March President’s Message…

March 2014

BRMCA President’s message

When will this winter end?  This has been a challenging winter keeping Bull Run Mountain roads plowed and drive-able.    We can’t often enough thank BRMCA roads coordinator Josh Weinstein for his efforts.  He works with the county roads contractor around-the-clock when snow is forecast to make sure plowing is done.  This year has been particularly challenging because of the multiple ice storms that left a layer of ice under the snow.  Long stretches of sub-zero temperatures also contributed to slow melting and icy sections in the shade.  We hope that soon the winter of 2014 will be a memory.

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Membership record.  Our 2014 membership drive has been a big success.  As of mid-March, we have 79 paid members of BRMCA.  This is the highest number of members in recent memory and the board wants to thank all of those who have signed up.  Your dues help fund the activities of the board, including newsletters and mailings, clubhouse maintenance and utilities, insurance and other expenses.  Thank you!  And if you haven’t paid your dues yet, please send in your check or go to the www.brmca.org web site to submit them.  We have a number of clubhouse improvement projects schedule this summer, and these dues will help pay for them.

Save the date:  The BRMCA is going to have an old-fashioned roofing party on the weekend of the 10th of May.  We need to replace the clubhouse roof because the old roof is wearing out.  We will be putting a new metal roof on and are planning to do it with volunteer labor.  Club house chairman Paul Scheingold will be coordinating the weekend work, and we’re looking for up to a dozen workers to help put down the metal roof.  More details to come.

And if you’re not that handy with metal roofing, we will also be holding a cleanup drive on Logmill Road on Saturday the 10th of May.  Help us keep the mountain roads cleaned up.

Community Suggestions.  We have been getting some feedback and suggestions on the membership renewal forms, and we wanted to provide some feedback on those suggestions.

  •  Add a Community Website to have a community exchange page where people can post things like “firewood wanted” or Babysitter Available

ANSWER: Our webmaster is checking to see if the current free software and hosting that we use will support such a feature.  Depending on features available, we may offer these free to BRMCA members.

  • Bring back community yard sale and children’s Halloween party   AND ALSO….Could you host a neighborhood board member pancake breakfast, meet & greet?  I would be happy to help with upcoming events – wine tasting, clean-ups, etc.

ANSWER: The Board would welcome more community events.  We’re glad to support volunteers who want to arrange these community events, and would make the clubhouse facility available to those community-wide events

  • Send out email notices of upcoming meetings & events:

ANSWER: Communications chair Deborah Buckingham, is starting to do this.  As always, we try to find the balance between enough community information and spam.

  • Publish a membership directory on-line 

ANSWER:  We have also received feedback about privacy issues.  We are still discussing how to do this, including an opt-in option, so that we can protect member’s privacy

  • Have parking areas plowed @ clubhouse and on Ridge Road/Gore during snow storms.

ANSWER: This is problematic for two reasons.  First, people park there BEFORE the storm, and make it impossible to plow AFTER the storm.  Second, the cost for that plowing (our roads are done by the county) would have to be paid separately by the BRMCA and would come from our only source of funds – voluntary dues – and those are very limited.  We would ask, though, that those that do park at the clubhouse not block the driveway to the clubhouse, and please remove their cars within a day or so after the storm.  Long-term parking at the clubhouse is not allowed.

  • It would be so helpful if you could send the vacuum truck around in the fall to clean out the ditches after the leaves finish falling. 

ANSWER: The county’s contractor does clean the ditches in the fall, we will inquire about how the best way to do it. Our maintenance funds prior to 2013 have been very limited, but now that the bond issue is paid off, we will be spending more on routine maintenance, including ditch and culvert cleaning.

  • Please remind our residents that it is the law to pick up after their dogs.  Fecal matter affects water quality

ANSWER: Reminded.

  • Remind people of dog leash rules.  I’m tired of being frightened by big dogs coming after me when I walk. 

ANSWER: Reminded

  • Remind people to please clean up after their dogs. 

