Board of Directors Meetings

Minutes of LFSC Board Meeting—February 20, 2020
At Andrea Kiernan’s Home
7:30pm

Board members in attendance: David Cutitta, Tony Higgins, Andrea Kiernan, Julian Kim, Maren Matal, Cathy Stocker, and Steve Volkers
Chuck Montrie of Bethesda Aquatics was also in attendance.

The Board unanimously approved the minutes of the December 11, 2019, Board meeting.

President’s Report (Cathy Stocker)

  • Cathy Stocker discussed the February 4, 2020, Annual Meeting and noted the discussion of the dues increase at the meeting as well as the visits to the women’s bathroom renovation prior to the meeting.
  • Cathy Stocker discussed the letter submitted to the EPA in response to concerns about noise from the diving well raised by one of the neighbors. It was noted that safety and warranty concerns prevented any modifications to the diving boards.
  • Cathy Stocker reported that the renovations to the women’s bathhouse was going well. There is an additional cost (approximately $1,000), covered by a contingency fund, for a product to protect the tile installed during the renovation. The possibility of renovating the men’s bathhouse was discussed, but the Board agreed to defer any further discussion until next year.
  • Cathy Stocker reported that updating the electrical panel was the next big project, and that she will obtain proposals for the work. She noted that the pool has received the permits for the solar panel installation but was awaiting an installation date.
  • The Board unanimously approved providing the Friends of Westbrook Foundation and the Westbrook PTA four End of Season Guest passes for fundraising purposes.

Treasurer’s Report (Steve Volkers and Geoff Engal)

  • There was a discussion of the 20% increase in dues.
  • The Board unanimously approved the draft Form 990 prepared by Geoff Egnal.
  • Geoff Egnal confirmed that the pool has enough money to complete the renovations to the women’s bathhouse.

Membership

  • Brian Herberger joined the meeting to discuss with the Board his proposal for Full Season Guests.

Tennis Report (David Cutitta)

  • David Cutitta reported on the new Women’s League, which now has a sufficient number of players.
  • The Board discussed access to the bathrooms for participants during tennis league matches.
  • David Cutitta raised the issue of unauthorized use of the tennis courts, which are for the use of members only. Of particular concern is the use of the courts by players with no connection to the pool, and the fact that the lock combination is being passed on to non-members by members of the pool.  The Board approved the creation of a sign reiterating the use policy for the tennis courts.
  • David Cutitta will look into the resurfacing of one court and the slight modification of court so that it can be uses as pickle ball court or a tennis court.

Bethesda Aquatics (Chuck Montrie)

  • Chuck Montrie discussed the discontinuation of early and late season swimming at Mohican Swim Club. Arrangements with the Bannockburn Swimming Club are being explored that will provide additional early bird swimming early in the season, and an additional week of full swimming.
  • It was noted that the pool’s operating days are limited by agreement with the county.
  • Chuck Montrie discussed the recertification of lifeguards and the efforts to hire a pool manager for the summer. Chuck also noted potential issues with the pool lights, which was discussed by the Board.

Standard Motions

  • The Board reviewed the standard motions, and among other things selected two Handyman Days: April 18 (removal of pool cover) and May 2. It was noted that the county inspection of the pool would be during the week of May 11, and therefore the installation of the solar panels cannot be during that week.
  • The purchase of some new chairs and umbrellas was discussed.

Meeting was adjourned at approximately 9:30pm.

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Minutes of LFSC Board Meeting—March 11, 2020
At Steve Volker’s Home
7:30pm

Board members (10 of 11) in attendance: David Cutitta, Tony Higgins, Andrea Kiernan, Julian Kim, Nancy La Vigne, Maren Matal, Cynthia Morton, Cathy Stocker, Chris Terry, and Steve Volkers

The Board approved the minutes of prior meetings. Unanimous approval (Nancy abstains, having been absent from meeting).

Vote on Standard Motions

  • Email any typos to Nancy
  • Linda Karson (Administrator) has sent out the latest standard motions
  • Vote: All approve

Discussion of our LF contract with Bethesda Aquatics (Nancy La Vigne and Cathy Stocker):

  • Several edits to the contract were made for accuracy. Chuck Montrie of Bethesda Aquatics will now review the edits.
  • Payments starting in March.
  • As for an early season swim (in the weeks prior to opening of LF), we will think about it for 2021.

Improvements of the LF facilities (Cathy Stocker):

  • Bathhouse renovation is going well. Should be done by April 18, 2020.
  • We’ll fix the bridge once all the service vehicles are done with the work.
  • Solar panels will be installed this month.
  • We’re getting 3 bids for an update of our electrical panel.
  • We will look into the idea of renovating the men’s locker room.

Treasurer’s Report (Julian Kim):

  • We recently filed our tax return.
  • Julian will meet with our insurance broker in April to discuss D&O liability umbrella and a separate flood insurance policy.
  • Revenue from dues payments is coming in steadily.
  • Flag for 2021: Should Bethesda Aquatics have $5 million in insurance, or is $2 million sufficient?
  • $240K in cash – Current renovations can be covered, as well as the possible resurfacing of the tennis courts.

Membership (Steve Volkers and Andrea Kiernan):

  • 377 members, 145 Senior Emeritus
  • 96 Equity Members have already paid; 35 new and 16 Senior Emeritus (Legacy) have renewed
  • 6 Equity Members went Inactive
  • 4 resignations – working to fill
  • Dues payment reminders will be sent
  • The Board discussed possibly offering End of Season Guest passes to those Ring 10 households that are on the waitlist, given that they are impacted most by the noise and traffic from the pool. Vote: Unanimous nay. Measure fails.

Tennis (David Cutitta)

  • Lots of interest in Men’s tennis -2 teams, Tuesdays
  • Women’s tennis – Thursdays
  • Season is end of May to mid-July
  • Tennis Court Resurfacing – David reached out to 3 possible vendors, bids pending. David working on a fourth bid. The goal would be to resurface at least Court #3.
  • How to prevent unauthorized use of LF tennis courts —
    -Changing lock combo – Done
    -Change it by the month?
    -Sign is up there already
    -Idea of using a little tennis membership card, and slide it into sleeve. Will do this, and send a communication.
  • (4/4) Georgetown Prep Tennis sign on tennis courts

Building and Grounds (Tony Higgins)

  • We renewed our agreement with Mowing and More.
  • In December 2020, we’ll solicit bids for mowing.
  • Discussion about leveling mulch path
  • Probably add fluffy mulch around trees
  • Vines on a holly tree
  • Porcelain berry vines
  • ArborCare Plant Health Care contract – Have done a good job of keeping trees alive
  • Spraying and treatment

Operations (Cynthia Morton)

  • Cynthia will get the list of tasks for Handyman Days.
    -Need to keep good sign-in sheets so that people can get credit
  • Cynthia will cover security and camera systems in her duty as Ops Chair.

Communications (Cathy Stocker)

  • Handyman days
  • Beginning of season

Swim & Dive Team Liaison Report (Julian Kim)

  • Swim team – The parent co-reps for the swim team have submitted proposed salaries for the 2 co-head coaches, and for the 3 assistant coaches.
  • Dive team – The parent co-reps propose a modest pay increase for the Head Dive Coach to retain her, since dive coaches are hard to find.
  • More discussion at the next meeting

Social – (next meeting)

  • We still need a date for one of our socials.  Other dates are set.

Meeting was adjourned at approximately 9:30pm.

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Minutes of LFSC Board Meeting—April 1, 2020
via Zoom instead of in person, due to the COVID-19 precautions.
7:30pm

All 11 Board members were in attendance for the video conference: David Cutitta, Geoff Egnal, Tony Higgins, Andrea Kiernan, Julian Kim, Nancy La Vigne, Maren Matal, Cynthia Morton, Cathy Stocker, Chris Terry, and Steve Volkers

The Board approved the minutes from the March 2020 meeting.

Report from president (Nancy La Vigne)

Nancy thanked the membership chairs, Steve and Andrea, along with Cathy, all of whom went above and beyond to conduct personal outreach to members who were undecided or had not yet indicated their intent to renew or resign. She praised their flexibility, compassion, and dedication during this difficult time. She shared that the Board will be hosting at least one virtual town hall to address member/guest questions about the impact of COVID-19 on the 2020 pool season (more details under Communications report below).

Report from vice president (Cathy Stocker)

  • Women’s bathhouse renovation update is almost complete and looks great. The supplier sent sinks that were not according to spec, but the new ones are on the way.
  • Solar panels – They have been installed and look great. Once we restore Internet service, the vendor can finish the set-up process.
  • Electrical panel upgrade – No update at this time.
  • Prospects for updating men’s room – Our current contractor (Tom) could give us an estimate, at least for new sinks.
  • Plans for repairing the bridge – Tom (our contractor) will give us an estimate to repair the bridge at the end of the renovation project for the women’s room.

