Capital Improvement Project

Dear Spring Run Member,

On Thursday, August 25, 2011, the Board of Directors approved as part of the annual assessment, a $367 fee per unit designated for an exciting future Capital Improvement Project. The Board’s intent over the next two months is to complete a master plan for the expansion of Spring Run Golf Club to solve  concerns that have been voiced in the (a) 2008 Strategic Plan, (b) the March 2011 Focus Group report and (c) subsequent Strategic Plan for 2011. Appreciation is extended by the Board to the countless volunteer hours given by Spring Run members and management to bring this project to fruition. Tasks completed by members and management included researching problems, collecting and processing member feedback, seeking advice from industry experts, gleaning insight from Club employees, and developing a solution to enhance the long-term value of our community for all of our Members.

 Volumes of information exist at this time. The challenge to the Board and Management is to present the information to all members in a format that will provide clear answers. We need to encourage valuable and constructive feedback that will assist us in forward planning and education. In this communication, I will provide a basic overview of the plan as it exists today, followed by a Q&A format addressing specific questions asked by Members. As additional questions emerge, they will be addressed quickly in this same manner. I would ask that all comments and questions be made either in writing and directed to me, Mike Zigler, General Manager, or simply as a reply to this Blog. A person will be assigned to ensure that all comments are captured and responded to immediately.

 

Background

In 2007, a Strategic Planning Committee was formed to gather member input on the future direction of Spring Run. One of the main components of the Long-Range Plan was to address the lack of space in the clubhouse.  The Board approved the Long-Range Plan in 2008 and began addressing the issues. In spring 2010, a clubhouse renovation plan was approved by the Board, and submitted to members for a vote. Unfortunately, this project was voted down by the membership. Focus Groups were then conducted with all members of the community who wished to participate. The results of the Focus Groups revealed that members were disturbed about other issues and not necessarily opposed to the expansion project. Reasons given were somewhat ancillary to the actual plan, ranging from the (a) distress over the Bocce Ball project, (b) dire condition of the economy, (c) tthe method of voting (many felt they should be able to select what they wanted done), and (d) recent expenses occurred in Commons Club membership. A common theme that emerged from members’ comments was that they wanted a long term solution to Spring Run’s facilities issues. They did not  want to “band-aid” the problem and have to return in 5 or 6 years to do another project.

The issue of prime concern to members was the kitchen. Other concerns centered around the inadequate fitness facilities, meeting  rooms, and pro shop. Once pricing options for expansion were provided by the architect, it became clear that just renovating the kitchen would not fix our additional need for space in the rest of the club. In fact, costs for the kitchen expansion and renovation were well over expectations and would cost significantly more due to the required changes to the building’s footprint. Other long-term solutions were proposed that would meet Spring Run’s needs for today and tomorrow. After hours of thoughtful analysis, the major solution rested on “building up” rather than adjusting the clubhouse’s footprint by building out.

 

The Project

The project is estimated to cost $2.5M, and includes:

  • Summer 2012: Razing the Cart Barn and constructing a two story building with an enclosed Cart Barn, enlarged Bag Room, and new Pro Shop on the first floor, and a fitness room, aerobics/multipurpose room, and administrative offices on the 2nd floor, accessible via elevator and staircases
  • Summer 2013: Renovating kitchen once offices are moved to the new facility. Kitchen will expand into the current office area. Existing Pro Shop and Fitness areas will be renovated into meeting rooms, and Food & Beverage office. Existing storage space, Conference Room, and some area from vacated Pro Shop will be reconfigured into more efficient dining and storage space.
  • Summer 2014: Complete Golf Course renovation. This renovation is already funding in our capital reserves.

This is the outline of the construction project timeline as envisioned today. As planning continues, it may be altered to avoid disruption of member activities or to take advantage of potential cost saving opportunities.

 

Financing

The Club has been able to receive very attractive financing terms through FineMark Bank. Although other quotes are forthcoming, for purposes of this analysis, the available quote is:

  • $2,500,000 loan
  • 10 Year Term
  • 4.5% Fixed Interest Rate

It is the Board’s intent to spread the cost of the project out over 10 years. This annual capital fee of $367 will be levied against each unit, not each member. For example, if you sell your unit in 5 years, you will have paid for 5 years of use, and the purchaser will be responsible for the remaining 5 years, which will be included in the annual assessment.

