March 3, 2022 Board of Directors Meeting Minutes
APEX PARK AND RECREATION DISTRICT
13150 West 72nd Avenue – Arvada, Colorado 80005 – 303.424.2739
BOARD OF DIRECTORS
March 3, 2022
CALL TO ORDER
President Pyne called to order the March 3, 2022, meeting of the Board of Directors of Apex Park and Recreation District, held at 6:30 p.m. in the Apex Center Randall Room, 13150 W. 72nd Ave., Arvada, CO. Board members in attendance in person were Vicki Pyne, Ken Harrell, Liz Tomsula, Stephanie Allen, and Rich Garrimone. District employees in attendance were Jeff Glenn – Interim Executive Director; Tara Torline –Director of Human Resources; Rheana Rogers – Executive Administrator and Recording Secretary (via Accession online video call); Mark Baird – Director of District Services and Capital Improvements; Travis Ritchie – Director of Technology Services; Hillary Roemersberger, Jesse Badder, and Brent Anderson – Directors of Recreation Services; Laina Doyle and Kay Palmer– Recreation Managers; Jeff Leniger – Director of Finance; Vee Duran and Melinda Roy – Recreation Coordinators; Scott Gibson – Golf Course Superintendent; Dan Machuga – Assistant Golf Course Supervisor; and Sarah Heaton – Administrative Coordinator. There were no members of the public present.
APPROVAL OF AGENDA
MOTION: Director Allen moved for approval of the agenda. Director Harrell seconded, and the motion passed unanimously.
APPROVAL OF MINUTES OF THE FEBRUARY 17, 2022, BOARD MEETING
MOTION: Director Harrell moved for approval of the Minutes. Director Allen seconded, and the motion passed unanimously.
There was none.
1. New Employee Introductions – Staff
Kay Palmer, Recreation Manager at Simms Street Recreation Center, introduced new team members Mallory Munnings, Recreation Coordinator – Gymnastics, Dance, Cheer; Tiffanie Phelps – Recreation Specialist, Gymnastics and Dance; and Haley Thomas – Rec Coord Youth Sports.
2. Camp and Leader in Training Programming Presentation – Jesse Badder, Laina Doyle, Melinda Roy & Vee Duran
Mr. Badder updated the BOD on some programming offered through the licensed childcare, camps, and youth enrichment department, which serves youth ages preschool through teen. He introduced members of his team Laina Doyle, Melinda Roy, and Vee Duran. Staff reported on upcoming supper camp programming at both Apex Center and Secrest locations. Camp Apex serves ages 5-10 with a capacity of up to 75 kids per day. Staff presented the planned daily schedule highlighting new content every day of the 11-week summer camp session. This year, programmers are focusing on encouraging cohesion between the two large sites. Camp Secrest serves campers ages 7-11 and has capacity for up to 70 kids per day. This camp has more of an outdoor activity focus because of space limitations inside the building, using the new Secrest park and playground and pool, and taking regular field trips. Staff reported that each week’s schedule is sent out to families ahead of the week. Between both camp locations and the teen programming, Apex will serve approximately 200 youth each day of the summer camp season. Staff also reported on programming for teens planned for this summer – Outdoor Expedition Camp and Leaders in Training. Ms. Duran reported these programs are a passion project for her focused on developing core skills based on competencies to help teens build a professional and leadership skillset. The Apex programs provide vital opportunities for young people to have a safe space to learn these important skills. The Outdoor Expedition Camp features hiking, rock climbing, high ropes, SUP, and other outdoor activities. Leaders in Training (LIT) meet 4 days each week where they plan activities, games, and crafts for Camp Apex and Camp Secrest, then actually lead the campers through the planned rotations. The intention is for LIT participants to continue into positions with Apex’s Youth Commission then hopefully into our employment pipeline. The goal is to engage our community members in their youth and keep them involved with advancing program options all the way through to recruitment into employment in entry-level positions and foster their professional growth as future park and recreation professionals.