Membership report (Steve Volkers and Andrea Kiernan)

  • We have had 26-28 resignations, which is on par for a typical season.
  • We received an update on how many have paid their 2020 dues.
  • We have had 26 members go inactive (compared with 21 in 2019).
  • We’ve had a lot of questions about whether the pool will open in 2020, due to COVID-19.
  • Some members have asked about refunds. We still need to charge (at least Equity Members) a substantial amount just to cover our fixed costs, even if the pool does not open in 2020.
  • It’s too early to know how much of a partial refund we will be giving, if any.
  • On March 14, 2020, we posted on our website and transmitted via email a message to the community stating that we are unable to anticipate what impact COVID-19 will have on the 2020 pool season. The communication also indicated that the deadline for dues remained March 23.
  • The Board had held an interim (impromptu) meeting (via Zoom) on Sunday, March 22 to discuss the situation created by COVID-19 and how to accommodate some members’ inability to pay in full by the deadline.

Treasurers’ report (Geoff Egnal and Julian Kim)

  • Insurance update – renewals are soon; still unclear whether we can get a partial refund if the pool is not open or opens late.
  • Update on revenue/cash balance.

Tennis report (Dave Cuttita)

  • COVID-19 concerns re: tennis courts Dave asked the Board to consider leaving the LF tennis courts open, even though Montgomery County had just recently closed its public courts. The County’s concern with tennis is due to “shared equipment” (e.g. tennis balls). Dave described how we could mitigate the risk (e.g. by having the players wear gloves, by limiting play to singles), etc. After a lengthy discussion on whether or not to keep the tennis courts open, due to COVID-19 concerns, the Board (by a vote of 6-5) voted to close the tennis courts immediately, until further notice.
  • Court resurfacing Because the courts will be closed, the plan is to have them resurfaced during this time to avoid future delays/closures, provided the resurfacing process is compliant with state and local COVID-19 precautions. Dave presented 3 bids that he solicited for the re-surfacing of all 3 tennis courts. The courts are in need of resurfacing because (a) they have depressions (aka “bird baths”) which collect water; (b) they have cracks; and (c) they are slippery because the surface is partially coming off. After discussing the 3 bids, the Board unanimously approved proceeding to retain Metropolitan Tennis Construction (the middle bid) to re-surface the courts. Metropolitan has also done some re-surfacing at Kenwood Country Club. The Board asked Dave to inquire if this vendor could match the lowest bid (All Pro), commit to a three-year guarantee, and reduce the amount of the deposit.
  • [Update: It turned out that Metropolitan was unable to complete the resurfacing in April or May as needed, so we switched to the lowest bidder – All Pro Courts. LF signed an agreement with All Pro a few days after the 4/1 meeting. All Pro was originally recommended by John Adams of Georgetown Prep Tennis. All Pro has resurfaced courts for Georgetown Prep and other local clubs. Dave was successful on all three fronts, with the total cost coming in at $16,500 ($2k below original estimate) a deposit of $1k, and a three-year guarantee. Resurfacing is scheduled for the first week in May and is expected to take 1 week to complete.

Building and Grounds (Tony Higgins)

  • Finding alternative source of mulch – We got a refund from B-CC for the mulch since they could not have their fundraiser this year, due to COVID-19 precautions. We donated 10% of the refund back to BCC Barons in support of the community fundraiser. We have an estimate from Mowing and More for mulch and installation which is quite reasonable.
  • Status of ArborCare renewal – We will have them do the things that are seasonal (like spraying for beetles and putting fluffy material around the roots of trees near the deck). Maybe we can wait on the pruning.

Operations (Cynthia Morton)

  • No Handyman Days will be scheduled until further notice.
  • On April 18, the Pool Board (and adult family members) will take off the cover. That way, it’s not a gathering of people, as would be prohibited due to COVID-19 precautions. It’s still necessary to take off the cover in order to properly maintain the pool, including replacing malfunctioning lights, which is necessary for pool inspection, even if we do not open in 2020.

Communications (Cathy Stocker)

  • Cathy will send out communications regarding COVID-19 contingencies re: handyman days, pool opening, partial reimbursements, and the virtual town halls.

Social (Distance) Committee report (Chris Terry and Cathy Stocker)

  • No social events planned until we know if/when the pool will open.

Community Liaison report (Cynthia Morton and Dave Cuttita)

  • Nothing to report at this juncture.

Swim & Dive Teams

  • Maren gave a brief update about how swim and dive registration would normally have opened on April 1, but has been postponed since we don’t know whether the seasons will be held at all. Maren also asked the Board to consider whether a coach who is not a student and is relying on a summer income could be compensated in some way if there is no swim/dive season. The Board indicated a willingness to explore this but agreed to postpone the decision until the May Board meeting.

Meeting was adjourned at approximately 9:40pm.

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Minutes of LFSC Virtual Town Hall with Little Falls Board and Equity Members—April 21, 2020
via Zoom
7:30pm

In light of the COVID-19 pandemic and the various stay-at-home orders, the LF Pool Board hosted a virtual Town Hall via Zoom to share their plans and activities to date and to invite questions and suggestions from members. Email invitations were sent to all Equity Members on April 18, along with a comprehensive list of FAQs.

We had 52 households participate in the virtual meeting.

Ten pool Board members were in attendance: David Cutitta, Geoff Egnal, Tony Higgins, Julian Kim, Nancy La Vigne, Maren Matal, Cynthia Morton, Cathy Stocker, Chris Terry, and Steve Volkers

Pool Board President Nancy La Vigne welcomed attendees and shared that the Board has been hard at work, meeting regularly to plan as best we can amidst these uncertain times. The Board is working through what needs to get done in the event that the pool can open, and regardless, there are things that need to be attended to – ongoing maintenance that is important for the operation and preservation of the pool and its grounds. Nancy invited Cathy Stocker, pool Board Vice President, to share some of these efforts.

Cathy described the renovation of the women’s bathhouse, the installation of solar panels, grounds maintenance, court resurfacing, and the need to repair pool lights in order to pass the county pool inspection.

Nancy noted that the Bethesda Aquatics contract has been in place since the end of March, as hiring for staff needs to get done along with setting up for inspections. She recognized the implications of collecting membership dues given that members’ personal finances are particularly sensitive during this time. The reality is that many of the club’s costs are fixed or associated with getting the pool in operating condition so that we can use it if we are able. She asked Steve Volkers, membership co-chair, to discuss some scenarios/costs we’ve been exploring.

Steve provided examples of the pool’s fixed costs, such as our loan payments, insurance payments, and administrator’s salary. Early rough estimates of these fixed costs for the year range around $500 per equity member. This explains why, even if the pool cannot open this season, there will at best be only a partial credit of the 2020 membership dues, perhaps $500 per household. As always, the members will be provided a full financial report with details of these fixed costs.

Nancy invited members to ask questions, noting that one question we all have is what factors will go into our decision to open the pool. She indicated that we’ll likely have to take our cue from the state and local government about whether, or when, the pool can open in the summer of 2020.

Many tennis enthusiasts expressed their disappointment that the LF Pool Board shut down the courts effective April 2, 2020. They asked for an opportunity in the future to make their arguments to the Pool Board about how singles tennis can be played safely with social distancing. They expressed hope that the tennis courts can be re-opened prior to the pool opening, since the tennis courts are not as crowded. Board members agreed that this is a distinct possibility.

Some members asked about how we could implement new safety rules for pool use, such as limiting the number of people at the pool at any time. The Board agreed that we should consider those types of safety measures and indicated that they are open to a variety of creative scenarios to enable pool use while mitigating the risk of COVID transmission.

Chuck Montrie of Bethesda Aquatics, who’s been our pool operator for 30 years, provided an update. He is obtaining quotes from professional cleaning services to enhance the cleanliness of the pool facilities in the case of an opening. He also indicated that most pools in our area, and even around the country, are proceeding with plans to open sometime in the summer of 2020. He advises that it is prudent that we are doing the same, in case it will be possible to open the pool this summer.

The Town Hall meeting adjourned at 8:35pm.

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Minutes of LFSC Emergency Board Meeting—May 6, 2020
via Zoom
7:30pm

Board members (9 of 11) were in attendance: David Cutitta, Geoff Egnal, Tony Higgins, Julian Kim, Nancy La Vigne, Maren Matal, Cynthia Morton, Chris Terry, and Steve Volkers

The Board approved the minutes from the March 2020 meeting.

Board president Nancy La Vigne called an emergency meeting of the Board to discuss the possibility of reopening the tennis courts.

On April 2, 2020, the Board had closed the LF tennis courts in light of directives to shelter in place from the State of Maryland and Montgomery County, in response to the spread of COVID-19.

On May 6, 2020, Maryland Governor Hogan announced the easing of some of the restrictions on outdoor recreation, including tennis courts. Montgomery County followed suit, effective May 7.