 

Questions & Answers

 Q. This project previously voted down. Why is it being brought up again?

A. Following the last vote, a process of Strategic Planning began again. Member comments from the Focus Group sessions indicated a strong sense that a project be completed to expand the kitchen and address the long range needs of the Club. Some of the elements are the same, but the approach to add a second floor to the cart barn to increase square footage is completely different. Also, the issue of adding a permanent outdoor dining facility has been eliminated, although some minor funding is available to make that area more attractive and member friendly.

Q. Will the Members get to vote on whether the project is approved?

A. No requirement exists in our Governing Documents or in the Florida Statutes that the membership must vote on a capital project in order for it to be adopted. It has been the past practice of the club to garner member approval for large proposed projects. It is not the intent of the Board to hold a formal member vote for this project.

Q. Doesn’t the Club need a vote of the members to borrow money?

A. The Spring Run Bylaws require a vote of the Neighborhood Representatives only if the amount borrowed is more than 50% of the gross expenses for the year. In this case, the amount being borrowed is less than 50%.

Q. Without a vote of the membership, how will you know the members want this project?

A. Following the last vote, a formal Strategic Planning process began again. We used this format to gather member feedback on how they viewed the club and why, and what they wanted to see in the future. It was a very professional and unbiased approach and the results can be seen in the new Strategic Plan. The Board was aware of the priority to renovate the kitchen and to create a long term solution to our space needs and moved forward in the planning process due to budgetary timelines and a small window of opportunity to allow work to begin by next summer and not disrupt member services.

Q. How will my use of the club be affected if this project is being done over several years?

A. It is our goal to avoid member service disruption throughout this process, and we are designing the construction to proceed in a manner to allow us to maintain member services. For instance, when the cart barn is under construction, a section of parking lot will be used as temporary tented staging for carts, and we will work with Club Car to use their portable charging systems and club storage units. When we renovate the kitchen, we will set up a food service preparation and grill area to service our members. Understandably, there will be limitations in what we can provide. However, we are focused on providing quality services to all our members and guests.

Q. What will happen to our Employees when we are shut down?

A. Our employees are a valued asset at Spring Run, and every attempt will be made to keep them employed in some capacity. Fortunately, most departments will continue to operate as normal throughout construction. The only department that will be affected will be Food & Beverage during the summer of 2013. Even with limited food service, we will need to keep key F&B employees to cook and serve. And, of course, the full bar will be open for business!

Q. The economic outlook is poor. Why spend money to make improvements when money is so tight for many members?

A. The most valuable stake you have in Spring Run is your property. It is valuable when there is demand in the marketplace to live in Spring Run. Our competition isn’t waiting for a better economy to improve their communities either. By taking advantage of excellent financing opportunities and lower construction costs, we will be in an advantageous position to compete for buyers as the market improves.

Q.  Can I see a copy of the Focus Group Report and Strategic Plan? Where can I get detailed information on this upcoming project?

A.  Copies of these documents are available in the administrative offices upon request. An informational piece will be developed once the plan is finalized and will be provided to all members at that time.

 

Mike

Michael G. Zigler, CCM, CAM

General Manager

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27 thoughts on “Capital Improvement Project

  1. Roger Rydstrom

    Mike,
    Your description of the Capital Improvement Project is complete and reflects the tone and scope of the efforts that a great number of residents have invested in Spring Run’s future.
    We have an exceptional community of talented owners that are willing to devote time in making the difficult decisions necessary to keep Spring Run the best value in SW florida.
    The value and values that each of the owners realize as participating members of this community are undeniable.
    Thank you for your contributions,
    Roger Rydstrom

  2. Jeanne Rogers

    I think a no-vote plan like this is long over due. Not everyone will like everything but at some point the Board and Managers must decide what is best for the long term facility condition, purposes and uses. I would propose that restrooms be installed near the Pro Shop in the new building to alleviate the need to come off the course and go through the clubhouse to the “formal” restrooms. If the bag drop and cart access area were moved to the east end of the new building, the space between the buildings would be perfect for light outdoor dining with a sandwich grill and bar. It solves the golf lunch use, would be a shaded area with umbrella tables for afternoon drinks and save the money for the roaming beverage cart as there would be a half way stop area. Pavers between the building would set this area off, be an opening to the parking lot, Pro Shop and course.

