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.

Emerald Lakes Board of Directors Open Meeting, April 25, 2020

by Kathy Leslie-Whelan

Due to the Covid-19 and physical distancing there was no board meeting held in March.  A virtual meeting utilizing Zoom was held in April.  This meeting can be viewed on the official Emerald Lakes FaceBook page.

 The meeting was called to order at 9:42 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 asking if everyone was wearing pants.  Whelan said we don’t have a flag but I think the shelf life on our February Pledge of Allegiance hasn’t run out yet.  He stated that 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.  He also thanked the membership for passing the $200 annual dues increase.  Direct proxy voting was used at this meeting with the votes coming in at 128 in favor and 108 against.  Whelan stated that the money goes into the Association and doesn’t go to the board.  Whelan stated that the ELA Newsletter hasn’t been out last month but he and Nicole will be working on a new issue this week.  It should hit the kiosks by the mailboxes this weekend.  Whelan also cautioned the membership to abide by the traffic rules by obeying the speed limits and stopping at the stop signs.  A number of children are out on their bikes as well as many families walking.  Whelan asked the board to start thinking of the Capital projects and how to prioritize them.  He is hoping that the pass through can be completed as a priority while the Community Center is closed.

Bill Baehr, Treasurer, started his report with the Bar and Grill March numbers.  This amenity did close mid-March so the numbers reflect the reduced hours.  The Bar and Grill income was $1,826.33. Cost of supplies was at $2,712.21.  Payroll and taxes $2,889.30. The cost to operate the Bar and Grill for the month of March was $3,775.18.

Code Enforcement Officer collections are currently at $91K YTD, while $60K was budgeted for the year. Public Safety is still under budget due to the open position.  March Maintenance is currently within budget due to the mild winter and snow removal. Snow removal YTD is under budget, but that could change with a late spring snow storm.  Refuse removal continues to show savings each month.  Administrative payroll is currently over budget YTD by $20,653.99K.

Recreation and Amenities currently is over budget YTD by $12,758.90. which is due to March’s Bridge and Dam Maintenance expense  of $28,333.22.  Utilities are slightly over budget by $3,560.03 due to the increased electric cost of administration by $1,052.84 and the Community Center electric by $1,386.66.  Propane cost at the Community Center was also over budget by $1,407.70

The total for March Receipts deposits was $116,127.32.

The total for Cash Disbursements for March was $214,567.

The Capital Expense for March was $51,833.62 which included the expense of $6,982.60 for the roof on the Community Center. Miscellaneous repairs was $44,850.62.  Total March Expenses was $162,489.96.   March Budget was for $149,307.25 which put us over budget by $13,182.71. Year to date expenses are still within the planned budget.  Various rental income is still exceeding the planned budget by $55K.  Dues collections are currently at 72%.

Delinquency collections are as follows for the month of March:

  • Associate Collections $1,396
  • Sunrise collections $ 23,386
  • In house collections  $69,625
  • Special Payment Plan $9,029
  • Attorney collections $ 670

TOTAL – $104,108

Delinquency collections are as follows YTD:

  • Associate Collections $15,761
  • Sunrise collections $ 99,031
  • In house collections  $998,178
  • Special Payment Plan $86,476
  • Attorney collections $ 90,366

TOTAL – $1,289,814

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

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

Under New Business:

