Annual Meeting Report
OCTOBER 7, 2021
During 2021 a more normal Beach summer returned as the community worked its way through the many protocols and restrictions imposed in 2020 due to the Covid-19 pandemic.
Although procedures were contemplated for another summer of limited operations, the Board opted to open all lockers and proceed with normal parking lot activities. The season started as usual in mid-June and continued until the typical Labor Day closing. Bathrooms in both bathhouses were open and cleaned daily. An additional portable toilet was rented for the season into the fall months.
The season was impacted by a very wet summer which saw over 10 inches of rain in July alone. The lot was open for an expected busy July 4 weekend but heavy rain literally dampened the day.
The Beach snack store was opened as scheduled in mid- June still requiring requiring masks and social distancing at the beginning of the season.
Sticker distribution changed during 2021 as non-residents were mailed their sticker with instructions where to place it on the vehicle. Residents still reported to the property to obtain stickers and stricter proof of residency requirements were put in place. This process will be reviewed to see if it can be enhanced in 2022. No new non-resident stickers were issued during 2021 due to capacity issues that became problematic during the last few seasons. This may be re-visited in later years.
The Beach again had a dedicated staff for 2021. The gate crew was very informative and helpful according to our members who were quite appreciative. There were a number of new life guards including four high school students who filled in nicely for other college bound guards later in the summer.
Regarding projects for the season, the major improvement for the year was the replacement of the fence that sits atop the West Street wall. This was completed for the opening of the season. Also, the Board had the parking lot lined to maximize lot space.
Importantly, the Board made the decision to maintain the “Carry In, Carry Out” trash and recycling policy. This worked very well versus providing trash receptacles as in previous years. This policy proved popular with the membership and is expected to be in use for future years.
There was a legal issue that the Corporation encountered regarding use of the Beach’s neighbor’s properties. Owners of 93, 97, and 101 West Street questioned the right of members “passing and repassing” over their properties when walking to Prides and back. Beach Attorney Tom Fallon reminded them in writing of a 1909 easement that allows for such use.
The proprietary web site first established in 2020 continued to be used as a real communications tool. Also, most members email addresses have been captured and several outgoing messages were sent during the season. The two major data bases were also updated.
Several events cancelled during 2020 were returned this season, namely the kid’s T-shirt contest, and the Labor Day Sunday sand castle contest. There was no Christmas Tree burning in 2021 due to Covid but this may be reviewed for 2022.
Operationally, seaweed removal was performed throughout the summer which is a major expense but is considered to be justified by the Board and membership.
The Corporation’s financial condition and reserves remain solid and sound. After distributing endowment funds to assist with operational expenses in 2020 the market rebounded and the overall fund remains a very strong buffer to any future financial stress.
The Corporation’s Endowment Fund will continue to be managed by a professional investment firm, Boston Research and Management of Manchester, MA, owned by long time investment professional and Beverly Farms resident, Ray Stecker.
The Board once again allowed limited members parties during the season which had been stopped in 2020. This included “Patti’s Party” for a Farms resident to help with medical expenses.
The Beach also donated to several charitable organizations in the area including the Beverly Farms Legion post, Beverly Bootstraps, and the River House/Life Bridge homeless center.
The 2021 season saw a real rebound from the difficulties of the 2020 Covid year. Going forward the Board will continue to work for all members and beachgoers for their safety and enjoyment and look forward to a great, and successful, 2022.
The Officers and Directors of West Beach Corporation
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