Sycamore Island
Meeting Minutes

November 10, 2004

Star Mitchell, John Matthews, Faith Earll, Jack Sanders, Carl Linden, Ann Marie Cunningham, Ned Goddard, Jim Drew, Renee Dunham, Joe Hage, Jeff Komarow, Jane Winer, David Winer, Gerald S. Barton, Norman Metzger, David Lyles, Cindy Bertaut, Peggy Thomson, Dick Way (guest), Martin Klauber (guest), and Peter Winkler

Call to Order
The meeting was called to order at 8:05 p.m. by President Ann Marie Cunningham.

The minutes of the September meeting as published in the Islander were approved. There were no official minutes of the October meeting, as there was no quorum present at that meeting.

Ann Marie reported a communication from a couple who had happened upon the Caretaker’s log on the Internet. They were happy to read it and learn of our interest in the environment.

Building issues
Ann Marie introduced a guest, Martin Klauber, who is the People’s Counsel for Montgomery County. He represents “the public interest.” Marty would like to help us gain the approval of Montgomery County for our construction plans. He is aware that the Island is a special place and he would like to help us keep it that way.

Ann Marie and Building Committee Chair Jack Sanders then gave the meeting an update on construction issues. She reminded us that, a few months ago, the Club decided to stay within the footprint of the current Clubhouse in any new building. Since then, the Building Committee has met several times, including tonight. Jack observed that we want to work with the County, and he welcomed Marty Klauber’s assistance. Jack reported on some of the issues the Committee had been discussing, and the efforts it had made to come up with a sense of our priorities for the remodeling. Jack circulated a document quantifying those priorities.

The Committee has also obtained some cost estimates for various configurations. They range up to and in excess of $100,000 (which does not include the amount that figure might be reduced by volunteer effort). That amount includes some upgrading of Club as well as caretaker facilities. Discussions among the Committee show a preference, although not an unanimous consensus, for what was previously presented as Option No. 3, and we have a series of CAD drawings illustrating that plan (p. nine). Ann Marie added that the Committee had decided not to hire an architect until our ideas were further along. Ann Marie has discussed the issue with Pat Berry, an architect and Club member, who may or may not be interested in taking on the job. In the mean time, Dick Way, a professional civil engineer and a friend of Star Mitchell’s, has been helping the Committee produce drawings and develop estimates, and he has generously offered to give us more of his time and expertise. The Committee’s next step will be to come up with more detailed drawings and then to ask the Club for its approval.

Marty Klauber recommended that, after we have fairly detailed conceptual plans, but before we get architectural plans, we have a meeting with the people in authority at the County, where we would attempt to get buy-in or approval of the concept, as well as a sense of what they want to be shown. Cindy Bertaut recommended that we also bring photos to this meeting, and perhaps show by acetate the new plans over the current structure. Marty will attempt to help us deal with the issue of handicapped accessibility.

Jack stated that the ultimate cost would depend upon a number of decisions on finishings, including decisions about volunteer labor, all of which have yet to be made. We are still at a much more basic point in our decision-making. Jim Drew observed that the $100,000 was well in excess of what had been discussed previously. Ann Marie stated that the cost decision would ultimately be made by the Club, at a regular Club meeting.

Ann Marie circulated a list of expenditures for the year to date, prepared by Alan and Caroline Gelb. We are doing very well so far, having spent only 51 percent of budgeted funds through September 30. The Gelbs have also developed a proposed budget for 2005, and copies were circulated. Our 2004 budget totaled $64,600, and the proposed 2005 budget totals $67,095, an increase of 4 percent. Alan reports that a dues increase for the year appears unnecessary, but we will probably have to levy an assessment for construction costs. The proposed budget will be published in the Islander.

Gerry Barton asked if we could get some stone in time for the Workfest, to deal with the erosion around the steps down to the ferry on the towpath side. The Workfest will take place Sunday, November 14. The rain date is one week later. Bring gloves and shears. Tasks await!

Star Mitchell graciously volunteered to host the December, year-end meeting.

The meeting was adjourned at about 9:35 p.m.

-- Peter Winkler, Recording Secretary