Emerald Lakes Board of Directors Open Meeting, January 22, 2022
By Kathy Leslie-Whelan
The meeting was called to order at 9:36 AM. All board members were present. Bill Baehr joined in via Zoom. General Manager Darryl Gamble and Assistant General Manager Nicole Clemens were also present. After the pledge of allegiance, Buz Whelan, President started his message calling for a motion to approve December’s open board meeting minutes. The motion was made by Bob Leon and seconded by Steve Kavanagh. It passed unanimously. Whelan opened his President’s message by discussing winter operations. He explained that salt doesn’t work without sun and traffic. Our roads are treated with a salt and cinder mixture and every road is treated. Our maintenance staff is assigned to specific routes that they are responsible for. The primary roads are plowed first followed by secondary roads and finally cul-de-sacs. Staff works round the clock during a snow event. He stated that people have posted on the unofficial page that they have seen plow trucks going by at various times in the morning. (2:00 AM) If you move to the mountains, you have to expect snow. The homeowner has to take responsibility for their home and there may be days that you are snowed in. Vehicles must not be parked on the roadway. It could be dangerous to our drivers. Whelan stated that Tobyhanna Township just passed a regulation for snow that is plowed or shoveled from a driveway into an active roadway. They are charging a $1,000 fine and a 30 day jail time. He urged the membership to use caution during a snow event. Whelan further stated that the amenities will be opened based on its usage. The Community Center will be closed on Tuesdays and Thursdays for cleaning or other maintenance that needs to be performed.
Whelan explained to the membership that a resolution was being voted on this day that was a retroactive resolution. In our budget we had money for a new vehicle; however, during this time it was very difficult to locate vehicles for sale. Gamble was able to locate two, 5 ton trucks and action was required immediately. President Whelan and Vice President Claude went over to the dealership with Gamble and worked out a deal for the Association.
Dave Borsos gave the Treasurer’s report. He stated that for the month of December dues income, prior year’s dues, dues interest, dues late fees and collection fees is $1,184,287 Year to Date (YTD) and is $77K under the budgeted amount. Other income is at $429K YTD which includes Public Safety citations, bank revenue, and rental revenue. (Rental Income was $325K). Code Enforcement Officer (CEO) revenue, access card, boat and fishing fees, Resale fees, compactor cards, snack shack and misc totals $218K bringing the income totals to $1,832,956 YTD. Expenses for different cost centers YTD are as follows: Administration $366K; Public Safety $77K; Maintenance $644K; Community Center/Recreation $123K; General/Professional $24K; Utilities $62K; Insurances $80K. The total YTD expenses are $1,378,265. Cash Assets are $754K YTD and Reserve Fund is $524K YTD.
A motion was made by Steve Kavanagh to accept the Treasurer’s report. It was seconded by Bob Leon and passed unanimously.
Under Old Business:
- Update on Community Center (CC) –The front entrance is now open. The game rooms will open. The bar will open before the grill, but everything needed to complete the renovations is on site. Several items repaired or replaced include the pool heater motor, boiler repair; unit on roof will be looked at for possible repair. The CC was brought up to standards as addressed in the Kipcon report. The bulk of money spent on the CC went into the structure which included wood, electrical and plumbing work. Warranties were obtained on new equipment, and just about everything is under contract should repairs be required. All new smoke/carbon monoxide, fire alarms were installed and new sink and counter tops were installed in the bathrooms. The kitchen and the room next to the kitchen will be the next items to complete. Our license to operate is on hold (safe keeping) and will be reactivated once the kitchen is completed. Whelan invited the membership to come in and look at the CC when it is opened.
Under Old Business
- Maintenance staff is well prepared for winter operations. One member’s vehicle was towed for parking on the road during a snow event. Gamble requested that you park your vehicles at least 10 ft back from the road. Do not leave snow in the roadway after plowing or shoveling. It creates a safety hazard. In addition, anyone who puts out garbage cans must make provisions for the cans. The can should also be bought in at the end of the day.
- Rules and Regulations will meet on February 4th. They will address water safety regulations, snow regulations and signage within the community.
- Spring and summer projects were discussed. The board will identify projects, look for a projected cost and try to schedule these projects. Some projects discussed were a bath house for the outdoor pool, a pavilion for the outdoor pool or Pine Tree Lake, expanding the beach at Pine Tree, a lake toy at Main Beach, a dog park, basketball courts by the Administration Building and outdoor dining facilities.
A short break was held to sing happy birthday to Darryl Gamble. A cake was bought out and served after the meeting concluded.
Under New Business
- Budget preparation will start in mid February. The budget must be in place by May 1st. The membership will be given 30 days to review and comment on the budget.
Rules and Regulations will meet on February 4th.
Appeals will meet on February 5th.
Real Estate Committee met and is scheduling a public workshop for March 19th.
Finance and Planning looked over December financials and our numbers look good and stable. A special meeting will be held on March 5th to discuss the budget.
Board Resolution # 00122-2022-01
Resolve that the Board of Directors approve the purchase of 2 new maintenance trucks. (2021 Dodge Ram 5500 trucks for maintenance) Whelan accepted a motion from Bob Leon to approve the resolution. It was seconded by Dave Borsos and passed with a 6 to 0 vote.
Bob Leon stated that there are 8 homes for sale in Emerald Lakes. They are:
- $900K listed for 185 days (Lake front)
- $230K listed for 174 days
- $169K listed for 152 days
- $575K listed for 151 days (Lake front)
- $425K listed for 73 days
- $145K listed for 59 days (Foreclosure)
- $269K listed for 53 days
- $729K listed for 6 days (Lake Front)
Homes ranged from $145K to $900K.
Buz Whelan stated that most times maintenance doesn’t go home during a snow event. When that happens the Association supplies them with provision such as cold cuts, rolls, coffee, cocoa etc. In addition, we have cots for them to sleep and they can shower at the CC.
Chris Claude cautioned anyone that needed a scheduled delivery such as propane should do so before a predicted winter storm.
Bill Baehr requested that since there is limited parking at the mail boxes at the main entrance, the membership should pick up their mail and not read it in their vehicle.
Ted from Glade stated that he bought his home about 1 and ½ years ago and he couldn’t be happier here. He stated that Toby Township has a resolution which requires a minimum stay for short term rentals (STR). It could cripple the STR. He wanted to know what the board’s stance was on the issue. He was told that the board and management cannot take a side. They must do what is in the best interest of all parties. Often that means restraining to act.
Betsy Zimmerman of Doe Drive had the same concern as Ted above. Her questions were answered with the response above.
Mary Kavanagh of Harvest Way stated that the CC is beautiful and it is good to see everyone again. She also requested that water aerobics be held on the weekend so that people working can also work out. She asked if the saunas will be removed from the bathrooms and was told not at this time. The saunas are functional and many people want them opened. More oversight of their operation is needed since people are adding water to the electric heating element and using them in the nude. Ms. Kavanagh also requested that when the grill is operational that the menu be posted online. She recommended that we invest in a new dryer so the maintenance staff can dry their clothes during a winter event. Finally she stated that Lake Naomi also has the same issues that we have with short term rentals.
Seven (7) new members were welcomed to the Community.
A motion was made by Steve Kavanagh to adjourn. It was seconded by Chris Claude. Meeting adjourned at 11:13 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.