January 19, 2021
By Lee Shlafer
Welcome to the first OVCA meeting of 2021. I hope the holiday season, despite all the restrictions that encumbered us, was an enjoyable one for Villagers. As we trudge through what I have taken to calling “blurrdays,” Monday merging into Tuesday and so on through the week, I know that the matter of opening our facilities is uppermost on the minds of many residents.
That topic is not on the agenda this evening because it is premature but that does not mean that it is not being discussed. We are watching the roll out of the vaccine and following the Center for Disease Control (CDC) and State of Connecticut announcements. Fred will speak later about some steps that have been taken with respect to the clubhouses and he and Mark have been conferring about protocols that will need to be followed. I am assured by Fred that everything possible that can be done to prepare to open our amenities is taking place. The March OVCA meeting will have this issue on the agenda and the Board members will evaluate Oronoque’s situation and related COVID factors as they consider the appropriate action to take.
To help residents who have problems registering for the vaccine, we have collected a group of volunteers who are willing to provide assistance to those who run into snags with the registration process. An eblast will go out shortly, providing names and phone numbers, and they will also be listed on OVTV, Channel 591.
As we are now past mid-January, the budget process for the next fiscal year will soon begin. Ken Colman, treasurer, will speak about the budget schedule. Fred, Mark and Diane Roche, the Association’s accountant, will have their first presentation to the Finance Committee ready for an early April review.
I am pleased to report that the Employee Appreciation Fund was very successful this year, despite a pandemic. Contributions to the fund amounted to $35,700 up more than 20 percent from the prior year amount of $29,000. Approximately 45 percent of the Village participated in the fund with an average contribution of about $80. Checks were distributed by Mark and Fred in December. Thank you to all our staff and thank you to the Villagers for their generous support of this fund.
I am announcing that Bob Romatzick has been appointed Chair of the By Laws Committee. The position he left on the Compliance Committee has been filled by Irene Sanzone. Thank you to Bob and Irene for your willingness to serve this community.
The Communications Committee report will speak to the work being done on the FrontSteps portal. I want only to mention that this is a priority. It appears that there will be a phased approach to introducing the portal to residents and as soon as the committee is comfortable with the process and procedures supporting the portal a date for the roll out will be established.
When I ran for the office of President last fall, there were five issues I listed as having significant importance to the Village. One of these five issues was the relationship between OV and Oronoque Country Club (OCC). I stated that I would create an ad hoc committee to study, develop and brainstorm different options and strategies to be considered that addressed our concerns with OCC.
That committee was formed and has been working since last October on this subject. The results of their efforts will be reported in the not-too-distant future, although an exact date has not been set. In the meantime, the matter of a survey of the OCC driving range has arisen. I would like to offer some clarifying comments about this survey. The driving range is on a parcel of land owned by the golf club. This parcel is not included in the covenants which exist between Oronoque Village and OCC and apply to all other OCC property. The survey is being done to determine the viability of that land for development. The cost of the survey is being borne by Oronoque Village. OVTD is contributing $8,700 or 40 percent and OVCA is contributing $13,050 or 60 percent of the cost which is the typical allocation of expenses shared by the two governing bodies. OVCA purchasing rules, as revised by the Board of Directors in October 2014 and based on a motion passed at that time, permit the Executive Director to spend up to $25,000 without board approval. This is why OVCA, unlike the Tax District, does not need to vote on this expenditure, the Executive Director has the authority to spend this amount.
Oronoque Village is financing the survey as part of a plan to work with a developer to build residences on that land. In order for the developer to invest time and money in this project, OV consented to arrange for and pay for the survey. The survey results will be evaluated by the developer and if their conditions for building are met, the developer will proceed with negotiations with OCC. At this time there are no written agreements among any of the parties; this project is in a very preliminary stage. Should a project be undertaken, the infrastructure concerns expressed by the Tax District will be addressed by the developer as they go through the planning and zoning process with the Town of Stratford.
I hope this information helps residents understand the intent and purpose of this survey.
The committee is inviting more contributions to The Villager from residents. Bruce Pollock, a committee member, has been contacting different people, groups and districts to ask for material such as movie or book reviews, travel stories, humor, etc. Bruce is willing to help with any concerns residents might have about writing their content. Also, relating to The Villager, a Dining In column is being added once a month, which will feature recipes that are contributed by residents. This was suggested by Ulla Adema since we are doing so much less dining out during these winter months.
