Of course, this year is like no other. In time, it will become a unique chapter in history like the Spanish flu of 1918-19 and the polio epidemics that impacted many until a vaccine emerged in the mid 1950s. But right now it has brought many changes to all of our lives and challenged our health care providers and others.
Since we are not able to meet this weekend, I wanted to share with all members the updates that would have been presented this weekend at the spring meeting. The executive did a virtual meeting this week to confirm plans for the 2020 season, as we have been doing since the fall.
The club has been on a 3 year plan to modernize all buildings as they are the club's largest asset. Roofs have been replaced, siding repaired or replaced as needed, new doors installed, kitchen counter replaced, and clubhouse washrooms painted. This spring the schedule included the final roof to be replaced, on the boathouse, and having new bathroom floors installed in both washrooms. With the construction industry on hold provincially our two local contractors will be doing this work when it is allowed. Having strong roofs is important as the buildings are unattended for at least 6 months and our insurance deductible for damage to buildings due to snow load is $100 000. Having durable, waterproof floors that are easy to clean improves the clubhouse and makes it easier to maintain.
Docks continue to be a priority for the club. Last fall the club purchased the materials to double the width of the gangway to the black dock as well as an EZ launch accessory for the brown EZ dock. One section of the EZ dock needs repair as a muskrat chewed through the plastic last season.
Some smaller projects that the club is working on include replacing picnic tables, adding new curtains to the women's washroom, completing painting inside the clubhouse and creating some nautical artwork for the two washrooms.
One of the spring members meeting rituals is the renewal of membership. I'm most pleased to share that about a third of members have already renewed using electronic methods or Canada Post. I encourage all members who have not yet renewed to do so by the early bird deadline of May 2. That allows the club to be able to report its membership data to the insurance company as this is needed to calculate the yearly premium. The club pays its insurance on June 1st so having a few weeks to work with the insurance company to determine this year's coverage is going to be needed as everything takes a bit longer these days. While insurance is not thought of as one of the fun things at the club, it is a vital part of protecting the club, just as maintaining the GRCA license, utilities, bank fees and other fixed costs. Those costs are a large part of the budget. As always, the club continues to maintain a balanced budget and invest any money not spent on yearly activities and planned building improvements, to dock improvements.
Members had been informed in their membership renewal that "Members who pay and then sell their boat by May 31 will have their membership fee adjusted upon notification of the boat being sold" as the club was hosting a boat sale in May and many members have their boats posted for sale on the club website. At this week's executive meeting, the executive unanimously agreed that given the unique circumstances, to extend the membership fee adjustment date from May 31 to July 31. This is for those members who by May 2 pay their 2020 early bird membership fee and register for boat sale/put their boat for sale on the club website.
Racing was scheduled to begin in May, as well as having safety training and the Wellington Cup.
With the delayed opening, Racing Captain Colin is exploring virtual racing opportunities as well as hosting online racing training sessions. Discussions are underway with the other local sailing clubs about a change in date for the Wellington Cup. More details about racing will be shared with members soon.
The club intends to offer the best boating season possible that acknowledges both the current situation and the safety of our members. Together we will get through this time of uncertainty.
Denis Neumann, Commodore and the 2020 BLSC executive