Sycamore Island
Meeting Minutes

February 11, 2004

The meeting was hosted by Sandi and Jeff Komarow

Ann Marie Cunningham, Jeff Komarow, Sandi Komarow, Norman Metzger, Joe Belden, Faith Earll, Jim Drew, Gerry Barton, Alan Gelb, Brad Coolidge, Blair Bower, Nancy Bower, Jane Winer, John Stapko, Renee Dunham, George Loeb

Call to Order:
President Ann Marie Cunningham called the meeting to order promptly at 8:00 PM.

The minutes of the January 2004 meeting were approved as published in the February 2004 Islander.

Ann Marie Cunningham reported on a communication from Luther Carter, who while supporting improving the caretaker’s quarters was also concerned about the increases in dues in the last few years and the prospect of further increases to support the construction. He favored increasing the membership by 40 members and using the additional dues to pay for the construction cost. There was a general discussion of the budgeting process and alternatives for funding construction costs should that become necessary. It was noted that the construction projects after the 1972 flood were funded through special assessments. This is one of several options that will be examined and discussed at future meetings once the Club’s plans firm up.

Gerry Barton reported that he repaired the Island’s chainsaw by purchasing a part to connect a spark plug wire at a cost of $1.12 and left a spare part. The labor, priceless! The Club thanked Gerry for his efforts.

Treasurer’s Report:
Treasurer Alan Gelb reported there was nothing of note. A question was raised whether the Club was conducting financial audits for the sake of good order. Ann Marie stated that yearly reviews have been conducted and that she would check with Bill Eichbaum, Supervisor of Finance, to make sure that the review of the 2003 books would be performed in the near future.

Joe Belden, the Membership Co-Secretary, proposed ten new membership candidates, including two from the January 2004 meeting that were conditionally approved. The memberships were approved unanimously. The new members are: Ralph and Betsy Stephens; Darina and Allan McKelvie; Miguel Otero; Phoebe Hamill; Lee Gravette; Elizabeth Gravette; Abby Morrison; Molly Peter and Jeffrey Jay; Mark Feldstein and Kathy Sessions; Carole Trippe and Kit Bigler. They averaged approximately nine years on the waiting list. It was noted that several waiting list applicants were skipped over because they had not met the requirement to attend a new member orientation.

Building and Planning Committee:
Ann Marie Cunningham reported that the Committee did not meet due to inclement weather. The Committee hopes to meet on the Island in March to review the site. Blair Bower reported that he contacted the National Small Flows Clearinghouse to obtain information about wastewater disposal practices. The NSFC is a non-profit organization that helps small communities and individuals solve their wastewater problems to protect public health by providing objective information about onsite wastewater collection and treatment systems. It is associated with West Virginia University and is funded by grants from EPA. Fortuitously, two engineering scientists from NSFC planned to be in the area and agreed to visit the Island. They walked the Island on January 9, 2004 with Blair and John Matthews. They stated that the existing septic system should continue to work well with a few suggested improvements. They recommended that the laundry and shower be tied into the septic system; two new drainfield lines be laid in the existing drainfield, and the Club should have the septic tank pumped out. Their recommendations are included in a letter, which will be retained in the Club’s files. A lively discussion with colorful anecdotes ensued on the finer points of removing waste from a septic tank. [Editor's note: Oddly, the word "honey" recurred in this discussion.] Ann Marie said that she would ask Tryon Wells and John Matthews to get estimates on having the septic tank pumped out and making other improvements. The Club thanked Blair Bower and John Matthews for their efforts.

Editor’s Report:
The Editor commented (with good humor, the Acting Recording Secretary believes) that he was raising the grade of the Club’s officers from a “D” to a “C” for timeliness in turning in their reports for publication in the Islander.

President’s Comments:
Ann Marie Cunningham reported that Lisa Kliefoth, as Financial Secretary, has been providing to Tryon Wells the information on the ages of club members, which the Club requested on the dues notices. Tryon Wells provided partial results to the officers, which Ann Marie, Dave Winer and Tryon turned into charts and circulated. It was observed that the age distribution of club members and applicants on the waiting list appears to be weighted heavily to people 40 and older. Detailed information will be included in a future edition of the Islander when the outstanding responses are received.

Old Business:
There was no old business to complete.

New Business:
The Club set April 18, 2004 as the date for the next new member orientation and April 24 or 25 for the spring Workfest. The Membership Secretary will attempt to contact personally the applicants who are high on the waiting list but have not yet attended an orientation. Jane Winer agreed to look into arranging for the spring flower walk. George Loeb raised the question whether the caretaker has taken a first aid course. Ann Marie will check with Joe. Jane Winer proposed having a club digital camera for use by the caretaker to take pictures of the Island for the Islander and the website.

The meeting was adjourned at 9:00 PM. Refreshments were enjoyed and the Komarow family cats were duly admired.

— Jeff Komarow, Acting Recording Secretary