  • Darryl reported on three items. 1)  What we are doing now.  Staff have been working from home and alternating time at the Administration.  Mike  Ramos from Public Safety is in the office on a daily basis and is answering phones and responding to or forwarding messages.  The membership was informed that it may take time to have dues payments posted to accounts.  Multiple employees handle the process for regular payments.  Checks are recorded and logged in daily.  Checks are deposited once a week.  The following week checks are posted to accounts.  Since the volume of mail has increased, staff are coming into the office more frequently, all while physical distancing.  The Compactor is running smoothly.  The attendant is there but some people are getting too close.  In some cases multiple people are getting out of their vehicles.  The membership is cautioned not to operate the compactor.  Currently all bills are being paid so we are current. 2) Contracts and projects are lined up for when we open.  Contracts are in place for all summer activities.  They include the pools, porta potties, the dehumidification system and the dams.  The outdoor pool is scheduled to open up for Memorial day, however, it is subject to change based on Governor Wolf lifting the ban.  The office is aware of the number of out of state license plates in the community.  The membership have emailed and left messages of their concerns.  All this information is recorded and is being investigated.  Pictures were taken of the cars in the driveways.  Fines will be issued for any short tern rental that did not follow the governor’s ban.  3)  Road Maintenance cannot be done at this time.  The Association cannot get the needed cold patch to repair pot holes.  Also, physical distancing makes it difficult to put a team together.  Currently there is limited service.  Rocks are being put in the larger holes and the trash is being picked-up on the side of the roads.  As soon as ban is lifted road work will commence.  In addition, Gamble has applied for a grant.  If approved, 20% will be able to be spent on items such as utilities, where the balance will go to staffing.  Some of the maintenance staff have been deputized and are currently out patrolling.  Our full time staff need the hours to maintain their health insurance.  Currently the three part timers at the Community Center are furloughed and can collect partial unemployment.  The branch/leaf drop off area is currently being prepared so the membership will be able to drop off these items at the compactor in the near future.  The roof at the Community Center has had the leaks fixed and shingles replaced.  As soon as the weather allows the rubber roof will be replaced.
  • The 2020/2021 budget was adopted.  Dave Borsos made the motion to adopt.  It was seconded by Bob Leon.  There was a roll call vote. Motion passed with 6 yeses and 0 nos.  The budget is now available on ELA’s website.  An email was sent out to the membership notifying them of the budget availability. 

Director’s Comments

Bill Baehr offered his assistance to the Administration office since he has been furloughed for three months. 

Bob Leon asked the membership to have patience with the office staff when it comes to checking on your dues check clearance.

Buz Whelan asked the board to put on their thinking hats in regards to the Annual Meeting in August.  He also thanked Chris Claude for setting up the Zoom meeting.

No  new members were welcomed to the Community.

Bob Leon made the motion to adjourn.  It was seconded by Bill Baehr.  Meeting adjourned at 10:38 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 22, 2020

by Kathy Leslie-Whelan

The meeting was called to order at 9:35 AM. Five board members were present.  Ange Noonan and Chris Claude were absent for personal reasons. Following the pledge of allegiance, Buz Whelan started his President’s message saying that 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, archived and live streamed.  According to Robert Rules of Order no member can accuse another member of lying or ascribe another member’s motive. An example given was that if the discussion is about a dog park, you cannot accuse a member who supports the effort of doing so simply because they have a dog, and the reverse is true as well.  It is the issue that is at hand, not the motives of discussion contributors.

Whelan further spoke of a meeting held the past Tuesday where 5 board members and management attended.  The main discussion was on the bar and grill and where improvements can be made with cost and effectiveness.  A major item discussed was moving forward with opening up the pass through from the bar to the indoor pool and reconfiguring the bar. Coupled with that and a new and attractive menu, the hope is to attract more foot traffic and sales.  The work will necessitate closing of the Bar and Grill for two to three weeks.  Once the work is completed the bar and grill may be available on Sundays.  Currently a public safety individual will be stationed at the Community Center on Friday and Saturday nights.  This individual will respond to issues but report back to the Community Center after he responds to the incident.  If the traffic flow increases, ELA may look into operating our own vending machines since our current contractor is slow to respond to our request to refill the snacks/drinks.  Chris Claude has recommended that more events be held at the Community Center to attract more of the membership. Another recommendation is to add music to the center such as Sirius radio.  In the future any rule change or issue addressed by the board will be published in the Emerald News as well as emailed to the membership.  The membership was encouraged to sign up for the email blasts.  As of March 15th, older ID’s will no longer be valid at our facilities. 

Bill Baehr, Treasurer, started and his report stated that for the month of January the Association operated within budget.  The Bar and Grill income was $3,606. Supplies were $3,423. Payroll/taxes were $3,785. The cost of operation was $3,602.

Code Enforcement Officer (CEO) collections YTD are $79K while only $60K is in the budget. 

