Emerald Lakes Board of Directors Open Meeting, March 27, 2021

by Kathy Leslie-Whelan

          The meeting was called to order at 9:39 am.  Six board members were present.  Ange Noonan was absent due to a recent medical procedure.  General Manager Darryl Gamble and Assistant General Manager Nicole Clemens were also present. Dave Borsos, President started his message by stating that spring has finally arrived and the weather is looking good.  He stated that a mass mailing to the membership regarding annual dues was mailed early since they were concerned with the numerous delays at the Post Office.  He stated that the budget was being voted on today and will be available for review by the membership for the next 30 days.  The membership was asked to set up an appointment if they would like to come in to see the budget.  He was looking forward to the update on the work that will be completed at the Clover Rd bridge and the road paving.  He said that instead of just doing a temporary fix, things are being done correctly.  Borsos stated that the board is aware of the trash issue here in the community.  He would appreciate it if people cleaned in their areas where they live.  If maintenance staff cleans up trash, they try to identifiy the individual or household that is dumping.  If they are identified, they are fined.  He is in favor of doing an Information Day at the Community Center once the Covid restrictions are lifted.  He asked that if anyone had a talent or specialty that they would like to share to volunteer for a segment.  Some areas that they would like to cover are, septic and well maintenance and police and fire information. Borsos said that as of April 4th, the governor is allowing businesses to open at a 75% capacity.

          Bob Leon made a motion to accept the February’s 2021 minutes.  It was seconded by Buz Whelan and passed unanimously.

          Bill Baehr  gave the Treasurer’s report.  He stated that for the month of February the Association operated within budget.  Operating costs were $178K and are within budget.  Receipt deposits were $311K.  Code Enforcement Officer (CEO) collections were $104K year to date and are on track to exceed the budgeted amount. Permits were $5.5K.  Public Safety citations were $2.7K.  Compactor card revenues were $3.6K.  Rental income was  $24K.  Reserve income was $135K and $579K year to date.  Current cash assets are $716K.  Dues collections are currently at 67.51%.  Dues collected for February were $358K.  Income of dues to date are $1.8M which includes dues income, prior year’s dues, dues interest, dues late fees, payment plan income and collection fees.  The dues billed are $2.3M. Delinquency collections are  $6.8 K under special plan collections, $14K under in-house collections, $8.1 K under Sunrise Collections and $2.9K under attorney collections.

          Steve Kavanagh made a motion to accept the Treasurer’s report.  It was seconded by Bob Leon and passed unanimously.

Under New Business

  • The early mailing of the 2021/2022 Budget was discussed again.  Whelan stated that the budget was balanced and realistic and reminded everyone that it is a guideline.  The budget was based on more accurate information coming in.  Buz Whelan made a motion to accept the budget as presented.  It was seconded by Bob Leon and passed by a 5 to 0 vote.

Under Old Business:

  • A lot of damage was uncovered with the wiring at the Community Center but the project is moving forward as planned.  Dry wall is being installed, the pass through glass is ordered, the bingo room is almost completed and the grids are down and ready for replacement.  The office and the front desk will be completed next.  The deck at the indoor pool will be worked on and a small roof replaced the older roof at the pass through since the wood was rotted out.  Once the Community Center opens it will be open 7 days a week to get more use of the building.  Some staff will work at the center so it will not be that costly to keep it opened.  The pool will be open 7 days a week with water aerobics starting back up. An individual is donating a 75″ TV that will be installed in the dining area to the left of the stage.
  • The short term rentals program has been overhauled.  Any rental that is causing problems will lose the right to utilize the amenities.  The compactor costs will be added into each house that rents.  There will be scanning at the beaches and lakes once they open.
  • Dam repair at Pine Tree Lake and the two at Mountain Top Lake and the Clover bridge project are under contract.  Gamble is waiting on a schedule for the work to commence.
  •  Buz Whelan will look into electronic signage to be used at the mail boxes with will have announcements of activities in the community. 
  • Pot hole repair cannot start until we get cold patch.  Currently maintenance is filling the pot holes with stones.  The cold patch will not be available till April 5th, however, Penn Dot and the Townships get first dibs on their needs, so it is unknown when our Association will get a delivery.
  • Information Day was discussed again.  Whelan stated that we may have to wait and publicize it so that a larger crowd can take advantage of the information being relayed.  Claude stated that currently we can only be at a 50% capacity and only those establishments that have self-certified can open at a 75% capacity.
  • Gamble is looking at permanent speed bumps for the outdoor pool and Main beach.  These will be made of asphalt.  A snow plow driver will have to lift their plow in these areas during snow season.  Gamble is currently looking into that cost.  In addition, the temporary speed bumps will be installed.  

Director’s Comments

                   Bob Leon stated according to Zillow this morning 10 homes are available for sale. 4 homes have been on the market for more than 132 days and 6 for more than 2 months.

                   Buz Whelan stated that Pine Tree Lake has thawed and the geese are back.  He asked about the egg addling to control the population.  Gamble stated that he hired a contractor that will handle the geese and the beavers. They have applied for the permit and there is a 30 day window to addle the eggs.

Public Comments

          A question came in on the stream feed asking why badges are not being checked at the compactor. Claude stated that the crew should be brought in to discuss this issue.  Gamble said that they are regularly checked, but occasionally when there is a long line attendants wave members they know thru to speed up the line.  Gamble will instruct them not to do that.

          Sixteen (16) new members were welcomed to the Community.

          Buz Whelan made the motion to adjourn.  It was seconded by Steve Kavanagh.  Meeting adjourned at 11:24  AM.

Reporters Note: I write these reports based on notes taken during the meeting.  I get no special consideration or cooperation from the board.  I try my best to report accurately, but occasionally mistakes will be made.  I invite correction and have no desire to intentionally mischaracterize any comments or actions.

Emerald Lakes Board of Directors Open Meeting, February 27, 2021

by Kathy Leslie-Whelan

          The meeting was called to order at 9:38  AM.  Five board members were present.  Chris Claude and Steve Kavanagh were absent.  General Manager Darryl Gamble and Assistant General Manager Nicole Clemens were also present. Following the pledge of allegiance, Dave Borsos, President stated that winter is still here although we are only 22 days away from spring.  He wanted to recognize our management and maintenance crew for the great work that was done with snow plowing so far this season.  He also encouraged the membership to volunteer for a committee.  Usually committees meet once a month and a committee is a good way to have your voice heard.  He also stated that signing the two forms to join a committee does not give your rights away.  The intent of the forms is to keep members remarks private as well as having meetings that are civil.   Borsos also mentioned the annual meeting will be held in the summer where elections for the board will be held.  He also reminded the membership to get their new ID cards and to make sure that the Administrative staff has their correct email on file since this is a large communication method that is utilized.  He also stated that he would like to see the Community Center opened up.  In addition, Borsos encouraged the membership to get their Covid 19 vaccination.

          Bill Baehr made a motion to accept the January’s 2021 minutes.  It was seconded by Bob Leon and passed by all board members present.

