Columbia Council Rep Report

CA Board Work Session July 12, 2018

These notes reflect Nancy’s viewpoint only.

The official minutes of the Columbia Association Board meetings can be found on the CA website at: 

Nancy encourages you to send her your comments on her notes. Please reply to her directly at [email protected] 


Columbia Association Board of Directors Work Session

July 12, 2018


There were no residents in attendance to speak out.

Discussion of the Most Recent Columbia Development Tracker

I expressed concern about Route 108 and the development in Clarksville.  The River Hill Garden Center changes will include a bank, offices and other retail.  Also the potential Erickson Senior Living community will create traffic issues.  When will Route 108 be expanded – or widened to make it more user friendly?  Currently, it can be a disaster to be stuck on Route 108 and that is before all the proposed construction takes place.  (The other evening I needed to go to Clarksville from Downtown Columbia.  I reached Route 108 at Ten Mills, right across from Centennial Park.  The traffic was backed up and stopped – so I took 29 South to 32 to get there instead of trying to get through the mess on 108.)

There is concern about the environmental impact on the storage facility under construction in Kings Contrivance.  There was also concern voiced that all these projects need to demonstrate what the impact will be on the land.  For those interested, it appears the storage facility in Kings Contrivance is already under construction. CA needs to do a better job of monitoring and responding to changes taking place in and around Columbia.

During the tracker discussion, someone raised the issue about how the Board can request information about any issue.  At work sessions votes are not taken so motions are not used.  But one person did make a motion to change that rule to not vote at work sessions.  Time is lost by essentially only meeting once a month when votes can be taken.  This topic needs discussion as well.

Capital Projects and Open Space Updates

The pump-house is now complete at Wilde Lake.  Also Lake Elkhorn has game tables which look great and are popular.  Hopewell Path was repaired.   A new training area was created at Supreme Sports. There is new LED lighting at Faulkner Ridge Pool.   There are other projects that have been completed or in the process of being completed.  Spring and summer are very busy times for Open Space Division of CA.

CA now has three stewards who are around on the pathways on bikes or on foot.   They are mostly around lakes and on the more frequently used pathways.

There is a stream restoration project taking place on Whetstone Road.

One member said we need to look at stabilizing streams, especially adjacent to people’s properties and come up with a policy.   There are SHA grants that help CA stabilize the streams.  A determination must be made about how to prioritize properties to be stabilized.  The storms are coming more frequently and violently.  We need to be prepared.

There has been some bamboo eradication.  But many homeowners don’t want it removed from their property.  It is a problem because bamboo is so prolific.  The roots are shallow, but insistent.  It is a very invasive plant.  CA will only remove it from their property, not from private property.

Annual Charge Rate and Cap for the Conditional FY2020 Budget

The Board discussed whether or not the annual charge rate should be changed.  Currently it is $.68 per thousand of assessed value.   If it is increased to $.69 from $.68, it would bring in about $600,000. This one cent increase would impact stakeholders with about $15 average increase on average. The cap could be up to 10% but is currently 3.5%.   There were no questions about raising the cap.

Milton Matthews, Columbia Association President/CEO, says he feels the $.68 is sufficient now.  CA income is increasing because of the new development in downtown.  Mr. Matthews feels that CA is making the changes and moving along well at the current pace.  Therefore it is unlikely the rate will be changed for the upcoming fiscal year.

Advisory Committees Annual Reports for FY2018 and Proposed Charges for FY2019

  • Senior Advisory Committee (SAC): Sharonlee Vogel is Chair.  She told us AARP named Columbia the top city for seniors. SAC members feel they are making progress on the many recommendations they had for CA. They have many speakers attend the SAC.  There is a health improvement coalition.
  • International Multicultural Advisory Committee (IMAC): Valerie Montague is Chair.  She says now more than ever the communities needs to understand respect for all.  This also includes the sister cities that CA has developed. As Valerie says, CA open space soothes people’s minds, the athletic facilities help people’s health, and the IMAC helps people’s hearts.
  • Water Shed Committee (WAC): Deborah Wessner is Chair.  There is a member from each Village on the committee.   The lake communities get a lot of attention especially because of dredging. The WAC works to make sure people don’t pollute the watershed.   They also try to clean up the trash, paint storm drains to make sure people are aware of them and keep the bay clean.  Also, fats, oils and grease shouldn’t be dumped down the drain.  The WAC informs people about the rain garden program.  The Board was thanked for helping with the watershed committee and the needs all over Columbia. Deborah also said John McCoy is doing a great job developing good relationships with various groups including the state so we get more assistance from them.   She says he does a great job overall. More educational opportunities are upcoming.  Deborah discussed English Ivy.  She said they are trying to remind people that it can remove your siding, and it can kill a tree.  It is highly invasive and should not be used.
  • Tennis Advisory Committee: Leo Bruette is Chair.  He wanted to let CA know the tennis community is very grateful for the new Long Reach Tennis facility.  New players, young and not so young, are being developed.   There is a lot of social tennis and pickle-ball.  USTA leagues are for age 18 and over.  The participation in Columbia has gotten larger and larger.  There are breakdowns of ages so people can play in their age group.
  • Art Center: Doug Satteson spoke on behalf of the Committee Chair, Molly Miller. The Art Center has facilitated sharing public art.  With the new Long Reach Village Center, the Art Center is bound to change a good deal.  Doug spoke well of Liz Henzey, Art Center Director, and her team.  The Board was very interested in public art.  The idea is to identify a location of high visibility.  They were hoping to place art in one or two sites initially.
  • Golf Advisory Committee: Keith Heilveil is the Chair.  He spoke about the committee and how they are streamlining procedures.  Tournaments are both competitive and social.  Using digital displays, and becoming more up to date enhances players’ experience.  They are also working on improving the relationship between the Turn House and the community. Keith spoke highly of the staff who maintain the courses.  The weather has been very hard on the condition of the courses.  Keith is sympathetic with the difficulties the Turn House has had.  It takes time to become established and to develop a clientele.  It’s hard to please everyone.
  • Health and Fitness Advisory Committee: Jessica Rennenkampf is Chair.   The committee has been promoting the Clairebridge Surveys.   Simple but important changes that come from the surveys are extremely helpful.  There are more new things coming to enhance the fitness experience.  Shifting the classes for the 6 months the Athletic Club is closed has been successful. There will be another major shift in bringing people back to the AC once the work has been completed.

Additional committee reports are online along with those above.  Click here if you are interested in reading them. 

President/CEO’s Proposed FY2019 Strategic Objectives

Milton Matthews presented his goals for the year.  There was discussion about these initiatives and some negotiation.  A new strategic plan will be developed this year and will hopefully be completed by April.  This is a many step process before it is finished.

Feel free to contact me at the email address below with any questions or concerns about CA.

Best regards, Nancy McCord

[email protected]