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Emerald Lakes Board of Directors Open Meeting, July 30, 2022

By Kathy Leslie-Whelan

          The meeting was called to order at 9:33 AM.  All board members were present.  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 June’s open board meeting minutes. The motion was made by Bob Leon and seconded by Steve Kavanagh.  It passed unanimously after one correction was made.    Whelan opened his President’s message by stating that there were a few questions from the Membership at Meet the Candidates that were not asked so he was going to go through them.  1) Since septic systems affect lakes, how many Short Term Rentals (STR) are lake front?  Whelan stated that that information is unknown but Bob Leon offered to go through the STR listing and identify all lakefront homes and the lake that they are on.  Are there any cash transactions?  Answer is yes. 3) Are amenity passes sold to the public? Answer is no.  4) Can we control the bear population by eliminating garbage cans?  Answer: We do not control the bear population. It is the providence of the Fish and Game Commission.  5) Do you believe there are unaccounted funds? Answer: no.  All financials and the budget are available to the membership.  In addition, we are audited annually by an independent auditor.

Whelan continued with his message by stating that we are not the only community that is experiencing lake closures.  Geese may be part of the problem.  A hydrologist will be taking water samples at all lakes by homeowner properties.  In addition, heavy downpours stir up the lake bottom which could add to a heavy bacterial count.  On Pine Tree Lake the beach is in an area where water is slow moving so that also may contribute to the poor reading.  Whelan said that Chris Claude will be heading up an ad hoc committee to develop a septic policy.  Currently, septic policies of other communities and townships are being evaluated.

          Dave Borsos gave the Treasurer’s report for June.  The good news is that we are over budget on dues income, public safety income, bank interest and rental revenues by $83K.  Code Enforcement Officer (CEO) revenues are under budget by $7,562 due to high grass fines were turned into warnings.  Bar/Grill revenue is down by $3,631 due to stocking of alcohol and food for the soft opening that occurred on July 1st.  On a whole total income is over budget by $75K year to date (YTD).  Under maintenance expenses we are over budget by $57K due to unanticipated repairs on mowers and other landscaping equipment.  In addition, two additional mowers and a closed trailer were purchased.  An open trailer will also be procured.   Our current cash assets are $1.3M.  Reserve funds are $666.5K.  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:

  • The Annual meeting is scheduled for August 20th and will be held at the Lodge, aka Community Center (CC). Whelan apologized for the two typos in the mailing and stated that a revised ballot was sent out to the membership.  He said that if anyone didn’t receive this second mailing they should call the office or they can vote in person at the meeting.  There will be a special newsletter prepared for the annual meeting so that the President and Managers message will be short.  Whelan hopes to see as many members as possible at the meeting and invited all to stop in to see the newly renovated Lodge.
  • Since the bar and grill opened, the gross intake was $23K.  This figure includes the sale of amenity passes.  The 8 nights the bar and grill was opened brought in over $18K in revenue. Darryl Gamble is working on a graph that will identify expenses and income at the CC.  In addition, the pass through at the bar was busy.  Whelan stated that the onion rings were outstanding.
  • Ad Hoc committee to develop a septic policy and will identify how often a home site needs to be pumped and inspected.  This policy will apply to all homes in the community.  See above for more details. 
  • Beach closures/Water Testing – The hydrologist will be focusing on Pine Tree Lake.  94K gallons of water must be released daily to flow down the mountain.  As of today we have had 30 days of successful testing so the DEP will be called in to test for reopening.

Under New Business

  • The recreation club is meeting next Saturday and will be discussing various options for replacing bingo.  All bingo licenses for HOAs were pulled by the Liquor Control Board. Currently CAI is working on getting an exception pass for all HOAs.

Committee Reports    

Appeals committee will meet on August 6th.

Communications committee put out a newsletter on Friday the 29th and it is available at 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 July 16th.  Whelan stated that for the first two months of this fiscal year this is a negative variance of $7.6K on dues income.  Total dues collected were $275K.  Credit card income which was just reinstated was $1,805.  We charge a 3% fee for credit card usage.  Whelan also stated that for this last month rental income was $33K, YTD income $247K; Code Enforcement violations were $22K YTD; Total income has a positive variance of $75K; public safety currently has 4 part time and a newly hired full time Chief of Public Safety.  An additional part time staff member will be hired; amenity repair has a negative variance of $38K YTD due to work at Pine Tree beach bath house; refuse collections is at $40.8K YTD and has a slight negative variance of $897; vehicle maintenance repair has a negative variance of $10K YTD due to work being done on an older vehicle; total maintenance expenses has a negative variance of $57K; overall total expenses has a negative variance of $25K  YTD, however, our actual income exceeds our total expenses YTD; $666.5K is in reserves; collections reported for June are $54K, where in-house collections were $45K.  YTD collections are $219.6.  The next scheduled meeting will be held on Friday, August 19th at the Administration building.

Director’s Comments

          Dave Borsos would like to see reserves moved to the front burner moving forward.

          Bob Leon would like to see parking lot striping at the Main Beach lots but was told that due to the configuration of the lots it makes it very difficult. We do not own any property by that beach so the lot cannot be expanded.     

Bob Leon stated that there are 30 homes for sale in Emerald Lakes.  They are:

  1.          $359K listed for 1 day
  2.          $199K listed for 1 days
  3.          $299 listed for 6 days
  4.          $265K listed for 8 days
  5.          $449K listed for 11 days
  6.          $449 listed for 11 days  
  7.          $225K listed for 11 days
  8.          $380K listed for 18 days (owner)
  9.          $170K listed for 20 days
  10. $350K listed for 21 days
  11. $485K listed for 28 days
  12. $320K listed for 28 days
  13. $850K listed for 29 days
  14. $415K listed for 31 days
  15. $249K listed for 31 days
  16. $550K listed for 37 days
  17. $269K listed for 38 days
  18. $450K listed for 39 days
  19. $255K listed for 41 days
  20. $1.3M listed for 41 days
  21. $675K listed for 42 days
  22. $419K listed for 49 days
  23. $280K listed for 49 days
  24. $300K listed for 56 days
  25. $350K listed for 64 days
  26. $378K listed for 65 days
  27. $339K listed for 77 days
  28. $388K listed for 78 days
  29. $629K listed for 123 days
  30. $288K listed for 214 days (Auction)

Chris Claude reminded everyone of the cornhole tournament being held later on that day.

Ange Noonan thanked all who supported her while she was on the board.  She is not rerunning for her seat but she is looking forward to exciting times ahead.  She stated that the board members volunteer their time, and it is time consuming and takes a lot of dedication.  It is time for her to pursue other ventures.  The rest of the board wished her well and thanked her for her service.