          Bill Baehr gave the Treasurer’s report.  He stated that for the month of January the Association operated within budget.  Operating costs were $100.2K and are within budget.  Receipt deposits were $205.5K.  Code Enforcement Officer (CEO) collections were $92.5K year to date and are on track to exceed the budgeted amount. Permit fees were $5.5K.  Public Safety citations were $2.3K.  Compactor card revenues were $6.3K.  Rental income was $30K.  Reserve income was $24.7K and $443.5K year to date.  Current cash assets are $580.3K.  Dues collections are currently at 70.39%.  Dues collected for January were $57K.  Income of dues to date are $1.4M which includes dues income, prior year’s dues, dues interest, dues late fees, payment plan income and collection fees.  Delinquency collections year to date are  $4.5 K under special plan collections, $34K under in house collections, $25.5 K under Sunrise Collections and $25.5K under attorney collections.

          Buz Whelan made a motion to accept the Treasurer’s report.  It was seconded by Bob Leon and passed by all board members present.

Under New Business

  • Borsos read the state’s covid restrictions.  Self service restaurants can open at 50% capacity.  Bar openings are forbidden if food is not served.  Indoor recreation can open at a 50% capacity. All entertainment venues can open at a 50% capacity.
  • Discussion started on the open meeting for August.  Last year the meeting was held outside due to Covid and the high school was unavailable during the pandemic.  That meeting was not well attended, but that could have been due to Covid and proxy voting which was implemented last year. 
  • There is an issue with the recycling area at the compactor.  It costs money to have these dumpsters removed.  Currently we have two pick-ups per week and the General Manager doesn’t want to add another pick up since it is very costly.  Options discussed were that if the compactor dumpster for recyclables was full, the member would have to bring their recyclables back on another day.  The member could also bring it to a local recycling facility.  The decision was made to maintain what we are currently doing.  Buz Whelan made a motion to let the General Manager manage the overflow of recyclables as he has been doing and that he should use his best judgment.  Bill Baehr seconded the motion and it passed by a vote of three to zero with one abstention.  Ange Noonan said she didn’t feel she had enough information and abstained.
  • Body cameras were purchased for maintenance and public safety staff.  Staffing has been taking abuse from some of the membership so hopefully this will cut down on the abuse and create a record of the incident. 
  • Since the bag limit at the compactor has been implemented, the monthly cost for the hauling of the trash has gone from a average cost of $13K to $8K.  
  • An old public safety vehicle will be utilized by our Code Enforcement Officer, Accountant and any maintenance member running an errand on behalf of the Association. Currently Claude and Gamble are looking for a vehicle for public safety in the $20 to $22K range. In addition, research is being done on the procurement of a new diesel truck for maintenance.  Diesel trucks generally last longer.

A break was taken.  There were technical difficulties especially with the comments coming through from the membership watching the meeting through the streaming process. Borsos read the comments aloud when the meeting was called back to order.

Under Old Business:

  • Dam #1 ($20K) and dam #2 ($18K) on Mountain Top Lake (Total estimate is $45K once inspection fees and other costs are added.) and the Clover bridge project are two primary projects that will be completed and are a priority in the next budget.  The emergency evacuation plan is completed with the exception of a small piece that is being completed by Joe Gallagher.  Gallagher is under contract to maintain our lakes.
  • The insurance check for $32K for damages at the Community Center was received.  Phase 1 of this project consists of the men’s room, ladies room and hallway ceilings.  All old wire will be removed, new wiring installed and a drop ceiling replaced.  High hats will be installed in the ceilings.  The closet behind the bar will be opened up.  Most of the demolition work will be done by our maintenance staff once the snow stops falling.  Work should commence within the next two weeks.  The lead time for this contractor is three weeks for completion.
  • Buz Whelan and Darryl Gamble worked on signage that will be at the mail sites regarding the household trash that is being illegally dumped there.  Two signs will be installed at the mail house at the main entrance.  One will be installed at the Estates and one installed at the Glade mail center.  Whelan recommended that a member that reports or sees illegal dumping which results in the Association collecting a $500 fine, should be awarded $100 of that fine.

Committee Reports

          Buz Whelan spoke on behalf of the Real Estate Committee.  He stated that the committee was diligent and always comes prepared to the meetings.  All have signed the required forms (confidentiality and code of ethics).  The laminated sign that will be posted in the rental homes has been updated.  This sign highlights the rules and regulations that pertain to fireworks, noise, garbage disposal and more.  Nicole Clemens, Assistant General Manager made a suggestion that the landlords be charged an annual lump sum for their registered renters instead of a fee every time they rent their home.  This will cut down on paperwork and the landlords are in favor of this change.  It is anticipated that a letter go out to the landlords at the end of March or early April with this change.  The change should go into effect by May 1st.  Whelan also stated that about 80% of the landlords want to improve their relationships with their neighbors.  The next task this committee is taking is to review the township rules on rentals and see how they compare to ours.

          Ange Noonan stated that she has 6 people for Rules and Regulations. She is planning on reaching out to them to schedule their first meeting. 

Director’s Comments

                   Bob Leon stated according to Zillow this morning 7 homes are available for sale. 3 homes have been on the market for more than 100 days, but 4 are under 20 days. 120 homes have sold in Emerald Lakes just recently.

          Bill Baehr stated that with all the snow that fell, finding a place to put the snow has become more difficult.  Maintenance has done an excellent job with cleaning around the mail boxes. He is requesting that the membership be courteous and pull up so that 2 cars can park to get their mail.  He also requested that you not sit in your vehicle and read your mail since others are waiting for their turn for the parking spot.

          Buz Whelan discussed the possibility of a workshop for the membership, especially for the new membership that addresses the permit process, township permitting, PA regional law, Association regulations, and well and septic maintenance.

Public Comments

          Kathy Leslie Whelan complimented the staff on all their hard work with snow removal and dealing with people at the compactor.

          Five (5) new members were welcomed to the Community.

          Bill Baehr made the motion to adjourn.  It was seconded by Bob Leon.  Meeting adjourned at 12:29  PM.

Reporters Note: I write these reports based on notes taken during the meeting.  I get no special consideration or cooperation from the board.  I try my best to report accurately, but occasionally mistakes will be made.  I invite correction and have no desire to intentionally mischaracterize any comments or actions.

Emerald Lakes Board of Directors Open Meeting, January 23, 2021

by Kathy Leslie-Whelan

          The meeting was called to order at 9:35  AM.  All board members were present.  General Manager Darryl Gamble and Assistant General Manager Nicole Clemens were also present. Following the pledge of allegiance, Dave Borsos, President wished everyone a happy New Year.  Borsos stated that there is a lot going on between Covid, the economy and the political turmoil.  He encouraged everyone to go out and get a vaccine for Covid.  He has had his first shot and is scheduled for his second shot in two weeks.  He is hoping that things will soon get back to normal.  Borsos stated that he wanted to respond to a question on the unofficial facebook page on “where is all the money going?”  He invited the membership to go to the Administration office to review the current budget.  He stated that there were fixed expenses as well as snow plowing overnight.  He mentioned the insurance, electric and cable bills all need to be paid.  He stated May 1st was the beginning of our fiscal year and that the budget is currently being put together.  Borsos also stated that the board is encouraging members to join committees.  He stated that the committees serve at the pleasure of the board and members are needed on the Maintenance, Finance and Planning, Rules and Regulations, Real Estate, and Communications Committees. Finally, Borsos encouraged all to be informed and that the board tries to be transparent through email blasts, newsletter, and video streaming of monthly open board meetings.  He also tries to respond on the unofficial facebook page.

          Buz Whelan made a motion to accept the December’s 2020 minutes.  It was seconded by Bob Leon and passed unanimously.

