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Vending Machines Come to Westchase Pools

WCA Board directors recently voted to return vending machines to Westchase pools after a decade-long absence.

During the February Westchase Community Association (WCA) Board of Directors meeting, board members approved moving forward with three items from the Master Plan. Treasurer Nancy Sells was absent but all other board members voted to approve $11,019 for the purchase of two all-weather snack and drink vending machines to be located at each swim and tennis center, plus $1,705 to build an enclosure for the machine at the Westchase Swim and Tennis Center. The vending machines will be stocked and maintained by association employees.

While the pools originally had vending machines more than a decade ago, they sat in an open area of the pool deck and were ultimately removed after repeated vandalism and thefts after hours.

WCA directors at the meeting also voted unanimously in favor of moving forward with the installation of a slide at the West Park Village pool at a cost not to exceed $25,000. The slide will be located on the corner of the pool’s deep end, closest to the pool equipment building. Landscaping and fencing will be added and adjusted after the slide has been installed.

The board also reviewed several architecture proposals for the new Westchase Swim and Tennis Center tennis cabana. All voted in favor of accepting the proposal from Hartley Purdey with President Joaquin Arrillaga and Senior Community Association Manager Debbie Sainz agreeing to review and potentially negotiate some items.

The board approved minutes from the January meeting and accepted and approved minutes from the Covenants Committee meeting. In Sells’ absence, Sainz reported that the association audit would soon be finalized and board members will be able to review it.

The board replaced and re-appointed several committees members. All voted in favor of Chairman Bill Flood’s recommendation to appoint Mary Griffin to replace Linda Ryan on the Covenants Committee. All approved the re-appointment of Carlos Quiros to the Modifications Committee.

Residents Paul Jones and Mike Florio volunteered to take Ernie Sylvester’s spot on the WOW Board, which oversees the magazine’s policies and budget. WCA Board Secretary Keith Heinemann lauded both men’s qualifications and said they would both be wonderful additions. He recommended Paul Jones for the current spot and encouraged Florio to reapply in March when there were two other seats are facing renewal. All board members voted to approve Jones’ nomination.

Government Affairs Committee member Bill Flood reported several upcoming or planned changes to Westchase area roads. Changes are planned for the intersection at Linebaugh Avenue and Sheldon Road. There should be several public meetings on the upcoming changes before a final decision is made. There are also long-range plans to widen Linebaugh Avenue to Race Track Road. No start dates have been scheduled for these projects.

During her Community Association Manager’s Report, Sainz told the board that Coach Alex Richardson has grown the swim team from 40 to 58 participants. She also said that the association is getting quotes for a new insurance policy from Lanier Upshaw Insurance.

Arrillaga presented Bob Argus and the Westchase Rotary Club with a letter of appreciation for their involvement in helping make Movies in the Park and the association’s fall festival so successful.

All directors voted in favor of changing the capitalization policy for association assets. The new policy, which WCA Director Ken Blair described as “standard accounting policy,” states that the cost of any item in excess of $10,000 will be expensed over the lifetime of the items.

Arrillaga appointed Heinemann, Sainz, and WCA Vice President Dyan Pithers to form a new Spirit Committee. The committee will look into the possibility of selling Westchase logo items such as shirts, cups and visors.

Arrillaga expressed concern for the safety of swim and tennis center employees who are closing up the facilities at night. He suggested hiring a consultant to review what steps could be taken to ensure employees’ safety. The board agreed to table discussion while more information is gathered.

Arrillaga suggested establishing a blanket authorization beginning in October 2013 to allow the board president to use up to $3,000 for special circumstances due to emergencies. All board members agreed that it was a good idea, but suggested it should be put in place immediately. All board members voted in favor of Pithers’ amended policy that the policy go into effect immediately and that the WCA president confer with at least one other board member before spending funds. 

In the past, WCA directors have allowed the Alonso High School swim team to practice at the West Park Village pool and its tennis team to hold matches at the tennis courts. Operations Manager Kelly Shires, however, said he, “received multiple complaints from residents that they can not use the pool when the swim team is there.” He added, “Last year someone from the tennis team ripped our net. The teams have a history of not respecting our employees, taking over the area, and making it difficult for residents to use the facilities while they are there.”

In response, WCA directors voted in favor of establishing a policy that the facilities are not to be used for school sports teams.

By Marcy Sanford

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