  3. Mike Zigler

    Mrs. Rodgers,
    You have some excellent ideas! Thank you for sharing them. I will be looking to incorporate them into the plan as we go along.

  4. Maria Stinger

    Hello All
    We appreciate all the time and effort that members and employees have put into the improvement project…..thank you!

    However, we do not see the value in borrowering money at this time to make these improvements. A 10 year loan term is far to long (the last renovation was only a few years ago).

    We want Spring Run to stay competitive and be considered one of the premier developements in SW FL but this is a steep price to pay. It is never prudent to take on millions of dollar in debt.

    We should establish a fund for the improvements necessary and then develope the areas in need.

    In this economic environment Spring Run is affordable for those that are looking to move to the area. Have property values increased in other clubs for similar types of renovations? Have our peer clubs seen an increase in people wanting to live in their communities because of similar renovations?

    If parking in peak season is an issue, hire a valet service. Participants pay the valet when they visit the clubhouse. This is a viable alternative to our parking issue.

    Is it less expensive to add a second story to the existing clubhouse?

    In reading the Q & A no member vote is needed for an expenditure of this $ amount. What happens if there are cost overruns?

    We have owned @ Spring Run since the beginning. However, fiscal irresponability is a good reason to move along. We can and will continue to thrive without a new cart barn etc. This project is too costly to take on at this timem

    We would like to see improvements that not only beautify our development but increase revenue and property values.

  5. Mike Zigler

    Mrs. Stinger,
    While we have certainly prided ourselves that we are debt free, a little bit of debt is not necessarily a bad thing. We have a very healthy bottom line and our cash flow is positive. The loan, which will actually function as a line of credit for construction draws, will likely never be maxed out. If it is, we would repay it with our own cash that is invested in other low risk bonds, which would actually serve to “blend” the rate. As we collect the annual loan assessment, it will provide over $300,000 annually to pay back this loan.

    A ten year loan period is actually ideal in that we do not plan on any significant renovations other than the usual redecorating and updating for at least ten years. We feel this project will fulfill our demand for space for a long time. We want to do this project right, and not cut things out that could cause us to have to return to the membership again for another renovation.

    It is not a consideration to add a second story on the existing clubhouse. Not only would the building need to be retrofit to hold the weight of another story at an exhorbitant price, i dont believe it would ever look right either. The reason the cart barn is getting the second floor is that it will be built from scratch with the proper supports, and quite frankly, it is an industrial looking building that needs major cosmetic work.

    Regarding cost overruns….while we dont anticipate this happening, if it were to happen, we would likely be able to handle it with our own cash. Remember, the club is in very sound fiscal shape, and we will be dillgent in our planning and managing of this project and your investment in this community.

    Thank you for expressing your concerns, and we hope to see you back at the club soon.

  6. Nancy Camodeca

    Thank you to the Board and General Manager for making the decision to finally move forward with the necessary improvements to our club.

    Perry & Nancy Camodeca

  7. Gary Chabot

    Although no requirement may exist, the expenditure of $2,500,000 should be voted on by the members. This is a significant amount of money and it is the members money.

    Needs & Wants

    It certainly is evident there is a need for the kitchen work.

    Other areas are more “wants” than “needs”. Meetings can take place anywhere. The Hidden Lakes board has met at our community pool. Pro shops are always chock-a-block full. They always buy “stuff” to fill every available square foot. We are in tough financial times that give every indication of becoming tougher. It is more important to provide good wages to our employees that meeting rooms for committees or a larger, more cluttered pro shop. Look at the actual dollar amount that 4.5% interest rate will cost the members. It’s a lot of money.

    Finally is the issue of “our competition”. Spring Run’s wish is “to be the best bundled golf community in Southwest Florida”. That wish is amorphous enough to mean different things to different people. To me it is a harmonious, well run community where neighbors care about one another and the board listens to, respects and represents the wishes of the community.

    Put this to a vote. Use your and board’s power of persuasion for what you believe is the right way forward. Seizing the member’s money is the wrong route and will only cause ill will. A vote is the right thing to do.

  8. Sue and Larry Burnick

    We would like to thank the Board for moving forward with improvements to Spring Run. This plan will solve the needs of the kitchen, Fitness center, meeting rooms and general space that were all agreed upon at focus groups.

