Record of the Jekyll Island State Park Authority (JISPA) Board Meeting of 17 May 2010, in the Club Hotel Ballroom, as recorded for JICA

(Note:IPJI has placed some text in "bold" type for emphasis and has clarified some statements)

Chairman Bob Krueger brought the meeting to order at 9:30 AM.  Board members present were Buddy DeLoach, Mike Hodges, Sybil Lynn, Ben Porter, and Richard Royal.  Also present was Park Authority Executive Director Jones Hooks.  Legal counsel Brooks Stillwell and Board member Chris Clark were on conference telephone.  The audience numbered about 43 persons.

COMMITTEE SESSIONS:

CONSERVATION AND PRESERVATION

Chairman Royal reported that a 4-hr meeting had been held by the Jekyll Island State Park Conservation Plan Committee with Dr. Jay Exum of AECOM (the Committee's current consultant).  The meeting was held to bring Exum up to speed regarding the Committee's goals.  Royal noted that Exum was informed that it is critical that the previous Conservation Plan written by Robert Smith of Cabin Bluff be integrated into the forthcoming new Conservation Plan.  The goal for the new Plan is for it to be an easily implemented action plan.  The Committee intends to meet every six weeks, and have a final plan by January, 2011.

FINANCE COMMITTEE

Chairman Hodges reported total revenues of about $1.5 million for the month of April, just a tad ($49,000) above budget, and $191,000 less than for April, 2009.  For the year-to-date, total revenue was about $13 million, $27,000 under budget.  Expenditures for April were $1.157 million, $73,000 below budget.  Year to date, expenditures totaled $12.2 million, about $500,000 below budget.  Net operating cash income (NOCI) was $368,000 for the month of April, $122,000 over budget.  NOCI was $816,000 for the year to date, $157,000 less than at this point in 2009.

Hodges observed that the percentage of hotel rooms occupied in April was 58.7% (compare 58.3% for April, 2009).  The average daily rate was $129.29 (compare $131.73 for April, 2009).

Director Hooks announced that no punitive action would be taken if Authority employees do not sign-up for direct deposit of paychecks (it had previously been planned to mail paychecks to those not using direct deposit, which would have resulted in the receipt of the checks on Saturday at the earliest).  Encouragement of use of direct deposit will be by provision of information and positive incentives.  New employees who qualify for a bank account will be required to use direct deposit.  At present, only about half of the Authority's employees use direct deposit.

The Board approved a new lease for the Jekyll Fishing Center (the new fishing-supply shop under construction at the Clam Creek area, with Larry Crews as the leaseholder).  The lease will run to 2015, with one 5-year renewal option, at $1,063 per month and an annual increase of 3%.  Crews will provide building materials, and have his rent reduced accordingly, to a maximum of $35,000.  Director Hooks noted that the Authority will no longer operate a concession stand at Clam Creek.  No existing pavilion space has been taken by the new fishing-supply store.

Director Hooks announced that a committee has advised that there be three changes to the current list of parking fees.  One change will be that visitors wishing to stay for a week can now pay $25 for a week-long, multi-entry/exit pass.  A second change will be that busses with 15 or more passengers will pay $10 for a daily entry (smaller vans will pay the regular $5 daily fee).  The third new option will be a 10-pass package (a "friends and family bloc") for $45.  The Board approved these changes.

Director Hooks reported he is sending out emails with commentary regarding the present offer of extension of residential leases to 2089.  These advisories will subsequently be packaged and mailed to residents.  Lease Coordinator Steve Williams has met with the Park's realty businesses, and with the major lending institutions to Park residents, regarding particulars of the lease-extension offer.  Current leaseholders requesting the new lease amounted to 313, and 160 have had lease paperwork mailed to them.  Signed leases returned to the Authority numbered 26.  Note that there are 560 single-family homes in the Park, and 60 multifamily homes.  The multifamily lease is still undergoing legal preparation, but the multifamily leaseholders may request new leases now.  Chairman Hodges thanked Norm Haft, Gil McLemore, Director Hooks and staff, and Steve Williams for their enabling of progress on the lease extensions.

Tise Eyler asked whether it was the responsibility of residents to request that the new lease-extension offer be mailed to them?  Answer: yes; upon request, both the current lease (to 2049, for information's sake) and the new lease-extension offer (to 2089, for potential signing) will be mailed to individual requesting residents.  Eyler asked about communication on this issue with distant leaseholders?  Answer: all leaseholders will be contacted, and the final contact with those not responding will be by registered mail.

Mindy Egan thanked Director Hooks for his efforts in mailing information to residents and distant leaseholders.  She also made the point that some of the current leases that have been mailed out have contained incorrect descriptions of property – she recommended that residents check these mailings very carefully.  Director Hooks recommended that residents with questions of this nature contact Steve Williams.  Hooks thanked Jekyll Realty and Parker Kaufmann for their help in contacting leaseholders with current lease-extension information.

