Emerald Lakes Board of Directors Open Meeting, February 27, 2021
by Kathy Leslie-Whelan
The meeting was called to order at 9:38 AM. Five board members were present. Chris Claude and Steve Kavanagh were absent. General Manager Darryl Gamble and Assistant General Manager Nicole Clemens were also present. Following the pledge of allegiance, Dave Borsos, President stated that winter is still here although we are only 22 days away from spring. He wanted to recognize our management and maintenance crew for the great work that was done with snow plowing so far this season. He also encouraged the membership to volunteer for a committee. Usually committees meet once a month and a committee is a good way to have your voice heard. He also stated that signing the two forms to join a committee does not give your rights away. The intent of the forms is to keep members remarks private as well as having meetings that are civil. Borsos also mentioned the annual meeting will be held in the summer where elections for the board will be held. He also reminded the membership to get their new ID cards and to make sure that the Administrative staff has their correct email on file since this is a large communication method that is utilized. He also stated that he would like to see the Community Center opened up. In addition, Borsos encouraged the membership to get their Covid 19 vaccination.
Bill Baehr made a motion to accept the January’s 2021 minutes. It was seconded by Bob Leon and passed by all board members present.
Bill Baehr gave the Treasurer’s report. He stated that for the month of January the Association operated within budget. Operating costs were $100.2K and are within budget. Receipt deposits were $205.5K. Code Enforcement Officer (CEO) collections were $92.5K year to date and are on track to exceed the budgeted amount. Permit fees were $5.5K. Public Safety citations were $2.3K. Compactor card revenues were $6.3K. Rental income was $30K. Reserve income was $24.7K and $443.5K year to date. Current cash assets are $580.3K. Dues collections are currently at 70.39%. Dues collected for January were $57K. Income of dues to date are $1.4M which includes dues income, prior year’s dues, dues interest, dues late fees, payment plan income and collection fees. Delinquency collections year to date are $4.5 K under special plan collections, $34K under in house collections, $25.5 K under Sunrise Collections and $25.5K under attorney collections.
Buz Whelan made a motion to accept the Treasurer’s report. It was seconded by Bob Leon and passed by all board members present.
Under New Business
- Borsos read the state’s covid restrictions. Self service restaurants can open at 50% capacity. Bar openings are forbidden if food is not served. Indoor recreation can open at a 50% capacity. All entertainment venues can open at a 50% capacity.
- Discussion started on the open meeting for August. Last year the meeting was held outside due to Covid and the high school was unavailable during the pandemic. That meeting was not well attended, but that could have been due to Covid and proxy voting which was implemented last year.
- There is an issue with the recycling area at the compactor. It costs money to have these dumpsters removed. Currently we have two pick-ups per week and the General Manager doesn’t want to add another pick up since it is very costly. Options discussed were that if the compactor dumpster for recyclables was full, the member would have to bring their recyclables back on another day. The member could also bring it to a local recycling facility. The decision was made to maintain what we are currently doing. Buz Whelan made a motion to let the General Manager manage the overflow of recyclables as he has been doing and that he should use his best judgment. Bill Baehr seconded the motion and it passed by a vote of three to zero with one abstention. Ange Noonan said she didn’t feel she had enough information and abstained.
- Body cameras were purchased for maintenance and public safety staff. Staffing has been taking abuse from some of the membership so hopefully this will cut down on the abuse and create a record of the incident.
- Since the bag limit at the compactor has been implemented, the monthly cost for the hauling of the trash has gone from a average cost of $13K to $8K.
- An old public safety vehicle will be utilized by our Code Enforcement Officer, Accountant and any maintenance member running an errand on behalf of the Association. Currently Claude and Gamble are looking for a vehicle for public safety in the $20 to $22K range. In addition, research is being done on the procurement of a new diesel truck for maintenance. Diesel trucks generally last longer.
A break was taken. There were technical difficulties especially with the comments coming through from the membership watching the meeting through the streaming process. Borsos read the comments aloud when the meeting was called back to order.
Under Old Business:
- Dam #1 ($20K) and dam #2 ($18K) on Mountain Top Lake (Total estimate is $45K once inspection fees and other costs are added.) and the Clover bridge project are two primary projects that will be completed and are a priority in the next budget. The emergency evacuation plan is completed with the exception of a small piece that is being completed by Joe Gallagher. Gallagher is under contract to maintain our lakes.
- The insurance check for $32K for damages at the Community Center was received. Phase 1 of this project consists of the men’s room, ladies room and hallway ceilings. All old wire will be removed, new wiring installed and a drop ceiling replaced. High hats will be installed in the ceilings. The closet behind the bar will be opened up. Most of the demolition work will be done by our maintenance staff once the snow stops falling. Work should commence within the next two weeks. The lead time for this contractor is three weeks for completion.
- Buz Whelan and Darryl Gamble worked on signage that will be at the mail sites regarding the household trash that is being illegally dumped there. Two signs will be installed at the mail house at the main entrance. One will be installed at the Estates and one installed at the Glade mail center. Whelan recommended that a member that reports or sees illegal dumping which results in the Association collecting a $500 fine, should be awarded $100 of that fine.
Buz Whelan spoke on behalf of the Real Estate Committee. He stated that the committee was diligent and always comes prepared to the meetings. All have signed the required forms (confidentiality and code of ethics). The laminated sign that will be posted in the rental homes has been updated. This sign highlights the rules and regulations that pertain to fireworks, noise, garbage disposal and more. Nicole Clemens, Assistant General Manager made a suggestion that the landlords be charged an annual lump sum for their registered renters instead of a fee every time they rent their home. This will cut down on paperwork and the landlords are in favor of this change. It is anticipated that a letter go out to the landlords at the end of March or early April with this change. The change should go into effect by May 1st. Whelan also stated that about 80% of the landlords want to improve their relationships with their neighbors. The next task this committee is taking is to review the township rules on rentals and see how they compare to ours.
Ange Noonan stated that she has 6 people for Rules and Regulations. She is planning on reaching out to them to schedule their first meeting.
Bob Leon stated according to Zillow this morning 7 homes are available for sale. 3 homes have been on the market for more than 100 days, but 4 are under 20 days. 120 homes have sold in Emerald Lakes just recently.
Bill Baehr stated that with all the snow that fell, finding a place to put the snow has become more difficult. Maintenance has done an excellent job with cleaning around the mail boxes. He is requesting that the membership be courteous and pull up so that 2 cars can park to get their mail. He also requested that you not sit in your vehicle and read your mail since others are waiting for their turn for the parking spot.
Buz Whelan discussed the possibility of a workshop for the membership, especially for the new membership that addresses the permit process, township permitting, PA regional law, Association regulations, and well and septic maintenance.
Kathy Leslie Whelan complimented the staff on all their hard work with snow removal and dealing with people at the compactor.
Five (5) new members were welcomed to the Community.
Bill Baehr made the motion to adjourn. It was seconded by Bob Leon. Meeting adjourned at 12:29 PM.
Reporters Note: I write these reports based on notes taken during the meeting. I get no special consideration or cooperation from the board. I try my best to report accurately, but occasionally mistakes will be made. I invite correction and have no desire to intentionally mischaracterize any comments or actions.