There has been a significant effort made to ready the FrontSteps portal for introduction to the community. Peter Marcato and Mary W. von Ziegesar have been working on this continuously and the effort now is to develop procedures on the very basic steps, such as “How To Register” and use the most fundamental capabilities of the system. This project is of the highest priority.
The issue of air quality in the clubhouses was discussed at the committee’s December meeting. It was learned that after testing, the HVAC systems do not meet the standard for air quality. The Executive Director stated that he would investigate ways to remedy this problem. In his comments, the Executive Director explained that new equipment has been purchased and will be installed that will achieve the necessary air-quality standards as well as allow for more efficient heating and cooling of both clubhouses.
The Association has purchased six high-quality microphones that can be used at either clubhouse. These should be delivered sometime in late February or in March.
Maintenance Representatives reported on the number of calls they received regarding snow-removal issues. Mark Rhatigan explained that one of the challenges was the absence of four key snowplow staff members. Some of those filling in were inexperienced with the layout of the district, thus the smoothness of the snow- removal process was affected. All snow was successfully cleared by the end of the seventh day.
Jackie Freeman, chairperson of the committee, requested that residents contact their Maintenance Representative when they have questions about a snow-removal issue rather than calling the Maintenance Office. It is a much more effective way to have problems solved.
The leaf-removal program resumed once the snow removal was completed. One of the challenges faced by maintenance staff is the dryness of the leaves which crumble when being removed, making the staff’s job more difficult.
The committee voted to accept Larry Hartley as vice-chairperson and Renee Zinn as secretary of the Maintenance Committee.
Social Activities Committee:
SAC Chair Mary Ann Weaver explained that SAC has been doing virtual meetings since November 2020. A virtual SAC musical event was held on Dec. 20 and hosted by Chris Albino. A virtual trivia event is scheduled for Jan. 23 and a SAC Singing Telegram (by phone) is planned for Feb. 14. In March, “A Virtual Pandemic Pandemonium” will be hosted by Joyce Saltman.
It was reported that SAC has distributed 320 Welcome Packets since June 2016. They continue to receive positive feedback from new residents.
The SAC Chair has been involved in a roundtable meeting with Heritage Village and Oxford Green Condominiums, which will continue to be held monthly. The intent is to share ideas for virtual and other activities that SAC can present to the community during this pandemic winter and beyond.
Oronoque Country Club Liaison:
Please refer to the article that appears in the Feb. 1 issue of The Villager for a full report by the OCC Liaison.
SAC invites you to participate in a virtual TRIVIA NIGHT on Saturday, January 23, at 5 p.m.
This is a night of fun and friendly competition! There will be no prizes but there will be lots of entertainment! BYOB and food at your own home!
To join this event, please click on the link below:
Meeting ID: 845 1747 1949
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The Oronoque Tax District will hold its scheduled quarterly meeting on Tuesday, January 26, 2021.
The meeting will be conducted via “Zoom” video or phone conference due to the Covid emergency. It will be held at 4 p.m. All residents are invited to attend.
The agenda for this meeting is:
Consideration of Minutes from Previous Meeting
Executive Director’s Report – Fred Rodriguez
Committee Reports – Roads, Security and Trees, Finance
Old Business – Proposed Road Signage Standards and Recommendations for Aesthetics Improvement
New Business – To consider amending Ordinance 2017.10 – Nominations for OVTD Board of Directors.
Note: Open and Closing Forum questions may be submitted in writing and placed in the North Clubhouse payment slot or submitted by email to Linda Arvers at LArvers@oronoquevillage.com. Open Forum questions should be submitted by Monday, January 25, at noon. Closing Forum questions should be submitted by Friday, January 29, at noon.
To Join the Zoom Meeting, please click on the link below:
Meeting ID: 831 5077 3808
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REPORT ON THE OVTD SPECIAL MEETING OF JANUARY 7, 2021
By Linda Libertino
This was our fourth teleconference/video OVTD meeting. Due to the CORONA-19 virus, we are unable to have a safe in-person meeting.
The agenda for this meeting was limited to considering a proposal to fund a proportional share of the expenses to perform a land survey involving the Oronoque Country Club (OCC) driving range and nearby area. OVTD would pay 40 percent — or up to $8,700 — of the cost for this survey. OVCA will pay the balance. The survey includes a report on the viability of the property’s building potential.
The survey was recommended by our Executive Director Fred Rodriguez and also by OVCA’s recently formed Oronoque County Club Ad Hoc Committee. This parcel of land is owned by our neighbor, Oronoque Country Club. It is located behind the Oronoque Maintenance Building and consists of the driving range and adjacent property bordering the driving range.