Bill Baehr gave a heartfelt thanks to Ange.  He stated that she loves this community and is also an animal lover who looks out for their welfare.

Public Comments

                    Annette attended her first meeting.  Her comment was that public safety doesn’t treat the young drivers with respect.  They should talk properly to them. She also questioned if everyone in the house was entitled to picture IDs.  She was told that each household in good standing was entitled to 10 IDs/passes.  In addition, she requested that the CC be opened on Sundays.

Mary Kavanagh stated that DJ Krazy Ken was a success but not enough tables were available for the crowd that attended.  She also suggested that we post a calendar to identify events.

Kathy Leslie Whelan asked if the CC will be available for rentals. She was told that it will happen soon.  They will not infringe on the pool hours and they are currently working on a pricing structure.

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

A motion was made by Steve Kavanagh to adjourn.  It was seconded by Ange Noonan.  Meeting adjourned at 10:50 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.

Emerald Lakes Board of Directors Open Meeting, June 25, 2022

By Kathy Leslie-Whelan

          The meeting was called to order at 9:34 AM.  All board members were present.  General Manager Darryl Gamble was also present. After the pledge of allegiance, Buz Whelan, President asked for any discussions on May’s minutes.  He had two corrections which pointed out that there are “no private signs” and “no offensive political signs”.  He called for a motion to approve May’s open board meeting minutes. The motion was made by Bill Baehr and seconded by Bob Leon.  It passed unanimously.   Whelan opened his President’s message thanking the Fishing Club and all other volunteers for another successful Fishing Rodeo event.  He stated that it was so much fun to see the kids get so excited when they caught their first fish.  Whelan further stated that there will be fireworks in the community although they are not allowed.  It is very difficult to catch an offender since you have to catch him in the act.  He advised that anyone that had a dog that was negatively affected by the noise should try to take precautions by finding them a safe room and possibly getting medication from their vet.  He also reminded the membership that any boat on our lakes must be registered.  The fee is $10 per boat.  Finally Whelan said that due to illnesses in the office the Administration building will be closed today so the deadline for submitting your intent to run for the board has been extended to the end of business on Monday.

          Dave Borsos gave the Treasurer’s report for May.  He stated that this is the start of our fiscal year so the actual numbers and the year to date numbers are the same.   The good news is that we are over budget on dues collections by $100K.  In addition, we are under budget in Administration, Public Safety, Maintenance and the rental program.  We are over budget in Public Safety by $200 in expected revenue and Code Enforcement Officer collections by $7K.  Since we are behind in the number of staffing for public safety we are under budget by $9,800.  Currently we have $670K in reserves and $1.5M in cash assets.  A motion was made by Bob Leon to accept the Treasurer’s report.  It was seconded by Bill Baehr and passed unanimously. 

Under Old Business:

  • The mailing for the Annual meeting is almost complete.  There will be three by-law changes to be voted on.  The first change is to adjust the procedures for membership review of the preliminary budget.  In the past the budget was presented to the members at the spring meeting where they had about two hours to review and comment.  It is state law that an approved budget needs to be in place by May 1st.   This change will make the preliminary budget available for review and comment for 30 days to honor the spirit of the by-law.  The new change will correct this bylaw.  The second change will address that the polls for the voting period at the annual open meeting be adjusted to state that polls will be opened for 30 minutes or until all votes have been cast. Currently, it stated that the polls shall be open for 30 minutes but since direct proxy voting has been implemented that time is no longer needed.  Last year after all votes were cast, there was a 25 minute waiting period that occurred before the ballots could be counted.  The third change is to return to the simple majority vote for a by-law change (50% plus 1). Currently, 2/3 votes are needed to pass a by-law change.  That means that a no vote counts twice as much as a yes vote.  Our current way of voting gives an unequal weight to a no vote. 
  • In an attempt to prevent beach closings a dogs and geese proposal at Pine Tree Island will allow dogs to run free from dawn to 10:00 AM. A subcommittee composed of Gamble, Baehr and Whelan has developed rules and regulations for the membership which will be posted at the beach.  Clearance has been obtained from the zoning officer, dog warden, attorney and insurance carrier. A gate and shed will be erected at the entrance by the bridge. Whelan further stated that this morning The Hideout posted a beach was closed due to E-Coli so it is just not our community that has this issue. In addition, Arrowhead Lake has a Geese Committee that uses starter pistols and loud noise to control their population. Whelan accepted a motion from Bob Leon to change our rules for Pine Tree Lake to allow dogs to run free from dawn to 10:00 AM.  It was seconded by Bill Baehr.  It passed with 5 yes votes and 1 no vote.  The no vote was cast by Ange Noonan.  This proposal will be on a trial basis.  This plan will go into effect once the gate is installed at the bridge on Pine Tree Lake.
  • Septic testing will be performed by Joe Gallagher, who is our hydrologist, around the perimeter of Pine Tree Lake to determine if a home on the lake is having septic issues.
  • Positions at the Community Center have been filed and a soft opening will happen on July 1st at 5:00 PM.  The positions filled are a Recreation Manager, a cook and a bartender.  If you attend please note that this opening will hopefully iron out any wrinkles in the operation so please be patient.     
  • Water Safety will be enforced on our lakes. Life vests will be required for everyone on water vessels.  Children 12 and under will be required to wear a vest where adults will have the option to wear or not, however, a vest must be on the vessel for their use.  Members of the fishing club have volunteered to patrol the lakes and identify and report on anyone not following this rule. Anyone refusing will be asked to leave the lake. Fishing club members were issued vests identifying them as members of the lake patrol.  In addition, anyone who did not register their boat will not be issued a spot on the boat rack.
  • Road maintenance is currently under contract and will begin shortly.  Gamble will try to notify the membership of where work and when work will be preformed.  Glade Drive will be paved for consistency while the other roads will get a two step process.  The longevity of the road and the cost is better. Main Beach parking lot was done with this two step process last year on a trial basis and it has held up well.  Gamble anticipates covering a lot of territory and may be able to add in some roads.  The area in front of the compactor will also be expanded to accommodate a new badging hut.  Any member not in good standing will not be able to gain access to the compactor area.  The board will be given a list of all roads that will be paved.