The Board had a detailed discussion about the pros and cons of potentially re-opening the tennis courts in light of the continuing COVID-19 situation, as well as steps that could be taken to reinforce general social distancing requirements in addition to those implemented prior to the closing of the courts to prevent the unauthorized use of the courts.

Dave Cutitta, tennis liaison, moved that we re-open the courts on May 11 with additional COVID-19 Risk Warning and Social Distancing Requirements in place (including a large new sign to be posted on the fence regarding COVID-19 Social Distancing Requirements).  Nancy LaVigne seconded the motion. The Board voted unanimously in favor of the motion. We noted that the court re-opening may be delayed by the previously planned court re-paving, which was scheduled for May 9 and should alert club members of that possibility.

It was agreed that Dave will draft the rules for review by the Board, and order/install the new sign on the fence.

In another matter, Cathy moved to spend $600 to fix a threshold, and Geoff Egnal seconded the motion. It passed 8-0.

Meeting was adjourned.

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Minutes of LFSC Board Meeting—May 21, 2020
via Zoom
7:30pm

All 11 Board members were in attendance: David Cutitta, Geoff Egnal, Tony Higgins, Andrea Kiernan, Julian Kim, Nancy La Vigne, Maren Matal, Cynthia Morton, Cathy Stocker, Chris Terry, and Steve Volkers

  1. Repairs to guard rail on bridge leading to pool

The Board unanimously approved a budget of $1000 to repair the dented guard rail.

  1. Discussion of use of the tennis courts by neighbors who are confronting and adjoining the pool, and still on the waitlist

In a typical summer, the Board offers swim privileges to approximately 65 Full Season Guests (FSG). Normally, the Board would offer those FSG first to neighbors who are adjoining and confronting the pool, since they experience the most noise from the pool. In the standard motions, the Board specifically recognizes the special circumstances of neighbors who are adjoining and confronting.

Given that we do not yet have any certainty from Montgomery County about whether we can open the pool in the summer of 2020, the Board has not yet made offers to any FSG. The issue of FSG has come up now because some of the neighbors who adjoin/confront the pool would like to use the tennis courts.

The tennis courts seem to be more popular now that the courts have been resurfaced, and also because tennis is one of the sports that can be enjoyed while social distancing. Dave Cutitta observed that the most popular times of court use are 4:00pm-8:00pm on weekdays, and 8:00am and 2:00pm on weekends.

The Board unanimously approved a motion to offer the use of the tennis courts by neighbors who are adjoining and confronting and still on the waitlist. There was extensive discussion of how much to charge these households, and the Board ultimately agreed to charge them $915 for a special FSG rate that includes tennis privileges. If there is a partial refund later in the season for Equity Members (or a partial credit for next season) due to the pool not opening or opening late, the FSG may also be eligible for a partial refund/credit.

For the time being, the Board will refrain from offering FSG to any households on the waitlist who are not adjoining/confronting until we know more about whether the pool can open this season. It was noted that if the pool opens and FSG s are issued, the Board should consider extending tennis privileges to non-adjoining/confronting FSG recipients only if it is clear that there are no capacity issues with the tennis courts resulting from the conversion of court three to pickleball coupled with increased demand for tennis associated with COVID. Current rules state that tennis privileges are only for Equity Members and former Equity (Senior Emeritus) Members.

  1. Formation of 2 subcommittees 

The Board formed 2 new subcommittees, one to discuss the fee structure for FSG under various pool opening scenarios (Steve Volkers, Dave Cutitta, Cathy Stocker), and the other to discuss how to implement a reservation system (via Member Splash) and other social distancing measures to be able to satisfy anticipated capacity limits if the pool opens (Julian Kim, Maren Matal, Cynthia Morton, Dave Cutitta, Nancy La Vigne).

  1. Rescheduling of June Board meeting

We’ll have our June meeting on June 1 instead of June 10 because there are many issues related to COVID-19 that need to be discussed, including recommendations from the 2 above-referenced subcommittees.

Meeting was adjourned at 8:10pm.

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Minutes of LFSC Board Meeting—June 1, 2020
via Zoom
7:00pm

All 11 Board members were in attendance: David Cutitta, Geoff Egnal, Tony Higgins, Andrea Kiernan, Julian Kim, Nancy La Vigne, Maren Matal, Cynthia Morton, Cathy Stocker, Chris Terry, and Steve Volkers
Chuck Montrie of Bethesda Aquatics was also in attendance.

  1. Approval of the minutes of prior Board meetings

The Board unanimously approved the minutes of the May 21 Board meeting.

  1. The subcommittee to discuss the fee structure for Full Season Guests (FSG) under various pool opening scenarios

This subcommittee includes Steve Volkers, Dave Cutitta, and Cathy Stocker. The subcommittee gave a brief report.

  1. The subcommittee to discuss how to implement a reservation system (via Member Splash) and other social distancing measures to be able to satisfy anticipated capacity limits if the pool opens

This subcommittee includes Julian Kim, Maren Matal, Cynthia Morton, Dave Cutitta, and Nancy La Vigne. The subcommittee discussed many different options for how to operate this pool in the “new normal” of 2020. The goal is to be as safe and as fair as possible.

Approximately 25 Equity Members have gone inactive this year. One Board member moved that we offer FSG to 25 households to fill those slots. Ten of the 11 Board members supported the motion (Cynthia Morton abstained).

Julian Kim offered to send a first draft for a pool schedule/operating rules for the Board to begin to review.

  1. Treasurer’s Report

We discussed the additional cleaning costs that we will incur in 2020. For example, Chuck Montrie has arranged for a company to fog the locker rooms every night. As for any partial refunds (due to the partial season), we may not be able to offer refunds due to the greater cleaning costs and inability to collect guest fees, etc. And in any case, they would not be refunds, but instead would be credits for use in 2021.

  1. Membership Report – We have had 29 resignations so far this season.
  2. Operations Report – Cynthia Morton reported that we’re getting the laptops ready in anticipation of the pool opening sometime soon.
  3. Tennis Report — Dave Cutitta reported that, recently, some locks have been stolen. Dave will get them replaced. It’s important for all tennis players to lock the courts after use.
  4. Swim and Dive Team Liaison report — Julian Kim and the Board discussed various options for swim and dive practices this summer. Even though all competitions have been cancelled, we still hope to have training programs to offer kids some chance to get in the water, keep active, and learn new skills. The teams will have to follow all social distancing rules.

Meeting was adjourned at 9:15pm.

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Minutes of LFSC Board Meeting—June 10, 2020
via Zoom
7:00pm

Board members (10 of 11) were in attendance: David Cutitta, Geoff Egnal, Tony Higgins, Andrea Kiernan, Julian Kim, Nancy La Vigne, Maren Matal, Cynthia Morton, Cathy Stocker, and Steve Volkers
Chuck Montrie of Bethesda Aquatics was also in attendance.

  1. The Board approved the minutes from the June 1 meeting.
  2. The guard rail is now fixed.
  3. Chuck Montrie reported on an electrical issue that caused the motor station (part of the pump) to burn out.
  4. The pump/electrical has been a recurring problem for the past 2 years. We discussed how to get this working more reliably. We’ve had some back and forth with Virginia Pump, which is the main vendor in the DC area. It seems that the pump was not installed correctly in 2018. Dave will solicit a bid for someone to come in and take a look. The Board discussed allocating some money now. Cathy Stocker moves to approve up to a $6,500 investment in upgrading electrical and replace any faulty parts in the pump, upon securing 2 bids. We need both electrical and pump work. Nancy La Vigne seconds. It could be the pump drawing too much electricity, rather than an electrical issue. We think that the pump is the source of the problem. Steve Volkers proposes empowering Virginia Pump and one other pump vendor to assess the situation, spending up to $3,000-$7,000. Dave Cutitta seconds. The Board approves.
[7/15 update — We anticipate that $7,000 will cover all our anticipated expenses for the pump. As of June 15, we have already paid just under $3,000 for the impeller and diffuser replacement and we still have to upgrade the wiring and replace the motor starter. This is estimated at $2,950. Dave Cuttitta would be going ahead and authorizing HydraTech to perform the outstanding repairs for $2,950 given that this has already been approved by the Board. We’ll ask Hydratech to put these repairs on their docket.]
  1. We are likely to be able to open for lap swimming by June 15-19 – per a county announcement today.
  2. We propose to do a town hall with members to help them understand the reservation system that we will use, as hosted by MemberSplash.
  3. In terms of pool usage, we could have 2 people treading water in the dive well. In the intermediate pool, we could have 3 walking/waders. There could be 8 traditional lanes. The reservation system does not identify a lane.
  4. By June 14, Chuck Montrie and his team will finish the cleaning to be ready for a possible opening this week.
  5. The Board discussed what would be the capacity of the swim and dive training programs, once they begin. Julian Kim and Cathy Stocker proposed that the swim training program would be 8:00am-Noon, starting June 22. The swim program must be inclusive, and not competitive swimming. Every ability level. The consensus was that participating in one of the swim/dive training programs should not count as one of that youngster’s slots for the week.
  6. At the beginning of the season, we do not anticipate being open for Senior Emeritus Guests. If we cannot accommodate them in 2020, then we would let them carry over their visits to 2021 as they will have paid their 2020 fee without being able to swim, which we do not normally do.
  7. Tennis – Dave Cutitta recommends that we have a lifeguard serve as a tennis court monitor for a few weeks, to attempt to enforce the rules that are currently not being widely followed. For example, Dave has seen bikes and dogs on the tennis courts, both of which could damage the thin layer of the recently resurfaced tennis courts.
  8. Membership – Linda Karson sent invitations to 36 people on the waitlist.
  9. The solar panels are working.
  10. With so many unknowns about what Phase 2 will look like in Montgomery County, the Board discussed a variety of possible scenarios for opening the pool and maximizing its use in Phase 2.

