Note: This report was shared with the Board at it's 7/22/16 meeting and with the membership at the annual meeting on 9/3/16. It was posted on the website on 9/3/16.
A Facilities Assessment Committee composed of Jim Dudley, Dennis Roberts, Jay Clark and Dick Fox was charged by the Board to review the current state of the CIub facilities and develop a long range maintenance plan and funding proposal for this plan. The group looked at all of the Club's property, assessed the current and near term (0-10 years) needs and prioritized (A-D) those needs. We feel it was VERY important to review this document annually to assess the current situation because circumstances change and something will likely occur that will move a low priority item higher on the list (for example, tree trimming is a B priority item at this time but if limbs grow such that they intrude on the fence and over the playing area, that then becomes an A priority).
We feel that maintaining the integrity of the courts' playing surface and the safety of the surfaces are our highest priority (A) for the Club. However, the future of the Club's "Marketing Effort" was also a very high priority (A-).
COURTS Priority A
Courts 1 and 2 have just been repaired and repainted at an expense of $10,000. The contractor has agreed to return next year (2017) and fix any new cracks at no cost to us. Courts 3 and 4 were painted in 2O12-13 and are still serviceable from an appearance standpoint. All four courts were painted in 2012-13 at a cost of $15,000. It has been recommended that the courts be repainted every 4-5 years. Since our courts are relatively lightly used (2-3 hours per day, five days a week for six months), we would like to try to stretch the repainting to 5-6 years - one year beyond the recommended range. If we can manage this, we believe a $3000-5000 annual reserve should enable us to take care of all four courts. Ideally all courts would be repainted again in 2022.
ROOTS Priority A +
There are some roots growing under court 3; they are currently growing under the apron and need to be cut before they intrude into the playing surface. This should be able to be handled by a member work crew at little or no cost.
COURTS 3 and 4 Priority A
Courts 3 and 4 are covered with a "Premier" surface which is the creation of American Tennis. We suffered many substantial cracks on courts 3 and 4 over the years so about 20 years ago, we approached American to ask them if they had any long term solution to our constant crack repair expenses. They have a product called Premier Surface which is a cushioned surface about 1/4 inch thick. American came in, filled the cracks and leveled the low spots with cement and laid this "carpet" like material over both courts and painted the courts. Over the past 20 years we have had American come back occasionally (we only found evidence of them coming once) to fill spots where the underlying court has subsided (our last repair was in 2010 and cost $2300). We believe a 10 year cycle of repair seems appropriate for these courts.
We have had estimates of $100,000 to completely excavate courts 3 and 4 and lay down new courts, however, even this is no guarantee against cracks reappearing in the future.
Accordingly, it appears the "spot" fix that American has done in the past is appropriate again. While it would be nice to have this done in a timely manner, this kind of repair should be deferred to the spring when the courts are not utilized as extensively as they are today. The courts are fully serviceable for our players so there is a somewhat lower urgency.
INSURANCE Priority A
With the expansion of the pavilion, there is a sense it should be protected by fire insurance. A $25,000 valuation for fire insurance purposes would require a $220 premium with a $2000 deductible.
SIGNAGE Priority A
Signage can be an important part of our Club marketing effort. The new windscreen with the Bayside logo can be seen from Kent Avenue and is very attractive. The group felt that a more distinctive sign to replace the existing Bayside sign out front would provide more visibility to the Club and raise our profile to the many cars that transit Kent Avenue. We suggest repairing the Bayside sign that has hung on the fence at court 1 and mounting it at the entrance and lighting it with small solar lights as an initial step but leave open the option of a new sign at some point in the future. We believe a new sign might cost up to $1500 and might be surrounded by a small raised bed to protect the sign from inattentive drivers. This raised bed might cost up to $1000. However, we want to insure that whatever is put in place causes NO additional maintenance from a weeding or watering standpoint.
REAR COURT DRAINAGE Priority B
A drain to pull water from the back of courts 3 and 4 and empty into the ditch on the east side of our property would cost about $6500. This might drain off the standing water and help reduce the scum buildup on the backs of the courts. This, in turn, could help obviate the need for annual power washing. In the past, the court cleaner would go to the court after a rain and aggressively sweep the back of courts 3 and 4 to help remove the scum.
