Emerald Lakes Board of Director’s Open Meeting, January 26, 2019
by Kathy Leslie-Whelan
The meeting was called to order at 9:30 am. All board members were present. Following the pledge of allegiance, Buz Whelan called for a motion to accept December’s minutes. Bob Leon made the motion which was seconded by Dave Borsos. Passed unanimously.
Whelan started his President’s message by thanking the maintenance staff for the terrific job that was done on snow removal. He stated that staff worked tirelessly and that Nicole Clemens, who after working a full shift in the office rode in the plow truck with staff all night to see how the operation was run. He further said that the community responded well with the no street parking and that because of Darryl Gamble’s organizational efforts the operation ran smoothly and better.
Whelan also said that the agenda format would change. There would be no Manager’s message since most of his items are covered under old and new business.
Steve Kavanagh gave the Treasurer’s report by saying that overall we are under budget by $8K. Maintenance was over budget by $9K but that was due to trash removal and snow. Bar and Grill were $5K over budget. Collection for delinquent accounts for the month of December was $37,128.
Bob Leon made a motion to accept the Treasurer’s report. It was seconded by Chris Claude. It was accepted unanimously.
Gamble addressed the following items under Old Business:
- Gate House Badging System is now at $13K, down from $40K. The original system had features that are not required at this time. The new systems will have 4 scanners. One will be at the compactor, one at the community center and 2 mobile units which will be used to check the membership’s badges at the outdoor pools and lakes. This system will also be able to report traffic patterns. Everyone will be getting a new badge. On January 30th a call is set up with the vendor to go over detail and it will take approximately 4 to 6 weeks to get the units in. The system should be operational at the end of March.
- Work at the outdoor pool is pending. A well pump may need to be installed. A contract is in place with Strand pool that will start in Spring so that the pool will be opened on the Memorial holiday weekend. Trees will be removed and some of the projects may overlap into the new year. Once the pool is opened and with the proper maintenance it should be good for the next 15 to 20 years. A maintenance contract/plan will be put into effect so that all required maintenance can be performed. The last project at the pool area will be looking into a used trailer for men’s and ladies’ rest rooms. Gamble will see if the trailer can be hooked up to our septic system. If it can’t then the units will have to be pumped on a regular basis. A snack shack may also be part of the planning. Until that can be worked out the food truck will be available.
- The work on the roof of the Community Center is underway. Rot on the plywood was uncovered so that will be corrected. The vent on the roof will be removed since it will no longer be in use. A meeting is currently being set up with the roofer, Falcon Engineering, HT Lyon and ServPro (Vendors working on the indoor pool), so that everyone is on the same page.
- Falcon has developed a new plan for the pool and was instructed that any work they did required approval. They were paid $3K to obtain 3 bids for the new dehumidification system and were unsuccessful so we received a credit for that money, along with a new engineer.
- HT Lyon is working with Falcon on the new dehumidification system for the indoor pool. We paid a down payment so the new system has been ordered. The unit will take 9 to 13 weeks to manufacture. Gamble will receive a construction schedule next week with timeline. The contract was awarded for $329K.
- ServPro is under contract for $109K for mold remediation. $128k was received from the insurance company and the balance of the money will be used where needed with a general contractor for doors and windows.
- Strand Pool is the last leg of project to get the indoor pool up and running. The pool will be drained and pressure tested. This will include testing the drains and checking and repairing leaks. The pool will be sandblasted and coated with color or repainted. The lights will be replaced with LED lights. The total scope of work will unfold after the inspections. A maintenance contract will also be put into place and the indoor pool should be good for the next 15 to 20 years. Whelan recapped the indoor pool projects by stating that the roof should be completed within 1 month. The dehumidification system will be completed in 9 to 13 weeks. Four weeks before the completion of the unit a concrete pad will be laid, the smoke shack moved. The mold remediation will take 2 to 3 weeks. Work by Strand will commence once all work over the pool is completed. It is anticipated that the pool will be opened by early summer. With proper maintenance the life span can go on indefinitely. A maintenance contract will be put into place where the pool can be remotely monitored.
- The Grill is food in food out. Gamble is monitoring that expense. We are not buying more food than we are selling. Work was done on the refrigeration and freezer units. The fireplace was replaced. The ice machine was fixed twice. Smoke heads and fire extinguishers have been serviced. The hinges on the front door were replaced since it fell off its hinges.
- The purchase of a used backhoe and truck are a work in progress. Gamble is working with Chris Claude on these procurements. The backhoe is the first priority and Gamble wants to up our requirements so that he can get a warranty on the unit. All of our vehicles are caught up with tune ups and required maintenance. A maintenance plan is being developed and all vehicles have a jacket to track maintenance. Gamble stated that snow removal is working in large part due to communications.
- Dam inspections are $950 per dam. We have three. They will be scheduled weather permitting.