          Bill Baehr gave the Treasurer’s report.  He stated that for the month of December the Association operated within budget.  Operating costs were $154K and are within budget.  Receipt deposits were $102K.  Code Enforcement Officer (CEO) collections were $74K year to date and are on track to exceed the budgeted amount. Public Safety citations were $1.2K.  Compactor card revenues were $4.6K.  Rental income was $21K.  Reserve income was $218K and $419K year to date.  Current cash assets are $657K.  Dues collections are currently at 69.08%.  Dues collected for December were $38K.  Income of dues to date are $1.3M which includes dues income, prior year’s dues, dues interest, dues late fees, payment plan income and collection fees.  Delinquency collections year to date are $3.4 K under special plan collections, $46.5K under in house collections, $1.2 K under Sunrise Collections and $1K under attorney collections.

          Bob Leon made a motion to accept the Treasurer’s report.  It was seconded by Chris Claude and passed unanimously.

          Buz Whelan asked to be recognized on the Treasurer’s report and to add to the comments on the President’s message concerning the comment on the unofficial face book page regarding saving money on the Community Center since it is closed.  He stated that Lola Lauri gave a beautiful response on the thread.  He also said that the Community Center still needs to be maintained.  The building and pool still needs to be heated and the dehumidification system needs to be running.  We are only saving a small amount of money on personnel salaries. Whelan stated that all the members are stakeholders in the Association and the board is charged with protecting their interests, and among these is the Community Center and pool.  Baehr added that the average monthly salary at the Community is $2,000.

          The floor was turned over to Michael Peters.  Mr. Peters retired in January of last year. He was an SPCA police officer and currently lives with his wife on the lake in Lake Naomi.  He wants to bring his family up to join them so started researching different developments.  He found Emerald Lakes to be vibrant and amenity-filled.  He currently owns 4 lots in Emerald Lakes. Homes will be built for his daughter, a caretaker’s home, a guest house and for one lot for which there are no current plans, but he did state that he is not a fan of rentals. Mr. Peters has also purchased 135 acres of property adjacent to Emerald Lakes. It is located between the Birches and Emerald Lakes Estates.   He wanted to be a good neighbor and let the Association know what his plans are for this acreage.  Since it falls under Act 319 it will be maintained as a nature preserve.  His is building a home and a barn to be used as an animal sanctuary and rescue for small animals. (cats and dogs) His intent is to build alliances with other rescue agencies.  He anticipated that the animals he takes in could be from overflow situations at other rescue facilities.  No hunting will be allowed on this property so that animals will not be disturbed.  There will be no trespassing.  Deer stands are being dismantled.  No gas or diesel vehicles will be allowed, only electric.  Nature trails developed will be only accessed by appointment. All access will be through Hunter Lane in our development.  Mr. Peter’s anticipated timeline is to be up and running by the end of summer or early fall. Two questions came in from the membership from the live feed broadcast.  Will this be a business?  No it won’t.  How will you dispose of dog waste?  It will be composted.

A break was taken and the meeting resumes at 11:18 AM.

Under New Business

  • Buz Whelan made a motion to remove the Property Sale Proposal from the agenda and table for future consideration.  It was seconded by Steve Kavanagh.  Passed unanimously. 
  • Budget Construction for 2021-2022.  The process has been started.  A prioritized project list is being developed.  Covid cleaning supplies have been over budget in the current budget.  More money will be added to the draft budget since it is anticipated that covid cleaning will continue in the new fiscal year.  Items for the budget include the Clover Rd bridge, dams, more dirt road paving, parking lot paving and crossing areas road work. 

Under Old Business:

  • Gamble stated that he will be working through the Community Center room by room.  The ceiling work in the dining room and bar as well as the hallways will be contracted out.  The Community Center will probably open up without the bar and grill being completed.  The Community Center will also be an Administration hub where staff will work to assist with trash and amenity passes. The insurance claim offer should come in early next week.
  • Snow removal is going well.  All vehicles are back up and running.  There are plenty of supplies such as salt and sand in house.
  •  Gamble will be looking into a new insurance policy for next year.
  • Issuance of new ID cards will continue on Sundays.  Friday evenings are being eliminated since no one was taking advantage of that time slot.
  • There will be new signage at the mail boxes with announcements of activities in the community.  The two bath houses at the beaches will also have signage.  Repairs to these structures will commence in the spring.
  • The trash cans at the mail boxes are for mail paper trash only. The individuals dumping trash are parking out of camera range and covering their faces so it difficult to identify them.  New cameras with better resolution are being researched. A number of black garbage bags were dumped in our woods recently.  Our maintenance staff went through these bags and identified an individual from Stillwater Lakes.  The Waste Authority fined this individual $5,000.  Buz Whelan requested that sign be installed at the mailboxes warning the people of a fine for dumping trash.  He recommended a $300 fine and that, if a dumper is reported by a member, that member get $100 of the fine. A member may be able to get a picture of the offender or of their car.
  • All committee members must sign a Confidentially Agreement and a Code of Conduct form to participate in a committee.  These forms are for the protection of the volunteer as well as encouraging opening discussions.  The board liaisons shall address these documents with their committee members.      

Director’s Comments

                   Bob Leon stated according to Zillow this morning 13 homes are available for sale. 4 homes have been on the market for more than 90 days and 1 for more than 120 days.

                   Chris Claude asked about the new basketball hoops and the speed bumps.  He was told that the hoops and the speed bumps are in storage.  The new hoops and speed bumps will be installed in Spring.  Claude also recommended that when the next email blast goes out for the open board meeting, it gives the membership a way to submit question for the board in advance.  Nicole Clemens stated that she will add a sentence to the email blast and members will be able to submit their questions by responding to the email.

Public Comments

          Kathy Leslie Whelan complimented the actions of one of our Public Safety officers, Daryn Christopher.  He responded to a post on the unofficially facebook page about suspicious activity on Cedar.  Not only did he relay the correct telephone number to call for Public Safety off hours but he identified the location and drove around to investigate the incident.  Pocono Mountain Regional Police was also there patrolling.  In addition, he relayed all the information to the concerned homeowner and reassured her that if any additional activity happened that night to call the dispatch office and he will respond immediately.  Kudos to our staff.

          Seventeen (17) new members were welcomed to the Community.

          Bob Leon made the motion to adjourn.  It was seconded by Steve Kavanagh.  Meeting adjourned at 12:31  PM.

Reporters Note: I write these reports based on notes taken during the meeting.  I get no special consideration or cooperation from the board.  I try my best to report accurately, but occasionally mistakes will be made.  I invite correction and have no desire to intentionally mischaracterize any comments or actions.

In Memoriam Eileen Avrich

                   

Eileen Avrich exercises her democracy, at an ELA annual meeting

by Buz Whelan

     On Tuesday, December 23, 2020 the Emerald Lakes community lost one of its most beloved members. After a long and valiant fight, Eileen Avrich left us, taking with her a piece of many of our hearts.
     I feel a personal loss as Kathy and I have long considered Eileen and John good friends. We partied together, we dined together, we even went to concerts together. They were wonderful companions, whatever we might be doing. The conversation was always lively and filled with laughter.
     Eileen was born in Brooklyn and raised mainly by her father, her mother having passed away when she was just five years old. She went to a Catholic boarding school until high school and then switched to public school. She had several jobs when her children were young that allowed her to spend time with them. She was a mini bus driver, she taught arts and crafts at a day camp and worked as a pharmaceutical tech at a local pharmacy in Centerport. She followed that up by working at a Target pharmacy in Stroudsburg before retiring in 2010.

