BARSTOW HEIGHTS COMMUNITY SERVICES DISTRICT
Monday, February 22nd, 2016
President Jacobs called the meeting to order at 6:00 PM and Director Stapp led the group in the flag salute. Directors Jacobs, Stapp, Wilkey, and Hayhurst were all present. Director Schendel was expected to arrive late. There were no guests in attendance.
The Consent Items were reviewed. Director Stapp motioned to accept the Minutes of the January 25th, 2016 Meeting, along with the Financial Reports for January of 2016 as presented. Director Wilkey seconded the motion. The motion carried unanimously.
The Correspondence file was offered for review. President Jacobs announced one item, a letter from LAFCO seeking an “alternate public member,” for their Board. The Secretary will post the notice outside on the Bulletin Board. Director Schendel arrived and entered the meeting at 6:05 PM.
Barstow Heights Park was addressed. The Safety Check List from the City was reviewed. There were no safety or maintenance issues reported in the past month. The grass had been fertilized with Nitra King Fertilizer. President Jacobs reported that he hadn’t seen very many ground squirrels. He chased one into a hole last week and set off a gas cartridge right then, but other than that one, he hadn’t seen any others in weeks.
The Long Range Plans and an update on Bid 01-15 (one shade canopy and tables) was addressed next. President Jacobs reported that he had talked with Jerry Linebaugh again, and unfortunately no new progress had been made that he was aware of. The County and the supplier were still working together to get their product certified/approved to be installed. He hopes to have more information about progress made by next month’s meeting. The installation of shade canopies over the playground equipment was discussed briefly, and the Director’s agreed that the costs of the project were so much higher than anticipated and were not a good enough value to justify spending tax-payer money on. The secretary will file away the estimates for future reference if they decide to visit the idea again, but all agreed that the project be put on hold for now.
The planting of more trees (south west side of park) was addressed next. President Jacobs stated that this was the right time of year to be planting them, but until the new canopy is completed and in place, it will be difficult to determine the best locations where to plant them. Director Hayhurst reported that when she had visited the City recently, the groundskeepers had told her that they were really concerned about the Cottonwood trees. Most are past their life expectancy (of 30 years), have begun dying, have root balls that are above the ground, and are at risk for blowing over in the wind. They asked her to encourage the Board of Directors to consider removing and replacing them as soon as possible. After further discussion, President Jacobs suggested that he would come back next month with a sketch prepared to help the Board determine at least a few places where new trees can be planted as soon as possible (more trees near the canopy area can always be added later). Director Wilkey suggested that the Board consider spending a little more money this time to purchase more established/grown/larger trees to replace any that may need removing. They will also discuss next month whether or not planting new trees in the 15-foot easement area (just outside the fence on the west side) is a possibility.
Lastly, the Secretary reported that she was really pleased that after she had called Edison to report dim street lamps a few weeks ago, they did come and replace the light bulbs in the two street lamps (one outside the office and the other near the basketball court/restrooms) that needed them. She had also been successful at reaching them by phone to discuss the addition of a new street lamp on the east side of the basketball court. She was reassured that they will be calling her to set up a meeting time to get that project started finally. President Jacobs added that he happened to be here when the Edison worker was up in his bucket changing the bulbs, and that the worker reminded him that our security cameras are illegally mounted to their poles, so that is also something that needs fixing. The Secretary reported that Hi-Desert Alarm will be coming on Wednesday 2/24 to give an estimate/bid on a new security system and that she will be sure to ask that the bid specifies that cameras will not be mounted onto Edison’s poles.
Venner Park was addressed. The Safety Check List from the City was reviewed. There were no safety or maintenance issues reported in the past month. The grass had been fertilized with Nitra King Fertilizer. Director Stapp reported that he had recently noticed that metal caps along the top edge of the chain-link fence were cracked/broken (as if someone may have taken something heavy and intentionally crushed them) and he was concerned that the sharp edges might be a safety issue. The Secretary was directed to call Ellis Fence Company and ask them to come inspect and give an estimate to fix/replace them. If the cost is less than $200, the General Manager can give the approval to fix them right away.
The Office Building and Compound were addressed. Director Hayhurst was excited to show the Board how clean and organized the kitchen was now that she and President Jacobs had come and cleaned it out last Friday. In just one hour and a half, they had made a huge difference in how nice and clean it appeared (even the insides of the cabinets were cleaned out). She proposed that the Board consider painting the cabinets, replacing the hardware, adding new countertops, new faucet hardware, and new lighting over the sink, as well as new flooring (covered, not replaced). The Secretary was directed to go ahead and request an estimate from JDR Construction and someone else if necessary.