- The lakes are now dormant. The fishing club is meeting on February 1st and Gamble plans on attending. Joe Gallagher will be at this meeting to discuss our cambomba situation and what maintenance is needed on our lakes. Future projects in the spring will be at Main and Pine Tree Lakes. The fishing club has dues for its membership. They host the fishing rodeo and help restock.
- Maintenance has filled in a few holes that have opened up in our roads by adding stone and tamping it down. All unpaved roads are currently having a cost calculated so that a plan can be developed to finish all paving. There are drainage problems on roads that must be addressed. In the future a permit will be required for any new paving of driveways to see that proper drainage is installed.
- Whelan talked about the dues increase meeting that will be held on March 16th at the high school. He explained that there are a number of speakers that are preparing the following topics:
- explanation of ballots
- why we need increase
- how money was saved
- what was done and what needs to be done
- discussion of equipment and vehicles
- how much we improved on delinquent accounts
- how much in bank and how much disbursed (availability of information)
- discuss cost of living increase
- importance of amenities on home values.
Under New Business there was discussion on changing our trash hauler to JP Mascaro and Sons. At the end of our fiscal year we will be approximately $30K over budget. That is a conservative number. This new contractor will be 21% less in hauling fees. Gamble wants to award a new contract within the next 7 to 10 days. In addition, we will start leasing the compactor where the hauler will be responsible for all repairs. The units will also be moved so that you can throw your trash and recyclable out through the middle drive through. The metal container will remain the same but there will only be one open top.
Rules and Regulations has submitted changes for approval. Whelan would like to see the document highlighted with all changes before he renders an opinion on the document. Claude would like to see the document more consolidated with redundancies eliminated. Borsos made a motion to table the discussion until a new document with tracked changes are submitted to the board. Kavanagh seconded the motion. It was approved unanimously.
Not on agenda but discussed was a procedure for events. If anyone would like to have an event they may present it to the board with a plan. A form will be developed. Information must include how it will be paid for, entertainment, decorations etc. The board or management will still have events that mark occasions. The board will be frugal with expenses for events.
Ange Noonan thanked the snow team and encouraged everyone to come to the March 16th special meeting. She pointed out that members who are against any increase regardless of necessity always attend. People who care about the condition of the community and its amenities should make sure to cast their vote. She is thinking on restarting the Women’s Club and would like anyone interested to reach out to her at firstname.lastname@example.org. Noonan also stated that she ran for the board because she didn’t like the discord that she saw but is now happy with the amazing change with the board. There has been much accomplished in a collegial way.
Dave Borsos commented that there is a change in the tenor of the meeting, postings and emails. He likes the philosophy of the board to do it right the first time.
Chris Claude would like to see a bylaw change for term limits for the special meeting.
Bob Leon complimented Gamble on doing a fantastic job. He is on top of everything and nothing is falling through the cracks
Al Leslie stated it was good to be back on the board and he is thankful that we have Darryl Gamble and Nicole Clemens on staff.
Earl Frank of Finance and Planning stated that he is still looking for a list of our fixed assets from our accounting firm. F&P has reviewed contracts and would like to review the new contract with the trash hauler before it is signed. At the end of December we had $625K in reserves. Frank suggested that a list be developed of projects that need to be done with associated costs. Trash removal is currently at $112K and will get to $170K at the end of the fiscal year. Our legal expenses are high. Gamble stated that some of those expenses were for court filings and expenses to take 25 delinquent accounts to court. It costs $650 plus fees to file these cases. If we are successful we will get these expenses back. Frank stated that the budget should define those expenses. Frank also stated that in the future the board should consider a bylaw change for an automatic annual dues increase.
John Palmisano spoke on behalf of the maintenance committee. The committee discussed some items that Claude already bought up. In addition, they discussed cars parking on the septic system at Main beach; installing rocks by the dry hydrants to protect them; continued cleaning of the debris from the ice storm; Pine Tree beach bulk head/retaining wall; addling of geese eggs; recreational vehicles parked on homeowners property.
Connie Simpson wanted to thank staff for fixing the road on Gap View Drive. She also stated that see was pleased to hear a recap of what is going on in the community and she thinks that projects are being done right,
Cookie Litweinski spoke about the excess water that is at the corner house across from the Administration building and the ice buildup in the road.
Jenn Gonzalez stated that people need to realize we had a poor management company which led to wasteful spending and the board making bad decisions and contributing to the wasteful spending. The budget we are working with was incorrect so we will be over budget in areas. She is happy that the new board and general manager are trying to take action to correct problems. Whelan stated that he and his fellow board members have been careful not to blame past boards. Each board is faced with their own set of problems because that is the nature of the beast. This board is forward looking and not looking back.
John Palmisano commented on legal fees that we get a subjective benefit when people see us taking action on delinquent accounts.
7 new members were welcomed to the neighborhood.
Kavanagh made a motion to adjourn. It was seconded by Noonan. Meeting adjourned at 12:30 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.