Eileen Avrich, center


     Eileen met her future husband John while both were working at Singer Sewing. They married on Earth Day, April 22, 1972. The young couple honeymooned at the Summit, back when the Poconos were the honeymoon capitol.  According to Eileen’s daughter Denise, the honeymooning couple had a rifle shooting contest which Eileen won in spite of the fact that John was a military veteran.
     Denise provided more details. Eileen was always crafty and enjoyed cooking and baking as well. One friend nicknamed her Martha because of her expertise. She loved clearance sales and would come home with unneeded items like holiday plates and napkins, cleaners, beauty items, knives, home decor and even a karaoke player. They seemed like a waste, until one day when they were needed.
     Prior to moving to Emerald Lakes, the family lived on Long Island and were active in a bowling organization that ran tournaments and such events. Denise said she was almost raised in a bowling alley.  The family also went to the Finger Lakes where there was a big wine party for relatives, a party that grew from year to year with the expanding extended family.
      Eileen was a volunteer. Anything she could contribute to, there she was. If you needed help planning or running an event, you could always count on Eileen. She was active with the Women’s Club, the 50+ Club and served on multiple committees after moving to Emerald Lakes in 1998. Right up until the time she became too ill, she served as the chairperson of the Appeals Committee. She wasn’t reluctant to volunteer her family as well, getting her husband to play Santa and her daughter to play the Easter Bunny. BTW, outside the community she was active with the Monroe County League of Women Voters.
     Eileen was a proper lady…almost all the time. I remember one night at a party at my house, we were playing a risque adult game supplied by Lola Lauri, Cards Against Humanity. Eileen drew a card and blurted out a term so naughty I can’t write it here. It was so out of character that the room erupted in gales of laughter. Eileen just sat there with a ‘What?’ look on her face.
     Denise tells me that Eileen was as selfless at home as she was with friends and colleagues. What you saw was who she was. She loved anything Irish, including Irish music, especially if bagpipes were involved. And while she wasn’t a huge drinker, she did enjoy a good hard cider and Lambic’s Framboise.
     There was only one Eileen Avrich (nee Hurley), and I doubt I’ll meet her likes ever again. She will be sorely missed.
     (Note: A huge thank you to Eileen’s daughter Denise Avrich Stowers who provided much of the personal background material for this article.)

Emerald Lakes Board of Directors Open Meeting, December 12, 2020

by Kathy Leslie-Whelan

          The meeting was called to order at 9:34  AM.  Five board members were present.  Treasurer Bill Baehr was absent and Vice President Chris Claude was detained.  Claude joined the meet at 9:58 AM.  General Manager Darryl Gamble and Assistant General Manager Nicole Clemens were also present. Following the pledge of allegiance, Dave Borsos, President, wished everyone a happy, healthy and safe Holiday season.   He stated that this was the last meeting for the 2020 calendar year.  He wished good health to all the residents and wished everyone joy and happiness in the new year.

          Bob Leon made a motion to accept the November’s 2020 minutes.  It was seconded by Steve Kavanagh and passed unanimously.

          Dave Borsos gave the Treasurer’s report for Bill Baehr.  He stated that for the month of October the Association operated within budget.  Operating costs were $185K and are within budget.  Receipt deposits were $264K.  Code Enforcement Officer (CEO) collections were $58K year to date and are on track to exceed the budgeted amount. Public Safety citations were $3.9K.  Compactor card revenues were $7.9K.  Rental income was  $29K.  Reserve income was $17.9K.  Current cash assets are $447K.  Dues collections are currently at 69.18%.  Dues collected for October were $84K.  Income of dues to date are $952K which includes dues income, prior year’s dues, dues interest, dues late fees, payment plan income and collection fees.  Delinquency collections year to date are  $4.6 K under special plan collections, $145K under in house collections and $1K under attorney collections.

          Bob Leon made a motion to accept the Treasurer’s report.  It was seconded by Steve Kavanagh and passed unanimously.

Under Old Business:

  • Mini Dumpster ban resolution

Resolution # 01212-2020-01

Resolve that the Board of Directors approve ban on “mini dumpsters” as a trash disposal option for Emerald Lake residents. Please note that temporary dumpsters will be allowed for any new home construction or renovations to the home owner’s property.  In addition, this regulation will be added to the Rules and Regulations document and will include a fine structure.

Under New Business.

  • Non essential worker hours shall be 1/2 day on Thursday, and off on Friday, Saturday and Sunday for Christmas and New Year’s.  The compactor will close at 1:00 PM on the Thursday eves and will open for normal business hours on Saturday.  The Administration building will be opened on Sunday for photo ID’s only.
  • Events currently happening are the toy drive at the compactor and Santa arriving and driving through the community on December 19th between the hours of 1:00 PM and 3:00 PM. the Pocono Summit Fire Department will be driving Santa.  300 goodie bags and 100 pop-up toys will be given out to the children on their route which is posted on the Emerald Lakes web page and the non official Emerald Lakes facebook page. There will be 4 stops that Santa will make.  The first stop will be at the Emerald Lakes Estates: second stop will be the Community Center; third stop will be the Pine Tree Beach parking lot; fourth stop will be the outdoor pool; final stop is the Administration Building for anyone that missed the other stops.  After 4:00 PM Public Safety will escort Santa to Blueberry Estates and the Birches.
  • Mail issues with the delivery person who services the community.  Many residents have complained of missing mail or mail delivered to the wrong address. Director Buz Whelan will visit the post master this week to discuss this issue.
  • Board resolution #01212-2020-02 Resolve that the Board of Directors allow the addition to any property, within the Emerald Lakes Association, to add the recorded Covenants to their deeds and become a full member of the Association.   Passed with a 5 to 0 vote.                      

Director’s Comments

                   Bob Leon stated according to Zillow this morning 16 homes are available for sale. (one home has been on the market for over a year; 15 have been on the market less than 70 days; 16 have been on the market for less than 40 days) 84 homes have sold this year.

                   Buz Whelan stated that the landlords on the Real Estate committee are in favor of noise detectors being a requirement for anyone who rents out their property.  He also requested a workshop meeting in January to discuss the committee structure and procedure manual.  This meeting will be held on January 9th of next year.  It will begin at noon to avoid conflict with the Appeals Committee meeting earlier in the day.  The open board meeting will be on January 23rd of next year.

Public Comments

          Cookie Litwienski complimented Darryl Gamble on the holiday lights in the community.

          Kathy Leslie Whelan stated that the Geminid Meteor shower will be at its peak on Sunday, December 13th.

Four (4) new members were welcomed to the Community.

          Bob Leon made the motion to adjourn.  It was seconded by Steve Kavanagh.  Meeting adjourned at 10:35  AM.

Reporters Note: I write these reports based on notes taken during the meeting.  I get no special consideration or cooperation from the board.  I try my best to report accurately, but occasionally mistakes will be made.  I invite correction and have no desire to intentionally mischaracterize any comments or actions.