Public Safety was under budget due to an open position.  Maintenance was slightly over budget by $7K due to snow removal.  Trash costs continue to go down.  Administration was over budget YTD at $20K due to buying out a former’s employee’s time and a part timer going to full time.  Recreation and Amenities operated within budget for January.  Utilities went over for propane by $3.5K due the indoor pool.  Total cash receipts are $204K while total disbursements were $195K which included $5.1 K for beaver control and $2.5K for lake restocking.  Capital expense for January was $48K.  Expense of $28K for roof on the Community Center as a down payment.  Work on roof will commence when weather allows.  Miscellaneous repair was $12K.  $5,400 for the new vehicle purchase was for paying off the back hoe.  $500K was spent on the club house up to this point in time.  In January 8 homes sold resulting in $8k worth of transfer fees going into Capital Reserves.  Various rental income is $55K over budget.  Dues collections were at 70% but at time of report they are close to 75%.  In house collections of dues is $782,307 YTD.  For January $105K was collected in house.

Delinquency collections are as follows for the month of December:

  • Association Collections $954
  • Sunrise collections $ 3,057
  • In house collections  $42,056
  • Special Payment Plan $4,536
  • Attorney collections $ 1,420

TOTAL – $52,024

Delinquency collections are as follows YTD:

  • Special Payment Plan $66,211
  • In-house collections for prior years $265K
  • Attorney collections $ 88,275
  • Sunrise collections $ 73,125

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

At this point in time, Whelan asked Earl Frank, Chairperson of Finance and Planning to give his committee report.  Frank stated that 83% of collections are made by our office.  For January equity is $150K down.  Total capital available is $162K.  Collections are close to 75%.  Rental income is $55K and CEO violation collections are $35K. Frank is meeting with Darryl Gamble this week to go over the preliminary budget for the next fiscal year.  In addition he has received from our outside auditor a list of Emerald Lakes fixed assets.

Whelan accepted a motion from Bob Leon to accept the minutes from January.  It was seconded by Bill Baehr and Dave Borsos and passed unanimously.

Under New Business:

  • The special meeting that is scheduled for March 7th at Pocono Mountain West High School (PMWHS) on Route 940 can be bumped if a PMWHS function on February 29th gets snowed out.  In that case the meeting will be held at the Community Center. Notification of the meeting being moved will be done by website, official and unofficial face book pages, email blast or for those that do not have access to these mediums, they can call the administrative office during normal business hours. A number of direct proxy votes have already been received by our third party designee.  Five sign up stations will be available.  The meeting will be brief with introductions, short opening statement and an explanation of the ballots by the Judge of Elections, Dave Borsos.  Call to order will be approximately at 11:10 AM and the ballot box will be open around 11:25 AM.  Public comments will commence during counting of the ballots and for anyone not planning on staying, results will be on the website.  If dues increase passes it will be used to hire one or two maintenance staff and additional staff for public safety.  Pot holes are fixed with in house maintenance staff.  Since many of the board members took over 19 months ago, many of the amenities have been bought up to speed.  The board plans on focusing on road repair and Public Safety.
  • Community Center Greeters program has been a success. The greeters have identified areas that need attention as well as disbursed information to the membership that enters the Community Center. Some potential buyer of homes in the association are awed by the indoor pool and learn about the other amenities that would be afforded them.  In addition, the greeters advise the membership of policies and events that are occurring at the center.  Julian, a greeter, also recommended that we do more events to bring in more foot traffic such as a monthly birthday bash to celebrate those that had birthdays that month, pool league, DJing etc.
  • The membership was encouraged to sign up for email blasts.  There was a glitch in the system where preset emails were not going out.  Nicole Clemens is working with the software provider to fix this issue. 

Save the Date Reminders:

  • Special Meeting March 7th at Pocono Mountain West High School. Registration begins at 9:30 AM.
  • Karaoke Night – March 14th at 8:00 PM in the Community Center.
  • Trivia Night – March 20th at 8:00 PM in the Community Center.

