June 8, 2011

The meeting of the Lake Barcroft Association (LBA) was called to order at 7:34 PM by President Warren Russell at 6425 Lakeview Drive, Falls Church, Virginia. Those present were LBA Directors Warren Russell, Cindy Waters, Steve Klein, Sally Determan, Betsy Washington, Pat Payne, Regina Derzon, Eva Kosztarab, Kim Smith, Jim Kilbourne, Chris Lawson and Alice Rowan. Mark Cavich attended by teleconference. Diane Smalley was not present. Improvements Chair George Waters, Water Safety Supervisor Kevin Hardy and lake residents Stuart McMichael and Fred Abbey were also present.

A motion was made and seconded to approve the minutes of May 4, 2011. All voted in favor and the motion passed.


Warren introduced Kevin Hardy, Water Safety Supervisor.

WATER SAFETY SUPERVISOR’S 2011 OPENING REPORT: Kevin summarized his report. He added that the summer season was off to a good start with a good staff. All 4 beaches were open before Memorial Day. Payroll will be a bit more costly because the beaches did not close due to rain during the first few weeks. One additional full-time employee has been added, an adult with six years of lake experience in New York and Canada. The average staff age is 19 which is higher than usual for this area. Starting wage is $8.30, average pay is $9.80 per hour, and the highest pay is $13. Most guards have approximately 3 years experience. Fifteen guards are residents. Kevin expressed that individuals are interested in offering classes for swimming and boating for residents. Kevin reported the instructors are paid minimum wage plus 80% of income from class fees. Mei Mei, a part-time guard, has a background in open water swimming and is an excellent aquatic trainer. Kathy Lesh is a certified paddleboard instructor, and is insured through ACA if students become ACA members. Bobby Broome, an employee, will teach kayak and pontoon boat safety. The Board discussed insurance issues for such classes. Alice suggested requiring contractors to supply their own coverage. Sally explained that if we do not control the instructor’s work, the instructor will likely be considered an independent contractor. Sally suggested that participants pay for liability insurance. The paddle board instructor will be brought in as an independent contractor. Kevin will be working with SHRA in teaching lifesaving classes. Kevin is in the third and final year of the application phase for U.S. Life Saving Association approval; this is a professional standards board using the American Red Cross Waterfront training program. He discussed equipment and supply purchases for the season. All ropes have been replaced and more are needed. The oxygen tank and airway kit for each boat will be supplied at $400. The storage box at beach 1 must be replaced. Kevin’s father will build a rescue board box for beach 1. Beach 5 has been staffed and can continue through the season at an approximate expense of $7,700. Steve reminded the Board that this will require Board approval.

Kevin reported that the Kaye family has been very cooperative in allowing the lifeguard boats to be housed at their dock. The Board expressed its appreciation and thanks to the Kaye family.

Other beach issues:

Sally discussed the use of beach 5. At least eight people have been seen to pull into the parking lot, see the guard and leave--which suggests its use by non-residents. Many parties are held at Beach 5. Sally asked the Board for their thoughts on installing play equipment to promote use of beach 5 as a tot lot. Swimming at beach 5 is minimal. Kevin believes that vandalism and graffiti occurs after the beach is closed, but lifeguard staffing decreases trespassing and gives residents another option for swimming. The Board discussed the locking of gates at beaches. Many people have asked guards for the combination. Residents are being told that the gates to the parking areas will be locked 15 minutes before the beaches close. If cars are present at closing, the guard uses his/her discretion and may leave a note with number to call for assistance. Kim suggested posting signs to warn of closing time. Warren advised that lifeguards are to check beach tags of all patrons, and 4 guests are allowed to a tag, up to 8 per lot. Beach tags are not transferrable. A driver’s license is not an acceptable alternative. Kevin allows guards to come to the beach with two guests on their days off. The Board discussed after-hours beach access. Kim stated that LBA rules dictate the beaches are closed after dark. She asked for the Board’s thoughts on this. Kim suggested revising the rules next year with the next directory.

