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.

Emerald Lakes Board of Directors Open Meeting, June 27, 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. Buz Whelan started his President’s message saying that the minutes from May’s open board meeting are not available at this time so the approval of the minutes will be done at the next open board meeting.  The meeting was being recorded and strict physical distancing was being observed.  Whelan stated that he expects a business-like  decorum when entering the Administration building.  He stated that an overwhelming number of people are observant and have been appropriate in their contact with staff.  He is grateful for that, however, over the past couple of weeks several people have entered in a rage using ethnic slurs, vulgar language and abusive or condescending behavior. This will not be tolerated and the individual exhibiting this behavior will be asked to leave or be removed. 

          Whelan further complimented the General Manager and maintenance staff on the appearance of Pine Tree beach.  He saw staffing gathering for work at 8:00 AM all week and working hard throughout the day even though it was hot and humid.  Whelan stated that the stone wall is attractive and compliments the beach.  It is a whole new look.

          Whelan further stated that since the Memorial Day ceremony was cancelled due to Covid 19, there will be a small ceremony at the main entrance flagpole on July 4th at 9:00 AM to recognize those who gave their life and made our country what it is today. The ceremony will be a flag raising, pledge of allegiance and singing of a patriotic song. 

          Bill Baehr, Treasurer, started his report stating that for the month of May the Association operated within budget.  Operating costs were at $110K and are within budget.  Deposits are at $220K.  Code Enforcement Officer (CEO) collections are at $16,440 and are on track to exceed the budgeted amount.  Rental income is at $27K which exceeds last year by $11,751.  Dues collections are currently at 47% since we extended the deadline of the first quarterly payment to June 15th.  Income from dues is $467,500 to date, which includes delinquency collections. In-house collections are at $141K, attorney collections are at $250 and collections from Sunrise are at $1K.  The Association is always moving forward against anyone that owes money on behalf of the membership.  Currently Emerald Lakes has an A + rating with collections.

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

Under Old Business:

  • Gamble stated that they are using a map to tackle the pot holes in the community and have been working aggressively to address these holes.  Two men are always working on pot holes when the weather is nice. Staff will also be using the rolled tar patching in more areas. Gamble is currently waiting for a report and pricing from a Contractor to do outside road work.  Gap View down to Main beach roads will be repaired and Clearview will be taken care of.  Under consideration is paving of the parking lots with gravel, chip and tar.  He is currently looking to procure a tar buggy. 
  • The outdoor pool is doing okay.  Last weekend was the first time the pool was opened due to Covid 19.  On the first day 50 adults entered the pool area.  The second day a total of 20 adults went to the pool.  People are reminded to wear masks to the pool.  The rules are as follows:
  • you need to wear a mask to enter
  • you must read and sign a waiver
  • you are required to wear mask if you are not swimming, drinking or eating or in your small group
  • you must social distance
  • no arguing with the attendants
  • IDs are required for entrance

Badging scanner on laptop will soon be in place to check IDs at both the compactor and the pool.  Training is starting with 6 new pool attendant hires.  4th of July week the pool will be open on Friday, Saturday, Sunday and Monday.  It is the intent to open the pool for more days once the new hires are trained.

  • Community Center has a long range plan to open.  The pool will open first and the number of people will be limited. More pool attendants will be hired.  There will be no access to the restrooms, showers or sauna.  Porta-Potties will be available.
  • The bar and grill will soon start renovations.  An opening from the bar to the pool and reconfiguring of the bar will soon commence.
  • Basket ball courts will not be opened, however, the tennis courts are currently opened.
  • Firework have become an issue in the community as well as nationwide.  Most major news stations are carrying stories of this issue.  If fireworks cannot be stopped it will try to be controlled.  A public safety member will be patrolling between 10:00 PM and 3:00 AM. $500 fines will be issued.  The violations will be posted in the Emerald Lakes newsletter.  Last week 18 violations were issued for fireworks.

Under New Business:

  • The annual meeting will be held on August 15th at the Community Center.  A tent and chairs will be rented to have the meeting outdoors.  A rain date was set of August 16th.  The call to meeting will identify ways to contact the staff for notification of postponement.
  • Meet the Candidates will be held on July 25th.  It will be live streamed and the membership can ask questions of the candidates at that time.  Since this is the date for the board’s open meeting for July, that meeting will be rescheduled to August 1st.
  • Notification will be going out to the membership reminding them that enforcement of our Rules and Regulations referring to grass cutting will be enforced.  It is the homeowner’s responsibility to cut the grass in the front of their property out to the roadway.  There will be a 60 day courtesy grace period with warning going out to the members who do not comply with this rule.