Under New Business

  • A subcommittee composed of Chris Claude, Buz Whelan, Darryl Gamble and Nicole Clemens will meet to develop a septic policy that will require all members to have their septic system inspected and pumped on a regular basis.  Research will be completed to see what other home owners associations are doing.  This policy will also be beneficial to the homeowner since it costs between $20K and $30K to replace a system.
  • On the unofficial FaceBook page a question came up about fireworks in the Community for the July 4th weekend.  Currently other HOA’s such as Arrowhead Lake and the Hideout are having festivities for the holiday weekend which includes shooting off professional fireworks.  On July 25th of 2009 our Association did have a festival day which was ended with a fireworks display.  The day included activities for the kids, a dump tank, a bouncy house, music and food.  The day ended with a fireworks display which costs a fraction of the cost since it wasn’t done on the holiday weekend.  A rider was added to our insurance policy and permission was obtained from the township.  According to our Public Safety team they estimated over 2,500 people in attendance.  This amounted to $2 per head. Next year the board would like to plan a festival day in Emerald Lake so that people can feel good about living here.
  • Basketball courts on Glade by the Administration building and all tennis courts will be having special brackets installed so that if they need replacements it can be done easily.
  • A shack will be built for a pool attendant at Pine Tree Beach. Eventually there will be food and possibly a portable unit that can easily be used at all the outdoor amenities.  A pavilion was also discussed which can be rented out to the membership for events.

Committee Reports    

Chris Claude stated that the Appeals committee went well.  There are usually six cases heard per month.

Chris Claude reporting on the Real Estate committee stated that they had a number of recommendations for the board.  Claude is currently waiting for this list.  

Kathy Whelan spoke on behalf of Finance and Planning.   The meeting was held on June 17th.  Whelan stated that for the first month of this fiscal year this is a positive variance of $82K on dues income.  Total dues collected were $280K.  Credit card income which was just reinstated was $1,167.  We charge a 3% fee for credit card usage.  Whelan also stated that for this last month  rental income was $213K; Code Enforcement violations were $8.9K; Total income has a positive variance of $202K; public safety expenses have a negative variance of $984 due to the procurement of uniforms, lap top stand, first aid restocking and flares: amenity repair has a negative variance of $21.8K due to work at Pine Tree beach bath house; refuse collections has a positive variance of $1.4K for the month of May: total maintenance expenses has a negative variance of $19.6K: dam expenses were $4.5K for the dam regulation fee:  Community Center phone charges were $735 which includes fees for Blue Ridge and Direct TV: May expenses were $188K; $670K is in reserves; collections reported are at $165,584 where $151K was collected in house: Sunrise collections collected $5,475, where they currently have 133 accounts totaling $2.6M; interest income for the month was $1.09. A recommendation by the committee was to start discussions at approving additional authority/responsibilities to public safety staff since it is difficult to hire staff due to their limited resources while in the Community.  Public Safety staff cannot carry pepper spray, tasers and batons.  Research needs to be conducted on training and insurance costs.  The next scheduled meeting will be held on Saturday, July 16th.

Director’s Comments

          Chris Claude stated that he is all for water safety and the lake patrol and less concerned about fines.  He also feels that the main thoroughfares in the Community should be paved with tar while the secondary roads can get that two step process.  Finally Claude mentioned the Recreation Club that will work to plan activities throughout the community.  The first event will be a corn hole tournament and be held on July 30th.  Other activities being discussed are a movie night, Wiffle ball and a Nerf course for kids.

Bill Baehr reminded everyone that our roads are dark at night and people should dress in reflective clothing and carry a flash light so that they don’t get hit by a car.  Steve Kavanagh added that you should also walk facing traffic on the left side of the road so that you can see an oncoming vehicle.

Bob Leon stated that there are 23 homes for sale in Emerald Lakes.  They are:

  1.          $180K listed for 2 days
  2.          $550K listed for 2 days
  3.          $270 listed for 3 days
  4.          $450K listed for 4 days
  5.          $275K listed for 6 days
  6.          $1.3M listed for 6 days  (Lake Front)
  7.          $675K listed for 7 days (Lake Front)
  8.          $340K listed for 11 days
  9.          $420K listed for 14 days
  10. $280K listed for 14 days
  11. $420K listed for 15 days
  12. $300K listed for 21 days
  13. $350K listed for 29 days
  14. $392K listed for 30 days
  15. $350K listed for 32 days
  16. $350K listed for 32 days
  17. $359K listed for 42 days
  18. $398K listed for 43 days
  19. $549K listed for 46 days
  20. $420K listed for 72 days
  21. $359K listed for 73 days
  22. $330K listed for 88 days
  23. $265K listed for 179 days (Auction)

Dave Borsos stated that home pricing has really escalated in Emerald Lakes.

Public Comments

          Jason and Stephanie who have been living in the community for three years thanked the board for doing a good job.  This was their first meeting that they attended.

          Louise Leon also thanked the board for their hard work. She also stated that she is working on a fund raiser for Clymer Library. She stated that safety equipment is a good requirement; however, if it is not used properly it could be dangerous.  She wanted to join the Appeals committee and doesn’t understand why she was thrown off.  She also wants to join the Recreation Club.  Leon also asked if we were hosting a cleanup day in September and was told yes.  She also inquired about starting Crime Watch up again.  Leon said that water aerobics has 10 to 12 members and the first male joined the group.  On July 9th they are going to the Pocono Flower Show and will be going to a Child’s Nature something.

          Leon was told that if she would like to try to resurrect Crime Watch she is free to do so but must realize that it is a lot of work.  Crime watch can only observe and report and return the occasional dog that gets loose.  She was also told that director’s spouses cannot be on the Appeals Committee because anyone that is unhappy with the results of their appeals has the right to further appeal to the board and that could be a conflict of interest since her husband is on the board.  The board also has the right not to hear the second appeal if they feel that the member got a fair hearing. 

          Cookie Litwienski asked if we are now allowing live stock.  She was told no and that she should contact her township if she identifies a property with live stock, since it is against their rules.

Mary Kavanagh stated that she had a dog that was terrified during fireworks.  They purchased a special vest for him that made him feel he was being held and it calmed him down significantly.  Kavanagh also requested to have the yellow lines put back on the roads and was told that relining will be done after the paving is completed.  Kavanagh stated that she witnessed a member being abusive to the compactor attendant and requested that pictures of their license plates be taken.  She was told that the hut that will be located at the front of the compactor should resolve that issue since any member not in good standing will not be given access to the site.  Finally Kavanagh mentioned that when she worked in the prison system they used bean bag guns to control the prison population and perhaps we can allow our public safety team to carry these guns.  She was told that that was not up for consideration since that could kill someone if you hit them in the head.

          Marty Nicoll has owned property for two years in Emerald Lakes His home is a short term rental and he agrees with developing a septic policy for the membership but stated that it has to be for the whole membership and just not certain STR properties.  He was told that there is only one set of rules and they apply to all.

