by Mike Conroy
After adjourning the Annual Meeting on June 25, the Montgomery Village Foundation (MVF) Board of Directors held a regular business meeting, also via conference call. Traditionally this meeting is held to elect new officers for the Board and approve the corporate calendar.
Former MVF Board President Glenn Gargan previously noted that he would not be seeking another term as president, and was in favor of logical succession to continue to lead the Board and the community. A single nomination and unanimous vote were taken for both the president and vice president positions for Pete Webb and Scott Dyer, respectively. Webb has served as vice president for several years, as well as six total years on the Board. Dyer has served four consecutive terms (13 total years) and was re-elected last year for a fifth term. Both have served as liaisons to almost every MVF committee, and are well-suited to take the reigns.
Other Agenda Items
Director of Recreation and Parks Duncan Mullis provided an overview of programs that were allowed to operate based on Montgomery County entering Phase 2 of its reopening plan. He said the following programs currently were, or would soon be available, with restrictions per county or other agency guidelines: playgrounds and basketball courts at MVF parks; the MV Farmers’ Market; Drive-in Movie; Summer Camps; some classes (outdoor and virtual options); Seniors in Action (virtual only); and sports field permitting, to allow for youth sports practices.
He noted that MVF pools had opened on June 20 and were being used by residents. Staff has reported a smooth venture, including the modified Activity Card process put in place. He said that swim teams will be allowed to practice at certain morning times (before the pools open), following distancing guidelines.
Mullis said pavilion and boat rentals are still not allowed per Montgomery County at this point, and concerts, large events and private rentals were also not allowed per capacity restrictions. This means the cancellation of the MVF July 4th Celebration and summer concert series, as well as potentially other activities depending on the next reopening phase change.
CFO Daniel Salazar also gave a presentation on the current ways MVF collects assessment payments at the office, and presented options for the MVF Office to go cashless in the near future. He noted MVF currently collects payments via cash (in person), check (in person, lockbox or online) or credit card (in person or online). He explained the in-office procedures associated with each and how the office closure affected those processes.
He mentioned the potential to stop receiving cash in the office for the health and safety of staff and residents, citing CDC and WHO warnings about the time COVID-19 can remain on cash surfaces, as well as the number of staff involved in the cash deposit process. He suggested looking into Paysafe:Cash, a national service that would use area retailers to collect cash on MVF’s behalf, eliminating the need for bringing cash into the office.
The only action item for the Board was to reaffirm an e-mail vote updating the Letters to the Editor Policy for the Village News. During the office closure, the Village News was not published in print. Letters to the Editor had previously only appeared in print and not online. However, several letters had been received, and staff believed that they should be published, rather than held until such time as a print edition could be accomplished. The Board approved modifying the policy to include a larger word count and the ability to publish letters online.
EVP Dave Humpton reported that the MVF Office reopened according to Montgomery County Phase 2 guidelines on June 22, with some staff in the office and others continuing to telework. All visitors to the office are asked to wear masks and obey social distancing queues. He noted MVF pools also opened on June 20.
In development news, Humpton announced that Monument Realty broke ground earlier in the month for the development on the former golf course property; for questions regarding the project, residents should visit www.bloominmv.com/construction. He also noted that the Watkins Mill Interchange was now open, but there was concern about the access road and the timing of the light near the interchange; SHA is working on the issue.
Humpton also reviewed the timeline for the condominium lawsuit, noting that a potential damages hearing would be held in September. Unfortunately, there is also an appeal, which would not be heard until next year, and until then, there is more legal expense and lack of payment from two of the condominiums. To date, MVF has spent $190,000 on legal fees and is owed $200,000 in back assessments.
Finally, he said the Apple Ridge Tennis Court resurfacing project was complete, the North Creek Stream Valley Restoration project was complete and the North Creek Pool renovation is on track to start this fall.
MVF Treasurer Bob Carey presented the financials for the month ending May 31, 2020. He reported Year-to-Date Revenue unfavorable to the budget by $164,000, not including outstanding credits yet to be received from the North Creek Stream Valley Restoration or the Employee Retention Credit. He noted with those to offset Revenue, totals are close to budget projections. He also said due to strong management during the health emergency, Expenses were reporting 10% favorable to the budget at this time.
Net Income was reported at $540,000, which is nearly $300,000 favorable to the budget. Carey said MVF retains a strong cash position with over $9.6 million in Cash and Investments.
The Delinquency Rate was reported steady at 13.9%, which is down from April 2020, but significantly higher than the same period last year. Carey noted this was mainly due to the condominium lawsuit, and would expect the rate to return to near previous level once the case is settled.
The next MVF Board of Directors meeting is scheduled for 7:30 p.m. on Thursday, July 23. At the moment, it is undetermined as to whether this meeting could be in person or via conference call. Full meeting details, including location (if any), the meeting packet and/or participation instructions will be posted online at www.montgomeryvillage.com the week before the meeting.