Director’s Comments

Bill Baehr stated that he hopes we get a good count on the people using the amenities with the new badging system.  He also stated that we should consider opening up the bar and grill on Sundays if the foot traffic is there.  Baehr also stated that we have not had a dues increase since 2011 and the cost of road maintenance has increased tremendously.  If the Association followed the Consumer Price Index (CPI) since 2011 our dues would be at $2,100.  A $200 increase is sorely needed.

Bob Leon stated according to Zillow this morning 47 homes are available for sale in ELA with a price range of $72k to $430K.  135 members watched the January streamed meeting.  He also recommended that the Rules and Regulations resume meetings.

Dave Borsos acknowledged the work of Whelan, Clemens and Gamble with getting the Call to Meeting out on time.  He further stated that he has a pet peeve with using initials for things since not everyone is savvy as to their meaning i.e. Code Enforcement Officer (CEO).  Borsos also inquired as to where all the paperwork is kept with the work in progress and contracts that were put in place.  He was told that current project paperwork is kept with Gamble and Clemens.  Last year’s is in file room and all other years are organized in the attic at the Administration building.

Committee Reports

Linda Shuey for the Maintenance committee was present.  She encouraged the board to read their minutes but did not want to talk about the meeting until all committee members approved the minutes.

No other committee present to report.

Public Comments

Linda Shuey likes the larger print in the Emerald News. She asked if we were notified of foreclosures and was told that we usually hear after that home changes hand.  Shuey also inquired about the cost for the pass through between the bar and the indoor pool.  She was told the estimate is between $30K and $35K but all work that can be done in house will be done by our maintenance staff (demolition, etc.)

Julian who is a volunteer greeter asked about the trash that was dumped at the mailboxes on the holiday.  He asked if fines were given and how we combat it.  He was told that if the individual is identified, they are given a $500 fine and are reported to the Waste Authority where additional fines are issued.  Our staff members physically go through trash and individuals are sometime caught on our security cameras.  Whelan stated that if you see something, say something.  Not to the offending party, but report any car make, model, color, license plate number, description of offender to the Administration office. Julian also inquired about fireworks that are being set off at all hours of the day and that he feels that when he calls to complain that he should not have to give his name.  Gamble stated that he likes to let the member know what actions were taken and if necessary follow up.  He understands the membership’s concerns and will instruct Vector, who handles these calls, that the caller does not need to leave their name.

Cathy Borsos recommended progressive fines for members committing the same infractions. 

Louise Leon thanked the board for the pool and water aerobics.  She inquired about a fundraiser to purchase equipment for the pool tournaments.

One (1) new member was welcomed to the Community.

Steve Kavanagh made the motion to adjourn.  It was seconded by Dave Borsos.  Meeting adjourned at 12:05  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 25, 2020

by Kathy Leslie-Whelan

The meeting was called to order at 9:35 AM. Six board members were present.  Ange Noonan was absent due to the flu. Following the pledge of allegiance, Buz Whelan started his President’s message saying that 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, archived and live streamed.  He stated that he would talk  about a special meeting being planned for a dues increase later on in the meeting when we got to the topic on the agenda.

Bill Baehr, Treasurer, stated that for the month of December the Association operated within budget.  The Bar and Grill income was $4,426. Supplies were $$3,115. Payroll/taxes were $2,717.

CEO collections YTD are $73,800 while only $60K is in the budget. 

Public Safety was under budget due to an open position.  Maintenance was slightly over budget by $7,918 due to snow removal.  Trash costs continue to go down.  Administration was over budget YTD at $17,842.  Benefit package for employees went down by 20% effective December 1st.  Utilities went over for propane by $4,041 due to the opening of the pool and the extended hours.  Total cash receipts are $75K while total disbursements was $159K.  Capital income was $12,751 for the month of December, YTD is $348K.  Dues collections are $677K YTD where 75% was collected in-house.