          Three (3) new members were welcomed to the Community.

A motion was made by Chris Claude to adjourn.  It was seconded by Steve Kavanagh.  Meeting adjourned at 11:14 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.

Emerald Lakes Board of Directors Open Meeting, June 25, 2022

By Kathy Leslie-Whelan

          The meeting was called to order at 9:34 AM.  All board members were present.  General Manager Darryl Gamble was also present. After the pledge of allegiance, Buz Whelan, President asked for any discussions on May’s minutes.  He had two corrections which pointed out that there are “no private signs” and “no offensive political signs”.  He called for a motion to approve May’s open board meeting minutes. The motion was made by Bill Baehr and seconded by Bob Leon.  It passed unanimously.   Whelan opened his President’s message thanking the Fishing Club and all other volunteers for another successful Fishing Rodeo event.  He stated that it was so much fun to see the kids get so excited when they caught their first fish.  Whelan further stated that there will be fireworks in the community although they are not allowed.  It is very difficult to catch an offender since you have to catch him in the act.  He advised that anyone that had a dog that was negatively affected by the noise should try to take precautions by finding them a safe room and possibly getting medication from their vet.  He also reminded the membership that any boat on our lakes must be registered.  The fee is $10 per boat.  Finally Whelan said that due to illnesses in the office the Administration building will be closed today so the deadline for submitting your intent to run for the board has been extended to the end of business on Monday.

          Dave Borsos gave the Treasurer’s report for May.  He stated that this is the start of our fiscal year so the actual numbers and the year to date numbers are the same.   The good news is that we are over budget on dues collections by $100K.  In addition, we are under budget in Administration, Public Safety, Maintenance and the rental program.  We are over budget in Public Safety by $200 in expected revenue and Code Enforcement Officer collections by $7K.  Since we are behind in the number of staffing for public safety we are under budget by $9,800.  Currently we have $670K in reserves and $1.5M in cash assets.  A motion was made by Bob Leon to accept the Treasurer’s report.  It was seconded by Bill Baehr and passed unanimously. 

Under Old Business:

  • The mailing for the Annual meeting is almost complete.  There will be three by-law changes to be voted on.  The first change is to adjust the procedures for membership review of the preliminary budget.  In the past the budget was presented to the members at the spring meeting where they had about two hours to review and comment.  It is state law that an approved budget needs to be in place by May 1st.   This change will make the preliminary budget available for review and comment for 30 days to honor the spirit of the by-law.  The new change will correct this bylaw.  The second change will address that the polls for the voting period at the annual open meeting be adjusted to state that polls will be opened for 30 minutes or until all votes have been cast. Currently, it stated that the polls shall be open for 30 minutes but since direct proxy voting has been implemented that time is no longer needed.  Last year after all votes were cast, there was a 25 minute waiting period that occurred before the ballots could be counted.  The third change is to return to the simple majority vote for a by-law change (50% plus 1). Currently, 2/3 votes are needed to pass a by-law change.  That means that a no vote counts twice as much as a yes vote.  Our current way of voting gives an unequal weight to a no vote. 
  • In an attempt to prevent beach closings a dogs and geese proposal at Pine Tree Island will allow dogs to run free from dawn to 10:00 AM. A subcommittee composed of Gamble, Baehr and Whelan has developed rules and regulations for the membership which will be posted at the beach.  Clearance has been obtained from the zoning officer, dog warden, attorney and insurance carrier. A gate and shed will be erected at the entrance by the bridge. Whelan further stated that this morning The Hideout posted a beach was closed due to E-Coli so it is just not our community that has this issue. In addition, Arrowhead Lake has a Geese Committee that uses starter pistols and loud noise to control their population. Whelan accepted a motion from Bob Leon to change our rules for Pine Tree Lake to allow dogs to run free from dawn to 10:00 AM.  It was seconded by Bill Baehr.  It passed with 5 yes votes and 1 no vote.  The no vote was cast by Ange Noonan.  This proposal will be on a trial basis.  This plan will go into effect once the gate is installed at the bridge on Pine Tree Lake.
  • Septic testing will be performed by Joe Gallagher, who is our hydrologist, around the perimeter of Pine Tree Lake to determine if a home on the lake is having septic issues.
  • Positions at the Community Center have been filed and a soft opening will happen on July 1st at 5:00 PM.  The positions filled are a Recreation Manager, a cook and a bartender.  If you attend please note that this opening will hopefully iron out any wrinkles in the operation so please be patient.     
  • Water Safety will be enforced on our lakes. Life vests will be required for everyone on water vessels.  Children 12 and under will be required to wear a vest where adults will have the option to wear or not, however, a vest must be on the vessel for their use.  Members of the fishing club have volunteered to patrol the lakes and identify and report on anyone not following this rule. Anyone refusing will be asked to leave the lake. Fishing club members were issued vests identifying them as members of the lake patrol.  In addition, anyone who did not register their boat will not be issued a spot on the boat rack.
  • Road maintenance is currently under contract and will begin shortly.  Gamble will try to notify the membership of where work and when work will be preformed.  Glade Drive will be paved for consistency while the other roads will get a two step process.  The longevity of the road and the cost is better. Main Beach parking lot was done with this two step process last year on a trial basis and it has held up well.  Gamble anticipates covering a lot of territory and may be able to add in some roads.  The area in front of the compactor will also be expanded to accommodate a new badging hut.  Any member not in good standing will not be able to gain access to the compactor area.  The board will be given a list of all roads that will be paved.

Under New Business

  • A subcommittee composed of Chris Claude, Buz Whelan, Darryl Gamble and Nicole Clemens will meet to develop a septic policy that will require all members to have their septic system inspected and pumped on a regular basis.  Research will be completed to see what other home owners associations are doing.  This policy will also be beneficial to the homeowner since it costs between $20K and $30K to replace a system.
  • On the unofficial FaceBook page a question came up about fireworks in the Community for the July 4th weekend.  Currently other HOA’s such as Arrowhead Lake and the Hideout are having festivities for the holiday weekend which includes shooting off professional fireworks.  On July 25th of 2009 our Association did have a festival day which was ended with a fireworks display.  The day included activities for the kids, a dump tank, a bouncy house, music and food.  The day ended with a fireworks display which costs a fraction of the cost since it wasn’t done on the holiday weekend.  A rider was added to our insurance policy and permission was obtained from the township.  According to our Public Safety team they estimated over 2,500 people in attendance.  This amounted to $2 per head. Next year the board would like to plan a festival day in Emerald Lake so that people can feel good about living here.
  • Basketball courts on Glade by the Administration building and all tennis courts will be having special brackets installed so that if they need replacements it can be done easily.
  • A shack will be built for a pool attendant at Pine Tree Beach. Eventually there will be food and possibly a portable unit that can easily be used at all the outdoor amenities.  A pavilion was also discussed which can be rented out to the membership for events.

