Volunteers from the Geist Recreational Facility Committee (“Geist Rec”) working to save the Geist Clubhouse presented their argument last night for purchasing the 10+ acre amenity and bringing it under the GHPOA umbrella. Jim Felli led the presentation and was accompanied by approximately 8 other core committee members.
Felli argued that the declining enrollment at the Clubhouse over the last 4 years was due to the increase in price and reduction of services. When the GHPOA board originally looked at the purchase in 2007, the primary objections cited by the Clubhouse due diligence subcommittee were the operating losses and a low 4.5% participation rate by GHPOA residents.
Proponents foresee a Geist Harbours Community Center, purchased through a one-time special assessment to all GHPOA residents, and subsidized annually by a dues increase somewhere around $58 per household. Outside memberships could be sold to residents in the greater Geist community, including the Marina Limited Partnership who will continue to market the facility as an area amenity.
Two operating models were presented: One of a full membership model with an across the board dues increase and another based on a user fee model where only those that elected to purchase an annual membership would participate with subsidies coming from a smaller dues increase. In the examples shown, GHPOA dues would increase $70 per household per year under the full membership model versus a dues increase of $25-$50 per year under the usage model with a $125-$150 per year membership fee.
Petitions were circulated by Geist Rec volunteers to show resident support for the clubhouse purchase. Petitioners were supporting “an increase in (my) association dues to acquire this asset” and calling for a special meeting of the residents in the event the GHPOA board does not begin negotiations to purchase the facilities. In all, 719 petitions were signed with a majority of residents supporting the purchase from Admirals Sound, Admirals Woods, Crossing South, and Feather Cove III. (Note: There are 2,350 homes in GHPOA)
Opponents to the purchase, Ron Tuthill and Jim Sweeden of Feather Cove I, spoke briefly after the presentation. In short, they argue that the Geist Clubhouse has little or no impact on their property values given their distant proximity to the facility. When asked, they were not opposed to polling the entire GHPOA membership but predicted that their sentiments would prevail in Feather Cove I, Masthead and Beam Reach which are farthest from the Clubhouse.
Afterwards, GHPOA board members discussed their options and agreed to solicit feedback from their constituents by way of a letter and return proxy form indicating a “yes” or “no” vote on the purchase. A smaller subcommittee volunteered to draft the correspondence which will be presented at the next GHPOA board meeting for approval on December 15th.