We have been informed that OCC has been experiencing financial difficulties during the past several years, and it may be considering various options for the use of the driving range and adjacent land. That is part of the reason why Oronoque Village is paying for the cost of the survey, as we want to get it done as soon as possible so that we can understand whether alternate uses of the land are possible.
The survey will include the drainage and infrastructure issues that might be of concern to us, and how the Tax District might have to be involved if the land is ever considered for some type of development.
This was a business decision and not a legal decision. Considering OVTD’s responsibilities to maintain and care for the integrity of Oronoque Village’s infrastructure, our historical problems with water runoff from golf course land infiltrating various areas of the Village, and the expenses incurred by the Tax District in addressing these water runoff problems, the TD Board felt it was important to be proactive versus reactive regarding the Golf Club.
Now is the time for prudent planning. With the survey being done now, we can be better prepared for the future. The motion to fund up to $8,700 of the survey cost was made and seconded, and passed unanimously.
COVID VACCINE UPDATES
The following is the latest COVID-19 vaccine information — provided by the Town of Stratford City Manager — following our meeting earlier today. This is the data provided to Stratford by the Office of Governor Ned Lamont.
* #5 in terms of those vaccinated per capita about 5% of population has gotten 1st vaccine
* A total of 171,035 vaccines have been administered with 154,994 1st doses administered and 16,041 2nd doses administered
* The United States Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) gave 50,000 extra doses
* General population can expect to receive the vaccine sometime in the summer and the hope is to have good population coverage by the fall.
* Expecting more clarity after the Presidential administration officially transitions next week
* Will start to see vaccines become available at retail and community pharmacies in the coming weeks
* Expecting Johnson & Johnson vaccine will be out in a few weeks
* Biden transition is considering releasing 2nd doses earlier
The Statewide VAMS (Vaccine Administration Management System) is active (https://portal.ct.gov/Coronavirus/COVID-19-Vaccinations or the phone assistance contact: 877-918-2224.) for scheduling of vaccination appointments for Groups 1A (essential workers) and 1B (Individuals of age 75 and above).
Please note that the distribution of the vaccines to these centers is statewide and not restricted to any specific Town or Municipality; any eligible individual can schedule a vaccination appointment at any available facility anywhere in the state.
The Town informed us that they were scheduled to receive 600 weekly doses of the vaccine from the State, but that the number has been running 100-150 doses, which is unfortunate. The recommendation, at this juncture, is for individuals to self-administer the process rather than wait for the Town.
In addition, the consensus is that retail distributors (i.e., CVS, Walgreens, etc.) and other Healthcare Provider Management groups will have vaccine availability sometime in the spring and that any distribution centers that are established will be open to all residents of the state.
Leaf removal is underway!
For those Villagers who wish to rake their own leaves, the Maintenance Department asks that the leaves be placed in paper bags, recycling bags or loose on the curbside area. We will not accept plastic bags as this adds to our disposal costs. Please be sure that this is done for Monday morning curbside only.
Important: Please remove and store your seasonal yard ornaments; our maintenance crews cannot see them when they are covered with leaves.
Below is a schedule of upcoming OVCA & OVTD Board Meetings (to be held virtually until further notice). Agendas will be distributed to residents electronically and posted on the website 5 days in advance of each meeting.
Note: The OVTD Board meets quarterly at 4 p.m. The OVCA Board meets on the third Tuesday of each month at 7 p.m. (with the exception of February and December when meetings do not occur).
Upcoming Board Meetings
|2020-2021 OVCA Board Meeting Dates||2021 OVTD Board Meeting Dates|
|November 17. 2020||January 26, 2021|
|January 19, 2021||April 27, 2021|
|March 16, 2021||May 25, 2021 – Annual Meeting|
|April 20, 2021|
|May 18, 2021|
|June 22, 2021|
|July 20, 2021|
|August 17, 2021|
|September 21, 2021 Annual Meeting|
|October 19, 2021|
|November 16, 2021|
In consideration of the recent health concerns related to COVID-19, and following the current best practices in place, we are temporarily closing the Clubhouse facilities to residents as of Monday March 16, 2020; our Business Office and Facilities Department will remain operational during this period.
We advise residents to direct your inquiries to OV staff members via telephone or email to restrict physical contact as a precautionary measure:
Business Office: (203) 377-5313 or email@example.com
Maintenance Office: (203) 375-8853 or firstname.lastname@example.org
We realize that this significant inconvenience is problematic for many of our Villagers. However, we believe that it’s best to err on the side of caution, especially during this time period.
