Sycamore Island
Meeting Minutes

October 12, 2005

The Island meeting was called to order at 8:09 pm by President Ann Marie Cunningham.

Twelve members were present: Tryon Wells, Jane Winer, Jim Drew, Larry Heilman, Tove Elfstrom, Gerry Barton, Dave Winer, Alison Levine, Norm Metzger, Peggy Thomson and Ann Marie Cunningham. Joe Hage, the caretaker, was present for part of the meeting.

Norm Metzger reported that he had received a letter from Mark Schlefer, who now lives in Vermont, saying that he and his wife Marion were resigning. They have been members since 1967. Mark was instrumental in revising the by-laws, was the Law Supervisor for a while, and instigated the flood insurance policy. A motion to move them to Honorary Membership was approved.

The Treasurer Alan Gelb was not present, but sent word that expenditures have been within expected limits.

The Captain, Tryon Wells, reported that he had been to Montgomery County offices to discuss procedures for going ahead with the remodeling of the caretaker’s quarters. The county officials need "plans" in order to make any judgments. An architect has been engaged to draw new plans according to the approved upstairs/downstairs version. Only after the plans have been drawn will we go for bids. The architect will specify the materials, and may have a mechanical engineer review the heating/AC design. The architect’s fee will not exceed $2500. There was a discussion about how to proceed past this point. A question was raised about the initial allocation for "building" ($50K), and how much of this has already been expended. Ann Marie will get the numbers from Alan.

Old Business:
The offending-tree-limb problem has not been resolved, as no arborists have agreed to check the trees for the paltry sum of $100. We will keep trying. In the meantime, it was suggested that we should increase the amount of our building insurance to cover the possible cost of repairing any tree limb damage. John Matthews is also concerned about the leaning trees that threaten the canal bridge. Although we built the bridge, it was given to the Park Service in the 50’s and the trees are on Park property. It is not clear what happened to the access easement we had from the Baltzeys when the Park was established.

New Business:
It was moved by Tryon Wells that we get a DSL line for the Island (301-229-4921). The motion was seconded and passed. There was a minor communications snafu over the past weekend when the river was expected to rise and the substitute caretakers were not notified. We will get this smoothed out in the future. Joe’s cell number is in the RED notebook. The Workfest, which is scheduled for Saturday, November 13, will address the kudzu problem, and, provide labor to build the new, small canoe rack. Jim will supervise this project. There was discussion of the canoe dock float, its current condition (poor), and possible replacement schemes.

Norm Metzger moved that Ruppert be asked to come back to the Islander, soon. The motion was not acted upon despite murmurs of support; Ruppert's creator, however, was optimistic that Ruppert would soon be back.

The next meeting will be November 9 on the Island. The meeting was adjourned at 9:15 pm.

-- Johnna Robinson, Acting Recording Secretary