Delinquency collections are as follows for the month of December:

  • Association Collections $954
  • Sunrise collections $ 3,057
  • In house collections  $42,056
  • Special Payment Plan $4,536
  • Attorney collections $ 1,420

TOTAL – $52,024

Delinquency collections are as follows YTD:

  • Association Collections $11,770
  • Sunrise collections $ 68,427
  • In house collections  $677,286
  • Special Payment Plan $63,089
  • Attorney collections $ 86,855

TOTAL – $52,907,429 (edited total 1/27/20)

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

At this point in time, Whelan asked Earl Frank, Chairperson of Finance and Planning to give his committee report.  Frank stated that the January meeting was cancelled due to snow, however, he revised the charts that were in the mail out for the special meeting and that the final numbers for December look good.  Delinquency statements are good but reserves are low between $150K and $175K.  New hires are needed in Public Safety and Maintenance.  Frank has also started working on the next budget for the fiscal year. 

Whelan called for discussion on the December minutes.  After two corrections, Dave Borsos made a motion to accept the minutes.  It was seconded by Bill Baehr and passed unanimously.

Under New Business four resolutions were passed (see bold faced area) and it was reported:

  • Management recommended that fishing (both ice fishing and regular fishing require a permit from the Association.  There will be a hanger for the car as well as a bright color plaque to wear on one’s back.  Anyone wanting to fish will be required to register at the Administration building where they will be logged into the system. Only members in good standing with a valid fishing license or an individual affiliated with a lot will be allowed to fish.  A $5 fee will be imposed on the permit to cover the cost of materials for printing the passes.  This will help to identify people that are fishing on our lakes that are not members.

Resolution # 0125-2020-03

Registered Fishing – All fishing will require an ELA permit that can be obtained at the Administration Office with a copy of your valid Pennsylvania Fishing License and a $5 fee.  The permit will be valid for the length of your fishing license.  You will be required to display your ELA permit at all times while fishing our lakes.

Dave Borsos made the motion to accept resolution. It was seconded by Bob Leon and passed with a 5 to 0 vote.

Resolution # 0125-2020-04

Add Fishing Fine to Schedule – Rules and Regulations will add an unregistered fishing fine of $200.

Dave Borsos made the motion to accept resolution. It was seconded by Chris Claude and passed with a 5 to 0 vote.

  • Management recommended compactor regulations putting a limit on the number of bags a member may bring to the compactor.  Eight (13 gallon) kitchen bags or 2 (55 gallon) constructions bags will be allowed per visit.  The purpose of the restriction is to avoid addition pick-up from the trash hauler which is costing us addition money.

Resolution # 0125-2020-01

Compactor Bag Limits. Discussion was on reducing the amount of trash and recycle pick-ups. Currently, our pick up schedule is 3 times weekly.  There is an issue with owners making multiple trips with 10 plus bags each time. There is a possibility that  some of this trash does not belong to current members in good standing. 

Compactor Policy

  1. Owners/Tenants must present their ELA ID when utilizing the compactor.
  2. No more than 8 kitchen sized bags or 2 construction sized bags may be dumped during the course of the day.
  3. You may only dispose of your personal property’s trash.
  4. ONLY household trash will be permitted. NO construction refuse will be accepted.
  5. No electronics will be accepted.
  6. No wet paint cans will be accepted.  Each can must be dry.
  7. No deceased wildlife will be accepted.
  8. No tires will be accepted.
  9. No bulk items will be accepted.  (Bulk items include appliances. mattresses, box springs, toys, furniture, etc.)
  10. Recycling boxes must be broken down prior to arrival.

Dave Borsos made the motion to accept resolution. It was seconded by Chris Claude and passed with a 4 to 0 vote. (Dave Borsos voted “Nay”)

  •  Agenda was adjusted to add an item on Pool Rules.  This rule will be in effect for the indoor and outdoor pool.

Resolution # 0125-2020-02  Pool Rules

Change rule letter e. from “Children twelve (12) years of age or under, must be accompanied by a responsible person sixteen (16) years or older who shall be responsible for the child’s behavior and conformance to all pool rules while in the pool area.” to “Children under the age of sixteen (16), must be accompanied by a responsible person eighteen (18) years or older who shall be responsible for the child’s behavior and conformance to all pool rules while in the pool area.”