Meeting was adjourned at 8:58pm.

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Minutes of LFSC Board Meeting—June 17, 2020
via Zoom
7:00pm

All 11 Board members were in attendance: David Cutitta, Geoff Egnal, Tony Higgins, Andrea Kiernan, Julian Kim, Nancy La Vigne, Maren Matal, Cynthia Morton, Cathy Stocker, Chris Terry, and Steve Volkers
Chuck Montrie of Bethesda Aquatics was also in attendance.

  1. Steve Volkers reported that the repairs to the bridge are complete.
  2. The Board approved an expenditure of $1,200 in carpenter fees.
  3. The Board discussed the latest announcement from Montgomery County, which may allow the pool to open on June 19 or 20.
  4. Steve recommends being cautious. Nancy says that most similar pools will also be cautious.
  5. The Board discussed the County’s capacity limits. Those metrics are not particularly helpful as they would permit too many people in the pool to be easily monitored and distanced. The Board agreed to stay with the 60 person cap on persons in the facility, potentially to be adjusted with experience, and to have some lap lanes in the pool if that could be accommodated without compromising social distancing efforts.
  6. Chuck Montrie thinks that we should attempt to open as soon as the County allows it, to avoid disappointing our pool community in case other pools are open and we’re not. So we’ll try to open as soon as possible. (Ultimately, the pool opened on June 20.)
  7. Let’s have “extreme social distancing time.” For every 2-hour block, a print-out with 60 names on it. They’d be checked off as they come in.
  8. Discussion of all the rules we need to implement.
  9. The County rules are somewhat more flexible than we anticipated, but we may want to have a slow opening just to test our procedures.
  10. The Board discussed the option of having various blocks for different age groups – like seniors, middle schoolers, etc.
  11. The swim and dive training programs will be open to all membership categories. The additional number is small. Kids/teens will use Sign-up Genius to sign up for each practice for each hour.
  12. Discussion of what to say in the Little Falls Pledge, to ensure the health of our community.
  13. Cathy Stocker will be sending an email to the pool community about our opening date and our reservation system.

Meeting was adjourned at 9:45pm.

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Minutes of LFSC Board Meeting—June 24, 2020
via Zoom
7:00pm

Board members (9 of 11) were in attendance: David Cutitta, Geoff Egnal, Tony Higgins, Julian Kim, Nancy La Vigne, Maren Matal, Cynthia Morton, Cathy Stocker, and Steve Volkers
Guests in attendance: Chuck Montrie and Teri Tomlin of Bethesda Aquatics, Ray Crist (pool manager), and Linda Karson (LFSC Administrator)

The pool finally opened for the season on Saturday, June 20, 2020, with a reservation system in place, and many new safety procedures to address the  COVID-19 situation. In an effort to find out what’s working and what is not working, the Board had extensive discussion on the following topics –

  1. Communications with the pool community
  2. Check-in procedures
  3. Lifeguard staffing
  4. Cleaning
  5. Tweaks to the reservation system, such a moving from 2-hour slots to 1-hour slots, allowing more visits per week.
  6. Capacity
  7. Designation of adult-only hours
  8. Rules on supervision of children ages 12 and under
  9. Whether Senior Emeritus accounts can start to use the pool soon

The swim program began on June 22, 2020, and the dive program began on June 23, 2020, with capacity limits and safety procedures in place. So far, both programs are off to a good start.

Tennis – We hope to use lifeguards to do some monitoring of the tennis courts, given that some people are not following the rules. For example, some people are using scooters and bicycles on the courts, which can damage the thin layer of the resurfaced courts. Others are not locking the courts after using them.

Meeting was adjourned at 10:00pm.

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Minutes of LFSC Board Meeting—July 1, 2020
via Zoom
7:00pm

Board members (9 of 11) were in attendance: David Cutitta, Geoff Egnal, Tony Higgins, Julian Kim, Nancy La Vigne, Maren Matal, Cynthia Morton, Cathy Stocker, and Steve Volkers

The Board discussed how pool operations are going, now that the pool has been open for 12 days (since June 20). Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the pool has imposed safety measures, such as limiting the number of people at the pool to 60 at a time. Also, we are requiring that people make a reservation to come to the pool.

Steve Volkers gave a report on the pool usage, as tracked by our reservation system. Currently, 63 percent of members have made reservations, and approximately 92 percent of the slots are full. Approximately 85 percent of members are showing up for their slots.

Access to the Pool by Senior Emeritus

So far this summer, due to capacity constraints, the pool has not yet been open for use by Senior Emeritus accounts. In a typical summer, the Senior Emeritus Accounts would have:
– 20 visits (pool or tennis court) per season.
– Early Bird (lap) swim at no extra cost.
– Some limited ability to bring guests.

However, in 2020, due to the COVID-19 pandemic, all pool users are getting less access to the pool. For example, Equity Members are not allowed to bring guests, and are currently limited to 7 one-hour slots per week per person.

We believe we have the capacity to now allow some limited access to our Senior Emeritus accounts. We will create a new pilot program for Senior Emeritus accounts whereby they will still have 20 visits, and some ability to use the dive well and intermediate pool during Early Bird, as well as the ability to come during senior (55 and over) hours. They will also have access to water aerobics classes (if offered). However, the Senior Emeritus accounts will no longer have unlimited Early Bird swim, given that it’s very popular among Equity Members, and given that Montgomery County is currently restricting lane usage to 1 person per lane.

On July 2 or 3, the Board will send a communication to the Senior Emeritus accounts to outline the new pilot program. We will also hold a Zoom town hall on July 9 at 5:00pm to explain how to use the reservation system. The access for Senior Emeritus accounts will begin on July 11. This will be a pilot program. The Board reserves the right to change or discontinue the program.

On July 31, any Senior Emeritus who does not like the 2020 rules can request to have funds applied toward their 2021 pool dues.

Improvement of Early Bird Procedures

We discussed using a white board to make it clear when someone is waiting to use a lap lane.

Capacity Considerations

We discussed the possibility of going from a maximum of 60 to a maximum of 70.

Social Events

Due to Montgomery County restrictions on gatherings and social events, our only July 4th celebration will likely be popsicles and ice cream bars that we will give out.

Swim and Dive Teams

The swim program has 130 kids (ages 7-18) registered, and the dive team has 52 kids (ages 6-18) registered. We are pleased to be able to offer these 2 “in-person” programs.

Meeting was adjourned at 8:30pm.