Stu McMichael addressed a recent incident at beach 4 at 10:30 p.m. He called the police and 3 non-resident teenagers were cited for trespassing. Some resident teenagers were on the beach as well. Rules at the police station are that if beach tags are shown, beach access is permitted. A discussion ensued concerning the need to enforce rules equitably among persons and not isolate a particular demographic such as youths. It is necessary to target bad behavior such as “CANOODLING.” Kim suggested advising the police that beaches are closed after dark so that police have the authority to tell individuals to leave if they are engaged in bad behavior, even if they have tags. Police, in effect, are the “lifeguards” at night. Kim further suggested considering use of lifeguards beyond beach hours for checking tags. However, a concern is whether the guards remain “on duty” for purposes of lifesaving if they remain present to check tags.

The Board offered Kevin Hardy their thanks and commendations on a job well done.


CALENDAR REVIEW: The calendar was reviewed and changes noted. October 1 is a Newcomers’ Murder Mystery; a campout will be scheduled for August.

WEBSITE PROGRESS REPORT: Mark presented his report. PayPal is functioning with a fluctuating usage fee. The Publications Committee met recently. The Board discussed advertisers on the website. The Contractor List has been received. Steve advised there is $1,400 in unexpected income that was received for website advertising. This money could be spent for updating the contractors list as soon as possible. Cindy suggested revising the form to ask people for their primary and alternate e-mail addresses, and to ask for volunteers. Eva reported that George McLennan did a “blast” email recently that was successful in reaching all individuals who had supplied an email address. Warren recommended advising those providing email addresses that they may be used for Lake Barcroft business and will not be given out publically.

PARCEL A & LAKEVIEW STEPS: George Waters reported that the Parcel A retaining wall was repaired today. The engineering report has been completed and found the walls to be stable. Some concern was expressed about neighbor activity such as a water fountain installed near the retaining wall and children trespassing by playing on the wall. Repair of the Lakeview Drive steps has been delayed because WID needs to dig out the ditches first. Railings have been installed.

MEMBERSHIP PROGRESS REPORT: Warren reported that only 15 lots remain unpaid.

BOAT AUCTION: Sally reported that the auction was postponed until July 16 because many boat stickers had not been replaced. Starting on July 5, boats without current stickers will be pulled.


COMMON AREA / SECURITY / VANDALISM: Kim presented a Power Point presentation (see attached report) in which Sally, Betsy and George had participated. Fred Abbey joined the discussion. Kim reported a significant increase in graffiti, particularly at beach 5. Plants had been uprooted at beach 3, trash and bins had been thrown in the lake, and WID vehicles had been vandalized. Actions were recommended including close and lock the outer beach 5 gate, make extra tag checks, send letters to trespassers and install security cameras. It was noted that trespassing occurs most often at beaches 3 and 5, where parking is open, and trespassing occurs least often at beaches 2 and 4, where gates are locked. A closed gate sends a message that the beach is closed. The cost to install a rolling/sliding gate at beach 3 is $1,850.

Fred reported that he had been participating in Neighborhood Watch for 18 months. He believes that neighbors outside the community know that rules are not consistently enforced, creating the perception that the lake is open to the public. He has tried to recruit more volunteers but has not met much enthusiasm. He encourages sending a bright-line message within and without the community that the beach is not open to the public. Rules must be clear and consistent. Regina stated that she and Cindy could talk to JEB Stuart High School. George Waters suggested including information on recent citations for trespassing in emails to parents, on Lakelink and the newsletter. Cindy recalled years ago, vandalism decreased following heavy publicity of an incident involving decapitation of a goose.

Kim asked the Board to move forward with certain security recommendations, including checking beach tags one hour before beaches open and one hour after beaches close; and purchasing and installing a gate for beach 3. A discussion ensued concerning the cost of removing graffiti, which is required by law. Further discussion took place concerning whether having a lifeguard present at beach 5 reduced graffiti and vandalism, with the conclusion that this could be assessed during a trial period.

