Laguna Woods Board Considers More Active Approach to Club Maintenance – Orange County Registry

Unanimously, the Golden Rain Foundation’s board of directors last week approved a proposal that would direct staff to develop the club’s maintenance program.

Currently, the aesthetic elements of these buildings are serviced infrequently — every 20 or 30 years, Chairman Bunny Carpenter said during a meeting Tuesday, May 3.

“GRF as a trustee does not live up to its responsibility by letting maintenance go,” Carpenter said.

Carpenter said the proposed program would include frequent feasibility studies to determine necessary construction and maintenance, which could be as simple as a paint job or roof tile replacement.

“We have to keep (the clubs) updated all the time,” she said. “(It will be) a change in the way we do business.”

Director Jim Hopkins said the GRF is currently completing its first study of the reserve.

“With this report, we can begin the journey toward how to attack the maintenance program,” said the board treasurer. “It will change the picture of reserves versus operating (in the GRF budget) – but it is the right thing to do.”

Manager Debbie Dotson, a member of the club’s renewal committee, agreed that a regular maintenance program for the club should be in place.

“Our clubs are our flagships – and they don’t look very attractive,” she said. “Let’s do what we need to do.”

Operationally, Village Management Services CEO Siobhan Foster said club maintenance is on track, despite the need for a holistic approach that includes aesthetics.

Manuel Gomez, director of maintenance and construction, said staff will provide an update on the plan in progress at the GRF board meeting next month.

Seating

The GRF Board of Directors approved $97,625 to replace and rearrange 40 seats across the community.

Staff received a request in December from Vision Club members, who said seats were obstructing their path as they walked on sidewalks, according to a VMS team report.

“The seats make it very difficult for the visually impaired,” Carpenter said.

Through a third-party contractor, the old white benches will be replaced with modern green models and brought back a few feet into the adjacent lawn area.

The project, which will cost $58,000 for labor and materials and $39,625 for seats, is scheduled to be completed within a one-year time period, according to a staff report.

The council unanimously approved the decision. The 28-day notice requirement must now be met for member review.

Broadband reconnection fee

If a resident fails to pay for their unit’s broadband connection and is subsequently shut down, the burden of the reconnection fee will fall to the resident, as governed by the GRF in a new decision.

The task force’s report said that the cost of the broadband services division to restore services is $52.50 – a fee that many residents do not meet, and thus incur bad debts to the organization.

VMS reported a total cost of $3,742 for callback requests from March 2021 to March 2022, which represents 77 service calls.

The council unanimously approved the decision. The 28-day notice requirement must now be met for member review.

Donation Policy

The GRF has issued a resolution adopting an updated donation policy, simplifying cash donations and gifts in a transparent manner.

The task force’s report said the amendments include eliminating the $100,000 cap on cash donations, allowing sponsorship and shifting responsibilities from the chief operating officer to the director of services.

In addition, circumstances in which a donation or sponsorship from a VMS requires the acquisition of community space items or maintenance costs to be funded by the donor “in certain cases” may be waived.

“One example of that is the very large donation,” Foster said. “If someone donates a building, for example — (would the board reject) a $5 million donation because they[did not want to]pay $50,000 a year for maintenance?”

The Council unanimously approved the resolution in the second reading. The decision is effective immediately.

COVID-19 Update

Public health officials reported another increase Tuesday, May 10, in the revised daily COVID-19 case rate in Orange County, now at 7.5 new cases each day per 100,000 residents, according to the OC Health Care Agency.

The test positivity rate — the number of swabs and spit tests that were positive — rose to 3.3%.

The health equity rate – testing positivity for disproportionately affected neighborhoods – is 1.4%.

In the city of Laguna Woods, public health officials have reported 1,105 cases of COVID-19 as of Tuesday. There have been 77 people who have had deaths related to COVID-19.

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