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RA Board of Directors Removes Funding for Fit Kids Enrichment Clubs

by Fatimah Waseem December 18, 2017 at 10:15 am 5 Comments

Reston Association will no longer fund Fit Kids Enrichment Clubs amid concerns that the program was conducted under the name and location of a different after school program at The Lake House.

The nine-member Board of Directors voted to defund the program for next year and pushed for the need to reel in more revenue from rentals of The Lake House while maintaining programs and services that meet the needs and desires of RA members. RA purchased the property after a controversial referendum two years ago.

The Fit Kids Enrichment Club is a pay-to-play program created last year that includes gardening and fishing clubs that typically run between 4:30 and 6 p.m, according to Laura Kowalski, RA’s deputy director for recreation. The clubs serve roughly 100 students annually.

Board members said it was not appropriate for a homeowners’ association like RA to become a daycare provider by funding the program.

“We should not enter a market that does not need our entry… it was a market we should have never gotten into,” said at-large director Eric Carr.

Others worried that RA’s ongoing effort to court more rentals and reel in more revenue from The Lake House could clash with the need for using the facility in a way that benefits RA’s membership — especially with programs like the enrichment clubs that are expected to bring in a little over $4,000 in revenue next year.

“It has saddened me that since we’ve purchased the property that we haven’t used it to the members’ benefit… I’m fearful that right now we’re veering off to only rentals and not being able to take care of members with things they wish to do,” said Julie Bitzer, South Lakes district director.

Board members said it was integral to provide direction to RA staff on how to drive rentals at The Lake House in a manner that is in concert with guidelines that ensure programs are of benefit to the community, including the possibility of extending hours to expand opportunities for additional revenue.

The board plans to reconsider if it will fund enrichment clubs in 2019.

  • 40yearsinreston

    a rollback of a program which only benefited a few ?

    How can this be ?

  • Greg

    Thank you, RA board; however, selling the Lake House should happen ASAP.

    • JoeInReston

      What are the chances of finding a willing buyer that doesn’t involve giving it away?

      • Greg

        Higher than ever. All of the dilapidations have been fixed, and the location is prime.

        RA running around for over a year and trying to find a use for it has been a further waste of money as are the costs of maintaining, operating, insuring, etc. a mostly empty building — costs that will never go away and will increase year over year.

        It takes only one buyer.

        • JoeInReston

          What about all the easements on the property?

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