The Landscaping Bids from Unique Landscaping were addressed next. Both Estimate 81 (new landscaping around the office building) and Estimate 82 (new landscaping around the basketball court) were discussed in detail. Director Wilkey motioned that the Board approve Estimate 81 and hire Unique Landscaping to do the work specified outside the office building for $9,650. Director Hayhurst seconded the motion. The motion passed unanimously. Director Hayhurst motioned to approve Estimate 82 and hire Unique Landscaping to do the work specified for $26,800. President Jacobs seconded the motion. Discussion about the Estimate continued, including discussion about the additional bid from New Desert Gardens Nursery and Landscape for $27,980. Director Wilkey raised a point of order. He asked to abstain from the vote due to the fact that his daughter is married to the son of the owner of Unique Landscaping, just in case there is any potential that conflict of interest concerns be raised. He didn’t feel that there were any conflict of interest concerns with the first bid (Estimate 81), because the job was for less than $10,000 and therefore, there were no competing bids to be considered. Discussion continued on the larger Bids and not all of the Directors agreed that a “beautification project” was worth spending that much money on. Director Stapp had concerns that the two figures received were “too much on the high side”, and suggested that the District reach out (even beyond Barstow if need be), to get at least a couple more bids for the project before approving it. The Secretary was directed to try contacting a few more landscaping businesses (located in Barstow or High Desert only) to get at least two more bids for the project. Director Hayhurst reminded the board that there was already a motion on the table, so after further discussion they decided to kill the motion with a vote of 4 Nayes, 0 Ayes, and 1 Abstained (Director Wilkey).
President Jacobs presented a sketch (drawing) that he had come up with detailing the measurements of the easements and right-of-ways surrounding Barstow Heights Park. At this point, the diagram is for informational purposes only, to help the Board determine at future meetings whether adding sidewalks and curbs will be feasible. Director Schendel suggested that a DG (decomposed granite) pathway could be put in as an alternate way of beautifying the outside perimeters of the park, if sidewalk improvements that fit within the public right-of-way are not possible. President Jacobs provided a copy of the sketch to the Secretary also.
Form 700 was addressed next. Directors were given their copies to review and sign or notify the Secretary if any corrections needed to be made. The Secretary will submit them to the County Board of Supervisors.
The Safety Review Report was read aloud by the Safety Coordinator, Director Wilkey. Director Schendel motioned to accept the Safety Review Report as presented. Director Hayhurst seconded the motion. The motion carried unanimously. The Secretary will submit the report to SDRMA.
The Policies and Procedures manual was addressed next. The Banking Policy was reviewed and a few minor changes were made. Director Hayhurst motioned to approve the Banking Policy as amended. Director Wilkey seconded the motion. The motion carried unanimously. The Records Retention Policy is the next one on the list to be reviewed and updated next month.
The General Manager reported that she had added the CD account balances, maturity dates, terms, and interest rates to the bottom of the monthly Financial Statement (as Director Wilkey had suggested at the last Board meeting) and that she will keep that information updated on future Financial Statements. She also informed the Board that she was dealing with some health issues and that she recently learned that it is a real possibility that she may need surgery (a Hysterectomy) within a few months. The Directors reassured her that a Board meeting could be skipped if she needed a few extra weeks off from work to recover. The Secretary agreed that she will work on getting ahead on her “to do” lists so that when the time comes, she will feel prepared to take the time off.
President Jacobs asked if any of the Directors had any Reports or anything further they wanted to discuss. Director Wilkey reported that a member of the public had brought to his attention a really neat piece of playground equipment. It was a swing that seats both a parent and a child together (separate seats facing each other on one swing). The Board agreed that they were interested in looking into it further. The Secretary will research it and get more information about purchasing and installing one. Director Schendel reported a very large pothole on O Street and DeAnza. He also reported that a video camera suction-cupped to the interior of his neighbor’s car windshield was stolen recently by someone walking by. Director Hayhurst encouraged the entire Board to attend the MWA High Desert Water Summit coming up on April 13th at Barstow College and suggested that perhaps the District could cover the $10 cost for each of them to attend. The Secretary will add it to next month’s agenda for further discussion.
President Jacobs asked the Secretary if there were any additional bills to be presented. She indicated that there were none. Director Stapp motioned to pay all of the bills as presented. Director Schendel seconded the motion. The motion carried unanimously. There was no New Business to address and no Executive Session was requested.
The next Regular Meeting was scheduled for Monday, March 28th at 6:00 PM.
The meeting adjourned at 7:32 PM.
Jen Rubio - Secretary/General Manager