Emerald Lakes Board of Directors Open Meeting, November 21, 2020

by Kathy Leslie-Whelan

          The meeting was called to order at 9:32  AM.  Six board members were present.  Treasurer Bill Baehr was absent.  General Manager Darryl Gamble and Assistant General Manager Nicole Clemens were also present. Following the pledge of allegiance, Dave Borsos, President, wished everyone a happy, healthy and safe Thanksgiving season.  Borsos recognized the staff and veterans that were honored this past Saturday at the Veteran’s function at the main entrance of the community.  He also recognized his fellow board members for all the work that they are doing.  Steve Kavanagh has been working on the monthly newsletter, has a historical perspective on the association and does karaoke with his wife when the Community Center is open.  Buz Whelan also has a historical perspective on the Association and knows how things operate or recommends how to make things better.  Bob Leon has a great work ethic and technical expertise that he brings to the table.  Chris Claude has been in the community for three years and is currently Vice President.  He brings mechanical, maintenance, road and equipment knowledge to the board.  Ange Noonan has been on the board for two years and started the volunteer program.  She also works late at night and has come to the meetings on time the next morning.  Bill Baehr puts out his monthly financial reports on time and has an eagle eye to get things right.  Darryl Gamble does a yeoman’s job and gets things done.  He has worked on the indoor pool, paving, line painting and is responsible with keeping his projects on budget.  Nicole Clemens is the power behind the camera and is the right hand woman to Gamble.  Kathy Whelan is always at our meetings and works on committees.  She posts a monthly article on the monthly board meeting for people who do not have the time to watch the entire proceedings.  (Please note that you are now reading that article.)  He also wanted to recognize the members that have worked on the front entrance and the butterfly garden.  Finally he recognized the maintenance staff who have been doing a great job.

          Bob Leon made a motion to accept the October’s 2020 minutes.  It was seconded by Buz Whelan and passed unanimously.

          Bill Baehr, Treasurer, was unexpectedly absent so no Treasurer’s report was available.

Under Old Business:

  • Gamble stated that a few of the roads had crooked line painting. Black paint may be used to cover the line and the yellow line will be repainted.
  • Gamble wants to discuss the mini dumpsters that are appearing on people’s properties.  He would like to see a requirement of adding a permit for these containers to limit the time the container can be visible on the owner’s property.  Whelan recommended adding PODS to the permit requirement. This item will be discussed at the next open meeting under new business.
  • The Community Center insurance issue is still open.  Currently we are waiting for the adjustor to come back since he did not include all the items in his estimate.  Some items missed were replacement of damaged furniture.  In the future our insurance language should be modified to include that our carrier will pay the claim and go after the contractor’s insurance company.  In addition, language is being considered to add to future contracts making the contractor that is issued an award responsible for any subcontractor that they hire for the project.
  • The dams are up to snuff with everything that the state requires.  Any repair to the dams needs to be approved by the state representative and when completed, inspected by the state.  The Emergency Evacuation Plan is 80% complete.  We are waiting on a piece of information from Joe Gallagher, who currently has a contract to maintain our lakes.  Bridge work will commence after May 1st.  Work will be completed on the guard rail and attachment to the bridge.  The proposal from RKO needs State approval.
  • The new compactor regulations are working out well.  If there is an issue with a member, they are referred to the Administration office allowing the issue to be resolved in a timely manner.
  • The badging system is moving along, but slowly.  Most people are showing up on Sundays to get their new picture IDs.
  • Revisiting the reopening of the indoor pool is currently on hold due to covid 19. Gamble feels he cannot encourage large gatherings.  The blower motor on the dehumidification was replaced at no cost to the association.
  • Office hours are Monday through Saturday between the hours from 8:00 AM and 4:00 PM for answering phones etc.  In person business during this time is on Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday between the hours of 10:00 AM and 4:00 PM.  Members can ring the buzzer and gain access to the building.  All individuals must be masked and only one person is allowed in at a time.  Special hours for photo IDs only are Friday evenings till 7:00 PM and Sundays between the hours of 9:00 AM and 5:00 PM.  Occasional exceptions are made and Clemens will prepare a bulletin on the hours.
  • The compactor will be closed on Thanksgiving Day, Thursday and will reopen on Saturday.  All non-essential full time staff will have Thursday, Friday, Saturday and Sunday off for the holiday weekend. 

Under New Business.

  • Board resolution #01121-2020-01 Boat Registration – Passed with a 5 to 0 vote.

The annual boat registration fee is $10.00 per vessel.

  • Board Resolution # 01121-2020-02 Boat Policy – Passed with a 5 to 0 vote.
  • All boats must be registered at the Administration annually.  The fee is $10.00.
  • The annual registration sticker must be displayed on your boat each year.
  • All boats stored on the racks must be registered with the Administration Office.  Rack rental fee is $15.00 annually.
  • All boats must be removed by November 15th of each year.  Failure to do so may result in confiscation of the boat and fines.
  • Boats that are confiscated will be stored by the Association.
  • If your boat was left on the rack after November 15th and confiscated, you will be charged a $50.00 fee in order to retrieve your boat.
  • After a period of 90 days, your boat may be sold.
  • The Association assumes no liability in the safe keeping of any confiscated boat.
  • Boat racks will be opened on a first come, first served basis.  There are no guarantees or holding of racks.
  • Borsos recommended signage to announce public events.  Gamble and Clemens will research different signage options.

          Committee Reports

          Bob Leon reported that the maintenance committee is recommending the placement of stones on the shoulder of the roads ASAP where new pavement was done.  Gamble stated that gravel is only placed on roadways that are high since the stones wash away.  Maintenance will do a drive through of the newly paved roads to determine if stones need to be added.

          Buz Whelan reported that the Real Estate committee is meeting next Saturday. 

          Director’s Comments

                   Bob Leon stated according to Zillow this morning 14 homes are available for sale. 73/74 homes have sold since March.

                   Buz Whelan stated that Borsos recognized all the board members for their hard work, but he wanted to thank Dave Borsos and he appreciates his work on his general responsibilities. Whelan thanked him for speaking so eloquently at the Veteran’s Day function and his volunteer work on the landscaping at the main entrance and butterfly garden.

          Chris Claude thanked all that came to the Veteran’s Day ceremony and wished everybody a happy and safe Thanksgiving.

Public Comments

          None

          Eight (8) new members were welcomed to the Community.

          Chris Claude made the motion to adjourn.  It was seconded by Bob Leon.  Meeting adjourned at 11:16  AM.

Reporters Note: I write these reports based on notes taken during the meeting.  I get no special consideration or cooperation from the board.  I try my best to report accurately, but occasionally mistakes will be made.  I invite correction and have no desire to intentionally mischaracterize any comments or actions.

Emerald Lakes Board of Directors Open Meeting, October 26, 2020

by Kathy Leslie-Whelan

          The meeting was called to order at 9:41 AM.  All board members were present.  General Manager Darryl Gamble and Assistant General Manager Nicole Clemens were also present. Following the pledge of allegiance, Dave Borsos, President recognized Earl Frank, Chair of Finance and Planning for all his hard work over the years. Frank will be stepping down to spend more time with his family.  Borsos reminded everyone that Trunk or Treat is scheduled for 4:00 PM on this day.  He also reminded the members that issuing of new ID badges has restarted.  Pictures will be taken on Friday between the hours of 11:00 AM and 7:00 PM and Sunday between the hours of 9:00 AM and 5:00 PM at the Administration building. The deadline for obtaining your new badge is December 30, 2020.  Borsos reminded everyone to get out and vote.  He said Halloween has fears that are fake and fun, however there are certain things that are not fake (Covid 19).  Currently there are political and racial injustices and riots which are burning down cities.  Historically we had riots in the streets in the 60s and 70s that we made it through and we will make it through the current contentious times and become a better society.  Borsos quoted his grandmother by saying “you can’t cleanup the world but you can clean up your front yard”. 

