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The Board is also close to hiring a tennis director, Amenities Director Jim Story said Wednesday. More than 40 applicants submitted resumes; Story and the Tennis Committee have conducted extensive interviews with the top four candidates.

Story said he hoped to introduce the new tennis director to the community by the end of the month.

In other news, the Board discussed the losses incurred by the Food and Beverage operations. The Mountains Grille lost $118,090 in December, well above the budgeted loss of $38,655. Salaries and wages were over budget by $38,334 for the month.

Story said he and Food and Beverage Manager Michael Pantall are working daily to cut costs while at the same time maintaining the quality of the food and customer service.

“We need to take a real step back and see what we need to do to operate,” Story told the Board. “When we opened, we came out too aggressive, with an expansive menu. We do a lot of different levels of service with setup and breakdown. What can we do setup-wise and staffing-wise to look ahead and try to prepare for that?”

Klask told the Board that the positions of hostess, sous chef, banquet manager, food runners and part-time receptionist had been eliminated. The Beverage Manager has left Big Canoe as well, and may not be replaced in the near future. The functions of all those jobs have now been distributed among the rest of the staff, Klask said.

The Clubhouse will probably soon begin to charge individuals or organizations who use the facility without purchasing something, he added. “If you’re playing cards in the card room, and there’s no setup and no cleanup to do, there won’t be a charge for that,” Klask said. “But where we have setup costs, we’ll have to charge.”

The Board voted 6-1 to allow back-to-back weddings at the Clubhouse May 15-16. None of the areas of the Clubhouse will be open to the public on those days, but Story said a “quality” event will be offered at the Swim Club for all property owners.

Seferian voted against the measure because he said the POA Board had promised property owners that the Clubhouse would only be closed for private events once a month.

“We’re going to have to look at creative ways to stabilize the food and beverage operation,” Story said in response.

Recycling shows improvement
Public Safety Director Bill Bates said the second day of recycling had gone a bit better than the disastrous first; Advanced Disposal had “conditionally” accepted the recycling load. The first load of recycling was taken to the landfill, because it was contaminated with household garbage and other non-recyclable items.

Plans call for the open-top dumpster to be available on Jan. 31; Bates said he hoped a representative of the Jasper Thrift Store will be standing by to take away anything that can be used again. In addition, Bates said he has found a man who will haul away metal items, such as old washing machines. “Anything that we can keep out of our (garbage/recycling) stream saves us money,” Bates said.

Board denies AECC appeal
Big Canoe resident Richard Elkins asked the Board to waive the $500 fine he incurred from the Architectural and Environmental Control Committee for altering plans without approval. Elkins said he should have had a chance to correct the violation before being assessed a fine.

Elkins added a garage to his home at 9204 Highland Farms Court, but, during construction, decided to add a dormer window to it to match the dormer already on the house. He failed to submit a revised plan, however, and was assessed a $1,500 fine, as per Architectural and Environmental Control guidelines.

Elkins said the AECC didn’t disapprove of the dormer window, but fined him because he didn’t follow the procedure.

“There was no intent on my part of breaking a rule,” he said. “I broke one but I need a chance to fix it.”

Klask pointed out that the AECC had previously lowered the fine to $500; if Elkins had followed procedure and resubmitted his garage plans, he would have paid a $250 fee. So in essence, his fine had been lowered to $250, Klask told the Board.

Board members acknowledged that Elkins didn’t set out to deceive anyone -- as some contractors have been known to do – by building something that didn’t fit the aesthetic standards of Big Canoe. But they voted unanimously to uphold the AECC’s fine.

“You put on a dormer that wasn’t approved,” Seferian said, signaling the end to the 25-minute discussion. “The bottom line is, you did something you weren’t supposed to.”

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