A Monthly Message From the OVCA President

November 17, 2020 Report

Good evening and welcome to the November OVCA Board of Directors meeting. To begin, I want to mention changes to two standing committees. Jackie Freeman has been elected chair of the Maintenance Committee and Larry Hartley is vice chair. Ken Block, who had been the elected chair, found it necessary to step down from that position. Thank you to Jackie and Larry for your willingness to head up this important group and enormous thanks to Ken Block for his years of providing steady and wise leadership of the Maintenance Committee. Mary Ann Weaver has been elected chair of the Social Activities Committee. This is a very challenging time for that organization given our current situation, however, any efforts that committee members can make to develop “pandemic-possible” social activities will be appreciated. A very big thank you from the entire board to Barbara Minoff, who has done an outstanding job leading SAC these last few years.

There will be updates this evening from some committee chairs about their activity on matters of importance to all residents. We are in the early stages of some of these issues, however, I want to mention how impressed and encouraged I am by the enthusiasm and genuine interest displayed by the committee members who are tackling these projects.

There are two people I would like to acknowledge tonight: Ray Vermette and Barbara Stewart for their efforts to help this community be engaged and entertained by the art world. At a time when diversions are eagerly sought, their creative solution to holding an art exhibit by making it available on Channel 591 was brilliant. It is a way for all of us to enjoy the talents of our neighbors in a safe and comfortable manner. Also, thanks to Peter Feick for his photographic assistance and to Carol King for making it happen on 591. If you haven’t watched the virtual art exhibit, grab a cup of coffee, tea or whatever, sit down and enjoy. It is lovely. Thank you to all the artists who participated.

This year I hope all residents will choose to donate to the Employee Appreciation Fund. I was struck by the thoughtfulness of a couple who are longtime residents of the Village and have been beset with some serious health issues these last several months. They asked me if I could pick up a check to be dropped off in the payment slot at the North Clubhouse. With all the concerns they have had, they did not forget about their once-a-year opportunity to say “thank you” to our staff. This is the way that we can all say thank you; a contribution to this fund, one time a year, recognizes all of the people dedicated to helping us, and who keep our Village safe and beautiful. Please consider giving if you have not already done so.

On the subject of giving, the Sterling House Toy Drive is actively seeking donations of toys. The collection box is at the North Clubhouse. Your contribution will help brighten a child’s Christmas.

Our Executive Director, Fred Rodriguez, confirmed in his comments that the Altice contract has been signed and is effective Dec. 1, 2020. The rate currently in our OVCA monthly fee of $64.36 will remain in effect until Dec. 1, 2022. The Internet speed will increase from 100Mps to 200Mps as of Dec. 1, 2020.   Should a resident be paying for increased Internet speed, Optimum should be contacted to have the charge canceled.

Fred also reported that air-quality testing for both clubhouses has been completed. Those results are being evaluated by Fred and Maintenance Director Mark Rhatigan to determine what modifications need to be made to air distribution systems.

Mark Rhatigan stated that the leaf removal process is underway and is close to being on schedule. He also mentioned that UI expects to complete Section 7 (Agawam area) by Nov. 30. Sections 8 and 9, weather permitting, are targeted to be done by the end of December. Beginning in April 2021, UI will start the next phase, which is the line changeover.

In his Architectural Committee report, Jim Manzolli stated the subject of propane heaters had been reviewed. Based on information from our insurance carrier and the fire marshal, these heaters may not be used on decks. The Architectural Committee will develop a standard for these heaters to be considered at the January meeting.

Mary W. von Ziegesar announced that the following people have joined the Communications Committee: Peter Marcato, Jerry Reece, Sarah Bodenheimer and Bruce Pollock. Tina Vermette and Judy Waldeyer remain on the committee. Mary thanked Jeanette Caron, Judith Lessler and Wendy Swain for their contributions to the previous committee. The focus of the group’s work is the Villager, the web portal and communications with new residents.

Insurance Committee Chair Bob Grosso stated there have been no property or general liability claims through the first four months of the fiscal year. He thanked Villagers for their continued diligence. He also reported that People’s United Bank finalized the sale of the insurance company and our broker is now Assured Partners. The same team that serviced our account for People’s Insurance continues to service our account under this new firm.

In her report, Jackie Freeman said Maintenance Reps have been asked to contact their District Reps prior to scheduled Maintenance Meetings to learn if there are any issues that need to be addressed. Each Maintenance Rep has the opportunity to bring forward any matters of concern from their district.

Peter Feick, speaking for the Racquet Sports Committee, said all of the winterizing of the courts has been completed and windscreens will be removed shortly.

SAC Chair Mary Ann Weaver announced that SAC held a virtual meeting so representatives could meet one another. Due to the pandemic, activities have been at a standstill, but they are looking for possible virtual events that would provide entertainment for the Village.

The Oronoque Country Club liaison, Mim Schreck, said the golf course plans to remain open as long as there is no snow. They are closed on Monday for maintenance. The resurgence of golf across the country is benefiting OCC. The Grill Room is open Wednesday through Sunday from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. It is suggested that Villagers call ahead to be sure the schedule has not changed. Announcements about OCC will appear on OVTV Channel 591 and by Eblast if appropriate.

A report from the OCC Ad Hoc Committee was given by Bill Tanski. The first meeting of that committee was held on Nov.13. All members, as well as Fred Rodriguez and OCC General Manager Tommy Miller, attended. The purpose of the committee is to ensure that the golf course surrounds our community for years to come. Different options, which are in a concept stage, to ensure the viability of the country club were discussed. Tommy Miller indicated that the parent company, CBIGG, is open to hearing all reasonable proposals.

Finally, this year is not your typical Thanksgiving. It is easy to bemoan what we don’t have. There may be fewer guests at our table, no Macy’s Parade to watch while the turkey roasts, or no trip to the family member who usually hosts the feast. Let’s not let that be our focus, rather, possibly more than ever, we need to be grateful for what we do have. The effort by so many people to care for those who have become ill, neighbors who have helped neighbors, right here at Oronoque Village, and all those who are working so hard to find a way to beat this virus. I am appreciative of being part of this community and for my family and friends and that is my wish for all residents and employees. Please have a very safe, happy and healthy Thanksgiving.