Committee Reports    

Chris Claude stated that the Appeals committee went well.  There are usually six cases heard per month.

Chris Claude reporting on the Real Estate committee stated that they had a number of recommendations for the board.  Claude is currently waiting for this list.  

Kathy Whelan spoke on behalf of Finance and Planning.   The meeting was held on June 17th.  Whelan stated that for the first month of this fiscal year this is a positive variance of $82K on dues income.  Total dues collected were $280K.  Credit card income which was just reinstated was $1,167.  We charge a 3% fee for credit card usage.  Whelan also stated that for this last month  rental income was $213K; Code Enforcement violations were $8.9K; Total income has a positive variance of $202K; public safety expenses have a negative variance of $984 due to the procurement of uniforms, lap top stand, first aid restocking and flares: amenity repair has a negative variance of $21.8K due to work at Pine Tree beach bath house; refuse collections has a positive variance of $1.4K for the month of May: total maintenance expenses has a negative variance of $19.6K: dam expenses were $4.5K for the dam regulation fee:  Community Center phone charges were $735 which includes fees for Blue Ridge and Direct TV: May expenses were $188K; $670K is in reserves; collections reported are at $165,584 where $151K was collected in house: Sunrise collections collected $5,475, where they currently have 133 accounts totaling $2.6M; interest income for the month was $1.09. A recommendation by the committee was to start discussions at approving additional authority/responsibilities to public safety staff since it is difficult to hire staff due to their limited resources while in the Community.  Public Safety staff cannot carry pepper spray, tasers and batons.  Research needs to be conducted on training and insurance costs.  The next scheduled meeting will be held on Saturday, July 16th.

Director’s Comments

          Chris Claude stated that he is all for water safety and the lake patrol and less concerned about fines.  He also feels that the main thoroughfares in the Community should be paved with tar while the secondary roads can get that two step process.  Finally Claude mentioned the Recreation Club that will work to plan activities throughout the community.  The first event will be a corn hole tournament and be held on July 30th.  Other activities being discussed are a movie night, Wiffle ball and a Nerf course for kids.

Bill Baehr reminded everyone that our roads are dark at night and people should dress in reflective clothing and carry a flash light so that they don’t get hit by a car.  Steve Kavanagh added that you should also walk facing traffic on the left side of the road so that you can see an oncoming vehicle.

Bob Leon stated that there are 23 homes for sale in Emerald Lakes.  They are:

  1.          $180K listed for 2 days
  2.          $550K listed for 2 days
  3.          $270 listed for 3 days
  4.          $450K listed for 4 days
  5.          $275K listed for 6 days
  6.          $1.3M listed for 6 days  (Lake Front)
  7.          $675K listed for 7 days (Lake Front)
  8.          $340K listed for 11 days
  9.          $420K listed for 14 days
  10. $280K listed for 14 days
  11. $420K listed for 15 days
  12. $300K listed for 21 days
  13. $350K listed for 29 days
  14. $392K listed for 30 days
  15. $350K listed for 32 days
  16. $350K listed for 32 days
  17. $359K listed for 42 days
  18. $398K listed for 43 days
  19. $549K listed for 46 days
  20. $420K listed for 72 days
  21. $359K listed for 73 days
  22. $330K listed for 88 days
  23. $265K listed for 179 days (Auction)

Dave Borsos stated that home pricing has really escalated in Emerald Lakes.

Public Comments

          Jason and Stephanie who have been living in the community for three years thanked the board for doing a good job.  This was their first meeting that they attended.

          Louise Leon also thanked the board for their hard work. She also stated that she is working on a fund raiser for Clymer Library. She stated that safety equipment is a good requirement; however, if it is not used properly it could be dangerous.  She wanted to join the Appeals committee and doesn’t understand why she was thrown off.  She also wants to join the Recreation Club.  Leon also asked if we were hosting a cleanup day in September and was told yes.  She also inquired about starting Crime Watch up again.  Leon said that water aerobics has 10 to 12 members and the first male joined the group.  On July 9th they are going to the Pocono Flower Show and will be going to a Child’s Nature something.

          Leon was told that if she would like to try to resurrect Crime Watch she is free to do so but must realize that it is a lot of work.  Crime watch can only observe and report and return the occasional dog that gets loose.  She was also told that director’s spouses cannot be on the Appeals Committee because anyone that is unhappy with the results of their appeals has the right to further appeal to the board and that could be a conflict of interest since her husband is on the board.  The board also has the right not to hear the second appeal if they feel that the member got a fair hearing. 

          Cookie Litwienski asked if we are now allowing live stock.  She was told no and that she should contact her township if she identifies a property with live stock, since it is against their rules.

Mary Kavanagh stated that she had a dog that was terrified during fireworks.  They purchased a special vest for him that made him feel he was being held and it calmed him down significantly.  Kavanagh also requested to have the yellow lines put back on the roads and was told that relining will be done after the paving is completed.  Kavanagh stated that she witnessed a member being abusive to the compactor attendant and requested that pictures of their license plates be taken.  She was told that the hut that will be located at the front of the compactor should resolve that issue since any member not in good standing will not be given access to the site.  Finally Kavanagh mentioned that when she worked in the prison system they used bean bag guns to control the prison population and perhaps we can allow our public safety team to carry these guns.  She was told that that was not up for consideration since that could kill someone if you hit them in the head.

          Marty Nicoll has owned property for two years in Emerald Lakes His home is a short term rental and he agrees with developing a septic policy for the membership but stated that it has to be for the whole membership and just not certain STR properties.  He was told that there is only one set of rules and they apply to all.

          Three (3) new members were welcomed to the Community.

A motion was made by Chris Claude to adjourn.  It was seconded by Steve Kavanagh.  Meeting adjourned at 11:14 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.

Emerald Lakes Board of Directors Open Meeting, May 28, 2022

By Kathy Leslie-Whelan

          The meeting was called to order at 9:34 AM.  All board members were present.  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 April’s open board meeting minutes. The motion was made by Bill Baehr and seconded by Bob Leon.  It passed unanimously.   Whelan opened his President’s message wishing everyone a safe summer and reiterated what Kevin Derk stated on television this morning, that it was the unofficial start of summer.  Kevin Derk is a TV weatherman who is a resident of Emerald Lakes.  Whelan stated that now that summer is here there are more visitors so if you want a NY paper, you have to go out early to get one since a lot of visitors like to still get their hometown paper.  Whelan also stated that speeding has been excessive and is on the agenda and will be discussed later on in the meeting.  He also reminded people to be careful on the lake and make sure you wear safety gear.  Under our rules and regulations safety vests must be worn by children and adults must have them on the water craft. 