          Steve Kavanagh made a motion to accept the September’s 2020 minutes.  It was seconded by Bob Leon and passed unanimously after it was amended by Leon to correct statistics on homes that were for sale in the community.

          Bill Baehr, Treasurer, stated that for the month of September the Association operating costs were at $154K and YTD are within budget.  Receipt deposits are at $151K.  Code Enforcement Officer (CEO) collections are at $53K year to date and are on track to exceed the budgeted amount. Compactor card revenue is $3K for August.  Rental income is at $15.5K.  Reserve income is $10.5K for the month and $180K YTD. Dues collections are currently at 63.40%.  Income of dues to date are $868.8K which includes dues income, prior year’s dues, dues interest, dues late fees, payment plan income and collection fees. Delinquency collections YTD are as follows:

Special Payment Plan $6K

In house collections $128.7K

Attorney collections $500

Sunrise collections $5.8K

Cash on hand is $547K.

          Baehr reminded all to turn their clocks back tonight.

          Buz Whelan made a motion to accept the Treasurer’s report.  It was seconded by Bob Leon and passed unanimously.

Under Old Business:

  • Gamble stated that the badging system is going slow.  Approximately 35 members have shown up to get their new badges.  More individuals are showing up on Sundays.  A buzzer/camera was installed at the front door where it makes it easier to allow individuals access into the Administration building.
  • The new compactor regulations will officially go into effect on November 1st.  There will be a limit on the number of bags allowed.  Laptops and scanners are up and running so it is important for the members to get their new IDs.
  • Revisiting the reopening of the indoor pool is currently on hold due the incident with the roofer at the Community Center.  The front area needs to be set up and locks have to be redone in the locker rooms. We are waiting for the insurance adjuster.  The dehumidification system has been serviced and the filter has been changed.  The kitchen will be cleaned and outdated products will be disposed of.  The boiler room will be cleaned out, repainted  and used for storage.  The fire extinguishers will be inspected on schedule.
  • Additional lighting will be installed at the compactor and Administration parking areas.  The lighting at Pine Tree beach will also be increased as well as cameras to monitor the activity at night.
  • Basketball hoops are in and will be reinstalled at the courts at the Community Center.  Three hoops will be installed.  The courts at the Administration building will be resurfaced and painted in the spring. 
  • The mail house on Glade has been dug out and grating will be added to eliminate flooding in that area.
  • Blue Ridge has installed a dedicated system for the dehumidification system. Wi-Fi is up and running at the community Center.

Under New Business.

  • Winter prep is underway.  All spreaders and plows are prepped. Trucks have been powder coated.  All salt/sand has been ordered. A new shed was purchased and is located by the three bay at the compactor.  It will house mower equipment.  The heater in the garage has been replaced and an additional heater will be installed at the 3 bay.
  • Road lining will commence shortly.
  • A board resolution is on the agenda for the next open meeting setting forth a boating/sticker policy. There will be a $10 fee per boat, per year.  The sticker must be displayed on the boat.  Rental of a space on the boat rack is $15 for the season.  All boats must be removed by November 15th.  Any boat not removed will be taken by maintenance and stored at the compactor area.  A $50 storage fee will be charged for the owner to reclaim their boat.  The Association will not be responsible for any damage to the boat.  If the owner does not pick up their boat within 90 days, the Association may sell the boat if it is in good condition or destroy it if it is not water worthy.  Boats racks will be given out starting on April 1st on a first come basis.
  • Full time staff will have early dismissal on Christmas and New Year’s eve and have the Friday after Thanksgiving off.  The open meeting for December will be held on December 12th.
  • Escalating fines will be implemented for unsightly properties/garbage cans on the property as well as for the rental program.  Gamble wants to add permits for home owners who have dumpsters on their properties. He is recommending that the board pass a resolution for trash containers.

          Committee Reports

          Bob Leon, Steve Kavanagh and Ange Noonan will be working together on the Rules and Regulations committee.  Notification will be going out to get that committee back up and running.

          Buz Whelan reported on the Real Estate committee.  He stated that the group is highly motivated and are not anti regulation or enforcement.  They are in favor of a community where Short Term Rentals (STR) are welcomed and have no objection to escalating fines.  They believe that 90% of STR are good neighbors.  The committee is requesting to have staff at the Community Center, once it reopens, on Friday night till 9:00 PM and on Sunday since so many renters come in after the Administration building closes.  The want to streamline the rental procedures.  The committee is in favor of a landlord contact number that is available 24/7.  A penalty will be issued if a response is not forthcoming in a set amount of time.  Noise monitoring equipment is also under discussion.

          Director’s Comments

                   Bob Leon stated according to Zillow this morning 14 homes are available for sale. Cost for average home is $212K. Since May 4th, 71 homes have sold.

          Chris Claude stated to bundle up your kids that are going out trunk or treating.  Also, change the batteries in your home fire and smoke detectors.

          Ange Noonan thanked everyone for their contributions to Nicole Marie who has been helping Emerald Lakes with our feral cat population.

          Buz Whelan asked what was happening with the outreach to individuals that live in Emerald Lakes but are not part of the Association.  He suggested that a form letter be developed citing the advantages of being a full member be sent out.  Some people have deeded lakes rights which give them access to the lakes but not our amenities.

Public Comments

          Diane Caldwell suggested that a board member attend the Toby Township meeting.  Currently they are going into homes to see if their septic are legal and meets standards.  If you rent your home, septic systems must be pumped out yearly.

          Eight (8) new members were welcomed to the Community.

          Buz Whelan made the motion to adjourn.  It was seconded by Bob Leon.  Meeting adjourned at 11:51  AM.

Reporters Note: I write these reports based on notes taken during the meeting.  I get no special consideration or cooperation from the board.  I try my best to report accurately, but occasionally mistakes will be made.  I invite correction and have no desire to intentionally mischaracterize any comments or actions.

Emerald Lakes Board of Directors Annual Meeting, September 26, 2020

by Kathy Leslie-Whelan

          The meeting was called to order at 9:30 AM.  All board members were present.  General Manager Darryl Gamble and Assistant General Manager Nicole Clemons were also present. Following the pledge of allegiance, Dave Borsos, President introduced himself as the new president. He thanked Bob Leon for being the tech guy and recording the meeting.  He stated that being elected as president was a mixed blessing.  He stated that the contractor installing the roof did not properly tarp the roof so the ceiling in the Community Center caved in.  It is being handled by the insurance companies.  He stated that the same 7 people are on the board and they put a lot of time and effort into working for the Association. He prays for no freezing temperatures or rain.  Borsos said that the board is open and transparent.  He stated that due to Covid 19 restrictions the membership is missing out on many activities, however, the good news is the new paving.  He also said that they are maintaining what they have and allotting money across the board for what needs to be done.

          Steve Kavanagh made a motion to accept the August 2020 minutes.  It was seconded by Chris Claude and passed unanimously.

          Bill Baehr, Treasurer, stated that for the month of August the Association operating costs were at $150K and YTD are within budget.  Receipt deposits are at $212K.  Code Enforcement Officer (CEO) collections are at $43K year to date and are on track to exceed the budgeted amount. Compactor card revenue is $5K for August.  Rental income is at $13.7K.  Dues collections are currently at 59.78%.  Income of dues to date are $812K which includes dues income, prior year’s dues, dues interest, dues late fees, payment plan income and collection fees. Delinquency collections YTD are as follows:

Special Payment Plan $21K

In house collections $114K

Attorney collections $4K

Sunrise collections $22K

Cash on hand is $547K.

