Emerald Lakes Board of Directors Open Meeting, April 29, 2023
By Kathy Leslie-Whelan
The meeting was called to order at 9:32 AM. All board members were present. Assistant General Manager, Nicole Clemens was also present. General Manager Darryl Gamble was absent due to an illness. After the pledge of allegiance, Buz Whelan, President called for a motion to approve March’s open board meeting minutes. The motion was made by Mike Camino and seconded by Connie Simpson. It passed unanimously. Whelan started his President’s Opening Statement by stating that the next fiscal budget will be voted under old business. The board listened to member’s comments and made adjustments where they felt were appropriate. He further said that if a blank budget were sent out to the membership to fill out, no two would be the same. Everyone has different priorities. Whelan also said that the board takes into consideration three major areas while the budget is under development. They are to provide for the safety and well being of the community, the financial health of the community and to provide for amenity upkeep/repairs and events. In 2018, under the management of an outside contractor, the Association was $265K in the hole under our reserve funds. They did not follow our by-laws requiring 25% of dues money to be put in reserves. When the outside company’s services were terminated and the board took over, that money was repaid and an additional $804K was put into reserves making the total amount going to reserves about $1M during that time frame. In addition, this board also got quarterly payments and proxy voting into our by-laws.
Dave Borsos gave the Treasurer’s report for March. Currently we are $91K over budget on collection of dues. Dues collected for March were $84K and Year to Date (YTD) $1.7M; Dues collection rate is 73.75% this year while last year at this time we were at 68%. Whelan added that when this board and management took over in 2018, compliance was at 49%; Rental income is $673K YTD; Code Enforcement Officer revenue is $167K; Access card income is $126K YTD; Bar and Grill income $53K YTD; Private events are $1,290 YTD which is great since families can rent out the space for family events; Vending sales are $2,027 YTD; Income totals YTD are $2.8M; Total expenses are $2.6M YTD, costs centers include Administration, General/Professional, Public Safety, Maintenance, CC/Recreation, Insurance, Utilities; Administration is $593 YTD which has a negative variance of $70K; Maintenance is $1,167,032 with a negative variance of $104K due to vehicle and equipment purchases; Insurance has a negative variance of $13K and utilities has a negative variance of $13K, which is due to rising costs; Cash Assets are $518K YTD; Reserve Fund, short term is $804K; Long term reserve investment account is $129K. A motion was made by Bob Leon to accept the Treasurer’s report. It was seconded by Mike Camino and passed unanimously.
Under Old Business
- Whelan called for a motion to approve the budget for fiscal year 2023/2024. The motion was made by Dave Borsos and seconded by Mike Camino. It passed unanimously.
- Pothole/Paving update – Bob Bulin, Darryl Gamble, and Rob our maintenance supervisor along with the outside road paving contractor have driven through the Community to identify and prioritize roads that need repair or replacement. Roads that were tarred and chipped last year that failed will be on the list for replacement this year. The worse areas were mapped out and the contractor will be submitting a proposal for the work. Whelan stated that repairing potholes is on ongoing task and approximately 1,500 potholes were filled last year. He also stated that last week an early morning news show did a piece on potholes. Everyone has this problem, especially if you live above the freeze/thaw line. Water goes under the road and freezes and thaws and could cause part of the road to collapse. Our maintenance team is constantly working on the roads but currently the weather is not cooperating. Currently, staff is looking to purchase an asphalt roller. The board and staff appreciate the membership’s patience. If you have a pothole or road issue that you would like to report, please call the administration office. One of the choices on the phone tree is for reporting these issues.
- Pine Tree beach will have a feasibility study completed this summer to determine the best course of action to prevent beach closings. This study will take place in July and August. Nicole Clemens is working with John Smith from the Department of Health to determine if a change in the footprint of the lake is warranted. Currently there is not enough water flow where the beach is located and the water is getting stagnant. The beach was built in 1979/1980 and was not built correctly. In addition, adding sand brings up silt issues, since the beach does not have all the correct levels of stones, etc. Hopefully a resolution for the beach closures is reached by the end of the year. Randy Kopp and Eric Bergstrum from the fishing club are going to start testing the feeder streams.