          Dave Borsos gave the Treasurer’s report.  He stated that our fiscal year in the black.  We were $181K ahead of the budgeted amount. Borsos stated that dues collections for the year came in at 71.82% which is above last year’s collection rate.  Areas for income that were above expectations included rental income at $122K; Chief Enforcement Officer Income at $127K; Access Card income at $24K.  Under expenses the following areas were over budget: Administration payroll at $41K due to new hire, maintenance $45K and trash removal at $28K.  Public Safety was under budget by $117K due to lack of staffing.  Borsos stated that overall things are looking good.  We were $277K under budget on our total expenses.  Borsos ended with stating that we have $1.4M in the operating budget and $543K in reserves.  Whelan added that the compliance rate is running consistent with the township tax collection rate.

          A motion was made by Bob Leon to accept the Treasurer’s report.  It was seconded by Steve Kavanagh and passed unanimously. 

Under Old Business:

  • The Community Center has passed all inspections.  Our liquor license has been activated.  Staff that was hired is being given start dates and a date for a soft open will be announced shortly.  Additional staff will be hired and the center should be fully operational by July 1st
  • Dogs and geese proposal at Pine Tree Island is moving at a measured pace.  A subcommittee composed of Gamble, Baehr and Whelan has developed rules and regulations for the membership.  In addition, they have talked to the zoning officer to see that leash laws were not being violated.  Currently, we are awaiting word from our insurance carrier on the cost.  The final stages will be talking to the dog warden and our outside counsel. A gate and shed will be erected at the entrance by the bridge.  Dogs will be allowed to run free from dawn to 10:00 AM. Whelan posted this idea on the unofficial FaceBook page and the response has been overwhelmingly positive.
  • Water Safety will be enforced on our lakes. Life vests will be required for everyone on water vessels.  Children will be required to wear the vest where adults will have the option to wear or not, however, a vest must be on the vessel for their use.  All landlords were informed of this rule and be required to supply vests to their tenants if they are supplying kayaks or boats.  Members of the fishing club have volunteered to patrol the lakes and identify and report on anyone not following this rule.
  • A lake toy/raft has been ordered and will be installed at Main Beach.  The raft is made of heavy duty rubber and has a slide.  It will be anchored with rope and cinder blocks.  Cost was $4,600.
  • Three bylaw changes will be presented to the membership at the annual meeting.  A draft was prepared by Whelan and will be submitted to our attorney for review.  They are:
    •  In the past the annual meeting was held in the spring but moved to August since most of the members at that time were vacationers.  The annual budget was presented to the members at the spring meeting where they had about two hours to review and comment.  Past boards ignored this requirement when the meeting date was changed.  It is state law that an approved budget needs to be in place by May 1st.   In 2008, Whelan made the preliminary budget available for review and comment for 30 days to honor the spirit of the by-law.  The new change will correct this bylaw.
    • Our bylaws state that the polls for the voting period at the annual open meeting must be opened for 30 minutes.  The change will state that they will be opened for 30 minutes or until all votes have been cast.
    • Return to the simple majority vote for a by-law change (50% plus 1). Currently, 2/3 votes are needed to pass a by-law change.  That means that a no vote counts twice as much as a yes vote.  Our current way of voting gives an unequal weight to a no vote.  It should be noted that a dues increase and elections require a simple majority.
  • Annual meeting prep is underway.  Dates for the meeting are:
    • June 25th is the cutoff date for declared candidates.
    • July 13th will be the mailing to the membership.
    • August 5th (15 days before the election) all monies owed the Association must be paid in full in order to be a member in good standing.
    • August 13th will be Meet the Candidates.
    • Meeting date is August 20th.
  • Rules for private signs will be enforced.  Any political signs must be positive and can only be installed 30 before an election and must be taken down within 7 days.  Yard sales signs must be taken down within 7 days of the sale.

Under New Business

  • Traffic enforcement is an issue.  Speeders and drivers that go through stop signs are an issue in the community.  It was recommended that we hire hourly staff whose main function would be to help us enforce our speed limits and stop sign violations.  More speed tables will be added this year, however, it will not be completed for the beginning of the summer season.  Gamble is currently talking to a temporary hiring agency to obtain hourly employees.
  • Board candidate deadlines were addressed above,
  • The board is currently looking for volunteers to join committees. Whelan stated it is a good way to learn about the operations of the Association.  He also stated that it makes a stronger candidate for any member that wants to run for the board.

There will be a Memorial Day celebration at the front entrance by the flag pole at 11:00 AM on Monday, May 30th.  The ceremony will be held to honor the fallen and should take about 15 minutes.  The Butterfly Garden is within walking distance and the membership is encouraged to visit. All are welcomed.

Committee Reports    

          Kathy Whelan spoke on behalf of Finance and Planning.   The meeting was held on May 21st.  Whelan stated that for this last fiscal year $1.6M was collected in dues which represents 71.82% collection rate. Whelan also stated that for this past fiscal year rental income was $607K while rental fines were down; public safety violations are down by $5K due to a staff shortage: Code Enforcement violations were $221K which exceeds the budgeted amount by $127K; Total income has a positive variance of $181.5K: overall expenses are good and within budget: current money in reserves is $534K; Community Center renovations were $310K; late dues collections for Sunrise were $129K which is impressive since they were not given any new accounts this year: interest investments were $12.81. The next scheduled meeting will be held on Saturday, June 18th but is subject to change due to Father’s Day weekend and the possibility of a conflict with the Fishing Rodeo.   

Director’s Comments

Bill Baehr stated that he has been living in ELA for the last 3 ½ years.  He learned what was going on by attending the monthly board meetings.  He was kept aware of what was happening by talking to the board members and felt the desire to join the board to make this community a better place to live.  He stated that everyone was given an opportunity to comment or ask questions during public comments.  Baehr ended with warning the membership that information on FaceBook is often misleading and inaccurate.