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Minutes of LFSC Board Meeting—July 8, 2020
via Zoom
6:30pm

Board members (9 of 11) were in attendance: David Cutitta, Geoff Egnal, Tony Higgins, Julian Kim, Nancy La Vigne, Maren Matal, Cynthia Morton, Cathy Stocker, and Steve Volkers
Guests in attendance: Chuck Montrie and Teri Tomlin of Bethesda Aquatics

  1. In the interest of safety, we’ll add some language to our Little Falls Pledge to the effect that, if a person has traveled to a COVID hot spot, we ask that they stay away from the pool for 14 days. We’ll also make a few other refinements to strengthen the pledge.
  2. We discussed the possibility of adding signage to our bridge to remind visitors about physical distancing and masks. Cynthia Morton will handle in a way that makes sense.
  3. Several members have raised concerns about the limited availability of lap lanes. The Board discussed a variety of different ways in which we could make lap lanes more available. Cathy Stocker will send a message to pool patrons to explain the white board system that was recently implemented, which is designed to give people some idea of when they’ll have a lane available. If this does not work, we can revisit and tweak the system.
  4. The swim and dive programs have been very successful so far – with 130 kids and teens signed up for swim and 52 kids and teens signed up for dive. The swim program will end on August 1 and the dive program will end on August 7. Maren Matal proposed extending the swim and dive programs until August 28, or at least providing some programming for kids and teens. She believes there’s a lot of demand for programming for kids and teens. The Board seemed okay with extending the dive program (which currently is held Sunday-Friday from 4:00pm-6:30pm). But the Board wanted to consider how we can make some of the lap lanes available for the broader membership, rather than having the swim team use the lanes from 8:00am to Noon from Monday-Saturday. The Board formed a subcommittee that will consider the issue further. The subcommittee includes Cathy Stocker, Julian Kim, Steve Volkers, and Maren Matal.
  5. We discussed how, in this unique summer of 2020, we are not currently bringing in as much revenue as normal because (a) some Senior Emeritus accounts may choose not to use the pool this summer; (b) we have not yet extended to Full Season and End of Season Guests; and (c) we’re not allowing Equity Members to bring guests (and therefore we have no guest fee revenue). We’re still in good financial shape, but we’re not paying depreciation.
  6. The Board discussed finding a teacher to offer water aerobics, which has the advantage of being an activity that can be done in a socially distant manner by many people at once.
  7. We approved allowing a Lost &Found to be maintained at the pool. Members can sort through the Lost & Found items at their own risk.
  8. Nancy La Vigne asked Chuck Montrie (Bethesda Aquatics) if we can ask the lifeguards to pick up the masks that are strewn about the premises. Chuck reported that the lifeguards are disappointed that members are not more responsible about keeping track of their masks.
  9. Chuck explained that there’s a cleaning routine that’s performed at the time of pool closing each night.
  10. Length of pool season: The Board discussed the possibility of asking Montgomery County if we can be allowed to stay open a few extra weeks, past September 13, given that the pool opened four weeks late this summer – on June 20, 2020, instead of May 23, 2020. Chuck Montrie recommended that we reach out to the Montgomery County Board of Appeals to request permission. Chuck thinks that he’ll have enough lifeguards to cover an extended season.
  11. On the tennis front, Dave Cutitta was pleased that the lifeguards will be able to continue to monitor the courts for another week. For the past two weeks, the lifeguards have attempted to persuade members to adopt some new habits – such as bringing their Tennis Court Pass and locking the courts after each use.
  12. Board member perk: In a normal year, the perk for serving on the Board is unlimited Daily Guest Passes. With no guests allowed in 2020 due to capacity constraints, Nancy La Vigne suggested that perhaps we could offer an alternative perk in 2020 as a way to say thanks to the Board for their efforts in this unusual summer, which has required more work than normal. We discussed allowing each Board member to be able to make ten reservation-free pool visits per household member per week excluding Early Bird. David Cutitta would instead get unlimited tennis reservations in recognition of all the work he continues to do to keep our tennis court system working properly.
  13. On July 9, 2020, we will host a Town Hall via Zoom for (a) Senior Emeritus accounts and (b) Equity Members. The former will be a Senior Emeritus information session at which the Board will outline our proposed plan to allow them access to the pool on a trial basis during the week of July 11-18. We will offer four household reservations per week until they have reached their annual 20-visit cap. Our Senior Emeritus accounts have until July 31 to decide whether they would like to continue under the proposed reservation plan.

Meeting was adjourned at 7:37pm.

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Minutes of LFSC Board Meeting—July 15, 2020
via Zoom
6:00pm

Board members (10 of 11) were in attendance: Geoff Egnal, Tony Higgins, Andrea Kiernan, Julian Kim, Nancy La Vigne, Maren Matal, Cynthia Morton, Cathy Stocker, Chris Terry, and Steve Volkers
Guests in attendance: Chuck Montrie of Bethesda Aquatics and Ray Crist (Pool Manager)

  1. The Board approved the minutes of past meetings from June 24, July 1, and July 8. (At the next meeting, the Board will consider the minutes from the June 10 and June 17 meetings, as well as July 15.)
  2. Chuck Montrie will check on lifeguard availability for September, in case we are able to extend our season past September 13. The heater may not be robust enough to heat the pool past September.
  3. Alley access for chlorine truck – The property owner asserts that his property line extends into the alley, and he is not willing to give access to the chlorine truck. The pool needs to have a back-up plan in case the chlorine truck is not able to access the pool via the alley. Also, the pool needs alley access for an ambulance to be able to get to the pool in the event of an emergency.

The Board approved spending up to $2500 for the services of a surveyor and land use attorney to help determine the boundary line. Cathy Stocker and Steve Volkers will form a subcommittee to work on surveyor issues.

Note: In 2019, the [state or county] highway department came out to affirm our right to bring the truck through.

To ensure access for the chlorine truck, one option is to cut down some of the trees to make room for the truck. The trees may be on county land. If that’s the case, the tree removal must be done by (or at least approved the county). The county may give us approval to remove the trees at our expense.

As for a back-up plan for getting chlorine to the pool if the truck cannot use the alley, the Board approved spending up to $3500 to acquire chlorine tablets.

  1. Increasing access to lanes for lap swimming – The Board discussed whether to allow lap swimmers to reserve a lane, rather than using the current white board system. Ray reported that the white board is somewhat helpful, but that lap swimmers still are not satisfied with the uncertainty and limited access.

To maximize lap swimming access, the Board agreed to dedicate 3 lanes to lap swimming from Noon-9:00pm (with an extra lane available for all but 4:00-6:00pm). It will show up as a separate “facility” in the reservation system. This should help 6 people per hour. This will count as a pool visit toward the weekly limit. Pool Manager Ray Crist will keep guard at the lap area for first week during the transition.

  1. Chuck Montrie reports that we’re nicely settling into a normal operation.
  2. Chuck and Ray report that the addition of the Senior Emeritus accounts on July 11 has gone smoothly so far.
  3. August schedule – extending the swim and dive programs, and possibly adding End of Season Guests

The swim program was scheduled to end on August 1, and the dive program was scheduled to end on August 7. In the interest of providing programming to kids/teens, a subcommittee of the Board presented a proposal whereby the swim and dive teams could continue through August 28.

Swim would be from 9:45am-11:45am (instead of 8:00am-Noon currently). Dive would either keep its current hours (4:00pm-6:30pm, or could move to an earlier time like 1:00pm-3:30pm, as an example, if that’s not a busy time.)

The Board approved the plan, subject to adaptation if needed, based on an upcoming survey that will go to the swim and dive teams, and ideally all members.

The Board also agreed to attempt to set aside some kid or teen hours, and perhaps have some social events, to mitigate the fact that most kids won’t be back in the classroom until at least Thanksgiving.

The Board supports programming, and will also encourage the start of water aerobics classes.

Once we have another week of data on the impact of the Senior Emeritus accounts, we will evaluate whether we can also add End of Season Guests.

  1. Consideration of a suspension of an Equity Member

On July 8, 2020, an Equity Member [name redacted] was verbally abusive toward three members of the pool community (one of whom is a lifeguard). In addition, he was shouting without wearing a mask, and invaded the members’ personal space while talking.

On July 9, 2020, the Executive Committee agreed to immediately inform [name redacted] that his membership was suspended until the full Board had the occasion to meet on July 15.

All involved parties provided written incident reports/responses for the Board to consider.

After reviewing the written statements and discussing the matter, the full Board approved a 10-day suspension (which will end on July 19). The Board also approved putting a notation in [name redacted] MemberSplash account to state that, if he violates the pool community rules one more time, his membership in the LFSC will be terminated for his household, and without refund of the equity amount.

Meeting was adjourned at 8:00pm.

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Minutes of LFSC Board Meeting—July 23, 2020
via Zoom
6:00pm

Board members (9 of 11) were in attendance: Geoff Egnal, Tony Higgins, Andrea Kiernan, Julian Kim, Nancy La Vigne, Maren Matal, Cynthia Morton, and Steve Volkers
Guests in attendance: Chuck Montrie and Teri Tomlin of Bethesda Aquatics and Ray Crist (Pool Manager)

  1. Julian will touch base with the members who are organizing the 2 aerobics classes to discuss scheduling.

Alley access for the chlorine truck

  1. The Board continued to discuss how to ensure access for the chlorine truck through the alley, which also is needed for emergency vehicles.
  2. One of the nearby homeowners who has previously allowed the chlorine truck to pass over a portion of their property is not willing to allow that to continue. Chuck Montrie will reach out to inquire about a possible temporary license from the homeowner, to allow access for the chlorine truck.
  3. We are seeking a Montgomery County permit to cut down a few trees on County land that would clear the way in the alley. (The County could cut down the trees itself, but that would substantially delay the project.) The County has given us a preliminary indication that it will grant LFSC a permit to take down the trees. We are working with other homeowners with trees on their property that might be impeding the use of the alley.
  4. As a temporary back-up to allow the pool to keep open (with a sufficient amount of chlorine) while we await a resolution of the issue with the alley, Chuck Montrie reported that we can get smaller drums of chlorine delivered every other day. We use 3 per day at this time.
  5. Geoff Egnal will start applying for the state and county permits.

