Emerald Lakes Board of Directors Open Meeting, September 24, 2022

By Kathy Leslie-Whelan

          The meeting was called to order at 9:35 AM.  Six board members were present.  Steve Kavanagh was absent.  General Manager Darryl Gamble and Assistant General Manager Nicole Clemens were also present. After the pledge of allegiance, Buz Whelan, President called for a motion to approve July’s open board meeting minutes. The motion was made by Bob Leon and seconded by Dave Borsos.  It passed unanimously.    Whelan opened his President’s message by welcoming reelected Bill Baehr back on to the board and the newly elected Connie Simpson to the board. He stated that two of the three by-law changes passed at the open meeting in August.  He stated that it was ironic that the by-law that didn’t pass, which was to change the percentage of votes needed to make a by-law change to a simple majority, would have passed since the majority of the membership voted to pass the change.   Whelan further stated that individual members sometimes have complaints related to maintenance.  Unfortunately they can’t fill every pot hole at the same time.  Currently, there are approximately 75 potholes being filled weekly.  Trash is also a problem and Whelan encouraged the membership to “say something, if you see something”.  Do not confront someone throwing trash illegally in the community report it to the Administration staff so that they can take action.  In addition, please don’t take your anger out on staff; they are only trying to help.

          Dave Borsos gave the Treasurer’s report for August.  The good news is that we are paying bills and moving forward.  Currently we are $61K over budget on collection of dues.  Rental income is $102K over budget.  Code Enforcement Officer fines are $14K under budget.  Community Center/Recreation revenue is $70K over budget amount anticipated.  Income totals are $1.3M year to date (YTD), which amounts to $227K over budget.  On the expense side we are $24K over budget on Administrative expenses and $100K over budget on the maintenance expenses. Total expenses are $142K over budget.  Reserve funds are $1M.  A motion was made by Bob Leon to accept the Treasurer’s report.  It was seconded by Chris Claude and passed unanimously.

Under Old Business:

  • The membership is coming out and seems to enjoy meals and drinks at the newly renovated Lodge in the Community Center (CC).  A healthy meal of a chicken Caesar salad was added to the menu. We are operating in the black but still have some start up costs that are forthcoming.  We have competent staff but there will be some training.  We are getting terrific feedback on the food and the operation is running smoothly. We procured hand held units so that the servers can input the customer’s orders at the tables where the kitchen and bar staff will be notified immediately.  The outdoor pool has closed so the indoor pool will be getting new hours. The indoor pool will now be opened on Tuesdays and may be opened for extended hours during Football Sundays which is due to start up on October 2nd.    A calendar containing a list of upcoming events at the Lodge will be posted on the ELA website. The scheduled events are:
  • Craft Circle – October 5th
  • Fall Festival – October 8th
  • Bulk Trash Day – October 15th
  • Sip and Paint – October 18th
  • Trunk or Treat – October 29th
  • Adult Halloween Party – October 29th
  • Veteran’s Day Brunch – November 12th (may kick off monthly brunch)
  • White Christmas – November 19th
  • Santa Event – December 17th
  • New Year Eve Party – December 31st

(Whelan talked about the White Christmas event to be held on November 19th.  It will be a ticketed event.  Elizabeth Knecht is a chanteuse and will be performing for the evening.  He is working with Bob and Lola Lauri on this event.  Darryl Gamble and Nicole Clemens are also on the production team.  Tickets will be $12.00 in advance and $15 at the door. The pool and building will close at 5:00 PM on that date and will reopen at 7:00 PM.  The show will start 8:00 PM.

  • Discussions were held on the bacteria issues at Pine Tree Beach.  Eric Bergstrom from the Fishing Club has identified two problems.  The first is that rain weakens the chemicals that are used in the lake.  The second is that when you kill the lily pods on top of the water, more sunlight makes the underwater weeds thrive.  Bergstrom feels better communication with our hydrologist, Joe Gallagher, is key.  Next year Pine Tree Lake will be treated on a timelier basis and spraying will happen earlier.  In addition, our Fishing Club will be advising Gallagher of any issues that they see.  Bergstrom recommended that an ELA staff member should accompany the state water tester to see how and where they are testing the water.  Randy Kopp suggested that research needs to be done to identify where the bacteria is coming from. He also stated that the Fishing Club will have better lines of communication with Gallagher. 
  • The Ad Hoc committee to develop a septic policy met for the first time this month.  Their goal is twofold. The intent of the policy will be to protect the health of the lakes and the members.  They are currently looking at township regulations as well as other HOA septic policies.  There is nothing concrete at this time but homeowners will be required to have the septic systems pumped on a regular basis.  This policy will apply to all homes in the community. 
  • An invitation to join ELA will be sent to all homeowners living within our footprint who are not currently members.  If they join they will be able to use amenities and trash compactor. 
  • The Chief of Security for ELA is currently being trained by our Chief Enforcement Officer.  He is currently helping out with some of the responsibilities.
  • Since the electric service at the main entrance is inadequate, and the mail house has renovations in the future, the electric sign installation at the entrance is on hold. The sign that was at the Administration building was moved to the CC.  Whelan thanked all the members that volunteered their time and labor with the landscaping work that was completed at the Main entrance.  The volunteers were Pat and Eric Bergstom, Cathy and Dave Borsos, Randy Kopp, Steve Gottfried and Ken and Linda Shuey.
  • Dam and valve operation instructions/seminar in Harrisburg will be available for our maintenance staff as well as Eric Bergstrom of the Fishing Club.  Our emergency evacuation plan has been accepted by the state.  Our dams are checked on a daily basis with the exception of Sunday. All information collected is submitted to the state.
  • Discussions were held on building the reserve funds.  Discussions included rolling money over into investment accounts or an emergency account.  Since any money in this account is used as a safety net, that money has to be available to the Association and not put into an account that has penalties for early withdrawal.  Further discussions will be held at the next workshop.