3. Racquetball and Fitness Center Reopening Update – Brent Anderson
Mr. Anderson reported that RFC reopened Feb. 15. It has been a slow start, especially in fitness. Per the Board’s direction, hours at the facility have been expanded to 5 days a week and early morning hours and a noon shuttle have been added. He reported that as is the case at all facilities and programs, staffing is an ongoing obstacle, especially with the expanded hours. Racquetball leagues start in 2 weeks. He reported he has been working with fitness staff to plan to provide group fitness classes and drop-in fitness offerings, and he is hopeful that will attract new users to the RFC and not simply divert established customers away from other district facilities. There is a grand re-opening event scheduled for March 12 all day featuring free admission, prizes, swag, and demos.
4. Emergency Leave Donation Program – Tara Torline
Ms. Torline presented a history and outline of the district’s current emergency leave donation program, whereby staff can donate some of their available sick time to employees who have exhausted their own paid leave time while on FMLA. She reminded the board that this donation program has existed for many years and was established in lieu of the district offering a short-term disability program benefit. Among the various regulations governing the program, she highlighted that donation is voluntary and requests are solicited by HR and employee identity is kept confidential. Employees must maintain 80 hours of sick leave and can donate a maximum of 80 hours. On average the district receives one emergency leave donation claim per year, so usage is low. This program allows staff to support each other, which helps contribute to a positive workplace culture. The program is administered on a per-claim basis, so any unused donated time gets returned to the donor. One drawback of the program is some have expressed concern about disparity in wages between staff (high wage earners donating leave time to low wage earners and vice versa). Director Tomsula suggested that if donated time were kept in a “pot” it would eliminate the need for the solicitation request when a staff member requests donations, which could provide a little more anonymity to a staff member in need of the assistance. Ms. Torline reported that full-time staff currently accrue 1 sick leave day a month and there is currently no cap on accrual of sick time. currently one staff member has over 3000 accumulated sick time and many other staff have unusually high sick leave balances. Neighboring recreation districts typically cap their staff’s sick leave accruals at 480 hours. She does recommend Apex consider implementing a cap but that it would be wise to consider making any changes to the district’s leave policies with consideration made for the coming paid Colorado FMLA plans. She reported that effective 1/1/2024 the Colorado Paid FMLA program will begin, which will eliminate the need for this kind of emergency leave donation program between staff. The paid Colorado FMLA will be a mandatory program with no ability for staff to opt out. Her recommendation is to continue the emergency leave donation as-is until Colorado Paid FMLA begins in 2024, otherwise the district should consider providing staff with a short-term disability program. The tax portion of the paid Colorado FMLA will begin January 1, 2023 (.45% paid by employee and .45% paid by employer) and beginning January 1, 2024, staff can submit claims for coverage under this new plan. The Board agreed that the emergency leave donation program should continue as-is until the paid Colorado FMLA becomes effective January 1, 2024.
MOTION: Director Tomsula moved to establish a sick leave accrual cap at 480 hours for full-time staff. Current staff who have an excess of 480 sick hours will retain their balance, but it will be frozen until the balance drops below 480 hours. Director Harrell seconded, and the motion passed unanimously.
5. Brainstorm Golf Course Alternative Options – Jeff Glenn & Jeff Leniger
Mr. Glenn and Mr. Leniger wanted to present to the Board some historical background on the last 15 years of revenue at Indian Tree Golf Course to provide more data to inform the ongoing discussion of how to finance the proposed course, maintenance facility, and clubhouse improvements. Mr. Leniger provided a 15-year look back of the financial performance of the golf club and reported that the average annual surplus of the golf enterprise fund is $100k (bottom-line net income). The best 2 years in the historical trends were the last 2 years, which he attributes to unusually fair weather and global behavior change. If the district considers this historical data to forecast the performance of golf into future 30 years (the length of time the proposed COP financing would last), the best-case scenario is that the golf fund could only pay half of the yearly debt service fund for the improvements, putting the general fund on the hook for a significant amount of the debt for the course. A more reasonable estimate of the yearly $1M debt service would be $750k paid from the district’s general fund and $250k from the golf enterprise fund. Mr. Leniger was asked about increased revenue projections for expansion of the clubhouse hosting larger special events. He responded that projections on those kinds of rentals with clubhouse expansion would most likely breakeven because increased staff/operations costs would offset profits from larger events. Data could be sought from comparable event offerings with other providers in area. He reminded the board that the golf enterprise fund does have cash on hand to do all the maintenance building improvements and course work. Work on those items could begin immediately while the proposed clubhouse expenses could be delayed while explored more thoroughly. This would require some alternate plans made for golf cart storage and charging, which were accounted for in the original clubhouse construction portion of the plan. Present staff shared their expertise and recommendations to prioritize the high need for the maintenance facility relocation and upgrades, as well as offered suggestions for reconfigurations to the course to accommodate increased parking needs as well as alternate golf cart storage and charging options.