August programming for kids and teens

  1. On July 19, 2020, the Board sent a survey to the pool community to inquire about the level of interest in August swim/dive/fitness/social programs for kids and teens.
  2. The results showed strong interest in programming for kids and teens in August.
  3. The Board approved allowing swim and dive programs (which would otherwise end on August 1 and 7, respectively) to continue through August 28. A subcommittee will also consider other activities such as aerobics, fitness programs, and social events.

Access to the pool for End of Season Guests

  1. At the beginning of August, we will evaluate the pool usage to determine if we have adequate room to allow end of season guests to use the pool this season.

Extending the season through the end of September

  1. Chuck Montrie thinks that he has enough lifeguards, although the pool operators may be more difficult to find, as many of them will be back in college.

Meeting was adjourned at 7:00pm.

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Minutes of LFSC Board Meeting—August 5, 2020
via Zoom
6:00pm

Board members (10 of 11) were in attendance: Geoff Egnal, Tony Higgins, Andrea Kiernan, Julian Kim, Nancy La Vigne, Maren Matal, Cynthia Morton, Cathy Stocker, Chris Terry, and Steve Volkers
Guests in attendance: Chuck Montrie of Bethesda Aquatics and Linda Karson (Administrator) 

  1. The Board approved the minutes of the July 23 meeting.
  2. Safety/Operations – The Board discussed the project to ensure ongoing access through the county-owned alley from running behind Baltimore Avenue. The alley is used by, among others, vehicles servicing the pool and is required by emergency vehicles because the bridge from Little Falls Drive will not support the weight of an ambulance or fire truck. The Board applied for permits for the removal of several small trees on county land that were impeding access. Although the county is responsible for removing these trees, the Board sought the cooperation of one of the adjoining homeowners to expedite the process and to minimize any potential impacts on the pool’s ongoing operations. The Board agreed to reimburse that neighbor up to $900 for landscaping associated with the removal of trees. The trees have since been removed.
  3. Finance – Geoff Egnal reported on the 2020 budget. We had revenue of $394,000. We are budgeted to spend (without depreciation) $388,000. So we have $6,000 cash earnings. But we ignored $100,000 of depreciation. We’re fine on a cash basis – but eventually we can no longer ignore depreciation.
  4. Closing date of the season – The Board agreed to explore the idea of extending the season by 2 weeks, given that the pool opened 4 weeks late this year due to COVID-19. The Board will explore the possibility of staying open through September 27. Chuck Montrie believes that he will be able to staff the additional 2 weeks, and that it would be at the contracted price. Cathy Stocker will reach out to the county office that does special exceptions. Once we figure out the situation with the county, we’ll hold a separate vote on whether to stay open for the extra 2 weeks.
  5. Membership – The Board approved offering some End of Season Guests to have access to the pool for the rest of the season. This approval came after extensive discussions about pool capacity, safety considerations, and fairness considerations among all types of pool users. We’ll offer the End of Season Guest swim privileges for $400 to 80 people [subsequently offered to 50] on the waitlist (with hopes of netting 50). We will communicate this widely in the interest of full transparency.
  6. Social – we discussed offering a few movie nights for teens, etc.
  7. August swim/dive programs – there has been tremendous interest from kids ages 6-17 in the August swim and dive programs. Both programs are near or at full capacity – 80 for each swim session, and 60 for the dive session. Those practices will all be from 9:30am to Noon, thereby freeing up more time for lap swimming and dive well use. We’ll also consider a 2-week session of swim for younger children (6 and under).

Meeting was adjourned at 7:30pm.

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Minutes of LFSC Board Meeting—August 12, 2020
via Zoom
8:40pm

Board members (7 of 11) were in attendance: Andrea Kiernan, Julian Kim, Nancy La Vigne, Maren Matal, Cynthia Morton, Cathy Stocker, and Steve Volkers
Guest in attendance: Linda Karson (Administrator) 

  1. Contact tracing – The Board discussed the need for an immediate communication to the pool community about a member who recently tested positive for COVID-19, and who had visited the pool in the preceding weeks. The Board greatly appreciates how the member came forward to disclose this, and will fully protect his/her confidentiality.
  1. Closing date for the pool – Cathy Stocker reported that the county has given provisional approval to allow the pool to stay open through September 27 (instead of the original date of September 13), in recognition of the fact that the pool opened 4 weeks late this year due to COVID-19.

Meeting was adjourned at 9:15pm.

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Minutes of LFSC Board Meeting—September 9, 2020
via Zoom
6:00pm

Board members (10 of 11) were in attendance: Dave Cutitta, Geoff Egnal, Tony Higgins, Andrea Kiernan, Julian Kim, Nancy La Vigne, Maren Matal, Cynthia Morton, Cathy Stocker, and Chris Terry
Guest in attendance: Teri Tomlin of Bethesda Aquatics

  1. The Board approved minutes from the following four meetings: June 10, June 17, August 5, and August 12.
  2. Closing date for the pool – Cathy Stocker reported that the county will allow the pool to stay open through September 27 (instead of the original date of September 13), in recognition of the fact that the pool opened 4 weeks late this year due to COVID-19. On September 27 at 5:00pm, we’ll put on the cover. We may put away the furniture at a later time.
  3. Treasurer’s report – Our bank account shows we have $177,000, on hand ($29,180 in checking, and $148,300 in savings) as of September 9, 2020. For the year, our main revenue will be roughly $60,000 below budget. We have some ‘bright’ spots – which aren’t really that bright if one considers the reasons – like the swim and dive teams’ low expenses. But overall, our expenses are not too different. So, we expect not to cover our depreciation fully, but will finish the year with adequate cash on hand.
  • In November, once the books close, we’ll have an audit managed by LFSC member Peter Dunkelberger.
  • We have paid Bethesda Aquatics on schedule. Some of their expenses (like cleaning) were higher in 2020, and some were lower than anticipated (such as the minimum wage, which turned out to be slightly lower than the anticipated $15/hour.)
  1. Request for winter swim club teams to use the Little Falls pool – due to the shortage of indoor pool space for 2020-2021, many swim clubs are asking outdoor pools for any possible capacity this fall/winter. LFSC has turned down these requests.
  1. Operations & CLC – Cynthia Morton hand-delivered a letter to the community Liaison Committee members to notify them notify that the pool will be staying open through September 27.
  1. Membership – Not all End of Season Guest offers were accepted. Linda Karson (administrator) has updated the waitlist.
  1. Building and grounds – Our vendor cleared out some vines near the alley/tennis courts, and also cleaned out the branches under the bridge.
  1. Safety and chlorine truck access – In order to ensure access for emergency vehicles (e.g. ambulances) and our chlorine truck, we arranged for 3 trees to be removed from the alley area. On September 4-7, 2020, our vendor removed the trees and the stumps.
  1. Tennis – We received a request from Enrichment Academies, an after-school program at Westbrook. They’d like to use the Little Falls courts to offer children’s tennis lessons in the fall for a few hours per week. In the interest of being a good neighbor, the Board approved allowing 1 court for 8 kids in grades 3-5 (with priority for Little Falls members). We are mandating masks for the kids and proper social distancing on the courts to possibly head off COVID-related complaints.
  • A homeowner near the tennis courts requested replacement of the privacy screen between Court 3 and their home. The screen has been damaged by dry rot and wind ripping holes in the screen. The Board approved the new privacy screen up to $500.
  • Some members are complaining about branches hanging over the tennis courts. The branches are causing sap to drip onto the courts and make the courts slippery. Dave Cutitta’s got one estimate for $5,000 to trim the trees. He’ll solicit more bids. The Board approved spending up to $5,000 to trim the trees.
  1. Social – The social committee hosted 2 outdoor movie nights in August, one for high schoolers and another for middle schoolers. The movies ran from about 7:30pm-9:30pm. Registrations were capped at 50 and the announcements reminded attendees to social distance and wear masks. We served pizza, snacks and drinks, and rented the equipment from Gus – a pool member who started an outdoor movie equipment rental business this summer. The evening scheduled for younger kids was rained out, we hope to reschedule before pool-closing.

Meeting was adjourned at 8:00pm.

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Minutes of LFSC Board Meeting—October 14, 2020
via Zoom
7:00pm

Board members (10 of 11) were in attendance: Dave Cutitta, Geoff Egnal, Tony Higgins, Andrea Kiernan, Nancy La Vigne, Maren Matal, Cynthia Morton, Cathy Stocker, Chris Terry, and Steve Volkers

  1. The Board approved the minutes of the meeting held on September 9, 2020.
  2. Community Liaison Committee (Cathy Stocker and Cynthia Morton):
    • One neighbor (not an LFSC member) had raised a concern about not being given sufficient notice of the 7-day extension of the pool season (from September 20 to September 27). The extension had been done in light of the 4-week delay in the opening of the season (from May 23 to June 20), due to COVID-19.
    • Cynthia Morton regularly communicates with the neighbors to keep them all apprised of any pool developments.
  1. Treasurer’s report (Geoff Egnal): In 2 months, Julian Kim will take over as Treasurer. We are currently preparing for an audit. We are starting to get a final picture of the numbers. The swim and dive team gave us $20,000 more revenue than we thought, with fewer expenses.