We want to reiterate that if you have concerns of any specific nature, albeit your own health worries or the anxiety of possible exposure, you should follow the recommendations issued by the Center for Disease Control.
We will continue to monitor the circumstances related to this situation and will advise you accordingly as information becomes available.
We hope that this measure will be short-lived so that we can return to our standard operations in the Village.
In the interim, we also ask that you continue to take the necessary precautions and obtain information that is currently provided by local, state and federal agencies.
We have included some helpful links below.
2021 Employee Holidays
New Year’s Day, Friday, January 1
Presidents’ Day, Monday, February 15
Good Friday, April 2
Memorial Day, Monday, May 31
Independence Day, Monday, July 5
Labor Day, Monday, September 6
Columbus Day, Monday, October 11
Thanksgiving, Thursday & Friday, November 25 & 26
Christmas, Friday, December 24
The library at NCB houses more than novels, biographies, puzzles and paperbacks. It is the location of the stately Oronoque Village “In Tribute” Book, which sits on a pedestal against the far right wall. The book has a solemn purpose: it recognizes treasured residents who have passed away.
The In Tribute Book was initiated in 2012 by the Memorial Plaque Committee, consisting of Mel Holson, Linda Libertino, Jim Manzolli, Barbara Minoff, Loretta Sills and John Staley. This ad hoc committee was charged with creating a way in which departed residents can be publicly honored by their loved ones.
Inclusion in the In Tribute Book requires a contribution of $250 or more to Oronoque Village. Contributors are allowed one page in the book to include photos and/or text honoring their deceased loved ones.
For more information on the In Tribute Book, please email email@example.com or call the Business Office at 203-377-5313, ext. 3.
Currently, the book recognizes:
Laura (Schachter) Diamond
The Villager magazine is published on the 1st and 15th of each month, when possible. Below are the scheduled dates of publication and the issue deadlines. These dates are subject to change.
ISSUE DATES DEADLINE DATE (Deadlines are at noon on each date below)
Jan. 4 Dec. 17
Jan. 15 Jan 4
Feb 1 Jan 19
Feb. 16 Feb 2
March 1 Feb 16
March 15 March 2
April 1 March 19
April 15 April 1
May 3 April 20
May 17 May 4
June 1 May 18
June 15 June 1
July 1 June 18
July 15 July 2
Aug. 2 July 20
Aug. 16 Aug. 3
Sept. 1 Aug. 19
Sept. 15 Sept. 2
Oct. 1 Sept. 20
Oct. 15 Oct. 1
Nov. 1 Oct. 19
Nov. 15 Nov. 2
Dec. 1 Nov. 16
Dec. 15 Dec. 2
Kathleen Connery, 141B Bolbone Lane
Elizabeth Ann Lane, 501B Pawnee Lane
John Nannariello, 498B Niantic Lane
Michael Roth, 53A Blackhawk Lane
Richard and Matthew Scalzo, 224B Agawam Drive
Barbara Scire, 271B South Trail
Mariellen Shea. 226A South Trail
Trash & Recycling Collection Holiday Pickup Schedule for 2021:
New Year’s Day, Friday, January 1 – No change in pickup schedule
Memorial Day, Monday, May 31 – Pickup will occur on Thursday, June 3
Independence Day, Friday, July 2 – No change in pickup schedule
Labor Day, Monday, September 6 – Pickup will occur on Thursday, September 9
Thanksgiving, Thursday, November 25 – No change in pickup schedule
Christmas, Friday, December 24 – No change in pickup schedule
Oronoque Village allows its residents to own pets, with a limit of one pet per unit. However, there are specific guidelines that pet owners must follow. Below is a clarification of the Village rules that must be followed by dog owners.
1. One pet is permitted per unit.
2. Pets must be leashed when outside.
3. Pet waste must be picked up.
4. Pets may not be left unattended when outside.
5. Pet owners must maintain control of their pets.
6. Pets are not permitted to cause an ongoing disturbance.
7. Pets (excluding properly identified service dogs) are not permitted in the clubhouses, swimming pools, gym, racquet sports courts or other facilities.
8. Pets (animals) may not be raised or bred in or out of any unit in the Village.
9. Cats may not be let out to roam.
10. Pet owners must not permit dogs to walk on plants and should be mindful of other residents’ privacy when walking near units.
1. Residents who have issues with pet behavior or with animal cruelty should contact the Town of Stratford Animal Control Department. Residents should also alert the Business Office that this action has been taken.
2. Dog owners who use expandable leashes should insure that their pet does not cause a problem to an oncoming vehicle or pedestrian.