Under New Business:
- The saunas at the Lodge will be opened. New motors, control systems and various parts have been ordered to repair the units. The units are old and parts are not easily available so some parts had to be remanufactured. There will be rules once the units open. Those rules will be discussed by the board and will be a task for Rules and Regulations. One of the rules will be that you cannot leave the unit on unattended to warm up the bathroom while you are swimming in the pool.
- Trash proposal will be discussed by the board to allow passes to be sold to throw additional garbage bags above the limit into our compactor. Since Panther Waste charges $4 for a black contractor bag, it was discussed to charge $4 for each pass, which would entitle you to one additional bag. These passes will be available to renters as well as full time residents. The fee should more than compensate for the additional trash that would be placed in the compactors.
Connie Simpson reported on the Rules and Regulations meeting. She stated that the committee would like to see any fines imposed on the membership to be sent by registered mail.
Bill Baehr stated that 5 appeals were scheduled and heard.
Bob Leon reported on the Real Estate committee that discussions were held on a get together meeting being scheduled in May. They would like to extend an invitation to local handy people so that more in-community services are utilized. They are also working on how to assist members on the application process for Short Term Rental (STR) in Toby Township and updating the guide for new amenity passes;
Kathy Whelan spoke on behalf of Finance and Planning (F&P). F&P had their meeting on April 21st. Ms. Whelan stated revenue and attendance for five events that occurred in March/April were:
- March 17th , Trivia Night, income $559.25, Attendance 10 owner passes and 19 guest passes
- March 18th, St Patrick’s Day event, income $1,975.25, Attendance 23 owner passes and 29 guest passes.
- April 7th – Game Night, income $784.75, Attendance had an error in the scanning of report.
- April 8th, Karaoke Night, income $898.Attendance had an error in scanning of report
- April 14th, Movie Night, income $1,390.25. Attendance had an error in scanning of report
There was no scanning for the children’s Easter event, however, there were between 100 and 120 people in attendance
The Operating Fund/Expense Report showed that $84K was the total dues and fees collected for the month of March and $1.7M YTD. This figure includes dues income from prior year’s dues, dues interest and collection fees and represents more than 100% of the budgeted amount; the dues collection rate is 73.74%; Collection reported is $97K for the month where in-house collections was $77K which represents 79% of all collections. YTD collections are $1,144,322. This number includes $19,675 from Sunrise Collections; Public Safety staff is currently at 1 full time and 5 part time members; Rental income is at $23K for the month of March with YTD income at $673K.; Code Enforcement fees were $167K YTD with a negative variance of $4.9K; Bar and Grill income for the month of March were $5,735 while costs were $863 for the bar and $2,104 for the grill; Resale certificates is $1,776 for the month of March which represents 11 homes being sold; Total income has a positive variance of $246K YTD with total income at $2.8M YTD; Refuse collection was $215K YTD which represents a minimal negative variance of $4.3K; General and Professional Services paid out $2,125 as a down payment for the reserve study that is prepared every 5 years with Kipcon; total expenses are $2.6M YTD; $804K is in reserves; interest on investments is $191.72. The next scheduled meeting of F&P will be held on Friday, May 19th at the Administration building.
Connie Simpson would like to see the Book of Resolutions reinstated. She also thanked all the people that came out for Earth Day.