Director’s Comments

          Ange Noonan stated that she had good results from the police and AWSOM when dealing with loose dogs. She also noticed that properties are looking beautiful possibly due to people at home due to Covid 19.

          Chris Claude stated that unregistered RVs and vehicles need to be removed throughout the community.  Clemens stated that any identified vehicle should be reported to the CEO.

          Bob Leon stated according to Zillow this morning 23 homes are available for sale, 10 properties are available for sale and there are 24 foreclosures in ELA.  Leon also warned the members not to park on their septic mound.  If they collapse it could possibly cost the homeowner thousands of dollars.  Leon stopped at a house to tell a member that had a car parked on the mound.  Finally, Leon questioned our phone system.  Currently a new system is being looked at.  Once our contract expires with our current vendor a new system will be installed.

          Steve Kavanagh stated that the fire on Granite road was a kitchen fire and did not start from fireworks.

          Bill Baehr stated that he is happy with the animal rescue crew (FURR) which is assisting the membership with feral cats.  He also noticed more family members walking in the community probably due to Covid 19.  People are working in their yard and everything looks nice.

          Dave Borsos had questions and comments from the Real Estate committee that met via Zoom.  They were annoyed that phone calls were not being returned.  They were advised to utilize email instead.  They wanted to know why the office could not be opened on Friday for weekend rentals.  Currently we are down two staff members at the Administration office and Nicole Clemens is handling all issues.  She sometimes works a 10 hour shift.  Management is looking to hire a part time worker to replace a worker that quit.  Another staff member is currently out on maternity leave.  The committee inquired if they could pre purchase badges or seasonal badges for their tenants, ones that would last for the entire season and could be transferable.  They were told no.  The committee inquired about the training procedures for public safety.  They were told that training was in-house and based on (Standard Operating Procedures) SOPs.

          Buz Whelan stated that it is race weekend and since no spectators are allowed due to Covid 19, traffic shouldn’t be a problem.  He stated that the raceway holds 350K spectators.  Whelan also stated that a special annual meeting edition of the Emerald Lakes newsletter will be coming out and will contain the candidate bios as well as any information needed for the annual meeting.  This will help streamline the annual meeting.  Whelan further stated that after the pandemic is through he would like to move forward with a kayak/boat rental program and complimented Gamble and Clemens on the idea.  In addition to these rentals there will be life vest rentals, basketball rentals and tennis racket rentals.

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 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 Workshop, June 13, 2020

by Kathy Leslie-Whelan

          Since Monroe County has gone into the yellow phase during the Covid-19 pandemic, the board had a workshop at the Community Center while maintaining physical distancing, having temperatures taken and wearing masks.  Since the meeting was not recorded, I was invited in to document the meeting for the membership.  President Buz Whelan called the meeting to order at 10:03 AM.  All board members and General Manager Darryl Gamble were present.  Nicole Clemens, Assistant General Manager was working at the Administration building handling in-person business.  Since June 3rd, the office has been opened on Wednesday and Saturdays between the hours of 10:00 AM and 4:00 PM. CDC and DOH guidelines are being strictly followed. Only one person at a time is permitted in the office after their temperature has been taken.  All that enter must be wearing a mask and keep a safe distance from the staff.  All business that can be handled electronically should continue to be handled in that manner.

          Buz Whelan handed the floor over to Darryl Gamble for an update on the projects that are currently underway.  Gamble stated that there was new flooring at the Administration building and the office at the Community Center.  The boat stickers are in so the membership can start to register their boats. The tags/hangers are in and fishing permits will start to be issued next week.  Because of the virus and limited time allowed for Zoom meetings, Gamble set up an ELA account for a small fee which allows for longer meetings.  Committees are encouraged to start up their monthly meetings utilizing this account.  The Real Estate committee has already used this account and has had their first meeting since the pandemic occurred. 

          Currently Gamble has a map of the Association that identifies road issues.  The problem areas identify what repairs can be done in-house and what repairs need to be contracted out.  Anyone who knows of a pot hole that needs repair should report the area to Gamble to ensure that it is taken care of.  Gamble is looking into tar and chip roads and pricing for next year.  This method works best on a high traffic roads where there is cracking.  The cost for asphalt paving is $1,275 per square yard.  Please note in my last article, I mistakenly reported that figure as a square foot cost.

