Sycamore Island
Meeting Minutes

June 14, 2000

John Matthews, Bill Eichbaum, Dave and Kathleen Holdridge, Bob Henry, Johnna Robinson, Jane and David Winer, Betty Burchell, Mardy Burgess, Carl Linden, Gerry Barton, Tryon Wells, George Loeb, John Noble, David Powell (waiting list)

Treasurer's Report
Tryon reported for Alan Gelb that "everything is fine."

Party Supervisor's Report
Bill Eichbaum reported that party activity was moderate. There was, however, one party of 25 planned for children. When parents showed up with children, the number swelled to 75. This was an infraction of the rule specifying party limits.

Caretaker's Report
Doc Taliaferro reported that since the swim float was moved downriver out of sight of the rope swing, there have been no further incidents of trespass or vandalism by the rope swing population. Noisy nighttime drinking parties at the rope swing are reported to the Park Police. The general but not unanimous feeling of the club members present was not to interfere with rope swing use.

Doc and Trip Reid attended a Smithsonian presentation by Chris Lee, ranger at Assateague and expert on Potomac Gorge botany. He has researched the plants on Ruppert's Island and found five species considered rare or endangered. In the light of Ruppert's being an important natural area, our Club will continue to maintain it's natural state. Doc recommended some books on natural habitat to enrich our appreciation of this area.

A wounded dove was found and passed on to an organization competent to restore it.

Sycamore Island embroidered patches are still available for purchase at the Club. See Doc.

Old Business
There has been recent concern about the caretakers' quarters - need for repair and its vulnerability to flood damage. Tryon Wells summarized the possible actions:

(1) Do nothing.

(2) Repair the rotting bedroom and bathroom floor - estimated at $7,000 - $10,000.

(3) Remove the quarters from the flood plain by adding a second floor outside the Clubhouse kitchen - estimated at $29,000.

(4) Build a two story structure on pylons on the current tool shed site - estimated at $60,000.

The ad hoc committee favored building outside the Clubhouse kitchen. Drawbacks to building on the tool shed site: It is too far from the bell; in a flood, it would be the first structure to be hit; a structure built above the current quarters could be built higher. John Matthews presented some freehand drawings of the possible configuration above the current quarters.

There is adequate funding to finance the construction. Construction could begin and be completed this summer. The Caretaker can have an alternative living arrangement during the construction.

A motion was made to approve the concept to build above the current quarters and to enable the ad hoc committee to approve final details, with the proviso that if the estimated cost appeared to exceed $31,000, the plan would go back to the Club for approval. The motion was unanimously passed.

New business
Peggy Thomson would like to see the caretakers log published in some edited form at the end of the year as a book for purchase. The log, she says, expresses the "essence of the Island."

Betty Burchell's riverside explorations have added to the evidence that a large population of people lived nearby along the river. Betty proposed that she and Alex McCoy give a Club presentation at our next meeting, scheduled to start early at 7:30 p.m.

The meeting was adjourned at 9:18 p.m.

-- Renee Dunham, Recording Secretary