6. Recommendation of Municipal Advisor for Golf Course Financing – Jeff Leniger
Considering the complexities of this undertaking to finance the golf course improvements, Mr. Leniger, in consult with the district’s legal advisors, is recommending the district engage a municipal advisor to work with our team as a consultant between district and the underwriter who packages the COP deal. This recommendation is being encouraged by our legal counsel because of the advisor’s ability to handle the RFPs the district has received for the underwriters and provide a secondary level of professional review and recommendation. The advisor will also assist through the process of structuring to get us the best possible financing deal, analyzing strengths and weaknesses of each underwriter, which is an area in which our district leadership doesn’t have expertise. The advisor can also assist standing policies (procurement and debt issuance) changes as needed. Jason Simmons at Hilltop Securities is the recommendation from legal counsel. The $25k cost to engage the advisor is akin to inexpensive insurance to oversee a significant debt issuance of up to $22M.
MOTION: Director Garrimone motioned to engage municipal advisor Hilltop Securities to oversee the financing process for the Indian Tree Golf Course improvement. Director Harrell seconded, and the motion passed unanimously.
There was none.
EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR REPORT
Mr. Glenn has already been to three meetings regarding the Meyers pool replacement project and reported that the RFPs go out tomorrow. Two committees have been established, each with representation from each of the three stakeholder parties. The RFP committee will have Hillary Roemersberger and Mark Baird serving as Apex’s representatives, and the Steering Committee will be comprised of Lori Gillis, Steven Bell, and Jeff Glenn. There has been a reconfiguration of the parking component of the plan so now the grand opening is anticipated to be July 2024, which will be perfect timing to limit programming disruptions to swim teams.
He reported that there was a break-in at Meyers earlier this week where $250 in cash was taken out of a smaller secondary safe and cellphones were stolen from the lost and found. Security cameras were disabled, and it appears access to the facility was obtained through the pump room door. Police are working with staff to investigate.
Mud jacking to address some settling issues took place at CRC today. Soil testing needs to happen at Indian Tree around the clubhouse structure in anticipation of the proposed renovations. There has been a roof leak in main gym at Apex so the gym and indoor track will be closed 3/29-4/10 for refinishing and relining. Also, the soft start for a compressor at the ice rink went out last week – ice staff worked hard all weekend to keep ice going through a busy playoff weekend and rebuild repairs happened today. Staff are working with Xcel to monitor transformer to determine if there are any surge issues and working with the motor vendor in Germany to prevent future problems.
Our pickleball court surface contractor, Renner, informed staff that previous staff’s policy to not shovel snow off the courts was incorrect. There is now a new policy in place to remove snow from courts ASAP then let the courts dry for 24 hours before play can occur. Staff will develop signage and communication to user groups to let them know of the new policy.
A copy of recent Colorado Byline stories about Apex staff awards, Lauri Dannemiller’s memorial, and new fitness initiatives coming soon were shared with the Board. He also reported that on weeks where the Board does not meet, he will provide them with an email update on Fridays.
BOARD MEMBER REPORTS/INPUT
President Pyne attended the coordinating committee meeting with the city last week where they discussed the Meyers pool project, upcoming IGA negotiations, and the new interim ED.
Director Harrell also attended the city coordinating committee meeting last week.
Director Allen thanked Tara Torline for her excellent job serving as acting executive director these past few months.
Director Tomsula had nothing to report.
Director Garrimone attended the Foundation meeting this morning and they are gearing up for the Memorial Day pickleball tournament.
MOTION: Director Harrell moved that the meeting be adjourned. Director Allen seconded, and the motion passed unanimously.
President Pyne adjourned the meeting at 8:06 p.m.
Rheana Rogers, Recording Secretary
Liz Tomsula, Secretary/Treasurer