          A resolution was put forth by Secretary Dave Borsos for a Tax Assessment Appeal. This resolution is for reclaiming property tax payments that were billed to the Association in error. This resolution was seconded by Bob Leon.  It passed unanimously. 

          When the county goes green, the administration office will continue as it is running now.  The outdoor pool will open with a limited amount of furniture and limited snack shack items.  There will be scheduled groups allowed in for different time slots. The pool can allow a 75% capacity.  The porta potties and railing will be sanitized after each group leaves.  Pool attendants will be scanning IDs as well as taking temperatures.  The membership will be required to sign a waiver before entering the pool area.  Currently Gamble is looking to hire pool attendants for part time work.  If interested, please email the Assistant General Manager at nclemens@emeraldlakesassoc.com.

Gamble stated that supplies are trickling in for sanitizing through the amenities. 

          Both Main Beach and Pine Tree Beach are okay to go.  The bath houses will be sprayed down periodically by maintenance.  Within the next two weeks, the retaining wall repairs at Pine Tree will be started.  There will be a soft 6 foot slope to the beach and a drain will go to the right side.  These items will not go to the water so special permits will not be required.  Main Beach will be getting new sand and a few boulders.

          Basketball courts and tennis courts will require the membership to sign waivers.  There will also be signs posted to encourage the membership to maintain social distance and to wash hands.

The Community Center bar and grill will undergo some renovations to make thing more efficient and consistent.  A cut out with window will be between the pool and the bar.  A new bar will be reconfigured and needed electrical and plumbing work will happen behind the bar.  There will be a three bay sink and dishwasher.  The refrigerator will be moved to the back wall of the closet.  The left hand side will have shelving.  Cocktail makers will be procured so that drinks will be consistent.  Soda will be canned/bottled soda.  The bar menu will continue to be implemented.

          A discussion was held on the grass cuttings.  This discussion will be rehashed during the next meeting that will be live streamed.  The discussion was on the possibility of the membership cutting the grass at the front of their properties. 

          Whelan spoke about the need to set a date for the Annual meeting.  Since the high school will not be available for rental due to Covid-19, he discussed options for the board to consider.  One option would be by way of an emergency by-law change and move the date of the meeting for a few months.  A second option would be to rent a circus tent and have the meeting on August 15th, with a rain date of August 16th. 

          Whelan also stated that he usually puts out a paper before the open meeting but is holding off on the June issue so that whatever decisions the board makes at their next open meeting on June 27th can be covered and relayed to the membership.   Whelan also stated that meet the candidates will be 3 weeks before the voting so that the membership has sufficient time to mail in their proxy voting if they decided to vote in that fashion.

          Borsos requested that the voting ballots be corrected and that the reference to” any marks on the ballot will disqualify the ballot” be eliminated. 

          Bob Leon announced that according to Zillow we currently have 24 houses for sale, 8 lots for sale and 23 foreclosures.

          Steve Kavanagh made the motion to adjourn.  It was seconded by Bob Leon.  Meeting adjourned at 1:14 PM.

Emerald Lakes Board of Directors Open Meeting, May 16, 2020

by Kathy Leslie-Whelan

Due to the Covid-19 and physical distancing the second virtual board meeting utilizing Zoom was held for May.  This meeting can be viewed on the official Emerald Lakes Face Book page or web page.  The meeting was called to order at 10:03 AM.  All board members were present.  Darryl Gamble, General Manager, and Nicole Clemens, Assistant General Manager, were also present.  Buz Whelan started his President’s message by saying that all zoom rules apply to the meeting.  The meeting was being held in accordance with Robert’s Rules of Order except where local custom dictates otherwise and that the meeting was being recorded and archived.    Whelan further thanked the membership for their cooperation and understanding during this pandemic and stated we will continue to follow the governor’s guidelines/rules.  ELA is a quasi government where rules are imposed and enforced and penalties are imposed when rules are broken.  Whelan stated that yesterday he attended a Zoom memorial service for a 59 year old member who passed away from Covid-19.  Currently there are 31 confirmed cases in Long Pond.  The ELA Newsletter will hit the kiosks next week.  He encouraged the board members to submit articles for the publication stating that it is a chance for them to communicate to the membership.  This edition will contain the new fishing rules which were developed with the assistance of the fishing club.  These rules will be enforced when the governor lifts the bans on our area.  ELA cannot endorse anything that goes against the state’s mandates.  Whelan stated that there are many complaints about unreturned phone calls at the Administration.    Staff are only in the office one day a week and cannot retrieve their phone messages from home or change voice mail messages.  Our contract is with Frontier and it is expiring.  This firm will be replaced once the pandemic is done. The best way to contact management is by email. General Manager, Darryl Gamble’s email address is dgamble@emeraldlakesassoc.com Assistant General Manager, Nicole Clemens email address is nclemens@emeraldlakesassoc.com.