Under New Business

  • A Lodge/Pool brochure will be developed and will be included in the letters that will be going out to the individuals that live in the community but who are not members of the Association.  See above for further details.
  • Sunday football will begin next Sunday in the Lodge.  The bar and kitchen will be opened.  The grill will have a limited menu.
  • Current Event lineup is listed above under Old Business.

Committee Reports    

Appeals committee will meet on October 1st.  They are currently looking for new members. 

Communications committee will put out a newsletter next week.  Whelan invited all directors to write articles for this publication.  The publication will be available in the kiosks at the mailboxes as well as the CC and Administration building.

Kathy Whelan spoke on behalf of Finance and Planning.   The meeting was held on September 16th.  Whelan stated that for the month of August there is a positive variance of $27.9 K on dues income.  Total dues and fees collected were $807K.  Rental income was $121K, YTD income $395K; Code Enforcement violations were $45.7K YTD; Total income has a positive variance of $75K; access card income for August is $38.7K; public safety currently has 4 part time and one full time Chief of Public Safety.  An additional part time staff member will be hired; management presented to the board a policy for private event rentals at the Lodge; resale certificates is at $2,100 for the month of August.  The represents 14 sales at $150 each; amenity repair has a negative variance of $13K YTD due to work at the front entrance and at the compactor; refuse collections is at $80K YTD and has a negative variance of $5.6K; total income has a positive variance of $227K where total income YTD is $1.3M; overall total expenses has a negative variance of $142K  YTD, however, our actual income exceeds our total expenses YTD; $892K is in reserves; collections reported for August are $191K, where in house collections were $173K.  YTD collections are $480K; interest on investments is $10.54.  The next scheduled meeting will be held on Friday, October 21st at the Administration building.

Bob Leon reported on the Real Estate committee that they met via WebX.  They are requesting a survey to be completed on the short term rental landlords on how they dispose of trash. The committee is concerned about the large bear population in the community. 

Director’s Comments

          Bob Leon reported that there are currently 58 short term rental (STR) houses on our lakes.  As of this date there are 285 STRs. The breakdown is as follows:

  • 8 homes on Deer Lake
  • 4 homes on Lower Deer Lake
  • 14 homes on Pine Tree Lake
  • 21 homes on Mountain Top Lake
  • 10 homes on West Emerald Lakes
  • 0 homes on East Emerald Lakes
  • 1 home on a pond by Powder Horn Drive

In addition, Leon stated that there are 30 homes for sale in Emerald Lakes.  They are:

  1.          $465K listed for 1 day
  2.          $329.9K listed for 2 days
  3.          $299 listed for 9 days
  4.          $320K listed for 10 days
  5.          $440K listed for 22 days
  6.          $525 listed for 24 days  
  7.          $399.9K listed for 26 days
  8.          $599K listed for 28 days
  9.          $499K listed for 30 days
  10. $323K listed for 31 days
  11. $425K listed for 31 days
  12. $496.6K listed for 37 days
  13. $250K listed for 38 days
  14. $298K listed for 44 days
  15. $339.9K listed for 50 days
  16. $5359.9K listed for 57 days
  17. $349.9K listed for 70 days
  18. $465K listed for 84 days
  19. $415K listed for 87 days
  20. $239.9K listed for 87 days
  21. $269.9K listed for 94 days
  22. $450K listed for 95 days
  23. $255K listed for 97 days
  24. $1.3M listed for 97 days
  25. $649.9K listed for 98 days
  26. $419K listed for 105 days
  27. $279.9K listed for 105 days
  28. $300K listed for 179 days
  29.  (Auction) Island Drive
  30. (Auction) Granite

Bill Baehr gave a heartfelt thanks to everyone that voted for him and thanked them for their confidence in them.

Public Comments


          Thirteen (13) new members were welcomed to the Community.

A motion was made by Bob Leon to adjourn.  It was seconded by Connie Simpson.  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.


Posted on September 25, 2022, in Uncategorized. Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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