Emerald Lakes Board of Directors Open Meeting, April 27, 2019
by Kathy Leslie-Whelan
The meeting was called to order at 9:38 am. Four board members were present and one was present by phone. Al Leslie and Chris Claude were absent for personal reasons. Following the pledge of allegiance, Buz Whelan made a statement about the dues increase special meeting to be held on May 11th. He stated that the due date for dues this year will be May 22nd, however, a grace period will be given to the membership until June 15th.
Under the Treasure’s report, Kavanagh stated that on the whole, we are under budget $28K, however the money we have not spent has been committed and eventually will be paid out for various projects that are in place. Maintenance is over budget by $8K and public safety is $6K under budget. This is because the GM was the security chief and is now paid under Admin. For the second month in a row the bar and grill is $364 under budget. Collection for delinquent prior year dues is at $12K for the month of March and at $341K year to date. Ange Noonan made the motion to accept the treasurer’s report. Dave Borsos seconded it. It was approved unanimously.
Whelan called for a motion to accept March’s board minutes. Ange Noonan made the motion which was seconded by Dave Borsos. Passed unanimously.
Darryl Gamble addressed the following items under Old Business:
- Work at the outdoor pool on schedule. A new well pump was installed as well as additional work being done now so that the pool will open on time. Gamble wants to also install a water filtration system at the pool which will only run while the pool is open. This system will save the pool 5 years of wear on the pool filtration system and pump. Our contractor, K&B will ensure that at the end of the season all pipes are drained and that the unit will be disconnected and flushed. This water filtration system was just installed at the administration building.
- Strand Pool is under contract for the indoor pool. Gamble has put 50% down to lock in scheduled time with this firm. Service Pro is under contract for mold remediation and approximately $18 to $19K in excess insurance will be rolled into the contingency fund to have other work completed such as doors, etc. The dehumidification system will be completed by May 5th but will not be delivered until the cement pad is cured and ready to accept unit. The unit will take approximately 2 weeks to install, however, the membership was informed that other work was still required before the pool becomes functional.
- There is still a skeleton crew at the Community Center since the indoor pool is not opened.
- Water drainage problems on Archer have gotten worse, so that is the first area that is being corrected. Clearview will also be corrected. New signage will alert drivers that men are working. Homeowners will be notified when work is commencing.
- Speed bumps with signage will be installed at various areas in the community such as at the outdoor pool. These speed bumps and signage will be portable.
- Gap View, which is a dirt road, will be paved. All culverts and drainage will be addressed. Cost is between $52 and $53K. Bowstring is next on the list to be paved. The two roads are through roads. If a dues increase is successful, Gamble wants to tackle more work on the roads. The estimate to pave all dirt roads is $480K. An email blast will go out when work is being performed on the roads.
- There is a new rental fee schedule and policy which was recommended by the Real Estate Committee. This committee is comprised of residents and landlords. Short term renters generate more garbage as well as use of the amenities. The compactor fees will be $20 for up to 3 days and $40 for 4 to 7 days. Any landlord who has a private pick up will be responsible for any trash that is left by the can being over-turned. The daily fee to use an amenity went from $5 to $10. Full-time renters will go from a mandatory fee of $350 to $400. Any fine issued will be greater than the fee itself so it should encourage compliance with the fee structure. The will be a $200 fine for any landlord who does not register their renters and a $35 fine for a late registration. The landlord will be given 4 passes and the above stated fines will be increased based on the number of violations. May 1st is the start date of these fees and fines. Once the new badging system is in place, there will be no exceptions especially in the compactor area.
Whelan called for a motion to accept the new Rules and Regulations document that was submitted by the committee. The board discussed this document at many meetings with Dave Borsos putting on the “final shine.” Dave Borsos made the motion to accept the revised Rules and Regulations document. It was seconded by Ange Noonan and was passed unanimously.
Under New Business:
- A new truck with a new engine, new tires and oil change was purchased for $48K. The truck is a 2012 International and will replace “Big Red”. The new color is black. A brand new 10-foot plow was also included with this purchase.
- The 2019/2020 budget was available for review and comment from the membership for 30 days. The budget was prepared by our GM, Assistant GM, Accountant and Finance and Planning chair. It was prepared taking into consideration that dues are $1,000 per property. If the dues increase passes, there is a list of projects that will be done with the additional funding. Whelan called for a motion to accept the 2019/2020 budget. Noonan made the motion which was seconded by Borsos. Passed unanimously. The budget is now available for anyone that wants a copy at the Administration building.
