THE HARBOR CENTER BOARD
THURSDAY, APRIL 1, 2021 9 AM
100 HARBOR CENTER BLVD. SLIDELL, LA 70461 AND VIA ZOOM
The meeting was called to order at 9:05 am by Board Chairman, Mr. Mark Myers.
Ms. Lowrey led roll call. Present: Martin Bruno, Carrie Calvin, Kevin Davis, Mark Myers, Donna O’Daniels, Martin Patel, Darrell Smith, Kathleen Wilkin, and Gregory Parke. Absent: Stephanie Berault, Kurt Bozant, and Thomas Shinn. There was a quorum.
Mr. Martin Bruno then gave the invocation followed by Mr. Myers leading the Pledge of Allegiance. A new board member, Mr. Gregory Parke Jr. was then sworn in by oath, led by Mr. Myers.
Board meeting guests were then introduced. Guests included, John and Alan Case from Lowry-Dunham, Case & Vivien Insurance Agency, Bobbie Carey from The Communication Institute and Amy Collins and Eric Reynaud from Gambel Communications. There was no public comment.
A motion was requested to move insurance and marketing presentations to the front of the agenda. Mr. Bruno moved to amend the agenda, Ms. Wilkin seconded, and it was unanimously approved.
The meeting then moved to New Business. John and Alan Case presented their findings regarding insurance renewals, warning of possible increases due to catastrophic weather over the previous year. Mr. John Case reported on possible premium quote scenarios, as well as a possible increase in the deductible. He also explained how the Harbor Center account is handicapped due to two temporary EIFS walls that are in place on the exterior. Mr. Myers questioned on deadlines of the policies and possible extensions. Mr. Case informed the Board the policy would expire at the end of the month and that he was working on getting the premium and deductible reduced. Mr. Myers then requested Ms. Lowrey receive an update from the agency on their progress every Friday.
Ray Larry, joined the meeting as a guest.
Mr. Bruno questioned if a new line item would be needed for insurance reserves. Ms. Lowrey shared that The Harbor Center does have an insurance deductible account with a balance sufficient to cover the deductible. Mr. Myers advised that the budget remains as it is for now.
The meeting then moved onto the Public Relations portion of the agenda. Gambel communications gave a presentation followed by a presentation by The Communications Institute. Mr. Myers then asked for a motion to create a budget line item for between $10,000 and $12,000 for public relations. Mr. Smith motioned to create the proposed budget line and to also retain The Communication Institute to market and represent The Harbor Center. Mr. Bruno seconded the motion. The votes were then counted: 6 yeas’, and 3 nays. The motion passed.
The Board then moved to consider the past meeting’s minutes. Mr. Davis moved to approve the minutes, Mr. Smith seconded, and it was unanimously approved.
Mr. Bruno then gave the Treasurer’s Report. He reported expenses are in line and the budget is so far in good shape. Ms. Wilkin moved to accept the report, Ms. Calvin seconded, and it was unanimously approved.
The meeting moved on to Old Business. Ms. Lowrey reported to that Governor Edwards had increased capacity to 500. She also gave the Board a review of upcoming events. Ms. Wilkin suggested the Harbor Center should launch a social media campaign to reassure the public that all safety measures are still being taken in lieu of increased capacity. Ms. Lowrey then reminded the Board of the deadlines for the annual ethics training and financial disclosures to be filed. She also informed them of an additional training regarding sexual harassment that is required.
At this point, Ms. O’Daniels excused herself and had to leave the meeting due to another obligation.
The meeting then moved back to New Business regarding the annual audit. Ms. Lowrey informed the Board that Heinz and Macaluso would no longer be able to perform the facility’s audits due to the death of one of the owners. The Harbor Center’s CPA, LaPorte, suggested to find a new firm. Ms. Lowrey explained to the Board that she was in process of putting together an RFP to submit and will choose from 3 firms to handle the future audits.
Ms. Lowrey then updated the board on ongoing facility maintenance and upgrades. Mr. Myers suggested that the Harbor Center begin the process of building two more paved rows of parking and the meeting room addition for the community. It would create a potential additional 8,800 square feet of meeting space. The meeting rooms would also have structural foundation elements put in place in case a hotel would be added in the future. He informed the Board that a liberal estimate had been given of 2.8 million and recommended monies from reserves be utilized to move forward. Mr. Bruno motioned to authorize to proceed with meeting room and parking additions, to approve of up to 2.8 million to fund the construction of such and to release an RFP to secure an architect. Mr. Smith amended to also include funding for any unforeseen expenses related to the construction. Mr. Patel expressed his concern of a future hotel being built as he feels the market is saturated. Mr. Myers explained a hotel was not being built, but that the meeting rooms would have a proper foundation in place for possible future construction built on top of the meeting rooms. The motion was then voted on. There were 7 yeas and 1 nay.
Ms. Lowrey then asked the Board about retaining proposals from Sign Lite to upgrade the electronic interstate sign. Mr. Myers decided to delay this issue until the next meeting.
Ms. Waeltz then provided the Sales Report.
The meeting was adjourned at 10:53 am. Mr. Smith motioned to adjourn, and Mr. Bruno seconded. It was unanimously agreed upon. The next meeting is scheduled for Thursday,
May 13, 2021 at 9 am.