September 14, 2017
CA FY 19/FY20 Budget Requests
Submitted by the Oakland Mills Board of Directors
Good evening, I’m Jonathan Edelson the Chairman of the Oakland Mills Board of Directors. Thank you for the opportunity to present Oakland Mills FY 19 and FY 20 budget requests. The following requests were discussed and approved by the Oakland Mills Board of Directors at the August 22, 2017 board meeting. We ask your consideration of each request and thank you in advance for your time and deliberation during the budget process.
Items under each category are listed in priority order.
THE OTHER BARN
1) Second Level Restroom
The Oakland Mills Board of Directors continues to have serious concerns about the lack of a second floor restroom. The lack of a restroom on the second floor is an ADA issue. Guests who require use of the handicap lift must wait for an escort to take them downstairs on the lift to use the restroom. Imagine the humiliation that this causes. The lack of a second floor restroom adversely impacts our guests as well as our ability to rent the Loft. It is our understanding that CA will address the feasibility of a second floor restroom when the new handicap lift is installed. We recommend that this be a priority as soon as the new lift is installed in January, 2018.
2) Replacement Floor Covering in the Loft
Despite the fact that the carpet in The Loft was installed two years ago, it is in terrible condition from the extremely high volume of guests that use The Loft each weekend. We have had the carpet cleaned frequently but, as with most carpet stains, the stains and dirt reappear after cleaning. There are large dark spots covering the entire carpeted area. The condition of the carpet is deplorable and the first thing that potential renters comment on when we show the facility. Despite continuous cleaning, we are certain that the foul odor in the room is attributed to the lack of proper ventilation and the odors and dirt that are trapped in the carpet. There is no doubt that this deters people from renting the facility, so this costs us in both lost rental revenue and frequent cleaning fees. We also have a concern about the potential health risks associated with the stained and soiled carpet.
When the building was renovated 9 years ago, and again when the carpet was replaced 2 years ago, we asked to have non-carpet floor covering installed throughout the entire room. These requests were denied. We now are convinced that the decision to carpet was the wrong decision.
We request replacement of the Carpet in The Loft with a non-carpet product, preferably something sustainable, that has been proven to be durable in high-traffic areas.
3) Dumbwaiter Replacement
The dumbwaiter has broken down repeatedly and without warning since 2015. Our service records reveal 16 service calls since January 2016; each call was because the unit failed to operate. The unit has failed during rental events, necessitating emergency weekend service calls. This causes an extreme inconvenience for renters, leaving them no choice but to carry heavy loads of food, beverages, and catering goods between two levels, up and down a staircase. We have incurred $2,500 in costs for repairs and routine maintenance between January 2016 and April 2017 and are awaiting invoices for service repairs between May and August 2017. We expect the total in maintenance and repairs for the past 18 months to be close to $4,500 due to the nature of the repairs.
Based on the repeated dumbwaiter failures, we request that the unit be replaced as early in FY19 as possible. We submitted a spreadsheet of service calls and costs to Ms. Dembner along with our budget requests.
4) Security System Upgrades – Additional Cameras, Upgraded Cameras and new DVR
The safety and security of our patrons and staff is of utmost importance. On several occasions over the past few years we needed to review video footage from rental events at The Other Barn, looking at both interior and exterior footage. After reviewing the footage we realize that the most utilized public space in the facility, the Loft, is not adequately covered by the 2 existing cameras in the room. An additional camera in the center of the Loft is necessary to cover the center of room which includes the dance floor. A second interior camera for the silo staircase is warranted. The silo is a completely enclosed area. It is easy for individuals to enter the building and walk up to the second floor unnoticed. On the exterior of the building there is no camera located outside at the rear of the building. A camera at that location would capture the CA parking lot behind The Other Barn. This lot is used by those attending events at the Other Barn and, unfortunately, a place that attracts loitering. The additional cameras, in the Loft, the Silo staircase, and rear exterior, will provide greater visual coverage and monitoring and increase our ability to view footage of almost every public area both inside and outside of the facility.
5) Replacement HVAC Units in the Loft
The recent assessment study of the Other Barn indicates the necessity to replace the HVAC units. According to the CA HVAC replacement schedule, the units are not scheduled for replacement until FY21. We request that the replacement be moved up to FY19/FY20. Prior to the replacement, we’d like an evaluation of the existing ventilation configuration in The Loft.
Currently there are vents on only one side of the large room; however, in our opinion, the airflow is insufficient to either cool or heat both sides of the room.
6) Replacement Rubberized Carpet for the Silo Staircase and the Rear Staircase
Both sets of stair carpet are worn and in need of replacement—not surprising since the “rubber carpet” is now almost 10 years old. While we are pleased with the type of rubberized tread used, the current tread is wearing out and should be replaced before it begins to tear from heavy usage.
7) Replacement Ceiling Lights in the Loft
We would like the ceiling light fixtures in The Loft either retrofitted to accommodate LED bulbs or replaced with LED lighting. Our current fixtures are not LED, so bulbs frequently go out.
We spend almost $150 each time we need light bulbs replaced because of the height of the ceiling and the need for two construction crew members to make the service call. Replacement with LED bulbs would be energy efficient and cut down on our bulb replacement costs.
8) Carpet for the Offices at the Other Barn
Office carpet has not been replaced for close to 20 years and is extremely worn and in need of replacement.
TALBOTT SPRINGS NEIGHBORHOOD CENTER
Renovation of the two restrooms.
The restrooms are outdated and not ADA accessible.
We request that at least one of the restrooms be ADA accessible. Toilets and sinks in each restroom need to be replaced, and all partitions located inside the restrooms should be removed and replaced to accommodate ADA accessibility.
PROPERTY STANDARDS EVALUATOR
Request funding for a Property Standards Evaluator.
The Oakland Mills Board of Directors requested funding for a Property Standards Evaluator (PSE) for FY18 and we were denied the request because FY18 was the second year of the two year budget cycle. We were told that the request would have to wait until FY19. We are once again requesting funding for a PSE. As Oakland Mills plans to celebrate its 50th birthday in 2018 we recognize that our aging housing stock is in dire need of attention. The PSE program will provide residents with a clear overview of the current condition of their property,, and the village will provide resources to homeowners as part of the evaluation process. Without support and funding from CA the village will not be able to cover the costs associated with the PSE program.
Parking Lot Sealant and Striping
The parking lot beside The Other Barn needs new parking to be sealed and all markings, including stripes and “Other Barn Parking Only” should be redone. There are cracks in the pavement, and all stripes and lettering have almost completely faded.
Neighborhood Center Signs
We understand that CA plans to replace entrance and neighborhood signs for all 10 villages. We have requested for the past 5 years that our neighborhood center signs be replaced due to their deteriorating condition.
The OM Board supports replacement of signs for all ten villages within a 3-year timeframe rather than the proposed 10-year timeframe. Given the deteriorated condition of the neighborhood center signs, we’d ask that priority be given to replacing all Oakland Mills signs and that CA provide a presentation to the village board regarding the design process for the new signs.
The Board appreciates the current renovations to the ice rink but continues to advocate for a state-of-the-art Ice Rink to accommodate Columbia and Howard County users. Currently these ice hockey teams and skaters spend more money outside of the County than at the CA Ice Rink. Improvements to the ice rink will attract additional users and revenue for CA and support the revitalization of Oakland Mills.
ASSESSMENT SHARE FORMULA
The Oakland Mills Board of Directors submitted our recommendations to the Proposed Assessment Share Formula to the Assessment Share Committee