    Larry and Sue Burnick

  9. Ed Rocco

    Ed and Patti Rocco

    Like many other members, we believe an expenditure of this magnitude should be voted on by the members of the association. Several components of the proposed capital improvements were voted down not so long ago. We believe it is irresponsible for focus groups to “interpret” why they believe the majority of members voted the way they did. We feel this sets a bad precident moving forward.
    With the larger building footprint comes larger operating costs. We hope this will be factored into your decision to move forward. We suspect the increased infrastrucure will restult in adding to the current staffing guidelines. Employee wages and benefits will add considerable costs.
    We would ask that all of these fixed and variable costs be considered before moving forward and the consideration be given to have the “all members” be given a voice by way of a vote. Thank you.
    Ed and Patti Rocco

    Ed and Patti Rocco

    1. Mike Zigler

      Mr. Rocco,
      While you are correct that additional square footage will lead to higher operating costs (electricity and insurance), there is no planned additions to staff for this expansion. The additional space created is for kitchen expansion from a cramped work environment, more space in the fitness room, more desperately needed storage space, and activity rooms that will allow members who use our dining areas for cards and other activities to make room for more golfers to dine in season. In addition, this will create more room to accomodate Happy Hour attendees and for other Club events where we currently cannot accomodate more participation.

      I promise to work to keep the membership informed of the project plans as they progress, reasons for moving forward with these improvements, and any changes the Board chooses to make in their upcoming plans or in their communication with the membership. Thank you very much for your input.

  10. Bob and Judy Lee

    The project was voted down last season! Why is the board overiding the vote? We totally agree with the Rocco’s. What is the process that allows the board to overide the majority of the membership this community? The same thing happened with the bocci courts. Membership said NO and the board did it anyway and in the end cost us much more than expected. We think it should be voted on again! Perhaps the result will be different.

    1. Mike Zigler

      Thank you for your comments. The Board is very aware of the comments that are being made regarding their decision to undertake this project. I will keep you informed as i become aware of their decisions going forward.

  11. Bob Esti

    The danger that I see that the Board may be missing is equating “bigger with better”. I feel that although I have supported the enhancement of the facilities in the past they are not addressing the qualities of services. For example, making the kitchen bigger is not addressing the quality of the facility. To say the least, the dinning aspects of Spring Run CC are spotty/lack of consistency. Many functions have been wonderful and many have been disappointing, from Fine Dinning, Game Nite to Happy hour.
    Consistency is the true measure of any service organization and unfortunately, SRCC is lacking in that area.
    I will continue to support the enhancement of our Community and I wish you the best in your endeavors. Hopefully, this enhancement of SRCC will also answer my question of quality. Good luck.
    Bob Esti

    1. Mike Zigler

      Mr. & Mrs. Esti,
      Our staff is always striving to provide quality service and amenities for our membership, Although we may fall short on occasion, we work to continually improve and will do so regardless of any physical improvements to the facilities. Likewise, improvements to the facility will not alone improve service. That said, it wont hurt! This project is designed to provide space, not only for membership activity, but also for a cramped and rather unsafe kitchen conditions, and storage, which is desperately needed. We need sufficient room for preparation and service, and in spite of conditions, we have always and will always get the job done..More space will allow us to serve more efficiently, but we will still always have to rely on effective training and hiring good people.

      I dont believe that the Board views this enhancement to the community as a case of bigger being better. This project addresses and solves quite a number of problems. I’m sure that “the better” will be evident in stages as the improvements are realized in tandem with constant improvement in operations..

  12. John and Marianne McDermott

    We thank the Board and all those committee members who worked so hard on the Capital Improvement Project. This is the time to get it moving forward and in the long term it will only enhance the value of all the homes in Spring Run.

    However, there is something reported in the Strategic Plan 2011 which will adversely affect our quality of life and the value of our home. In order to address the lack of adequate parking, the Plan notes that consideration be given to use of space adjacent to the existing facility for overflow parking, such as the area behind the tennis courts. While implementing the Capital Improvement Project will probably increase the value of all the property within Spring Run, putting a parking lot behind a few buildings in Autumn Lake will certainly decrease the value of those homes.

    Eight years ago when we moved within Spring Run to Autumn Lake, we knew we were living across from a center of activity, but there was no indication that we were buying across from a potential parking lot. The Strategic Plan notes that immediate attention should be paid to landscape consideration. Our home is on the second floor, and we don’t know how mature the landscaping would have to be to camouflage a parking lot across the lake.

