Board Discusses Pool Repairs, Slide and Tennis Light Replacement

A handful of homeowners attended the resident forum prior to the June WCA Board meeting to express concerns about the association’s decision to close the West Park Village pool for repairs during the height of summer break. Board President Shawn Yesner said the repairs were scheduled to begin on July 8, but that he wasn’t opposed to investigating the option of delaying the work. He told community members that the issue was on the agenda and would be discussed later in the meeting. (note: see update below regarding the new start date for the renovation).

After calling the meeting to order, Yesner presented resident Jo Ann Gratt with a Commitment Award for having served ten years on the Modifications Committee, and thanked her for her dedication to the community.

The board evaluated three proposals for bathroom trailers to be used during the renovation of the Countryway bathrooms. Board Member Jack Maurer moved to accept the bid from Supreme Latrines, and his motion passed unanimously.

Board members then engaged in a lengthy discussion about whether to reopen the slide at the West Park Village pool and whether to begin pool repairs on July 8, as scheduled. Regarding the slide, Yesner said there are essentially three options: to reopen it; to keep it closed; or to pay to bring in a structural engineer to determine how best to proceed. Pool employees had recently removed rust from the slide that some felt presented a danger to those who used it, he added.

Board Member Jim Brinker asked for clarification on when the pool would close, noting that the slide, if reopened, needs to be safe and functional for as long as the pool remains open. The conversation then turned toward balancing the risks of waiting to start the repair work with the residents’ desire to use the pool throughout summer break. Board Member Rick Goldstein argued that the slide should stay closed for safety reasons, while Maurer and Board Member Michiel Oostenbrink said they had both inspected it (as laymen) and felt that it was safe.

Yesner moved to reopen the slide until pool repairs begin. His motion passed, 5-2, with Goldstein and Board Member Michele DelSordo voting against it. Brinker then made a motion to push the pool repairs back until August, when school starts, contingent upon the hired contractors’ availability and willingness to delay the project by only a month. The motion passed, 4-3; DelSordo, Goldstein, and Board Member Terry Boyd voted against it.

Pool renovation update: WOW was informed that all vendors involved could shift their work schedule and the West Park Village Pool will now close on August 12. 

Oostenbrink presented his treasurer’s report and expressed frustration that he didn’t yet have complete financial reports from April or May because of the transition to a new online portal. The board needs at least six full months of financials to create an accurate budget, which needs to be presented to Voting Members in just a few months, he continued. Property Manager Debbie Sainz said that the transfer process was lengthy and that she didn’t know when it would be done.

The reserve analysis is complete, said Oostenbrink, and the reserve studies show current replacement cost estimates. It’s important for the board to understand how those estimates compare to actual replacement costs and make any necessary adjustments, he added.

Yesner then strayed from the agenda’s order to address board-proposed fines and appeals. A Harbor Links homeowner put in a shingle roof without first submitting a modification request, explained Yesner; the INSGs for Harbor Links dictate that only tile roofs are permitted. The resident offered to pay the fine but appealed to keep the shingle roof, arguing that installing a new roof would be cost-prohibitive, Yesner continued. The board voted unanimously to deny the appeal.

Goldstein, who serves as chair of the Government Affairs Committee, reported that the fire marshal has decided to install “No Parking” signs and paint curbs in 42 places throughout West Park Village beginning on July 8. The work is being done to ensure that emergency vehicles can quickly and safely access all homes in the neighborhood.

Florida State Representative Karen Gonzalez Pittman is holding three town hall meetings to address concerns about property insurance, shared Goldstein. Westchase is hosting one of them on Wednesday, July 17, at 6 pm at the Swim and Tennis Center and it is open to the public, he added.

Yesner told his fellow board members that the Modifications Committee asked to appoint Dan Perez and Michael Thomas and reappoint Steven Splaine and John Mogge to the committee. Boyd moved to do so, and his motion passed unanimously.

Swim & Tennis Committee Chair Dan Haigy said that converting the tennis/pickleball lighting from halogens to LEDs was a priority. He said that the committee had evaluated the issue and determined that there were several options. Haigy asked Boyd, who also serves on the committee, to explain a preliminary proposal from a company called Future Energy Solutions (FES).

Because LEDs last longer and use less energy, the transition from halogens should result in substantial cost savings to the WCA, began Boyd. FES would change out all of the lights at their own expense, but in exchange would expect to receive 75 percent of the community’s cost savings for a 15-year period, and Westchase would get the remaining 25 percent, he continued.

Board members had a number of questions, and Boyd said that committee members had just begun their research. He made a motion to enable the committee to move forward and continue to do its due diligence with FES on behalf of the board. Boyd’s motion passed unanimously.

Haigy said that committee members felt that the water fountain at the entrance to the cabana at Countryway was worn out, unattractive, and in need of replacement. Goldstein moved to allow the committee to gather bids for a new water fountain, and all of the board members voted in favor of it.

The committee also wants to look into fixing or replacing the metal picnic tables and wooden benches at Countryway, said Haigy. The board said the previous motion applied to those items as well, and granted permission to the committee to get bids for repair or replacement.

The RFP Committee requested that Yesner schedule a special board meeting to address its findings after having received nine proposals and narrowing the field to five finalists. The board scheduled the meeting for Monday, July 8, at 6:30 pm at the Swim and Tennis Center. All Westchase residents are welcome to attend, said Yesner.

Facilities Manager Dwight Kilgore reported that he and his staff are having some issues with the summer camp registration process, and asked whether he could look into purchasing recreation software to rectify the situation. He said such a purchase would likely necessitate adding a new line item to the budget. DelSordo advised him to research the matter and bring his findings to the board.

The board then voted unanimously to amend the pool deck party reservation form and to amend facility rules to limit tennis/pickleball reservations to no more than two per day from the same household. Goldstein moved to amend the Employee Handbook to more specifically address employees’ use of technology, and his motion passed 7-0.

Maurer said he wanted to revisit a discussion the board had had at a previous meeting about hiring a design architect to advise the board on the look of the swimming pools and adjacent areas. He asked whether the matter could be added to the July meeting agenda, and Yesner agreed.

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