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Reston Association to Continue Discussions on Recreational Facilities’ Cost and Usage

by Fatimah Waseem May 25, 2018 at 2:30 pm 16 Comments

As the mid-year point before next year’s budget cycle approaches, Reston Association’s Board of Directors and staff will discuss how to approach a comprehensive analysis of RA’s recreational facilities.

The analysis, requested by Director Julie Bitzer in March, would be the first comprehensive examination of RA’s recreational facilities in 13 years.

Larry Butler, acting CEO and senior director of land use and planning, said the last study was done in 2005 and examined issues like cost utilization trends, usage, maintenance, repairs and suggested upgrades.

Staff recommended hiring a consultant to complete the study due to limited staff resources over the next two-to-three months and ongoing summer projects like the Hook Road working group and the lakes, docks and boats working group.

The board will hold a work session on June 5 to discuss the scope of the analysis, whether a consultant is needed to complete it and better define the goals and scope of the work.

Other recreation-related decisions may be more pressing.

Board members suggested a timely decision on the future of Lake Thoreau pool, which Director Sherri Hebert said was “falling into the lake,” was necessary. Hebert said an expenditure of $1 million is estimated to bring the aging pool up to go code. No decision on the future of that pool has been reached.

The longterm examination will guide the board’s budget decisions on replacement, repairs and upgrades to facilities.

Photo by Mike Collins

  • 30yearsinreston

    Hire another ‘consultant’ because staff are too ‘busy’?
    Time to complete the house cleaning and fire a few more slackers
    Then we’ll see how many free up

    • Greg

      Start with Anna Varone, please.

  • 30yearsinreston

    Wrong
    $$$ is needed for the Lake House bought for the benefit of a few property ownets

    • Kojo

      Oh…right, I didn’t think of that.

    • Bob

      It is pretty great to be able to look at the Lake House from my backyard.

  • TEAMSTERS #1

    “projects like the Hook Road working group and the lakes, docks and boats working group.”

    》 spotted the cost over runs 《

    No consultants required – instead, unionize and let’s get the job done!

    • Mike M

      LOL! You’re are funny!

      • 30yearsinreston

        Unions dont do endless studies and outsource their members

  • Donald

    With regard to the Lake Thoreau pool. Isn’t that what our Reserves Funds are for? The Association performs reserve studies for just this reason.

    Donald

    • Greg

      One millions dollars to bring the used-maybe-10-weeks-a-year pool “up to code” (whatever that means) could buy 10-week YMCA memberships for everyone who wanted one. Everything else the Y offers included at no extra charge.

      • vdiv

        Yeah, you’re right, we should just shut down the rec. facilities and build 12-story “mid-rises” on top.

    • John Higgins

      In a broad sense, yes. RA has a reserve for repair and replacement of capital assets. The condition needing attention (I believe it is a ground shift that threatens a major retaining wall) either was not present or not observed by the engineers five years ago. It is not practical for RA to reserve for all possible needs. For that reason, it should maintain an operating reserve for such contingencies. Since it did not do that, the RA relies on its healthy cash balance to cover these needs. That balance was drawn down so that RA could pay off the Lake House loan. This was either incredible short-sighted or the board had no intention of repairing this facility. For those so inclined, here’s a “what if” to ponder: What if this situation arose at the North Point pool?

      • Greg

        What role does insurance pay for unexpected and unforeseen things like ground shifts?

        North Point’s pool is nicer, newer, and larger, but it’s still open only a small fraction of the year.

        • John Higgins

          Can’t answer that one. Insurers typically cover damages from sudden geological movements (e.g. earthquakes and sinkholes); clearly, this is a question to be asked. It also suggests RA would do well to have a risk management professional on its Fiscal Committee.

      • Michael Gandolfo

        Good thing Eric Carr proudly spent all our extra money on paying off a low interest loan. /sarcasm

  • Greg

    What are “cost utilization trends?”

    And, why isn’t permanently closing underused or obsolete facilities on the list?

    The old studies RA paid for (as in more than one) are right here. How much, if anything, has changed?

    http://reston.org/Portals/3/Parks-Recreation-Events/Parks%20and%20Facilities/SPECIALCOMMREPORTFINAL.pdf

    http://www.reston.org/LinkClick.aspx?fileticket=HKnALWHT7KQ%3D&tabid=695&portalid=3&mid=1601

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