WCA Takes Stance on Crosswalk and Debates Pool Slide’s Fate

GAC Chair Rick Goldstein began by reopening discussions on the proposed crosswalk connecting Westchase Elementary to West Park Village. “Our community is best served when we are proactive,” he said. “We have a window of opportunity to be at the table when this decision is being made.”

Goldstein added that from what he can see, WPV students currently have a crosswalk, crossing guards and the option of a bus to get them to school safely. Treasurer Michiel Oostenbrink said he wanted to look at the issue from a practical standpoint. “Look at the school traffic flow – you already have traffic backing up with the school zone and then you add another stop?” He said he had spoken with Resource Officer Webb and his take was that the money would be better spent improving traffic flow and adding continuous sidewalks around the Westchase Rec Center. Oostenbrink also questioned the true number of students this would benefit and raised concerns about the impact on businesses in Westchase Town Center.

Yesner asked the board if they wanted Government Affairs to support, oppose or do nothing. Brinker made a motion not to support the crosswalk. The motion passed, with Director Jack Maurer abstaining, stating he did not like making decisions without having all the information.

Goldstein also informed the board that code enforcement had been called regarding the stretch of undeveloped land along Tate Lane, which Grady Pridgen had purchased with the intent of building homes to be annexed into Westchase. He said he was working to get a firm answer as to whether Pridgen had been able to secure a permit for that development.

DelSordo asked for an update on the no parking signs and striping in West Park Village, stating that concerns were escalating due to construction at the Plaza. Goldstein said he was waiting for a response from the county.

Oostenbrink turned his Treasurer’s report over to Mike DeMare of affinityCPA, who performed the WCA’s 2023 budget audit. DeMare said the purpose of the audit was to determine if the information provided to the board and homeowners is good information. “I feel comfortable that the numbers you were given had no significant deficiencies,” he said.

DeMare added that there was a $170,000 year-over-year decrease in total assets, noting the following significant increases in expenses: staff costs up $65,000; professional fees (legal and engineering) up $37,000 and insurance costs up $25,000.

Oostenbrink asked DeMare to speak to the $277,900 deficit in the budget. DeMare explained that if budget to actuals was spot on, you would still have a $125,000 deficit due to depreciation and capital contributions that exceeded the budgeted number. “The sticker shock of $278,000 doesn’t tell the whole story,” he said. “The board should start by carving out that $125,000 and then look at the other $150,000.

“We need to do a better job of projecting what our spending will be,” Oostenbrink added.

With board elections coming up in September, the subject turned to the Nominating Committee. Eric Holt, who was in attendance, said the board might want to check the governing documents to confirm the total number of committee members. Association Manager Debbie Sainz confirmed the committee should consist of a Chair, who is a board member not seeking election, and two or more members. A motion was made to appoint Oostenbrink, Brinker, Goldstein and S&T committee member Sean Lynch to the Nominating Committee and it passed.

Swim & Tennis Committee Chair Dan Haigy was in attendance and committee member Lynch attended via video. Haigy said the committee had been prioritizing budgeted items to improve the facilities, but more important, keep them safe. To that end, the committee made a recommendation to shut down the slide at the WPV pool until it’s either refurbished, replaced or removed completely.

Brinker pointed out the cost to refurbish the slide is $10,000 versus $30,000 to replace and questioned the slide’s longevity. Oostenbrink said it had four years left in its estimated useful life and there was $20,000 in reserves for the slide.

Yesner noted that the board had received a letter from AD Engineering stating that contractor GA Nichols would not be able to sandblast the slide for fear they would destroy it. They will remove the slide when the deck repairs begin and noted a high probability it will start to fall apart when it is reinstalled.

Brinker asked where they would get the money to replace the slide and Oostenbrink said his recommendation would be to remove the slide, not replace this year and account for the difference during this year’s budgeting process. He added that his goal is to allow some time to look into, “newer bigger, better.” “My biggest hope is to improve the overall aesthetic of that area, possibly getting a new cooler slide for the kids…Worst case scenario just replace the slide. Better case scenario, you remove the kiddie pool and create a whole new waterplay area…”

Facilities Manager Dwight Kilgore said he had not noticed a structural issue and said the rust is not coming from the original structure, but rather the kickplate and third railing modifications that were added several years back for safety. “I don’t think the slide should be shut down at this time. I believe that rust can be removed without compromising the structure. Kids are getting ready to get out of school in two weeks and that is the only attraction at that pool. I think we will have a lot of upset residents on our hands.”

“Respectfully…you’re not a structural engineer,” DelSordo replied. “The email we received today said that someone is concerned. You just made a big statement; I just want you to be aware of what you are saying.” She added, “If I have to choose, I am going to go with the engineers.”

Yesner asked when the deck repairs would begin and Sainz said roughly 6 weeks.

“I’m siding with Dwight on this,” Maurer said. “The slide is not structurally unsound. Any rust that is on there is in the modifications…they weren’t properly prepped when they were installed so it is just going to keep rusting. The original slide is not unsound. I am not for keeping it up, it looks like hell… I don’t want to keep having a conversation about the slide being broken, because it is not. It is in disarray.”

Lynch said it would be worth trying to restore. “Shut down for a week, take that week to see what kind of refurbishments can be done. I agree with Dwight, we’re going to get a lot of heat,” he said.

Haigy added that if there’s money allocated for this year for the facilities, this would rank as one of the highest priorities.

After a lengthy discussion, a motion was made to accept the recommendation from the S&T committee, and it passed. The slide will shut down and Kilgore will work to remove the rust and report back to the committee. The hope is that the slide can be used until the deck renovations begin.

In his report, Kilgore proposed resurrecting the pool deck reservation system, stating he’d had seven requests recently. He also said he was working on revamping the tennis/pickleball reservation system because a loophole was allowing multiple members of one household to reserve multiple courts. Yesner asked Kilgore to put together wording for the pool deck and pickleball court reservation policies so that it could be submitted to legal.

Regarding Countryway bathroom renovations, the board reviewed several quotes for bathroom trailers to be used during the renovations and agreed they needed more information to make an informed decision. The matter was tabled to June.




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