February 25, 2015
Message from the Commodore
Fellow Lake Geneva Yacht Club Members:
Winter has certainly hit with a vengeance once again. I think this is the same storyline we started with last year. Apparently, our weather patterns seem to be pretty consistent over the years.
The big news at LGYC is, of course, the construction of our new clubhouse which is well underway, despite the slower than expected start. As you may have heard, we had two issues that caused a delay in commencing construction in September. First, the DNR raised concerns regarding certain surveys done in the late 1800’s noting there may have been Indian artifacts from a possible camp site on the northwest corner of the property. Secondly, there were potential environmental issues with the underground gasoline storage tanks from Geneva Lake Boat Company, who was the previous owner of the west parcel. The tanks had been removed in 1989, soon after we acquired the property. Both issues were resolved to the satisfaction of the DNR.
Briohn Construction made excellent progress once they received the building permits. As of last week, the building was under roof, most windows had been installed and the exterior siding was in progress. The first floor is framed and mechanicals (plumbing, electrical, heating) are underway. On the second floor, mechanicals are also going in, roof insulation is in place and ceiling drywall is being hung. Briohn is committed to completion of the building at the end of May. My confidence level as to the timely completion of the building has gone up considerably over the past two months as I watch the progress they are making. However, a major concern is the site work that will need to be completed in the spring. Much of the work will be performed in conjunction with the Village of Fontana on the new water lines which will be coming down from South Shore Drive. We will need the weather to cooperate to get the site work completed by the end of May.
Unfortunately, we have encountered a number of challenges that are driving the project cost higher. The building committee is working hard to control and mitigate these costs. In reviewing the project at our February Board of Directors Meeting, the Board opted to continue to push the project forward to completion now rather than potentially phasing in some of the work at a later date. I would like to give a special thank you to everyone working on the various committees (Building, Design, Site and Fund Raising) who are making the project a reality.
The Board of Directors approved our 2015 operating budget at the December 2014 Board meeting. The budget included a 2% increase in dues, consistent with what we previously communicated to our membership in conjunction with the new clubhouse planning. We will also increase storage fees by approximately 10%, both inside and outside, and summer and winter. The Board also approved raising the initiation fee to $1,500 for regular members and putting in place a $500 initiation fee for associate members. We believe these increases are prudent in view of the investment we are making in our facility. We have been successful in building our cash position as we move forward with our construction project and ended 2014 with over $500,000 in our bank accounts.
Our Food Committee and our Social Committee are diligently working on finalizing plans for 2015. The Food Committee is helping to develop our plans for how we are going to operate the food and beverage operation in 2015. We have hired a chef who will be starting in March. We are excited to have this position filled. I am looking forward to the grand opening party for the new facility which we hope to hold in July.
Work is underway on the 2015 race calendar. For the summer season, we have only the GLSS regatta in July and the ILYA Championship regatta in August. The ILYA Championship regatta is going to follow the format used in 2014, with racing for all fleets (A, E, C, MC and M17) taking place over a five-day period commencing August 20. There have been several planning meetings which commenced in November with the various committee chairs. The next meeting will be held on March 7th in Pewaukee in conjunction with the ILYA board of directors meeting. We will need the help of numerous volunteers to manage this event to showcase LGYC in a way befitting the premier yacht club in the Midwest. We will be reaching out to our entire membership for your help and support.
We are working on a new scoring methodology for 2015, using the “Alternative Scoring System for Long Series” as prescribed under the Racing Rules of Sailing. Just last week we contacted our fleet reps for comments related to the change. The goal is to eliminate “average points”, which have become unwieldy, and to eliminate “not-for-point” races, which have generally become poorly attended races.
Last week I sent out a note about Bob Pegel’s appointment by the Board as Race Officer Emeritus. Hope you had a chance to read it on our website. Bob has recently retired from the various committees he has served on, which are many. All of us sailors are indebted to Bob for all he has done both for our club and the entire sport of sailing. Thank you Bob!
We continue to seek volunteers for many of our committees. Please feel free to reach out to me or any of our other club officers if you can help out.
See you on the water!
F. Terrence Blanchard