    On another note, what are the Lee County requirements for permitting a parking lot? Must the parking lot be lighted and must those lights be on all night for safety? How much is the setback from a body of water? We looked at the Spring Run property on Google earth and the area immediately to the north of Spring Run Boulevard across from the club house and west of the entrance is larger than the area behind the tennis courts. Perhaps the overflow parking lot could be there.

    We agree that the initial Spring Run development plan had inadequate parking, but any fix to that oversight should not be allowed to adversely impact even one building within the community. We don’t know of anyone in Spring Run who would want to sit on their lanai and overlook a parking lot. Please, please find a solution to the parking problem that does not include putting a parking lot in our backyard.

  13. Chuck Staro

    From my perspective I believe the Board is on the right track with this proposal. There is no doubt that a number of improvements are necessary and this seems to be a good blend of the most immediate needs. Borrowing rates are low and are projected to stay that way for the period of this construction proposal. Thus timing is good from that point. From the description of the project I just hope that $2.5 million is adequate to cover the cost. Were these numbers provided by an architect, construction engineer, contractor or someone else who has a good understanding of the building trades in the Bonita Springs area? Additionally, are you in possession of any renderings that might provide the members with a snapshot of what the new construction would look like? As it is said a picture can be worth a thousand words. $367 per door per year is a small price to pay to have the amenities Spring Run members deserve. On another note, please no more speed bumps or flashing speed signs as mentioned in the budget. Maybe it is the perception that the older you get things go by more quickly that causes concern. Better to use the funds to extend the fences to improve the security at the front gate.

  14. Mike Zigler

    Mr. Staro,
    The $2.5M figure is an estimate based on cost per square foot of new construction as well as renovated space. It was provided by the architect and also includes all engineering, permitting, and fees. The original kitchen layout was more exact, and included a line item price for every piece of equipment. Once the cost to knock the kitchen walls out was presented, and we decided to alter the plan to focus on the cartbarn as a means of providing space, the architect revised the rendering and cost estimates to around this figure. When the first sets of renderings are available, hopefully within a week or so, i can begin to show the membership the plan. Right now, we are working with Golf Operations to design a new flow for bag drop, bag storage, cart direction, and efficient flow of member traffic from parking lot to first tee. I do not anticipate any significant changes in cost based on these design characteristics. Ultimately, this plan will go to bid and the price will be firmed up then. We are working quickly to get this data and drawings together so the membership can get a handle on what is being planned. As a side note, i will be looking for an interested member who has considerable experience in construction project management to work with me as we go forward to ensure that all contracts are vetted and final work reflective of exact specifications.

    As to your feelings on speed bumps and speed control devices….i will forward these concerns to the Safety and Security Committee chaired by Ted Begansky. The speed humps proposed are the concrete and paver humps (not the black and yellow bumps) that are at the entrance to Autumn Lake and also by Hidden Lakes. The speed detector is not planned as a permanent fixture, but rather a tool to temporarily install on a pole or sign in any area where speeding becomes a problem.

    Thank you for your comments and questions. Always happy to provide information!

  15. Dotty abd Bob Vanderwilt

    9/14/2011

    We are writing to express our thoughts about the recent Board action related to the renovation project.

    As 11 year owners, full time residents, and, secondly, as Realtors, we are concerned about the long term planning for our community. We commend the present Board, as well as past Boards, for having the foresight to develop a Long Range Plan for Spring Run. Additionally, past Boards and the present Board have acted in a financially responsible way in addressing community needs.

    Regarding the Board action related to this renovation project, we commend to Board for collecting so much input from Spring Run members through 30 + Focus Groups and for seeking professional planning assistance. As Spring Run members we all have a responsibility to jointly maintain the long term value of our community. We elected this Board to deal with our community issues, gather pertinent information, and develop and implement fiscally responsible solutions that are in the best interests of the entire community.

    Our Board has done what we elected them to do. They have provided a long term solution to our jointly expressed concerns. For $1 per day, this “Pay as You Go Plan” allows members to enjoy the improvements to our facilities and benefit from maintaining the value of our individual investments. The value of our individual properties is directly impacted by the perceived value of our community, its amenities, and the lifestyles it provides.