Bob Leon stated that there are 20 homes for sale and 1 foreclosure in Emerald Lakes.  They are:

  1.          $350K listed for 1 day
  2.          $392K listed for 2 days
  3.          $279 listed for 4 days
  4.          $400K listed for 4 days
  5.          $350K listed for 4 days
  6.          $259.9K listed for 4 days
  7.          $385K listed for 14 days
  8.          $324.9K listed for 15 days
  9.          $398 listed for 15 days
  10. $549K listed for 18 days
  11. $384.9K listed for 21 days
  12. $410K listed for 22 days
  13. $225K listed for 28 days
  14. $495K listed for 32 days
  15. $345K listed for 34 days
  16. $275K listed for 35 days
  17. $420K listed for 44 days
  18. $389K listed for 45 days
  19. $329.5K listed for 60 days
  20. $388.7K listed for 74 days
  1. $63.85K – Auction

Dave Borsos stated that if you see something you don’t like bring it to our attention.  He encouraged all to join a committee.  He also stated the compactor is opened 4 days per week (Tuesday, Thursday, Saturday and Sunday).  The bag limit per trip is 8 kitchen bags or 2 contractor bags.  The limit was put in place due to misuse by some contractor’s garbage.  In addition, the compactor will be opened on Monday the week for Memorial Day.

Buz Whelan stated that he will be working with Nicole Clemens on the Newsletter on Tuesday of next week and they are hoping to get it out by Wednesday afternoon.  He encouraged his fellow board members to contribute articles for the newsletter.

Public Comments

None

          Eight (8) new members were welcomed to the Community.

A motion was made by Steve Kavanagh to adjourn.  It was seconded by Bob Leon.  Meeting adjourned at 10:57 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.

Emerald Lakes Board of Directors Open Meeting, May 28, 2022

By Kathy Leslie-Whelan

          The meeting was called to order at 9:34 AM.  All board members were present.  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 April’s open board meeting minutes. The motion was made by Bill Baehr and seconded by Bob Leon.  It passed unanimously.   Whelan opened his President’s message wishing everyone a safe summer and reiterated what Kevin Derk stated on television this morning, that it was the unofficial start of summer.  Kevin Derk is a TV weatherman who is a resident of Emerald Lakes.  Whelan stated that now that summer is here there are more visitors so if you want a NY paper, you have to go out early to get one since a lot of visitors like to still get their hometown paper.  Whelan also stated that speeding has been excessive and is on the agenda and will be discussed later on in the meeting.  He also reminded people to be careful on the lake and make sure you wear safety gear.  Under our rules and regulations safety vests must be worn by children and adults must have them on the water craft. 

          Dave Borsos gave the Treasurer’s report.  He stated that our fiscal year in the black.  We were $181K ahead of the budgeted amount. Borsos stated that dues collections for the year came in at 71.82% which is above last year’s collection rate.  Areas for income that were above expectations included rental income at $122K; Chief Enforcement Officer Income at $127K; Access Card income at $24K.  Under expenses the following areas were over budget: Administration payroll at $41K due to new hire, maintenance $45K and trash removal at $28K.  Public Safety was under budget by $117K due to lack of staffing.  Borsos stated that overall things are looking good.  We were $277K under budget on our total expenses.  Borsos ended with stating that we have $1.4M in the operating budget and $543K in reserves.  Whelan added that the compliance rate is running consistent with the township tax collection rate.

          A motion was made by Bob Leon to accept the Treasurer’s report.  It was seconded by Steve Kavanagh and passed unanimously. 

Under Old Business:

  • The Community Center has passed all inspections.  Our liquor license has been activated.  Staff that was hired is being given start dates and a date for a soft open will be announced shortly.  Additional staff will be hired and the center should be fully operational by July 1st
  • Dogs and geese proposal at Pine Tree Island is moving at a measured pace.  A subcommittee composed of Gamble, Baehr and Whelan has developed rules and regulations for the membership.  In addition, they have talked to the zoning officer to see that leash laws were not being violated.  Currently, we are awaiting word from our insurance carrier on the cost.  The final stages will be talking to the dog warden and our outside counsel. A gate and shed will be erected at the entrance by the bridge.  Dogs will be allowed to run free from dawn to 10:00 AM. Whelan posted this idea on the unofficial FaceBook page and the response has been overwhelmingly positive.
  • Water Safety will be enforced on our lakes. Life vests will be required for everyone on water vessels.  Children will be required to wear the vest where adults will have the option to wear or not, however, a vest must be on the vessel for their use.  All landlords were informed of this rule and be required to supply vests to their tenants if they are supplying kayaks or boats.  Members of the fishing club have volunteered to patrol the lakes and identify and report on anyone not following this rule.
  • A lake toy/raft has been ordered and will be installed at Main Beach.  The raft is made of heavy duty rubber and has a slide.  It will be anchored with rope and cinder blocks.  Cost was $4,600.
  • Three bylaw changes will be presented to the membership at the annual meeting.  A draft was prepared by Whelan and will be submitted to our attorney for review.  They are:
    •  In the past the annual meeting was held in the spring but moved to August since most of the members at that time were vacationers.  The annual budget was presented to the members at the spring meeting where they had about two hours to review and comment.  Past boards ignored this requirement when the meeting date was changed.  It is state law that an approved budget needs to be in place by May 1st.   In 2008, Whelan made the preliminary budget available for review and comment for 30 days to honor the spirit of the by-law.  The new change will correct this bylaw.
    • Our bylaws state that the polls for the voting period at the annual open meeting must be opened for 30 minutes.  The change will state that they will be opened for 30 minutes or until all votes have been cast.
    • Return to the simple majority vote for a by-law change (50% plus 1). Currently, 2/3 votes are needed to pass a by-law change.  That means that a no vote counts twice as much as a yes vote.  Our current way of voting gives an unequal weight to a no vote.  It should be noted that a dues increase and elections require a simple majority.
  • Annual meeting prep is underway.  Dates for the meeting are:
    • June 25th is the cutoff date for declared candidates.
    • July 13th will be the mailing to the membership.
    • August 5th (15 days before the election) all monies owed the Association must be paid in full in order to be a member in good standing.
    • August 13th will be Meet the Candidates.
    • Meeting date is August 20th.
  • Rules for private signs will be enforced.  Any political signs must be positive and can only be installed 30 before an election and must be taken down within 7 days.  Yard sales signs must be taken down within 7 days of the sale.

Under New Business

  • Traffic enforcement is an issue.  Speeders and drivers that go through stop signs are an issue in the community.  It was recommended that we hire hourly staff whose main function would be to help us enforce our speed limits and stop sign violations.  More speed tables will be added this year, however, it will not be completed for the beginning of the summer season.  Gamble is currently talking to a temporary hiring agency to obtain hourly employees.
  • Board candidate deadlines were addressed above,
  • The board is currently looking for volunteers to join committees. Whelan stated it is a good way to learn about the operations of the Association.  He also stated that it makes a stronger candidate for any member that wants to run for the board.