          Chris Claude made a motion to accept the Treasurer’s report.  It was seconded by Steve Kavanagh and passed unanimously.

Under Old Business:

  • Gamble stated that he is developing an action plan going forward for the membership to get their new badges.  He is checking with staff to determine what days the office will be open for badging only.  They will run badging only days including a few Sunday hours for a few weeks.  That will continue as long as there is traffic.  Otherwise the office will switch to badges by appointment only.  This is being tied to new compactor regulations.  There will be a limit on the number of bags allowed.  Only members with the new badges will be permitted to leave garbage and recyclables.  Sign are on order for the compactor identifying this number.
  • New basketball hoops are on order and will be reinstalled at the courts at the Community Center.  Nets will be steel chains.

Under New Business.

  • Trunk or Treat will be held on October 31st in the Community Center parking lot beginning at 4:00 PM.  A table with hot chocolate and goodies will be available for the children.  All must wear masks.
  • Bob Leon reported on the equipment and internet issues at the Community Center.  Currently the dehumidification system and Community Center share a router/modem.  Another unit will be added where the dehumidification system will have its own dedicated system.  In addition wiring will be upgraded to a Cat 8.  This will insure that WIFI will not cut out.
  • A special booklet will be developed that will identify contractors/vendors that do work for members in the community. 
  • Lake overgrowth issues are going to be addressed more aggressively.  Gamble was not satisfied with the results from last year’s treatment.  He is also looking into a relocation program for the geese.  This could cost $30K and there is no guarantee that the geese won’t return.
  • Short term rentals cannot be legally stopped.  Right now offending rentals are fined to the maximum.  Anyone exceeding the number of rentals in their advertising is reported to the appropriate township.  In addition, Gamble is going to have a public safety person on the night shift to respond to complaints. Public safety’s budget may have to be beefed up to add more staff.

          Committee Reports

          Earl Frank of Finance and Planning stated that our bottom line looks decent.  He is planning on meeting with Gamble, Clemens and Baehr to discuss the reserve money and capital projects.  Right now we have $360K in reserves. Rental income is $186K and since the bar and grill are not open due to Covid 19 we are saving money.  We are down about $30K on compactor cards.  Road maintenance was increased from $150K to $270K so more roads were paved. Projects put off to complete the paving were fixing the 3 bays for maintenance, paving at Bowstring and the purchase of a new truck.  The new chimney on the Community Center was $4,400, the rubber roof was $70K and the removal of the old rubber roof was $13K.  Some items that need repair in the Community Center will be completed before the ceiling is replaced such as new electrical which is badly needed. 

          Gamble also thanked Igor Palka and his family for the siding at the Community Center.  They donated the material and it was a perfect match.  The Palka’s own Bagels N Go on Route 611, right across from Great Wolf.  Everyone agreed that their bagels were the best.

          A motion was made by Bob Leon to accept the Audit report submitted by our outside auditor.  It was seconded by Chris Claude and passed unanimously.

Director’s Comments

                   Bob Leon stated according to Zillow this morning 13 homes are available for sale, 9 properties have been on the market for less than 90 days. 

          Buz Whelan stated that he hopes that this is the last outdoor meeting for the year since it was currently raining and a little chilly.  He suggested that the president should decide the time and place of the meeting and inform the board.  He also stated the town hall meeting for the short term rental report is key and they must make sure to know their goals, procedures and how you are going to control the meeting.  Whelan said that more planning means less regretting.

Public Comments

          Hillary Decker asked how much money was collected due to fireworks.  She was told that the number was in the newsletter. She also inquired as to when the pool would open but was told that they don’t have an answer.  Electrical work needs to be completed.

          Mary Kavanagh asked if we would lose employees when the outdoor pool closes. She was told that we have lost them already since most of them have gone back to school. She also inquired if we could meet at the maintenance garage area at the compactor.  Gamble stated they are looking at it but there are electrical issues and it is not heated.

          Twelve (12) new members were welcomed to the Community.

          Buz Whelan made the motion to adjourn.  It was seconded by Steve Kavanagh.  Meeting adjourned at 11:57  AM.

Reporters Note: I write these reports based on notes taken during the meeting.  I get no special consideration or cooperation from the board.  I try my best to report accurately, but occasionally mistakes will be made.  I invite correction and have no desire to intentionally mischaracterize any comments or actions.

Emerald Lakes Board of Directors Annual Meeting, August 15, 2020

by Kathy Leslie-Whelan

The meeting was called to order at 11:03 AM.  All board members were present.  Following the pledge of allegiance, Dave Borsos, Secretary, announced that we had reached quorum. Chris Claude, Judge of Elections called for anyone that was running from the floor. No one came forward. After introducing the board members, General Manager, Association attorney, Nick Harros and association auditor, Bill Owens, Buz Whelan, President addressed a few housekeeping items.  He stated that the meeting was being recorded and live streamed to the membership and that the meeting would be held in accordance with Robert’s Rules of Order.  He stated that according to Robert’s Rules the minutes from the annual meeting should be approved at the next open meeting.  The minutes from last year’s annual meeting were approved in September of 2019.

Whelan stated that in order to streamline the meeting, the President’s message, the Manager’s report and the Treasurer’s report were in the special edition of the newsletter. He said that Covid 19 did slow down projects, however a lot was accomplished during the last two years.  The watch word that the board operated under was transparency.

Bill Owens of William Owens and Company stated that in his financial opinion our audit report is true and correct. Our operating cash is $824K; our reserve fund has increased but more should be in fund; collections were $1.9M; sound year where expenses were controlled.

Our attorney, Nick Harros stated that was little legal activity this year.  We do have an open law suit at the compactor but our trash hauler is handling the case.

Candidates

Dave Borsos stated that he moved here in 2004 and has been on the board for three years.  He assisted with the fishing derby and the butterfly garden.  He stated he has a bio in the newsletter that folks can read.

Bob Leon stated that he has been on the board for four years.  He bought his property in 1984 and built in 1985.  He stated that in ELA as of January 1st, 54 homes sold in the community and currently there are only 16 for sale now.  Leon stated that 11 years ago he started the Face Book page where it has become the town hall.  He stated that the board has worked as a unit.

After ballots were cast the floor was opened up for questions.

  1. When will the basketball courts open?

          Response: It is not feasible at this time.

  • What process do we use to enforce rules for short term rentals?

Response: 37 fines have been issued for noise and fireworks.  Some of these violations were issued to weekenders and full time residents.  Whelan recommended having a Town Hall meeting to address this issue.  It was a consensus that this will be scheduled.

Results from Candidate voting:

 Dave Borsos 80 votes (55 proxy votes and 25 in person votes)

Bob Leon –  78 votes (54 proxy votes and 24 in person votes)

Financial Resolution # 1 (Passed)

Distribution of Surplus Operating Funds

Approval makes clear to IRS that the members of the Association authorize the Board to decide how to apportion any surplus.

79 Yes (53 proxy votes  and 26 in person votes)

7 No (4 proxy votes  and 3 in person votes)

Financial Resolution # 2 (Passed)

Apportionment of Annual Assessment

Approval makes clear to IRS that the members of the Association authorize the Board to decide how to split the assessment between the operating and capital budgets.

77 Yes (53 proxy votes and 24 in person votes)

8 No (4 proxy votes and 4 in person votes)

Meeting Adjourned at 12:32 PM.