    To the Board members who commit their time and energy to deal with our community issues, make informed decisions, and lead our community, we say “Thank You” and we support you. You are doing what we as members elected you to do.

    Respectfully,
    Bob and Dotty Vanderwilt
    Willow Creek

  16. garrett kennedy

    the 2.5M capitol improvment project should not move forward wiyhout full membership input. the only fair means of acheiving that input is a full membership vote. to go forward with anything less may open a wound in opur community that could take years to heal. lets do the right thing and keep spring run the best bundled golf community in SW florida to live in. GARRETT KENNEDY

  17. Peter Perrin & Stephanie Howard

    As relatively new homeowners in Spring Run (almost 2 years now) we are very pleased that the Board of Directors has decided to implement the key recommendations of the Planning and Research Committee, based on the findings of last season’s focus groups. We are confident that the renovations and improvements will help to protect our investment in these tough economic times. By keeping our community competitive with other bundled golf communities in Southwest Florida, it will continue to be a desirable place to live and visit.

    We plan to enjoy Spring Run for many years and have therefore chosen to make the one-time payment. Amortized, this represents an increase of just over 2% of our annual overhead. We trust that the Board is able to accomplish its goals within the proposed budget, and as such, we feel that it is excellent value for the money. Thank you to the Board for undertaking this effort on our behalf.

    Sincerely,
    Peter Perrin & Stephanie Howard

  18. Bob Stamegna

    Mike;

    Being a member of the Finance Committee, I am in agreement with the method of financing that has been presented to the board should the major club expansion be approved by the Spring Run Board of Directors.

    That is the board’s decision.

    However, should the board make this decision without going to the Spring Run members (owners) it would be a significant change in procedure. Even though the documents may give or suggest that the board has the power to approve such an expansion without requesting the vote of its members, a protocol has been established by the previous boards that any such expansion to the club would be brought to the members for a vote before proceeding.

    An expansion of such a magnitude being approved by the board without going to the members would be setting a new precedent. In doing so, how do the owners stop this board and more so any other future boards in making extensive expenditures without the consent of its membership?

    We presently have good qualified members on the board that has shown transparency and a well liked and professional management team that has a good relationship with its members. We must treasure this and hold on to the harmony that presently exists.

    Members realize that there is a need for some of the renovations. This has been voiced by some members at the focus group meetings.

    However, board decisions should not be based only on the results of the focus group. Go to the general members for a vote.

    Everything must be taken into consideration. Needs of the Club combined with the Wishes of the Members; Timing in presenting this project to the members; the Economy. and finally What are our Priorities.

  19. Ron and Carol Ficks

    I’m sure that the board has received several emails and comments from our owners here at Spring Run regarding the proposed clubhouse facilities renovation project. It is not our intent to express whether we are for or against this undertaking but only to strongly encourage the board to allow the entire Spring Run community to vote on it.

    We know that emotions are running high and once again the community is faced with an issue that has polarized many of its residents. The board has worked very hard and long to put together a plan that it believes will meet the needs and wants of the owners. This plan is ambitious and expensive. We believe that the owners have the right to either put their stamp of approval on this proposal or vote it down. After all, it was only less than two years ago that our community was asked to vote on another expansion project. Why shouldn’t we be asked to vote on this project, too? It seems to us that a precedent was set and it was a good one.

  20. Jane and Bob Alter

    To: Mike and the Spring Run Board:
    We thank you for a well thought-out srategic plan for improvements to Spring Run Golf Club. In our opinion, the financing is most attractive, and the improvements are necessary without being “overboard”.
    But we do have some concerns that we would like to have addressed. First of all, this plan and assessment came as a complete shock to us in September. We did not know that something of this magnitude was being considered during a summer month when few residents could be pressent for comments/discussion. While $367 is not a huge increase for our yearly bill, the total increase from last year’s bill was $550 which represents a nearly 13% increase during a very bad economy for us seniors as home and portfolio values have been severely impacted.
    Secondly, we did vote for the improvement plan and were disappointed when it did not pass. However, it worries us that if a proposal goes out for a vote to residents and then that vote is not honored, then what precedent is being set along with a continued trust between residents and our board.
    We realize that you all have worked long hours on this, and we do appreciate it.