ELECTRICITY Priority C
Electricity has been discussed for many years. The cost estimate to bring electricity was about $3000 plus usage. This would provide the ability to have security lighting for the pavilion and perhaps ancillary utility but given the limited usage, we feel this is a lower priority item.
TREE TRIMMING Priority D
Our courts are surrounded by large trees which provide welcome shade to players. The Grounds group has done a good job keeping the lower branches cut back. Some of the taller trees on the sides of the courts have large limbs that extend to and slightly over the fence on court 3. As long as the branches do not extend over the court and impact play, nothing needs to be done but at some point this will need to be addressed. We believe this can be done for $500-$600.
WATER Priority D
From time to time having water at the Club has been broached. Drilling a well would be one possibility but our water content is heavy with iron and/or sulfur. These would make the water non potable due to the odor and inappropriate for washing the court because of the iron content. ln addition, it would require electricity to run the pump. Our other option is to have public water brought in from Artesian. Our nearest water source is at the end of Addy Road in Middlesex. We would have to obtain an easement across Middlesex property and then run a water line underground to our property near the back of court 3. For ultimate utility, we would have to run a water line underground to the front of our property near the pavilion. The cost to tap into Artesian's line and establish a water pit would be $2000. To run a line to our property would be $3000-7000 depending on where we wanted the line to stop. In addition, the line would have to be shut down and blown dry by a plumber each fall and reopened each spring. We believe the $5000-9000 cost is excessive and we would have to pay a $20 monthly water fee plus usage.
SECURITY Priority D
Security has been a concern in the past but seems to have diminished in recent years. A "game camera" would record all movement in the pavilion area and would cost about several hundred dollars depending on functionality. It would become the responsibility of someone to monitor the pictures taken and change batteries unless electricity was available.
FENCING Priority D
Our fencing was reviewed by Ruppert Fence Company (the company that installed our gate between the front and back courts. Ruppert found our fence to be in very good condition overall. Bill told us minor cosmetic upgrades (ie. replace the top rail around the courts) could be made and a post or two might be straightened but no immediate changes were recommended.
GROUNDS ENHANCEMENTS Priority D -
Grounds enhancements were discussed. These included outlining our gravel path from the parking lot with 6x6 treated timbers. Estimated cost $1500-2000. lnstall pavers to provide a walkway to the courts from the parking area at a cost of about $2000.
PARKING LOT Priority D -
Our parking lot appears to be a bit worn; to remove the grass sod and replace it with 2 inches of gravel plus put a top coat of gravel on the remainder of our parking lot would cost about $6700. No need to do anything at this time.
Perhaps a Marketing Committee should be formed once Sandi becomes President (she has been a one person marketing committee for some years as the Membership Chair) to continue to explore opportunities to expand membership. Our last overt marketing effort resulted in more than 20 new members (equity, seasonal, associate). For example, we could offer an opportunity to our existing membership whereby if someone brings in a new member, the existing member would receive a reduction in their dues for the next year. There are undoubtedly many such ideas that might be explored.
A careful analysis of our spending patterns over the last five years shows consistent spending in most areas (normally our spending has been about equal to our income). The only spending variables are Member Refunds, Court Maintenance, Court Repairs, Club Renovations and Improvements. Our Court Maintenance should be normal for the next few years - gasoline, rollers, brooms, etc. being the major expenses. Similarly, Court Repair should be zero unless there is a large item for Courts 3 & 4. So it is possible the Club will spend less than the amount that is typically budgeted in some categories. We spent more than usual on member refunds in 2016 and fewer are anticipated for 2017 so that may also add to a reserve. If we carefully spend in the Court categories and refunds, we have the potential for adding several thousand dollars to reserves annually to cover the cost of the items listed in this report. While depreciation, tax loss carry forward and other factors will change our tax liability from year to year, we should expect negative tax consequences over time as we build our reserves.
We believe we can manage our maintenance and some cosmetic needs through judicious spending and keeping a careful eye on needs vs. wants.