Dave Borsos made the motion to accept resolution. It was seconded by Chris Claude and passed with a 5 to 0 vote.

  • Community Center Greeters was tabled due to Ange Noonan being absent due to the flu.
  • All the material is completed for the Special Meeting Prep which is scheduled for March 7th at Pocono Mountain West High School on Route 940.   Whelan stated that we have been informed that the high school has a function on February 29th and if it gets snowed out we will be bumped from the auditorium.  In that case the meeting will be held at the Community Center. Notification of the meeting being moved will be done by website, official and unofficial facebook pages, email blast or for those that do not have access to these mediums, they can call the administrative office during normal business hours.  (Please note that the staff cannot change our outgoing message.  Per our contract only Frontier can do that.  This contract will soon expire so this issue will be corrected.  Chris Claude recommended that we look into having a system like the schools have where a recorded message can go out to the membership.)  The call to meeting material for the meeting is prepared and should be mailed out sometime next week in order to meet the deadline of having the documents in the membership’s hands 30-45 days prior to the meeting. Direct proxy voting is part of the package.  An envelope addressed to our accountant, must be used if you plan on voting using this method.  Registration for members attending the meeting will be between the hours of 9:30 AM and 11:00 AM. At the close of the registration, our Secretary who is the Judge of Elections, shall officially announce the close of the registration and if quorum has been obtained.  Following the pledge of allegiance Introductions of all present will be made.  The Judge of Election will than give instructions on the ballot. The ballot box will be open for all to vote. The membership in good standing will be allowed 2 minutes to comment.
  • Bob Leon was named Webmaster to keep our website current.

Save the Date Reminders:

  • Super bowl Party – February 2nd at the Community Center. There will be a $5.00 fee, payable at the door. More information to follow.
  • Trivia Night – February 21st at 8:00 PM in the Community Center.
  • Karaoke Night – February 8th at 8:00 PM in the Community Center.
  • Special Meeting March 7th at Pocono Mountain West High School. Registration begins at 9:30 AM.

(The pool and Community Center will now be opened for the 5 Monday holidays.  The schedule will be that the Bar and Grill will be opened on Sunday between 5:00 PM and midnight.  A special will be available on this night, possibly wing night.  The pool hours on Sunday shall be 1:00 PM to 9:00 PM.  On the Monday holiday the pool will be open between the hours of 1:00 PM and 7:00 PM.  The next scheduled Monday holiday is President’s Day. 

Director’s Comments

Bill Baehr commented that we have not had a dues increase since 2011 and the cost of road maintenance has increased tremendously.  He complimented Darryl Gamble and the maintenance staff for doing a good job with their limited resources.

Chris Claude stated that due to the lack of needed income the board has to prioritize where the money is being spent.  They are completing projects correctly instead of putting a band aid over them.  He is asking people to be realistic.  Saying that you will not vote for a dues increase since the roads are not done or the snow is not plowed is self defeating. In the future Claude would like to see money put aside for things that are needed in the future so that we are not scrambling around on how to pay for things.

Buz Whelan agreed with Claude and added that if the dues increase is granted it would net us $300K/year which will enable us to do more for the Association.

Bob Leon stated that although our delinquent dues collections are going well, that well will eventually run dry.  He stated that the number of homes on sales is dropping which means homes are selling.

Dave Borsos commended the ladies at the administration office for how smoothly things are going especially with the new badging system.  He also wanted to know why our reserves are so low.  Reserves are used to do needed repairs.

Committee Reports

No other committee present to report.

Public Comments

Louise Leon stated that Adult Water Aerobics was able to meet on the Monday holiday for Martin Luther King and she appreciates that the board and management are mindful of their schedule,

Mary Kavanagh inquired if there was a time line when the pass through between the bar and the pool was going to be completed since many people are using the emergency exits while in swimwear and getting the floor wet. In addition, she feels the area where the couches are needs more lighting.  She saw some of the younger members getting somewhat intimate.  She also stated that the saunas were being left on to heat the bathrooms. Gamble told her that there are no immediate plans for the pass through.  He wants to schedule it when it would be least obstructive and at a time when the project can be completed all at once.  Right now he and the maintenance staff are tied up with other tasks.  As to the lighting, Gamble stated that it is installed on the wall by the couches.  Gamble stated that the saunas may be removed from both bathrooms.  At this point Louise Leon was not happy with that statement.  Kavanagh further questioned whether we should hire Vector Security and do away with our one staff member.  Whelan stated that the cost of in-house security is less expensive.  Vector was very expensive and didn’t patrol as frequently as was in contract.

