Just a month after the village reopened, Golden Rain Foundation President Bunny Carpenter announced that the GRF board of directors announced a possible return to virtual-only meetings following a surge in COVID-19 cases across the county related to the highly contagious Delta variant. The announcement was made during the regular board meeting on Tuesday, August 3rd.
All village leaders officially returned to the stage in early July. Hybrid meetings – those that can be attended in person or online – were held to accommodate directors and members who choose to remain isolated at home.
“We just want to make sure everyone is safe,” said Carpenter.
The conversation took place in a closed session. No decision has been announced yet.
Following this, Jeff Parker, CEO of Village Management Services, quelled rumors of possible closures.
“We have no plans to close anything,” said Parker.
Any rollbacks that require facilities to close and indoor activities to cease would have to be ordered by the governor – an unlikely possibility at this rate, Parker noted.
With that in mind, those who haven’t received the COVID-19 vaccine should wear a mask when entering a building, Parker added, as recommended by Orange County’s health officials.
“We’re not the masked police,” he said. “It is your responsibility. They protect and influence people, and that is important here. “
Parker said 85 percent of the people who live in the Laguna Woods zip code have been vaccinated.
The delta variant “appears to be as contagious as chickenpox and to cause more serious illnesses than previous strains,” according to the Federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
The total number of reported COVID-19 cases in Laguna Woods is now 445 – more than 10 additional cases since late July, according to the OC Health Care Agency. No other deaths related to COVID-19 have been reported.
“Relative to our vaccination rate, relative to the village, and relative to our zip code, we’re in much better shape than most areas,” said Parker.
GRF has passed a resolution to increase the fees for lockers, golf driving range balls, catering services and club storage areas from January 1st.
The tariffs for these services were classified as low in a market comparison according to a VMS employee report.
Lockers in the pool rooms in Clubhouse 1 and the Performing Arts Center, the table tennis room in the Community Center and the jewelry room in Clubhouse 4, and the outdoor lockers in Clubhouse 4 are now $ 25 per year.
Quarter, small, and large buckets of golf balls will be rented from $ 1, $ 2, and $ 3, respectively, to $ 2, $ 4, and $ 6, respectively.
In terms of catering services, plate fees will double from $ 1 to $ 2.
Storage areas in the clubhouses that are currently used by clubs are no longer used free of charge. Annual room fees start at $ 25 for a small area, $ 50 for a medium area, and $ 100 for rooms 5 by 5 feet and larger.
Based on usage of these services in 2019, an additional $ 108,250 would be generated, according to an employee report.
The board approved the resolution in the second reading. The dissolution will take effect on January 1st.
Canceled channels, increased fee for Showtime
GRF passed a resolution that would drop two premium channels, 751 and 752, while increasing the price of Showtime subscriptions from $ 14.25 to $ 15.68 – 10 percent.
The cancellation of these channels that offer adult content is expected to save GRF 12,000 per year.
According to an employee report, fewer than 10 people in the village tune into these channels.
In relation to the fee increase, the cost of GRF to deliver Showtime channels to residents increases 4 percent per year; However, the cost to viewers – currently 387 subscribers – has not increased in five years, according to a report by staff.
With GRF losing money every month, the Media and Communications Committee decided to increase subscription fees.
The board approved the resolution in the first reading. It must now meet a 28-day notification requirement for the member rating.