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HSV Evening Lions Raises Funds for Balboa Beach Park

On February 16, 2022, Director Chris Jones presented the Lions’ Club Balboa Beach Park Project motion. Director Bob McLeod seconded the motion. What follows is a recap of the discussion at the February Board Meeting.

The HSV Evening Lions Club is donating money to build a playground and park area at Balboa Beach. This project has been part of the Parks and Recreation Department 7-year O and M for the past two years. The POA budget for the project is in a two-year plan, with $15,000 allocated for both years. Originally, this project was marked as a priority but due to COVID and budget restraints, it was deferred in 2021. In 2022 the project was again deferred due to the POA’s focus on spending funds to maintain current amenities.

In September 2021, The Evening Lions approached the Parks and Recreation Department with a potential proposal to raise the funds for this project and donate the park to the POA.

POA Staff and Evening Lions liaisons had a preliminary site walk-through. The proposed site of the park is located between the farthest shade shelter along Balboa Beach and the fishing pier.

Designated space for the playground area. Photo -Janet Rowe

The Architectural Control Committee approved the proposal in January of 2022 and agreed the project should move forward for Board approval.

Keeping the park in the parameters defined in the outline and not intruding on the dog area of Balboa Beach, which is located on the opposite side of the pier by the spillway is an important consideration.

Dog area to the right of the pier.  Photo -Janet Rowe

Park signage and the name of the park will be determined in the future.

Tucker Omohundro, Board Vice-chair, stated that he monitors social media and that concern was voiced that this area was used by operators of remote control planes and boats. “I think the Villagers need to know why we are taking up an area that was utilized for something else at one time – part of the area was. Is there an answer?”

Parks and Recreation Manager, Terry Wiley and Larry Bauer, Chairman of the Lions Club Balboa Beach Project were on hand at the Board Meeting to explain more specifics and answer questions.

Wiley said the Recreation Committee solicited opinions from the public. “The park has always been central. As far as folks doing the RC thing, the airplanes and helicopters, I believe that is a group of about 25 to 30 people.” Wiley met with a member of that group a few weeks ago and suggested some alternative locations. Mr. Wiley said, “they can literally walk over the Balboa Spillway Trail, that bridge, and there’s a runway. Like it was made for it.” Wiley said he received feedback from some of the RC group and they don’t want to walk across the bridge. “That was the argument against it, but it’s an option,” stated Wiley.

Larry Bauer said they have been going through the process for a number of months. “It’s been out there in the public domain. To me, it’s a little bit of a ‘Johnny come lately’ thing here. They maybe should have been at a Board meeting earlier…” Bauer said the RC airplanes can still be accommodated in the nearby area.

Bauer said, “If I can, I would like to address this motion. Just a one-word change…It’s in the first line.” Bauer asked that the word ‘club’ be changed to ‘foundation’. The Evening Lions is a 501c3 and should be called a foundation, in case of an audit.

Chris Jones made the motion again, using the word ‘foundation’. Omohundro seconded the motion.

Gary Belair, Board Member, said that the Board has seen a drawing but there were no descriptions included. He asked what the 30′ by 60′ foot rectangle would be.

Bauer said it was the volleyball court. There is also an area designated for corn hole or Baggo. There will also be a canopy like the other beach canopies. The playground will have climbing equipment, a merry-go-round, slide.

There will be a lion up on a pedestal at the entrance of this park.

The signage company they will be using is Westrock which also does the rest of the Village signs. The Lions are proposing the sign be erected near the lion. They hope to acknowledge the sponsors on the sign. The sign will be 4′ by 6′. Omhundro said the sign would need to be approved by the ACC.

Gary Belair, Board Director, asked if the equipment met safety requirements.

Wiley said it did meet the spacing requirements. The choices are preliminary and might change a little bit due to spacing.

Bauer said that before the Lions purchase anything, information will be sent to Terry Wiley for approval. The equipment is coming from a company that provides commercial playground equipment.

Jones asked, “do we know the long-term impact of how much it will cost to keep maintaining and cleaning and whatnot of this? I assume it will end up being HSVPOA Parks and Rec’s responsibility. I am assuming it is limited.”

Wiley explained, The biggest expense on the beach is every year more sand is added, which already occurs. This will not be a significant additional cost.

Corry asked how much the Lions are anticipating the donation to be.

Bauer said they have estimated the overall cost to the Lions will be around $40,000. Individual Lions members have raised about $10,000. This money will be used to provide playground equipment, volleyball nets, etc.

Corry asked where the balls and cornhole bags will be stored. Bauer said one of the Lions members owns the Balboa Marina. There is a possibility to store items at the Marina. Another possibility is to build a small storage box. Bauer said these details still need to be worked out.

The money marked in the O and M may be used for something else, once there is Board approval.

Belair asked if a rinsing station could be included to be used to rinse off the sand from the Beach.

Bauer said sand may not be the material used under the playground equipment.

This motion passed unanimously.


Cheryl Dowden, HSV People, February 20, 2022


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