In 2020, Chuck Montrie of Bethesda Aquatics requested the full $18,000/month associated with his Board-approved 2020 contract. Although his labor expenses were lower, other expenses were higher.

4. Tennis (Dave Cutitta): At the September 9 meeting, we had approved a tree trimming project. Some members had complained about branches hanging over the tennis courts. The branches were causing sap to drip onto the courts and make the courts slippery. Dave Cutitta had received one estimate for $5,000 to trim the trees. He’ll solicit more bids. The Board approved spending up to $5,000 to trim the trees.) On October 14, Dave reported that the tree work will come in well under budget. There is also a dead pine tree that one of the surveyors pointed out and recommended that we take down, and so he added that to the scope.

Dave also mentioned the need to add electronic entry/keypad entry to court 3 and to add automatic closing/locking to the door. He will solicit bids.

We replaced the privacy screen between Court 3 and a neighbor’s home. The screen had been damaged by dry rot and the wind was ripping holes in the screen.

5. Membership (Steve Volkers and Andrea Kiernan):

Of our 377 member, 29 members resigned. So we now have 29 new full members who joined in their stead. Of current members, some went inactive. The wait list is at 295.

We have 127 households in the senior emeritus pass (SEP) category.  Of those, four exceeded their 20-visit limit. We will charge them a guest fee for the difference.

6. Senior Emeritus program

We considered a proposal to raise the minimal age for Senior Emeritus from 55 to 60, qualifying that the minimum age threshold can apply to the senior-most member of the household. The current program is available to members ages 55 and above, and allows 20 visits (Early Bird not counted), and socials. (In a non-pandemic year, it also includes 10 guest passes.) The dues are $305 per year, compared with $915 per year for full equity members.

Currently, 193 out of 377 (55 percent) active members would qualify for the senior emeritus program based on the age of their senior-most household member. In any case, we do need to monitor the 20 visits for the SEPs, to ensure the SEPs do not use more than they are allowed. We could run a report every month.

  1. Operations (Cynthia Morton): We have had a fox visiting the pool, just about every day on the pool deck. The alarm company said our cameras are out of date, and so she upgraded one for $250. We can look at additional replacements in the spring. For 2021, Cynthia will work on the wifi reliability, as it was not reliable in 2020.
  1. Survey (Steve Volkers):

The Board discussed commissioning a formal survey of the alley re: documentation to facilitate access of chlorine truck and EMS vehicles to the pool. Of the 3 bids that Steve solicited, only 1 responded. The bid was $4300. It would be good to have this documentation for future Boards, as it would help to know the boundaries of the alley. The Board approved an expenditure of $4300 for a survey.

(On October 16, the Board approved via email an additional $1000 to survey the entire pool property to include the south side (Baltimore Avenue side). The rationale for the expanded scope was that it’s better to survey the entire area now, so we have the big picture. Total of $5,300.)

  1. Grounds (Tony Higgins): We discussed whether to turn off our trash service as normal, or keep it up over the winter, in light of possible additional use of the tennis courts, etc. We’ll ask Tenleytown Trash to pick up 2x per month. We could have 1 can at the tennis court and 1 at the parking lot. It would be $175 per month for weekly pick up, and we probably don’t need that often.
  1. Social (Chris Terry):

We have 3 food trucks scheduled for the next 2 weeks. So far, they have been hugely successful. Chris suggested we could have them 1x per month. Most people just pick up their food and leave, rather than staying on the pool grounds to eat.

The 3 movie nights were a success, providing much-needed (socially-distant outdoor) entertainment for kids and teens. We discussed continuing these moving nights, such as a Halloween Movie Night.

We received feedback from the participants that they greatly enjoyed the events. The food truck vendors were also extremely grateful for the opportunity.

  1. Board Membership: Three of our Board members are term-limited — Tony, Geoff, and Steve. Their services have been invaluable, and we will greatly miss them. Two of our Board members  – Dave and Andrea – are eligible to run again.

Meeting was adjourned at 8:25pm.

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Minutes of LFSC Board Meeting—November 11, 2020
via Zoom
7:30pm

All 11 Board members were in attendance: Geoff Egnal, Dave Cutitta, Tony Higgins,  Andrea Kiernan, Julian Kim, Nancy La Vigne, Maren Matal, Cynthia Morton, Cathy Stocker, Chris Terry, and Steve Volkers

  1. Updates from President/Vice President (Nancy)

The Board is starting to plan for the Annual Meeting, to be held in January via Zoom.

We will do online voting. If a member has an item on which they want the membership to vote (and has the requisite number of signatures), the member will have to submit it in advance (since we are not holding an in-person meeting).

The Board discussed the need to activate the nominating committee to recruit candidates to run for the Pool Board. Nancy expressed her desire that we have a range of ages represented.

We are so grateful to the following 4 Board members for their many contributions to the LFSC and we will miss them as they transition off of the Board: Steve, Geoff, Andrea, and Tony.

  1. Membership Discussion (Steve and Andrea) – The Membership Chairs made the following 5 recommendations:

(See also the attached summary of the dues and guest fees from 2020 as a guide going forward.)

  • Member Records – a significant number of member records have missing or inaccurate birth dates and missing photos. We recommend that a notice be sent during registration that members must update both before they can use the pool for the season. Members can update their own records and can upload a photo themselves to avoid delay at the pool. We also should make sure the camera is in place to take photos and not allow guests to enter until they are updated (we did not focus on this during the 2020 season given all of the COVID-related procedures).
  • Senior Emeritus Pass (SEP) Dues -The Membership Chairs recommend that the Board consider raising dues for the SEP program in 2021. A fee increase is necessary because the LFSC is not where we need to be in terms of depreciation and renovation. Current SEP dues are $305 per year. For comparison, the dues for Equity Members recently increased by 20 percent from $700 to $840 (not including the $75 Handyman Fee). The original terms of the SEP program limited the increase to the annual cost of living index. The Membership Chairs suggest the Board consider this and adopt the practice going forward. It would result in a very small increase that can be expected and predicted by our SEP participants.
  • SEP Legacy – The Membership Chairs recommend that the Board consider raising dues for the SEP Legacy program in 2021. Since 2015, the SEP Legacy dues have been held constant at $165, which is well below the cost per visit of any other guest member. There are 34 people in this category. This category was only available to those who opted in prior to October 22, 2015.
  • Better monitoring and enforcement of SEP visits – This past season, new procedures included a more careful and consistent monitoring of pool usage by our Senior Emeriti. The Membership Chairs recommend that this practice continue going forward. SEPs are allowed 20 visits and the purchase of 10 guest passes (30 visits total) plus unlimited Early Bird swim. Now that Early Bird is so popular, we may have to revisit the practicality of allowing unlimited Early Bird. Recommendation: Each season, perform two audits, the first on July 15 and the second on August 15 to review total number of visits (30 total), keeping in mind whether the Early Bird privilege will change. Once the 30-visit max is reached for the season, their account will be deactivated for the season and the SEP participant family will be notified. The Board should also discuss monitoring usage of the tennis courts, which would be included in the 30 visits. Potential options could include using the MemberSplash reservation system. Any changes to the program should be communicated during the registration period next season. The Board has the discretion to revise the SEP program.
  • Raise SEP age from 55 to 60? There are pros and cons of raising the age that must be considered. If we make any changes to the SEP program, any current participants would be grandfathered.

Nancy thanked Steve and Andrea for all the work that they have done in preparing these recommendations.

  1. Treasurer’s Report (Geoff)

We are preparing the numbers for the audit next week, November 19, which will be conducted via Zoom with the volunteer member Audit Committee. The numbers haven’t changed much since last month. Geoff is double checking the documents to make sure that he reconciled properly. By December, he’ll have numbers for the full year that ended October 31, 2020. He will have a draft budget for fiscal year 2021 as well. The Board thanked Geoff for all of the work he puts into this.

Cash wise, we are doing fine. In our bank account (checking/savings), we have a balance of $115,000 with most of the major expenses for the fiscal year now covered. Considering that we did not know how the 2020 season would turn out, Geoff feels that our balance is good.

Geoff is making some training videos for future Treasurers to use.

  1. Operations and CLC (Cynthia and Cathy)

On CLC side, Cynthia has completed her Community Liaison Report.