It takes approximately 10 days to credit accounts due to the process and limited access to the office.  Our CEO only comes to the office one day a week.  If you are requesting a permit it may take longer.  Once it is approved, you will be notified and it will be taped to the door at the Administration building.

Bill Baehr, Treasurer, stated that for the month of April,  $142,504 was for operations and $412,106 is in receivables.  The Code Enforcement Officer collections are currently at $99.5K YTD, while $60K was budgeted for the year.  Rental income is down by $39K.

Dues collections are currently at 72 1/2% for 2019 ($1,658,227 YTD)

2020 collections:

  • Sunrise collections $ 104K
  • In house collections  $256K
  • Special Payment Plan $89K
  • Attorney collections $ 90K

Unaudited cash surplus is $239K, dues for first quarter $241K, pre-paid dues $308K. 40 to 50 people have requested a special payment plan due to Covid-19.  The extension for dues payment is now June 15th.

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

Under old business Whelan accepted a motion from Bob Leon to accept April’s board minutes.  It was seconded by Bill Baehr and passed unanimously. 

General Manager, Darryl Gamble spoke about the reopening procedures for the pools, beaches, Community Center, and Bar and Grill.  The outdoor pool is up and running but will not be staged until all restrictions are lifted.  We were under contract with Strand pool and moved forward with all tasks required for the reopening.  The pool area will be locked and the pool will be covered.  Currently we are not heating the pool until it can open.  Gamble stated it takes 3 days to heat the pool.  The indoor pool is in pristine condition and is operating at 100%.  It is monitored by Strand pool.  The beaches are being tended to also.  The bath houses are being brought up to snuff but will remain locked with the water turned off.  Signage will go up discouraging large crowds and that you are there at your own risk.  All indoor recreational areas will remain closed until Monroe County goes green. The Community Center/Bar and Grill pass through is being funded from past year’s money that was rolled over to reserves.  This project along with ceiling repairs and renovations of the amenity will move forward. Some renovations are needed in the bar area where pipes are leaking and electrical work needs upgrading. There is no contract in place at this time.  The estimated cost is $35K with a contingency of $50K.

Road maintenance will be started when the ban is lifted and materials become available.  Bowstring is on schedule to be paved this year but no contract is in place yet.  $150K is budgeted this year.  The road will be done right by using 3 inches of tar, laying a base and correcting water drainage.  In addition, several areas of roadway are identified to be repaired where large sections will be roll patched by the paving contractor.  Maintenance staff will continue to cold patch the pot holes and roll patch the smaller areas needing repaired.

Under Capital projects for this year, dam repair is under contract, but work is pending due to the ban from the Covid-19 pandemic.  Emergency Evacuation Plans a water monitoring system will be put in place for two dams.  Water will be measured daily, inputted into a computer program on a weekly basis and sent to the State yearly.  DEP/State fines will happen if we do not maintain and repair dams.  The plan is estimated at $61K, but with some repairs it will be $68K.  Truck purchase is on hold, however a new John Deere lawn mower was purchased.

The Community Center rubber roof is under contract. The Contractor received $28K as a down payment.

Pine Tree and Main Beach are a work in progress.  A retaining wall and curtain drains are required at Pine Tree.  Sand will be delivered when the ban is lifted.  Volunteers will be assisting maintenance with work at the main entrance.  Finally a new roof and fencing is needed at the Administration building.

Fines given to the membership are not issued without the member receiving a notice and a time frame to correct the situation.  If a member has a third offence on an issue, Gamble will reach out to the individual.  Tree removal, noise complaints and ATV infractions need a progressive scale for the member who doesn’t heed the rule.   

Under New Business:

  • Discussion was on the “Meet the Candidate” and Annual August meeting.  A decision will be made at the June 27th meeting whether to move the meeting date or have a virtual meeting.   The decision will be based on the latest Covid-19 restrictions or ban lifting for the county.

Director’s Comments

Bill Baehr offered his assistance to the Administration office since he has been furloughed till the end of July. 

Two new members were welcomed to the Community.

Bob Leon made the motion to adjourn.  It was seconded by Dave Borsos.  Meeting adjourned at 12:15 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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