Larry Waldhauer inquired about multifamily lots – what happens in 2049 if one family of the multifamily group does not sign the lease extension?  Answer: counselor Adam Kirk is now analyzing each case of multifamily lots, attempting to determine the current agreements among the leaseholding families on each multifamily lot, so that a common lease-extension offer can be drawn up.

MARKETING COMMITTEE

Chairman Porter announced that the Park has a new advertising brochure that he considers outstanding.  He recommended that it be distributed widely.

COMMITTEE OF THE WHOLE

Director Hooks described the current situation regarding the letting of the contract for preparation (storm drains, paving, water lines) of the temporary retail area (the parking lot just south of the Oceanside Inn).  It was hoped that the preparation could be completed before Memorial Day.  Two bids were made: Merritt and Sons Construction, $406,000; and Seaboard Construction, $302,000.  The Authority's engineers expected a bid of about $335,000.  The lower bid was put forward for the Board's ratification, which was granted.

Hooks cleared up an incorrect rumor – the Park Authority is NOT building a swimming pool across from the bookstore in the Historic District.  The hole being dug is for construction of a system to handle sewer surges from the new Morgan Center area.  Construction of the new Morgan Center will be speeded up by extending working hours.

The old gas station has been completely demolished and removed, and 400 tons of contaminated soil have been taken away.

Five bids have been received for construction of the temporary convention area next to the new Morgan Center (one 17,000 square-foot tent, one 10,000 square-foot tent, restroom trailers for men and women, ten chalets of 565 square feet for breakout space, storage building, and office trailer).  The recommended low bid was from Proteus On-Demand Solutions for about $1 million.  Facilities Director Ronny Smith explained that Proteus was able to submit a substantially lower bid than some other bidders, because Proteus is located in Georgia and could more easily handle dismantling/reconstructing of the temporary convention area if a tropical storm were threatening.  Proteus was also able to provide the flooring system desired.  Proteus is also well known for its sturdy, large tents that it sets up at major golf tournaments.  The Board approved the Proteus contract.

Director Hooks explained the process proposed for use to select bidders by general contractors for the forthcoming Beach Village area.  It is a "best-value" process: both statements of qualifications and proposals/bids are considered in the evaluation of bids.  The Board approved this process.

Hooks suggested that the Board should consider revising the Park's Master Plan during the summer.  This idea was approved by the Board.

Hooks announced that water aerobics will be offered at Summer Waves beginning the first week of June.  Also, during the Georgia Public Broadcasting challenge-funding campaign, the $1,000 grant from Villas By The Sea and the Park Authority elicited contributions of $4,000+ in one hour.

Hooks announced that warning signs have been put up at the north- and south-end areas of the Park to notify potential hikers that emergency services will not be able to immediately respond to calls in these remote areas.

Hooks reported that the Franklin Pond Group (student musicians from the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra) will be in the Park from 30 July through 1 August.  Also, the family of George and Eleanor Teall donated $10,000 for construction of a fountain courtyard at the Tennis Center; the courtyard was dedicated recently, when Jeff Teall was in town.

Director Hooks announced the outcome of the election of the successful proposals for the two hotels and retail area/lofts of the Beach Village.  Two proposers for each of the three projects were chosen for interviews with selection committees.  Following interviews, the proposals were reviewed by consultant BAE (Bay Area Economics).  The committees made final recommendations on 12 May.  Time-frame proposed, reputations, perceived commitment, financial viability, and shared values were major considerations.  Hooks proposed that the Board meet on 9 June to consider Project Development Agreements for the winning proposers.  For the full-service hotel, the two contestants were Jekyll Landmark Associates of Jekyll Island and Journeyman Austin Holdings of Texas.  Jekyll Landmark Associates was recommended and approved by the Board.  For the limited-service hotel, the two proposers were Phelps Development of Colorado and Journeyman Austin Holdings of Texas.  Phelps Development was recommended and approved by the Board.  For the retail area with 60 loft accommodations, the two proposers were Winding Road Development of Arizona and Jekyll Island Promenade Partners of Jekyll Island.  Winding Road Development was recommended and approved.

CHAIRMAN'S COMMENTS

Chairman Krueger expressed pleasure at seeing all of the construction taking place in the Park, and with the response to the lease-extension offer.  He thanked Gil McLemore, Norm Haft, Bob Lelli, and Brooks Stillwell for their work on the lease development.  Krueger reminded the audience that beachgoers should be wary of disturbing sea-turtle nesting, now that nesting season has begun.

Krueger proposed a resolution thanking Terry Barnard and Chip Pearson for being staunch allies of the Park Authority Board as members of the Board's Legislative Oversight Committee.

HHCP then gave a detailed presentation describing the plan for the new convention center, both exterior and interior.

Chairman Krueger adjourned the meeting at 11:26 AM.


Respectfully submitted,
Steven Y. Newell, Jekyll Island Citizens Association