca-Board.org