New officers are as follows:

Dave Borsos – President

Chris Claude – Vice President

Bill Baehr – Treasurer

Steve Kavanagh – Secretary

Reporters Note: I write these reports based on notes taken during the meeting.  I get no special consideration or cooperation from the board.  I try my best to report accurately, but occasionally mistakes will be made.  I invite correction and have no desire to intentionally mischaracterize any comments or actions.

Emerald Lakes Board of Directors Open Meeting, August 1, 2020

by Kathy Leslie-Whelan

          The meeting was called to order at 9:34 AM. All board members were present.  General Manager Darryl Gamble was also present. Whelan accepted a motion from Bob Leon to accept the minutes from June.  It was seconded by Dave Borsos and passed unanimously.

Buz Whelan started his President’s message by welcoming Ange Noonan back from her staycation. He announced that this was the last meeting of the year before the annual meeting. The board was a little hampered by Covid 19 but has accomplished many things during the last few years.  Two by-law changes were approved by the membership.  One that allows proxy voting and one that makes quarterly payments of membership dues permanent so no future board or management company can take it away.  The outdoor and indoor pools were updated and improved with a new dehumidification system being installed at the indoor pool.  The new system should last indefinitely if it is maintained.  Landscaping was done at the outdoor pool, new furniture and painting was completed at the indoor pool.  Whelan stated that the lion’s share of the credit goes to the General Manager, Darryl Gamble.  The current board also made the wise decision to make Gamble a permanent position rather than an acting one at their first meeting in September of 2018.  Stone work and drainage was done at Pine Tree Beach.  The outside of the mail boxes was upgraded at Emerald Blvd.  There is total transparency in the board’s actions.  All meetings have been live streamed and archived.  Whelan stated that the current board has good synergy and works well together and he endorses the two board members that are running to maintain their seats on the board.  The board works well as a group and has the same motivation by putting the Association first.  The board also has a great working relationship with the General Manager, Darryl Gamble and Assistant General Manager, Nicole Clemens.  Going forward he is requesting that the members take care of the lawn at the end of their properties.  Most landscapers already do take care of this small strip of land. He would appreciate it if members who mow their own lawn either start or continue to maintain this area.  He means to encourage members, and for those who don’t there is no punishment threatened.  Whelan further stated that there will be more renovation going on but will leave that topic for Gamble to address. Whelan also said that houses are selling fast and for more money than they have in the past.  He concluded his message stating that the board will continue to be transparent and will continue to work for the betterment of the community to attain a premier status.

          Bill Baehr, Treasurer, stated that for the month of June the Association operated within budget.  Operating costs were at $155K and are within budget.  Deposits are at $226K.  Code Enforcement Officer (CEO) collections are at $21K year to date and are on track to exceed the budgeted amount. Rental income is at $23K.  Dues collections are currently at 59.64%.  Income of dues to date are $604,496 which includes delinquency collections. In house collections are at $127K, special payment plan are at $6,826, attorney collections are at $2,250 and collections from Sunrise are at $904.  Cash on hand is $547K.

          Bob Leon made a motion to accept the Treasurer’s report.  It was seconded by Chris Claude and passed unanimously.

Under Old Business:

  • Gamble stated that road repair from the outside contractor is underway and has started on Clearview.  Our maintenance staff is currently working on Minsi Trail and will move to the Birches next.  A lot at Main Beach was paved with a system that is a step up from tar and chip and will be evaluated for wear and tear, water runoff and how well it holds up over the winter.  If this is successful all the lots in the community will be paved with this system.  In addition, $115K extra was moved to the road budget.
  • Renovations at the bar and grill consist of extending the bar, creating a pass through where a grill menu will be displayed poolside.  All plumbing and electrical behind the bar will be upgraded.  Drinkware will be lucite and be used at the bar and at the pool.  Hopefully this will make the experience at the pool more fun and generate more income.  If successful, the hours will be extended for this facility.  If possible the liquor closet will be opened up via way of an archway.  Two sections of the ceiling will be replaced.  All lighting will be dimmable.  Pricing is coming in on this project.
  • Community Center pricing for the drop ceiling will be handled separately from the renovations at the bar.  Landscaping was done in the front but more will be completed at the newly installed fencing around the dehumidification system.  An opening from the bar to the pool and reconfiguring of the bar will soon commence.
  • Annual meeting preparations are underway.  It will be held at the Community Center on Saturday, August 15th since the high school is not available due to Covid 19.  A rain date is set for Sunday. Any member wishing to attend must wear a mask.  A 40 by 20 foot tent has been rented along with 70 chairs to augment the folding chairs the Association owns.  The sound system is being upgraded.  The audit report will be available for the annual meeting.
  • Chris Claude was named Judge of Elections since our secretary, Dave Borsos will be running to retain his seat.

No New Business.

          Discussion ensued regarding short term rentals since the membership has concerns.  Short term rentals are more popular now on the mountain.  Short term rentals are not illegal but must follow the rules and guidelines from ELA and the townships.  Currently,  Tunkhannock Township requires all landlord to register for a permit which costs $500 annually.  Tobyhanna Township currently has a resolution in draft for landlord which would require them to also obtain a permit annually.  If Gamble sees an issue such as a leaking septic system or advertizing of excessive number of people for occupancy at a rental, he reports it to the township for handling.  Gamble is working on a listing of all rental properties where the landlord listed must give him a workable telephone number with a contact person that is available 24/7.  If there is an issue with a rental a warning is first given.  If the infraction persists, a citation is issued to the homeowner.  First offense fines range from $200 for noise violations to $500 for fireworks.

Committee Reports

Dave Borsos, liaison for the Real Estate Committee stated that the committee met and had a list of questions and comments for the General Manager.  Gamble responded to them.  The next meet is scheduled for September.

The Maintenance committee met and submitted its minutes to the board.

Director’s Comments

          Ange Noonan stated that the bridge at Pine Tree beach is nice.  She also questioned why the beach there is always closed.  A discussion on the geese and possible solutions was discussed.  Some items were an aeration system, introduction of swans and more addling of the eggs during the spring.

          Bob Leon stated according to Zillow this morning 14 homes are available for sale, 10 properties are available for sale and there are 21 foreclosures in ELA.  11 properties have sold.  Leon questioned if a rules should be added for people with in ground pools requiring them to have water bought in to fill their pools instead of using water from our aquifer.

Dave Borsos thanked the folks on staff for the work they did for Meet the Candidates and the Annual Meeting.

          Bill Baehr stated that he officially retires from his full-time job tomorrow.

          Buz Whelan stated that he is preparing a special newsletter for the Annual Meeting.  It will include messages from the manager, president and a treasurer’s report.  The bios of the candidates will also be in this edition.  Statistics of violations/tickets issued will also be included.  Whelan also invited all the board members to submit personal articles to the membership.  All items for the newsletter are due a week from Tuesday (August 11th) so that Whelan and Clemens have time to put the paper together. Newsletter will be printed in house.

Ten (10) new members were welcomed to the Community.

Dave Borsos made the motion to adjourn.  It was seconded by Bob Leon.  Meeting adjourned at 11:36  PM.

Reporters Note: I write these reports based on notes taken during the meeting.  I get no special consideration or cooperation from the board.  I try my best to report accurately, but occasionally mistakes will be made.  I invite correction and have no desire to intentionally mischaracterize any comments or actions.

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