I would like to take this opportunity as your Commodore to put a challenge out to the members of the Gilford Park Yacht Club. After reading below If you are already on board that’s great, don’t stop, if not, consider coming aboard.
We take a lot for granted the planet we call earth and its natural resources; clean air, fresh water to drink, fertile land to grow our crops and our oceans. All the above are affected by man and only man can make a change.
Members of the Gilford Park Yacht Club depend on all of the above for their existence, one that is mostly taken for granted is our back-bays and our oceans. The Gilford Park Yacht Club uses the ocean and the back-Bay waters to swim in, to fish and crab in, for boating and that view from our building again is spectacular, it is spectacular until we see “oh look there is a plastic milk carton floating by, a plastic bag, oh look there is several cigarette butts floating by”. We use these waters let’s not abuse them. Don’t let this problem become an eye sore to our view and the club’s way of life.
Back in the day dumping garbage in our oceans was the norm and now it is coming back to haunt us and invade our beaches. Plastic also enters the ocean and our back-bays through natural disasters like Super Storm Sandy. I believe it was a thousand times worse back then, as it is now, but still a problem. Some of the plastic that we see in the back-bay’s ends up trapped with nowhere to go and somewhere along the line will end up either killing wildlife, wrapped around our props, clogging our water intakes, tangled up in our crab traps, end up on our back-bay beaches.
I believe we are all conscientious in the recycling of our plastics but for some reason all does not end up at the recycling center, it ends up on the ground where rain washes it into the rivers that carry it to the ocean. Like in the phrase if you see something say something, I also believe it applies to if you see it and it’s safe to pick it up both on land and on the water do so.
The Gilford Park Yacht Club can do their part by the policing of ourselves on land and in our local waters and on our beaches. We can clean up our little corner of the world but there is a bigger problem that exists. For years the problem has been ignored and now we are playing catch up.
www.4ocean.com -- 4ocean “is a global movement actively removing trash from the ocean and coastlines, inspiring individuals to work together for cleaner oceans, one pound at a time”. If you have time check it out.
I am not advocating anyone to join or commit money to any local or global organization but just too make a commitment to yourself and as a club member to be aware of this problem. We are the starting point for all plastics therefore it puts us on the front lines of this problem and therefore we should do everything we can to keep plastics and garbage from entering our waters. We need to stop kicking the plastic bottle down the road expecting someone else to pick it up or making it someone else’s problem. It’s here and now. If you can kick it, it can be pick it up. Remember we want to keep that view spectacular.
Plastic has made our lives easier, but as always where there is good there is always the opposite bad.
In Decembers meeting the Board of Trustees (B.O.T.) officially announced the increase in your dues for the upcoming dues year April 1st ,2019. There is a bylaw change which reduces the time you have to pay your dues it is now 90 days from April 1st, after that you will be removed from the membership roll. Also, if you pay late you will be charged an additional $25 Per month starting May 1st. There are other consequences involved for late payments please read your dues notices and bylaws for these consequences. Your dues are now $450 and boat slips have all gone up $100 for all slip holders.
All members have to understand that by joining Gilford Park Yacht Club they become an integral part of its existence both in the present and in its future. Joining G.P.Y.C. is a long-term investment that means all must and mostly be involved and share in its principles, support the club through their dues and support all activities throughout the year. All of what I said above is essential. Your club can not exist without your support.
These increases came with a lot of thought and compassion taking into consideration all of the different stages of life that encompasses our membership and what it takes to operate the club and nothing was taken lightly. It is the responsibility of the B.O.T. to make the best overall decisions about the current and future direction of the Club. To not look into our finances and not make these hard decisions would be a failure on the B.O.T.’s part and would be failing the membership. This would happen regardless of who is in office.
This Commodores message is to Address any questions not all but what I think might come to mind. Before Sandy our dues were $185 a year, we had it easy, we had no mortgage, we had a small loan, we had a money market certificate which was the clubs nest egg in case of an emergency and a reserve of money just sitting in our daily accounts. The bar and kitchen were well established.
After Sandy it was a totally different game. We lost bar and kitchen revenue for 4 long years. Our parking lot was also our emergency fund whereby we could always get a collateral loan on that parking lot.
ALL AVENUES to obtain any type of collateral loans are gone almost forever. We need to move away from credit cards because as you know paid interest money is money you end up not having. We need to become our own bank and become self-sufficient and to do this we need a reserve of money.
By our bylaws we only have two ways to raise money, its either by increasing the dues or assessing the membership when needed.
Assessing the membership is not the way to go every time we need money for any type of emergency, it’s already too late. To ask for a lot of money from each member is not fair for anyone to come up with a large sum of money at one time that’s why we plan to increase our reserve money slowly over several years through this latest increase. All money will not go towards this reserve some will go to the operation of the club, reducing credit card balances and other items that I will mention below.
We went for an SBA loan because the insurance money wasn’t enough and in order to get the SBA loan, we had to prove we could pay it back. That’s when we went with raising the dues to $300 a year.
We had start up which also exceeded our expectations. Bar stools, furniture, resupplying the bar with glasses, and lavations. We had to start from scratch with the kitchen pots, pans, utensils and a whole lot of other items.
Now looking forward we have unexpected costs: Yearly elevator maintenance contract, yearly fire inspections, third party security system, water systems checks all come with a cost and go up every year. We have yearly Maintenance on HVAC equipment and other equipment and we have a yearly cleaning contract.
Our insurance requirements have increased. We had unexpected costs over the last couple years we had to pay $17,000 to fix the docks and pound down the outer poles. Approx. $1000 to fix the ramp, we had to purchase a $7,000 bubbler system to replace the deicing fans. We had costs for professional services that went beyond our expectations.
We need to pay off the credit card debt.
Future costs we will have to rebuild the ramp and fix the building break water.
To make the club a quieter place sound proofing will be required.
As I mentioned above being a member of GPYC is a long-term investment and requires everyone to support the club in mind, body, and sole and your
Wallet. We are very fortunate to have our club opened year-round.
Ron Heinzman is the current Commodore of the Gilford Park Yacht Club.