ANSWER: Reminded.

  • In the next newsletter let the soccer moms know to slow down driving to bus stops.  If someone sped by their house they would freak.  They just need to leave a few minutes earlier.  As the limits are posted they do not adhere to the law.  People and kids are always taking walks on our great and peaceful roads.  
  • In the next newsletter mention speeders coming down Gore with their vans full of kids.  If not a danger to others a danger to themselves.

ANSWER:  For those moms who fit this description, you’ve been notified.  Please use care driving on our mountain roads, and take particular care when there are pedestrians around.

  • Club house curb appeal is not very enticing.  Ever thought about seeking some assistance (gratis) from Meadows Farms?   

ANSWER: We are trying to improve the clubhouse look with a planned new roof this summer.  As always, this is a volunteer effort, so we would require some help.  We haven’t looked into grants or donations from local business for landscaping, not a bad idea, not sure where to look, given that this really is a private structure.  And if you have a green thumb and want to volunteer some landscaping ideas, we’d love to hear them

  • Rebuild a pool for the community 

ANSWER:  The BRMCA used to have a pool in the field below the clubhouse, but as I understand, it closed (and removed) years ago because a lack of maintenance funds. Pools are enormously expensive to build and operate.  With our voluntary dues structure, we have nowhere near the financial structure necessary to build and maintain a community pool, as nice as one sounds on a summer day.  If enough people in the community want to work to get the grants and funding to build and operate, the board would be interested in working with them.

Firewise cleanups.  We have received another grant from the state Firewise program and will be conducting several brush clearing and chipping projects this summer.  Watch the web site for details about how to sign up, and when.  Jim Price is again coordinating the effort.

The board wants to continue to encourage community involvement in our mountain.  If you have ideas, suggestions or want to volunteer to lead a project, please let the board know at board@brmca.org.

Thanks and have a great spring.
Glenn Cruickshank

President, BRMCA

Help for our neighbor…

We received this letter from a neighbor and and awesome cause.  Please consider supporting our veterans.

Dear Mr. Cruickshank,

My name is Marilyn Dickman and I am a volunteer with Serve Our Willing Warriors (SOWW) – an organization whose mission is to provide our country’s recovering wounded, ill and injured warriors, and their families, with 

SOWWfinalLogoencouragement, support and respite stays at a Retreat we are currently building in Haymarket, VA.  The centerpiece of SOWW’s vision is the establishment of our Bull Run Warrior Retreat, an 11,000 square foot home situated on 44 acres in the historic and picturesque Virginia countryside in Prince William County. Our Willing Warriors and their families will be invited to spend week-long retreats with their families surrounded by an appreciative community that provides activities, special events and camaraderie in accordance with the desires of our  honored guests. 

Additional information about our vision and plans can be found at: http://www.willingwarriors.org/aboutbullrunwarriorretreat

To assist with our fundraising, we will be holding a SOWW Community Sale at Park Valley Church, 4500 Waverly Farm Drive, Haymarket, VA from 8:00 a.m. – 2:00 p.m. on April 26, 2014.  Currently, we are seeking individuals who may want to rent spaces for $25 ($50 if we provide a table).  We are also seeking individuals who  may want to donate gently used items – clothing, jewelry, furniture, electronics, etc. 

We are seeking a collaboration with Home Owners Associations around Northern Virginia, including the Bull Run Mountain Civic Association, who would be willing to advertise our event as well as our need for individuals looking to rent spaces or to donate items that we could sell at the event.

I am attaching a flyer that contains the information we would like to share with your residents.  Can you please let me know if anything can be done by your organization to advertise our event or if there is anything else we can do to spread the word to your residents.

Your assistance would be greatly appreciated.  Please feel free to respond to this e-mail or, if you would like additional information, please contact me on my home phone number, 703-753-4570.  If I am unavailable, please leave a message and I will get back to you as quickly as possible.

Sincerely,

Marilyn Dickman

SOWW Yard Sale

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