Bob Leon stated that there are 28 homes for sale in Emerald Lakes. They are:
- $ 219,900 listed for 1 day at 1174 Glade
- $850,000 listed for 1 day at 265 Cedar
- $329,900 listed for 1 day at 1047 Cricket
- $500,000 listed for 3 day at 104 tumbleweed
- $269,000 listed for 6 days at 1147 Horizon
- $189,999 listed for 6 days at 607 Sullivan
- $345,000 listed for 8 days 1182 Glade
- $350,000 listed for 8 days at 1642 Clover
- $274,900 listed for 11 days at 143 Granite
- $226,000 listed for 17 days at 1245 Glade
- $314,8900 listed for 23 days at 174 Sage
- $449,000 listed for 23 days at 332 Cedar
- $425,000 listed for 23 days at 128 White Tail
- $499,900 listed for 28 days at 1410 Glade
- $419,000 listed for 30 days at 1205 Bowstring
- $420,000 listed for 35 days at 1117 Sioux
- $949,000 listed for 36 days at 161 Beaver Dam
- $450,000 listed for 45 days at 1674 Glade
- $405,000 listed for 55 days at 2441 Grey Birch
- $535,000 listed for 73 days at 2133 Wild Laurel
- $389,500 listed for 73 days at 2232 Grey Birch
- $399,900 listed for 85 days at 1272 Glade
- $399,800 listed for 112 days at 795 Clearview
- $339,000 listed for 163 days at 1529 Clover
- $475,000 listed for 177 days at 1258 Clover
- $300,000 listed for 227 days at 116 Yellow Birch
- $589,000 listed for 245 days at 222 Arbor
- $349,900 listed for 287 days at 227 Hornbeam
Dave Borsos stated that it is good to see more members coming out for meetings. He also thanked the Recreation Club for bringing activities into the Lodge.
Mike Camino stated that since it is the end of April, beginning of May more bears are coming out of hibernation. Please secure your trash. During the summer he would like to see the bar and grill hours extended. He is glad that the Lodge will be opened on Thursday nights.
Buz Whelan stated that effective immediately, if you dial into the main number and hit option #3, you can leave a message for the board or a specific board member. The messages will be taken off the system every morning during the week and forwarded to the appropriate board member. He thanked Nicole Clemens for making this happen. He also thanked the Emerald Ladies for the library boxes and for their work with the feral cat population in Emerald Lakes as well as injured cats.
Hilary Decker thanked the staff for the wonderful Easter event.
Louise Leon stated 3 cheers to the board and Bob Bulin.
Joan Gregorio asked if there would be a day where the members could get rid of branches. She was told that we had no place to put them. Bob Bulin looked into buying a commercial wood chipper. A used one would run about $22K while a new one costs $79K.
Randy Kopp recommended bringing back the calendar in the newsletter. He requested that the newsletter get out earlier. He also thanked Claude and Baehr for the events. In addition, he asked if the septic policy was in place.
Linda Shuey thanked her neighbor and Terminex guy for controlling a fire on Mountaintop Lake. These individuals doused the fire with buckets of water and fire extinguisher until the fire department arrived. The brush fire was due to a problem with a transformer. Shuey asked what policy is in place for trash cans on Short Term Rental property that have been knocked over. She was told to call the office. She would like to see better communication since she could not find the calendar on the website. She requested that the current budget be on the website page, that email blasts for the meetings go out, that meeting minutes be kept in the resolution book and questioned why the pool attendant needed a shed at the outdoor pool.
Scott Thompson complained about not seeing a notification for the meeting and inquired when his 76 year old sister-in law’s cul-de-sac would be paved. Clemens believes that the rest of the cul-de-sacs will be paved this year.
Kathy Whelan complimented the staff on the “Pizza and Paint” event for the children, scheduled for May. It seems like an awesome event.
Ange Noonon spoke about the Emerald Ladies. It is a social group that meets at the Lodge the first Sunday of the month at 12:30 PM. The group also has chair exercises every Sunday at 2:00 PM at the Lodge. All are welcomed. Currently this group Traps, Neuters and Returns (TNR) feral cats in the community. All donations are welcomed. The little library boxes were placed at the Lodge and the mail houses. This is for a book exchange. Please do not drop off multiple books at these stations. Finally, wellness walks are under discussion. These will be short walks where a nurse will accompany the group and give out health tips. An example would be what types of questions you should be posing to your doctor.
Nine (9) new members were welcomed to the Community.
A motion was made by Connie Simpson to adjourn. It was seconded by Dave Borsos. Meeting adjourned at 11:27 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.
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