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

Steve Kavanagh made the motion to adjourn.  It was seconded by Bob Leon.  Meeting adjourned at 11:45  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, December 14, 2019

by Kathy Leslie-Whelan

The meeting was called to order at 9:34 AM by President Buz Whelan. Six board members were present. Ange Noonan was absent due to her attendance at her daughter’s graduation. Sarah graduated Magna Cum Laude from the University of Tampa.  Congratulations Sarah.  Following the pledge of allegiance, Buz Whelan started his President’s message saying that the meeting was being held in accordance with Robert’s Rules of Order and that the meeting was being recorded, archived and live streamed.  Whelan wished the membership a Happy Holidays whether it be a Merry Christmas, Happy Hanukkah, Joyous Kwanza or a Happy Festivus.   (For those that want to celebrate, Festivus is Monday, December 23rd.) Whelan complimented Nicole Clemens for the wonderful job on the centerfold pages of the Newsletter.   The “2019 Year in Review” contains pictures of accomplishments and events. Whelan further stated that Nicole couldn’t be at the meeting due to a death in her family.  He also stated that Ange Noonan was attending her daughter’s graduation and Earl Frank, Chair of Finance and Planning was absent due to a family gathering. Whelan also congratulated Darryl Gamble on all the upgrades to our facilities. He stated it was a pleasure to walk into the Community Center and the Administration building.  The ambiance is warm and inviting.  Whelan went on to say that we have had numerous dues increase meetings that were unsuccessful but the need still exists for an increase. After the meeting in May the board worked hard with the money they had.  A lot was accomplished with our limited resources.  The board wanted to prove they were good stewards of the association money. Pocono Mountain West High School (PMWHS) has been reserved for March 7, 2020 for another request for an increase. If an increase is granted, the board is looking to hire additional public safety and maintenance staff.  In addition, if the proper funding is granted, the board wants to focus on road work that is needed throughout the community.  It should be noted that if there is a snow storm on February 29th, PMWHS will bump us from the March 7th date. In that case the meeting will be moved to the Community Center.  In the case of a snow storm on March 7th, the meeting will be postponed till March 14th at the Community Center.  Proxy voting will be in effect, so anyone who wishes may cast their vote by mail.  The board is also aware that the membership is not fond of long winded speeches, since 16 people that registered to vote at the last meeting never cast their votes.  The board will have a handout that will contain all the information needed.  There will be brief comments from the board and management and time will be allotted for the membership to talk.  With the improved counting procedure, it is anticipated the meeting to take less than one hour. 

Bill Baehr, Treasurer, gave an abbreviated report since the meeting was being held early due to the holidays and this month’s financials were not ready. Delinquency collections are as follows for the month of November:

  • Associate Collections $1,526.28
  • Sunrise collections $ 9,621.92
  • In house collections  $86,401.55
  • Special Payment Plan $4,578.85
  • Attorney collections $ 2,250.00

TOTAL – $104,378.60

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

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

Under New Business it was reported:

