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Funding prioritized for new pickleball courts

By Sam Richards
Staff writer

(Thursday, March 30) Following the recommendation of its Finance Committee, the GRF Board on Thursday voted to prioritize funding for the new pickleball courts, with its projected costs rising for various reasons.

The Board voted 8-0, with Jill Alley absent, to defer, if necessary, planned spending of approximately $806,000 on other already-approved projects, highlighted by major parts of a golf courses program designed to save water (about $220,000), plus deferral of Access Control Phase III, which will include the pedestrian gates at the main entrance ($200,000), Dollar Clubhouse patio improvements ($175,000) and water reclamation efforts ($158,000).

The estimated costs for the pickleball courts and their structure adjacent to the Event Center and the Dollar Clubhouse is $2.8 million, about $800,000 more than originally budgeted for. The costs went up largely because of measures taken to make play as quiet as possible for residents and others nearby.

“This will be a facility that will be here for the long haul,” GRF General Manager Jeff Matheson told the Board. “We want it to be a good neighbor.”

GRF officials also had been hoping to save money by integrating a previously planned solar panel installation with the pickleball structure, but tax credit requirements require the solar panel facility be its own standalone entity.

The deferred projects likely will now have to wait to begin until 2024.

Paying for storm damages

The GRF Board voted unanimously on Thursday to pay up to $329,705 for “open space storm damage repairs” following the heavy rains and fierce winds that created havoc in Rossmoor during the final week of 2022.

While the GRF Finance Committee had recommended commissioning Silicon Valley Paving Inc., a familiar contractor to GRF officials, to do the work, GRF Board President Dwight Walker suggested it would be appropriate to solicit bids for “a non-budgeted expenditure of this magnitude,” and the three bids are part of the formal approval.

Requiring attention have been landslides off Singingwood Court, Oakmont Drive, Skycrest Drive and a major one that has impacted the third hole on the Dollar golf course), a retaining wall, sections of concrete gutters and a drainage pipe ‘headwall.”

The money will come from the GRF operating fund.

This action also was recommended by the GRF Finance Committee, whose members had discussed the matter three days earlier.

Medical Center update

Matheson said the GRF Board had decided to pull its former John Muir Health medical center building at 1220 Rossmoor Parkway off the market, citing concerns over the current economic environment, most notably high interest rates that may deter buyers.

This property has been for sale since 2019, when John Muir ended operations there. One prospective buyer had been in escrow but couldn’t come up with sufficient financing.

Combined committees

The Board on Thursday also approved of the merger of two GRF committees – the Aquatics Advisory Committee and the Fitness Advisory Committees – under one new common charter.
The FCAC and AAC discussed the option of combining the two advisory committees during their January meetings. Both committees voted to recommend to the Policy Committee that they be combined.
The new combined committee, with five to seven members, is expected to have its first meeting in July.

Deep dive

The Board heard a presentation by Sofia Genove, GRF’s business operations manager, about the Member Records Department as part of the Board’s regular “Deep Dive” presentations about Rossmoor’s various employee departments.

Member Records – Genove oversees three coordinators, Kim Von Striver, Karen Kruth and Irina Filatova – serves as the “general record-keeper of all resident information and Mutual documents,” updating residents’ emergency contact information, processing manor leases, adding and removing names from the resident database system; activating and de-activating the “radio frequency identification” tags that allow cars and trucks to freely enter Rossmoor’s main gate; and keeping tabs on co-occupants, long-term live-in employees (including caregivers) and long-term houseguests of manor owners.

Recruiting for managers

Also on Thursday, the Board voted to spend almost $95,000 to search for candidates to fill to open (or soon to open) spots on the GRF senior managers’ team.

Thursday’s action concerning Lena Search’s efforts to help Rossmoor find a new chief financial officer was a ratification of an earlier electronic vote among Board members. Joel Lesser, GRF’s CFO for the past two years, is leaving as of this week, and Thursday was his final Board meeting.

The Board also approved paying Adaman, Inc. up to $44,500 to do a “target search” for a new director of Mutual operations, to succeed Paul Donner, who is set to retire at the end of July.