- Whelan stated that the special meeting will be on May 11th at the Pocono Mountain High School. Doors will open at 9:30 AM. A presentation has been prepared which addresses what the board/management has been doing, how they are spending money and why we need a dues increase. Whelan thanked the last year board for terminating the management company and promoting Gamble and Clemens into their Manager and Assistant positions. Those actions put the current board on the right track to correct actions by the poor management company Whelan stated that there has been no dues increase since 2011 and we are looking to maintain a substantial community without reduced services and deferred maintenance. Whelan asked that the membership listen to the presentations and that everyone will be given a chance to speak. There will be a soft 2 minute rule. No one will be cut off in the middle of a sentence and will be allowed to complete their point.
Questions were as follows:
- What is the cost to rent school? Response $1,000 to $1,200.
- What is the compliance rate for dues collection? Response last year we were at a 49% compliance rate. We are now at 73% but are anticipating it to go to 75%.
Ange Noonan asked the membership come to the special meeting with an open mind. She requested that you give us the opportunity to complete presentations.
Whelan stated that when Steve Kavanagh, Chris Claude and he ran for the board their platform was one of transparency so that the membership knew what was going on. He feels that the membership is more unified when things are done out in the open.
Borsos recognized Linda Shuey for all the work that she completed on the Rules and Regulation document. Shuey went over the document with a fine tooth comb. Borsos stated that we are going for a dues increase that is really needed. If it doesn’t pass we will manage but there will be things that will not be done. All projects being completed today are being done the right way. The board is trying to get projects into a regular schedule instead of doing things when problem arise.
Earl Frank of Finance and Planning stated that for two months in a row the Bar and Grill revenue has exceeded the cost of operation. He also wanted to recognize Gamble, Clemens and Mugan for the work they put into the 2019/2020 budget. Frank stated that our legal bills are at $51K but $35K came in because of legal actions where we took delinquent home owners to court. The $35K is an initial payment from 4 members who were put on payment plans, so additional funds will be coming in over the next 12 to 30 months. Frank will be presenting at the May 11th special meeting and he thanked Clemens for preparing his charts electronically. He will be addressing about a dozen things that need to be done and a dozen things that we like to get done.
Connie Simpson asked if we were going to include AirBNB’s in the rental fee and fine schedule. She was told yes. Currently our management staff have identified 73 properties that advertize online that are not registered under our rental program. All will be contacted. So far settlements with a number of them are completed and approximately $20K has be collected for fees and fines.
Cookie Litwienski stated that her neighbor may be renting rooms. Management will look into. She also pointed out that there were two additional big pot holes on Glade Drive.
Eric Bergstrom stated that he likes the strategy for the dues increase meeting. He also likes that when we use contractors that are familiar work tends not to be shoddy. He also asked whether the new engine was actually new or was a used engine installed.
Alex stood with 4 points. 1) We can collect more money if we check badges on the beaches on Friday, Saturday and Sunday. 2) Do we search for houses that are being rented? (Yes, we do) 3) If we want dues increase we have to finish pool. Only 4 communities up here have indoor pools. 4) We should have a class action law suit against Tyler Tec who has done the tax assessments on our properties. He had a 60% increase in his home value. He feels we should unite and go against this company. On July 1st you will be given an assessment and will have 21 days to respond. Carmen Broadnax suggested that he go to the county commissions and lodge a complaint.
Don Atkiss stated that our butterfly garden is doing well. There has been a 150% increase in monarch butterfly migration and much success was credited to the way stations, like ours, that were installed. Our way station is officially registered (#16266) and a Certificate of Appreciation was presented to Darryl Gamble to display at one of our facilities. There is a meeting next Saturday at Don’s house for this group to discuss what we will do this year. Some ideas include a photo contest, tagging program for the kids (may be able to track flight of butterflies at our site) and a program to watch them develop in cages. Also thanks went out to Linda Shuey for her weeding efforts.
Alan Shaddler wanted to know what maintenance plans there were for the pot holes. He was told that we are currently cold patching and within the next two weeks we will see stone being laid.
Bill Baehr stated that if you factored the cost of living adjustments (COLA) since 2011 when our last dues increase occurred, our annual dues would be $2,105.51 which is way higher than the $200 being requested. He feels we should be looking towards the future instead of complaining.
Bill Henry added that in 2011 the dues increase was 25%. If we get the increase today it would be a 20% increase.
9 new members were welcomed to the Community.
Noonan made a motion to adjourn. It was seconded by Borsos. Meeting adjourned at 11:44 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.