Archives – We currently have a Google drive where we store a variety of pool Board information. In addition, above the kitchen, there are also pool records in plastic bins.

At her house, Cathy has the plastic bins with the really old records. Linda Norman (long-time pool member) agreed to go through boxes of old documents and see if there is essential information (such as blueprints, plats etc). The Board approved a payment of up to $1000 to compensate Linda Norman for going through our old records (back to 1990’s) and to organize them and archive what needs to be archived. The Board approved the expenditure.

  1. Survey of LFSC property to ensure alley access for emergency vehicles (Steve)

Last month the Board had approved a survey for the purpose of identifying what was pool property, since we need to ensure access to the pool via the alley for emergency vehicles.

The surveyors will do the field work on November 13 and 16. After they do that, they will produce the plats and give us the documentation. We hope that they will use stakes to show the property line. And we will at least take photos if anyone proposes removing the stakes. The survey will be good to have in case we ever need to improve our bridge.

6. Buildings and Grounds (Tony) – We should consider adding wood chips to the foot path around the pool fence. Most of the wood chips put down in the spring have washed away. Mowing and More provided a quote of $800 (they charged us $878 back in the Spring). The Board approved spending up to $850. For lawn mowing, Tony will solicit 4-5 bids for options for lawn service for the property for 2021. This will include Mowing and More. On the trash, Tony will resolve the issue this week. There will be 2 bins — 1 trash and 1 recycling — somewhere near the tennis courts.  $150 per month for weekly pick-up.

7. Tennis (David) David received an estimate of $2,250 from Gus and Sons to add an electronic entry/keypad entry to Court 3 and to add an automatic closing/locking to the door. He’s attempting to solicit more bids, but some of the vendors are not responding to his inquiries. The Board approved an expenditure of up to $2,500 for this purpose. Once Dave makes these improvements to Court 3, he may try a pilot program of using online reservations through Membersplash. With this improvement we’ll be able to ensure the tennis court remains locked when not in use. Also, this will alleviate the problem of people not locking the courts when they are done. Dave finds that approximately 20 to 30 percent of people do not lock the courts. Dave reported that our vendor (Potomac Home Services) came to take down the dead tree and trim the other trees near the courts, including the access area. This work came in well within budget at $2,000.

 

8. Communications (Cathy)

For purposes of time-sensitive communications to our pool community, we realize that we need 2 Board members to be trained in how to use MailChimp (which we use to send email to the pool community).

9. Swim and Dive: For the swim team, Julian will check with the swim reps (A and B) to see if they are willing to do the job again in 2021. The team reps should start recruiting swim coaches soon. As for the dive team, Maren reported that Sarah Halperin (Head Dive Coach) plans to return for 2021.

  1. Other topics
  • The Board will consider conducting a routine review of our pool operator (Bethesda Aquatics).
  • Chris Terry recommends that we review the operating agreement to assess whether we would like to appeal to the Board for additional social events provided they are planned and executed to ensure minimal noise and reasonable hours. We will continue this discussion at a future meeting.

Meeting was adjourned at 9:00pm.

_______________________________________________

Minutes of LFSC Board Meeting—December 9, 2020
via Zoom
7:30pm

Board members (10 of 11) were in attendance: Geoff Egnal, Dave Cutitta, Tony Higgins,  Andrea Kiernan, Julian Kim, Nancy La Vigne, Maren Matal, Cynthia Morton, Cathy Stocker, and Steve Volkers. Chris Terry was not in attendance.
Guest in attendance: Chuck Montrie of Bethesda Aquatics (for the first part of the meeting).

  1. Discussion with Chuck Montrie (Bethesda Aquatics)(LFSC’s pool operator)

Recap of the summer of 2020 – Chuck felt good about the collective efforts to get the pool up and running. We squeezed as much use and enjoyment out of the pool as we could, despite COVID-19.

The Board expressed a preference to have future managers hired from the pool of lifeguards at Little Falls, to provide that leadership opportunity to those within our community. Chuck agreed to try to grow that talent going forward and to make the application process open to all members and transparent regarding hiring criteria for each position. Doing so will enable prospective lifeguards, pool operators, and pool managers to obtain the experience and credentials required to be considered for these positions.

We thanked Chuck for joining us.

  1. Discussion of possible renewal of contract with Bethesda Aquatics for 2021

We were pleased that the 2020 season went relatively smoothly, despite COVID. The Board unanimously approved renewing the contract of Bethesda Aquatics at the same rate as the 2020 rate. The Board will share a letter with Bethesda Aquatics with some areas where we would like to see increased focus in 2021.

In 2021, in the interest of making sure that Little Falls is conducting appropriate diligence periodically, the Board will form a committee to solicit bids from additional pool operators for the 2022 season.

The Board will continue the practice of inviting our pool operator to participate in Board meetings from April to August, at least at the beginning of each meeting.

  1. Updates from President (Nancy)

The Annual Meeting will be held on Wednesday, January 27, 2021, at 7:30 pm, via Zoom. Nancy will start working on the president’s letter.

Nancy thanked the four departing Board members for all of their hard work in making the pool run smoothly behind the scenes: Steve Volkers, Tony Higgins, Andrea Kiernan, and Geoff Egnal. David Cutitta’s term is ending, but we are delighted that he will be seeking reelection.

We have a nominating committee that will identify and recruit potential candidates for the pool Board. The nominating committee will consist of past Board members Claire Slabaugh and John Crupi.

  1. Updates from vice president (Cathy)

Cathy reported on the survey of LFSC property to ensure alley access for emergency vehicles. The survey company anticipates finishing the job on or around December 18, 2020.

  1. Membership discussion (Steve and Andrea)

After discussing the topic at the November 11 meeting, the Board unanimously approved changing the age of eligibility for the Senior Emeritus program from age 55 to age 60, effective at the deadline for timely payment of 2021 dues. Current Senior Emeritus accounts will be grandfathered. Going forward, as of the deadline to pay 2021 dues, at least one member of the household must be 60 in order to join the program.

The rationale for the change is that the Senior Emeritus fees are very low relative to Equity Member dues, and the number of Senior Emeritus accounts is getting quite large. Over half of our current members would be eligible to become Senior Emeritus.

Steve and Andrea also recommend that the next Board explore taking the following steps in 2021:

  • Member Records – Send a notice during registration to remind members to update their records in the system.
  • Senior Emeritus – Raise fees in 2022.
  • Senior Emeritus (Legacy) – Raise fees in 2021.
  • Better monitoring and enforcement of Senior Emeritus visits – Each season, perform two audits, the first on July 15 and the second on August 15to review total number of visits (30 total including tennis), keeping in mind whether the Early Bird privilege will change.
  1. Treasurer’s report (Geoff)

2020 audited financials – Geoff gave an update on the audit that was conducted on November 19, 2020. Geoff thanked the seven pool community members who participated in the audit.

Our financial results for 2020 were better than we might have anticipated, given the uncertainty of COVID. The audited financials for 2020 are attached.

2021 Budget – Geoff presented a proposed budget. He explained that he budgeted an additional $10,000 for a bookkeeper’s time for data entry. There are two reasons:

1) New insurance rules might force us to use bookkeepers to do what the treasurer has historically done; and

2) It’s not realistic or fair to ask volunteer Board members to do this much work – our treasurers have entered all the revenue data and many expense receipts before doing the traditional work of reconciling the bank account, filing the tax forms, and doing the audit. Geoff recommends having a professional do the job of data entry for approximately $40 per hour.

We had a loss of $73,000, in 2020, despite having increased our dues. Still, it’s nice to have $120,000 in the bank.

For 2021, if this budget holds, we’d only be $14,000, in the red. The Board unanimously approved the 2021 budget.

  1. Minutes from prior meetings – The Board unanimously approved the minutes of the Board meetings from October 14, 2020 and November 11, 2020.
  1. Operations and CLC (Cynthia and Cathy) – Nothing to report.
  1. Buildings and Grounds (Tony)We have trash cans by the tennis courts that will be emptied on a weekly basis and have added wood chips to the pathways surrounding the pool. Tony got four bids for lawn mowing in 2021. We currently pay $157 per mow to Mowing and More. The Board unanimously approved renewing with Mowing and More for 2021.
  2. Tennis (David) – David recently gave the go-ahead to Gus & Son to install an electronic keypad entry on Court #3. David had reached out to five companies for bids, but only one responded. David was able to get the one bidder to cut his price by $400.
  3. Swim and Dive (Julian)

Julian reported that the swim reps will stay the same as in 2020, and that he will encourage the reps to start recruiting coaches for 2021. Julian will request that the openings be advertised to all LFSC swimmers in a transparent process.

For the dive team, Maren reported that Becky Wexler has stepped in as a new dive co-rep for 2021, along with Maren. They will begin to recruit junior coaches for 2021 in a transparent process.

Meeting was adjourned at 9:30pm.