  21. Roger Rydstrom

    Mike,
    I was pleased when I recieved your excellent Springing Forward email on August 30th explaining the Renovation Project, only five days after the BOD had approved the 2011-12 assessment.
    I have been through 2 renovation projects, the first one passed with only 52%, and, as we know, the last one was not approved. Which led to an intense effort to get all residents involved in focus groups to get input that could give new direction to SR leadership. The result was a Strategic Plan, developed by a score of involved individuals, that represented additional community input.
    That input along with the many weeks, days and hours that the BOD spent with the PAR committee, architects, staff, bankers and financial “wizards” to come up with a 10 year plan in time for the budget has to be acknowledged.
    Our by-laws were written so that the ultimate fiduciary and leadership responsibilities rest upon the shoulders of the BOD who are exposed to information exceptional to their position as elected officers from our community.
    I hear some friends say that they are for the renovation but would want a vote from the community since that principle was established by the 2 previous votes. In my view, the 2 votes on renovations presented to the residents at that time were unlike the opportunity presented by the community to the BOD this time. I trust their measured decision based on a broad community input.
    If the BOD wants to put the renovation to a community vote, so be it, but they open that process to an array of new time tables, diverse ( sometimes uninformed ) opinions and a log jam of decisions yet to be made.
    As to the increase costs over the next 10 years, the choice not to invest means not dealing with the kitchen issue since the expense to deal with that problem alone seems out of the question.
    The decisions rest with the BOD, we have to respect that role.
    Roger Rydstrom

  22. Peter & Marsha Shand

    Mike,

    We thank you, the Spring Run Board and the various sub-committees for all the time and effort that must have been put in to produce the plans for this major clubhouse expansion project, it is much appreciated.

    The decision not to allow owners a vote is setting a precedent, a potentially dangerous one for now and in the future. (even though the documents may give the board the power to approve without a vote). However, if the board is confident that these plans are expressing the wishes of the majority of the owners then they should have no fear in putting it to the vote
    .
    We agree with the proposed method of financing the $2.5m loan & trust that this project sum has a contingency sum included, as I know from bitter experience how architects can be over-optimistic with their budget costs at the preliminary stages of a project.

    As the clubhouse is increasing significantly in size, have you any indication of what the increase in future annual operating costs are likely to be i.e. Taxes, utilities, insurance and maintenance of fitness room equipment. Also is there any likelihood or legal requirement for needing professional staff in an expanded fitness room? (Perhaps we could charge for using the fitness room as we charge a cart fee to play golf)

    1. Mike Zigler

      Mr.Shand,
      thank you for your comments. Yes, the $2.5M has a contingency of about $150,000 included. I am puttting together a very experienced Construction Committee led by Tom Brooke and i feel confident that when a bid is accepted, we will find a way to scrutinize and manage the project to ensure it comes in at the price we agreed to.

      Even though the size of the building is changing, we do not have any plans to increase payroll. While i agree that it would be beneficial to have an employee staff the fitness room, i won’t hire someone to do it. I may, as you suggest, bring in a personal trainer who would be willing to instruct on use of the machines at no charge, and would benefit from any new clients he or she picked up. I did this when i was in Ohio, and it worked wonderfully. The trainer never pushed for lessons, and the members loved having him as an option if needed.

      As far as additional expenses go, i do anticipate an increase in insurance due to increased square footage, and an increase in energy for lighting and cooling. I do not have those figures determined yet, but i will find out by December when the insurance company quotes based on the new footprint. I am also in talks with FP&L on energy and also green methods to keep costs lower.

      Mike

  23. allen and melrene stone

    Put this to a vote. A vote is the right thing to do. We believe an expenditure of 2.5 million should be voted on by the members of the association. Several components of the proposed capital improvements were voted down not so long ago. We believe it is irresponsible for focus groups to “interpret” why they believe the majority of members voted the way they did. We feel this sets a bad precident moving forward.

    Your comments on cost overruns….”while we dont anticipate this happening, if it were to happen, we would likely be able to handle it with our own cash.” Well, iam from Boston and I am sure you have heard of the Big Dig, there are always overuns and we just hope that they can be covered without another 13% or higher assesment.

    What is the process that allows the board to overide the majority of the membership this community? The same thing happened with the bocci courts. Membership said NO and the board did it anyway and in the end cost us much more than expected. We think it should be voted on again! Perhaps the result will be different. (talk about transparency not!)

    Allen and Melrene Stone

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