  • The new badging system and new web site went operational at the same time.  There were a few bugs to work out but Gamble is comfortable that all will work out.  There was an issue with the bar code being too short on a few IDs, which was corrected and badges are being checked at the compactor and Community Center. A deadline will be given to the membership to have their ID pictures taken. The new Web site had issues with registration.  The membership was advised to call administration if they are having issues registering.  If you are not receiving email blasts you should also contact the administration office.    
  • There have been complaints about staff standing around at the Community Center. Gamble explained that we have limited staffing and that he is still feeling out the schedule. Mike Ramos from Public Safety wears many hats.  He was at this meeting recording the live stream.  Gamble also appreciates all the volunteers that are checking badges at the Community Center.
  • Information is being accumulated on our dams.  RKR Hess has inspected the dams and we are waiting on their report.  The mapping of the dams needs to be corrected at a cost of $3,800.  Water at the dams needs monitoring and is more complex so a training course will be provided to our maintenance staff, management and a few other individuals.  Valve inspection and scoping still needs to be completed.
  • Compactor bag restrictions and ice fishing is a discussion that the board will have at a workshop meeting planned for January 11, 2020.  Some individuals are dumping construction waste in the compactors which causes additional pick-ups being required.  Construction waste is heavier and some people are arriving with full trailers.  The board will decide what restrictions and/or fines will be implemented.  Ice fishing banning is another topic for discussion.  The fishing club members will be invited to this session.  Linda Shuey from the audience stated that the fishing club has made recommendations in the past but the board has ignored them.     The General Manager disputed this.      

Save the Date Reminders:

  • Trivia Night – December 13th at 8:00 PM in the Community Center.
  • Karaoke Night – December 14th at 8:00 PM in the Community Center.
  • Vendor Event – December 15th between 11:00 AM and 4:00 PM at the Community Center.
  • Story time with Santa – December 21st at 1:00 PM in the Community Center.  $10 per child.  Sign up at the Administration building.
  • New Year’s Eve Masquerade Party – December 31st at 8:00 PM to 1:00 AM in the Community Center. Tickets will be sold at the Administration building for $20 each. 

(Going forward Karaoke night will be held the second Saturday of every month, and Trivia night will be held the third Friday of every month.)

Director’s Comments

Dave Borsos stated that the Community Center is looking wonderful with the newly opened pool, the holiday decorations and the new conversation pit by the fireplace.  He just asks that people do not damage all the furniture and improvements that were made.  Borsos wished everyone a good and safe holiday season.

Bill Baehr agreed that a dues increase is necessary.  The cost of road maintenance, compactor fees have all gone up and additional staff is needed.  He stated that if you added the Cost of Living Adjustment (COLA) to the last time we had an increase our dues would be at $2,100 a year.  Baehr complimented the staff on the holiday decorations in the Community Center and acknowledged the volunteer program that Ange Noonan started where members are checking badges at the door.  He and Noonan personally walk through the pool area when it closes and pick up trash and straighten out and fluff the pillows.  Baehr further stated that next Sunday will be a year since he moved into his home in Emerald Lakes and it has been the best year of his life.  He has made numerous friends and was elected to the board.  He is blessed to have met and developed so many new friendships.

Bob Leon stated that the pool is open from 1:00 PM to 7:00 PM on Sundays with the bar and grill closed.  Water aerobics is Monday, Wednesday and Friday between 9:00 AM and 11:00 AM and the water temperature was 79 degrees and going up.  There is also an opportunity to swim laps during water aerobics.  Leon ended with thanking Gamble for repairing the road on Cedar Drive by the Pine Beach Dam.

Committee Reports

Ken Shuey, Chair of the Maintenance committee stated that they met on November 11th and wanted to reinforce their recommendation of adding line painting (especially on the main roads) as a dedicated line item on the next budget. Whelan stated it will be done and that he is a proponent of line painting.  He agrees that this process is a safety issue, especially during foggy weather.

Public Comments

Louise Leon stated that this is the best darn board, management team and Tom our accountant.  As a former life guard herself, she does not feel it is a good idea to have a mommy and children swim without life guards.

Mary Kavanagh asked if there was a deadline for the members to get their picture IDs and was told that one will be set.  She also inquired about the process for the event’s form and how long does it take to get approved. She was told that Nicole Clemens initially gets the form and looks for the availability of the Community Center.  When the new web site was implementation last month, not all of the private pre-booking carried over, however, the approval will be done quickly.  Kavanagh also stated that she was happy with the board decision to take care of the yellow lines on the roadways.

Nine (9) new members were welcomed to the Community.

Bill Baehr made the motion to adjourn.  It was seconded by Bob Leon.  Meeting adjourned at 11:35  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.

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