Woodshop upgrade is among March 22 meeting highlights
At its nearly five-hour meeting on March 22, the GRF Board tackled a long list of priorities, including authorizing funds for an emergency sewer line repair on El Dorado Road and paving the way for left-turn signals at St. Andrews and Golden Rain to make LW’s main intersection safer for residents.
In its largest expenditure, the board approved $307,100 for three new Minibuses to replace the fleet’s oldest models. Those 1990s-era relics collectively racked up 1 million miles tooling around LW for 30 years, and it’s past time for retirement.
The board also considered Clubhouse 6 doors, library fees, woodshop 1 improvements and the Amphitheater lighting and sound contract, among many other topics.
• Mask Mandate
The board discontinued a mandate requiring residents to wear masks in Trust business buildings and at meetings where GRF staff are present.
On March 23, the GRF management team also lifted the mask mandate for employees.
Residents and employees are no longer required to wear masks in Leisure World, but the GRF supports the recommendation that masks are strongly encouraged. Those who elect to wear masks shall, under no circumstances, experience retaliation from co-workers or residents. It is the expectation that individual preferences be respected and supported for either choice. • Left Turn Signals—Emergency Item
The board amended the agenda to add an emergency item to start the process to install left turn traffic signals at LW’s only intersection with a traffic light.
The action was precipitated by an accident on Oct. 15 at Golden Rain Road and St. Andrews Drive. A LW resident on a scooter was injured in a collision with a car that was on Golden Rain turning onto St. Andrews. A lawsuit was served naming the driver and GRF. The driver’s insurance company paid $1.5 million to settle. Although the driver was found to be at fault by the SBPD investigation, the GRF insurance company settled for $1 million because of a potential jury verdict ranging from $1-$3.5 million.
The board voted to have the Physical Property Committee begin the process of obtaining costs for an engineering report and the installation of turn signals at its next meeting, which is scheduled for April 6 at 1 p.m. in the Administration Conference Room.
• Sewer Line Repair—Request for Funds
The board approved the emergency expenditure of $21,800 to cover the repair of an 8-inch sewer line on El Dorado Road near Golden Rain Road on Feb. 20. The failure caused a blockage to 24 apartments that weekend. After GRF staff and Empire Pipe and Equipment attempted to clear the line, it was discovered that the pipe was broken. MJ Jurado was called to dig up the street and replace the pipe and fittings. The expenditure allocates $1,380 to Empire Pipe and Equipment and $20,420 to MJ Jurado. GRF President Susan Hopewell thanked Physical Property Manager Kevin Black, Service Maintenance Facilities Manager Ruben Gonzalez and service maintenance staff for their quick response even though it was a holiday weekend. Facilities Director Mark Weaver noted that sewer pipes are annually cleaned and inspected with underground cameras to pinpoint potential trouble spots.
• Three New Minibuses Upon the recommendation of the Security Bus and Traffic Committee, the board approved the expenditure of no more than $307,100 for three new Minibuses, two with wheelchair lifts, from AZ Bus Sales, which was the lowest of three bidders. The new buses, which can seat up to 14 people depending on the whether they have a wheelchair lift, have a three- to six-month delivery window. “The buses have been wonderfully maintained, but they are 30 years old. As a former bus driver, I’m very excited for the drivers,” said GRF Director Donna Gambol.
• Woodshop Improvements At the recommendation of the Physical Property Committee, the board approved expanding and renovating the woodshop in Clubhouse 1 in the amount of $306,600. The upgrade and expansion will compensate for the recent closing of the Clubhouse 2 woodshop. The Clubhouse 1 amenity will be entirely renovated, with electrical and safety upgrades, cabinets, windows, doors, and tools and equipment. Construction is set to start April 18.
The board also voted to spend $10,000 in capital funding to hire an electrical engineer to make sure the existing electrical system can handle the proposed improvements.
One resident spoke against the upgrade, saying it was not worth spending that much on a facility that has an estimated 50 users a month. The board addressed that concern by pointing out that the safety upgrades were necessary to minimize liability risk, the upgrade would likely attract more users and NOCE, LW’s senior university, is actively recruiting a certified woodworking instructor to spur interest in the hobby.
“I think this will be a great amenity,” said GRF Treasurer Janet Isom. “I’m excited to expand it and make it into a pleasant new facility that people will enjoy using.”
The vacated space in Clubhouse 2 will make way for another amenity, to be decided, which will benefit other groups of people, noted GRF Vice President Marsha Gerber.
• Amphitheater Sound and Lighting Contract
LW’s first full season of Amphitheater shows and movies since the COVID-19 shutdown is set for this summer. In an effort to provide the best sound and lighting for LW’s specialized entertainment venue, the board approved a recommendation by the Recreation Committee to approve a three-year contract with TM AV Consulting & Integration, Inc., in the amount of $113,202. The Amphitheater sound and lighting contract was canceled in 2020 due to the pandemic.
• Library Fees The board gave tentative approval to amend GRF Policy 70-2504-2, Library Fees, updating the rules concerning lost or damaged materials. The new policy, if approved, would discontinue late fines. That is in keeping with a national trend toward fine-free libraries. If passed, residents would still be responsible for cost of damaged or lost items, and they would not be able to check out materials until accounts were settled in full. According to Forbes magazine, “Research has shown that fines are not effective in getting materials returned on time, and libraries that have eliminated fines have found that long overdue items come back, and patrons who avoided the library for years start visiting again.” A final decision on the policy will be made at the May 24 GRF Board meeting pending the 28-day notification to residents.
• LED Lighted Stop Signs Upon a recommendation from the Security Bus and Traffic Committee, the GRF Board has approved the purchase of 14 solar LED light stop signs, not to exceed $22,264. Service Maintenance will install the flashing signs as follows:
• Six at Tam O’Shanter and St. Andrews Drive.
• Three at Interlachen and St. Andrews Drive.
• Three at Oakmont and El Dorado Drive.
• Clubhouse 6 Door Openers Some LW residents who use mobility aids reported having difficulty opening the restroom doors at Clubhouse 6. In answer to the problem, the board voted to approve a Physical Property Committee recommendation to install easy access single automatic door operators at the four restrooms there. It allocated $11,822 in capital funding for the purchase.