A motion was proposed by Kim and seconded by Regina to have a lifeguard at beach 5 from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. for a one month trial, beginning June 9 through July 13 at a cost of approximately up to $3,000 for providing lifeguard services and security. All voted in favor with the exception of Steve, Regina and Warren; motion adopted.

A motion was made by Kim and seconded by Sally to approve a capital improvement expense of $1,850 to install a sliding gate at beach 3. All voted in favor; motion adopted.

The Board considered suggestions of posting additional guards at other beaches for an additional hour during the summer season at a cost of about $5,000. The Board deferred consideration of checking beach tags during the off-season; and installing security cameras. Kim agreed to prepare a report on these issues. George suggested having volunteers wear T shirts displaying “Lake Barcroft Security.” We have about 200 volunteers; Kim will attempt to obtain more volunteer support for beach tag checking.

A motion was made to pay for increased hours for security at beaches; five voted in favor and eight voted against; Mark abstained. The motion was defeated.


SPECIAL EVENTS: Pat thanked Mark for his efforts on a very successful Sand Day. The Ice Cream Social is scheduled for June 11th. Kevin Howe informed the Board that beach 3 will have to be evacuated for the fireworks. The Board discussed the issue of liability coverage for property damage. Eva mentioned that we do get special fireworks coverage.

ARC: Jim stated 8 applications have been reviewed recently; six of these involved requests for approval of 6 foot fences. Jim reports these requests are denied and the rules are implemented as written.

TREASURER’S REPORT: Steve discussed insurance. Three issues had been noted: water craft is excluded from coverage; the umbrella policy does not cover volunteers, and athletic events require a special policy. New policies have been put in place such that the watercraft exclusion has been removed and volunteers are included in the excess. A special policy costing $516 will be purchased to cover Labor Day games. Eva mentioned that Aras Butas has requested to hold a community triathlon. This would require a $314 special insurance policy; deferred for now Alice reviewed the Workers Compensation policy, which appears to supply adequate coverage including excess coverage. Steve reminded the Board that reimbursement requests must be specific to provide proper credit in the budget.

IMPROVEMENTS: George summarized his report (see attached). WID is installing new timbers at beach 4 for a cost of $350. Aras has worked to install signs at the gardens. He and Greg Knadle (who is a “jewel”) created a ramp access at beach 3 for $128 cost. They removed graffiti from beach 5, met with Delfino regarding pond and slippage concerns, and met with Kevin concerning beach 4 drainage. VDOT work is underway at beach 5 sidewalk.

LEGAL: Eva advised that most recent legal discussions involved insurance.

ENVIRONMENTAL QUALITY: Betsy discussed work being performed by nurseries in the area that is in violation of RPA regulations and without required permits. She has provided the nurseries with training as to what is permitted and what is prohibited. She received the good news that the RPA garden will be featured by Northern Virginia Soil and Water Conservation District on their Watershed Friendly Garden Tour. Betsy will give tours and workshops regarding the garden. Beach 3 garden is completed and vandalism has been checked for now. GeesePeace is ongoing. The Environmental Committee is working with WID to send a grant application, written by Kevin, to Fairfax Water Authority. Watershed stewardship is emphasized.

COMMUNITY WATCH: Kim discussed a recent police dive during which police searched for, and found, crime evidence. The Board approved a letter to be sent to a realtor concerning on-going trespassing. A resident was contacted by e-mail regarding their child giving their beach tag to friends while they were out of the country; the resident addressed the concern appropriately. Cindy advocated the use of phone calls to resolve such concerns. Kim expressed concern about a resident registering an unusually large number of boats; others felt that the number of boats (8) was not unusual. Pat will call this resident and check the status.

PUBLICATIONS: Mark reports that advertisements are proceeding well. He was asked to update the calendar on the website.

MEMBERSHIP: Chris reported that there were five transfer payments received in May.

The meeting was adjourned at 11:12 PM.