There will be a Memorial Day celebration at the front entrance by the flag pole at 11:00 AM on Monday, May 30th.  The ceremony will be held to honor the fallen and should take about 15 minutes.  The Butterfly Garden is within walking distance and the membership is encouraged to visit. All are welcomed.

Committee Reports    

          Kathy Whelan spoke on behalf of Finance and Planning.   The meeting was held on May 21st.  Whelan stated that for this last fiscal year $1.6M was collected in dues which represents 71.82% collection rate. Whelan also stated that for this past fiscal year rental income was $607K while rental fines were down; public safety violations are down by $5K due to a staff shortage: Code Enforcement violations were $221K which exceeds the budgeted amount by $127K; Total income has a positive variance of $181.5K: overall expenses are good and within budget: current money in reserves is $534K; Community Center renovations were $310K; late dues collections for Sunrise were $129K which is impressive since they were not given any new accounts this year: interest investments were $12.81. The next scheduled meeting will be held on Saturday, June 18th but is subject to change due to Father’s Day weekend and the possibility of a conflict with the Fishing Rodeo.   

Director’s Comments

Bill Baehr stated that he has been living in ELA for the last 3 ½ years.  He learned what was going on by attending the monthly board meetings.  He was kept aware of what was happening by talking to the board members and felt the desire to join the board to make this community a better place to live.  He stated that everyone was given an opportunity to comment or ask questions during public comments.  Baehr ended with warning the membership that information on FaceBook is often misleading and inaccurate.

Bob Leon stated that there are 20 homes for sale and 1 foreclosure in Emerald Lakes.  They are:

  1.          $350K listed for 1 day
  2.          $392K listed for 2 days
  3.          $279 listed for 4 days
  4.          $400K listed for 4 days
  5.          $350K listed for 4 days
  6.          $259.9K listed for 4 days
  7.          $385K listed for 14 days
  8.          $324.9K listed for 15 days
  9.          $398 listed for 15 days
  10. $549K listed for 18 days
  11. $384.9K listed for 21 days
  12. $410K listed for 22 days
  13. $225K listed for 28 days
  14. $495K listed for 32 days
  15. $345K listed for 34 days
  16. $275K listed for 35 days
  17. $420K listed for 44 days
  18. $389K listed for 45 days
  19. $329.5K listed for 60 days
  20. $388.7K listed for 74 days
  1. $63.85K – Auction

Dave Borsos stated that if you see something you don’t like bring it to our attention.  He encouraged all to join a committee.  He also stated the compactor is opened 4 days per week (Tuesday, Thursday, Saturday and Sunday).  The bag limit per trip is 8 kitchen bags or 2 contractor bags.  The limit was put in place due to misuse by some contractor’s garbage.  In addition, the compactor will be opened on Monday the week for Memorial Day.

Buz Whelan stated that he will be working with Nicole Clemens on the Newsletter on Tuesday of next week and they are hoping to get it out by Wednesday afternoon.  He encouraged his fellow board members to contribute articles for the newsletter.

Public Comments

None

          Eight (8) new members were welcomed to the Community.

A motion was made by Steve Kavanagh to adjourn.  It was seconded by Bob Leon.  Meeting adjourned at 10:57 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.

Emerald Lakes Board of Directors Open Meeting, April 30, 2022

By Kathy Leslie-Whelan

          The meeting was called to order at 9:30 AM.  Six board members were present.  Chris Claude 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 February’s open board meeting minutes. The motion was made by Bob Leon and seconded by Bill Baehr.  It passed unanimously.   Whelan called for another motion to approve March’s open board meeting minutes. The motion was made by Bob Leon and seconded by Bill Baehr.  It passed unanimously. Whelan opened his President’s message stating that since two members on the board had to leave early, they were trying to go through the meeting fast.  He stated that his message would have been about the three by-law changes that will be bought up at the annual meeting.  He explained that he addressed his reasoning in the latest Emerald News and anyone that was interested can read it there.  In addition, you can see the subject of the proposed by-law changes under Old Business

          Dave Borsos gave the Treasurer’s report.  He stated that we will end our fiscal year in the black.  Some highlights at the end of March are:

  • Dues income is at $1.2M YTD.
  • Income totals are $97K ahead of budget.
  • Expenses are $1.9M YTD.  There is a positive variance of $261K. They include administrative payroll, general and professional services, public safety payroll, CC and Recreation, Insurance and Utilities.
  • Reserves are $544K

Borsos ended his report by stating that our finances are looking good as we wind up this fiscal year.

          A motion was made by Bill Baehr to accept the Treasurer’s report.  It was seconded by Bob Leon and passed unanimously. 

Whelan handed the floor over to General Manager, Darryl Gamble.  Gamble stated that he will make the Emerald News now available at the compactor. He further stated that dues are due and he encouraged everyone to check their account on-line.  If a balance is due, any monies paid will go towards outstanding balances first. In addition, if you pay the full dues amount, it will read that a balance is due in parenthesis.  The system is set up for quarterly payments.  Gamble stated that when you purchased your home you agreed to pay dues to the Home Owner’s Association.  It is written in your deed.  When Gamble took over as General Manager, due’s collections were at 49%.  After four years, our percentage is around 70%.  Gamble is bringing our amenities up to good working order and in line with the Kipcon report that is completed every 5 years.  Gamble also requested that the members not be rude to staff.  They are only doing their jobs and are enforcing rules that are already in place.  Screaming at the compactor attendant could result in a significant fine.  A picture of your license plate will be taken and you will be reported to regional police.

Gamble also stated that an attendant will be stationed at Main and Pine Tree beaches on Saturday and Sundays between the hours of 10:00 AM and 7:00 PM for the summer.  A pass/ID will be required for admittance to these beaches.  Boats also need to be registered.  Reservations are now being taken for spots at the boat racks.  If, you left your boat on the rack over the winter season, it may have been towed to an area in Emerald Lakes.

Gamble also stated that he has driven our roads this past Monday with our Operations Manager and the outside contractor.  $680K is proposed to be spent in this next fiscal year on road maintenance.  This is the highest amount of money that is being spent on roads since Gamble has been here.  They are trying to get as much done as possible.  The work will include 4 to 6 additional speed tables added.  Currently, we are waiting for pricing from the contractor.  The Community Center is still waiting for its final inspection. Our maintenance staff is currently working on landscaping at the front entrance, amenity repair and Main and Pine Tree beach bathhouse renovations.  A large trailer will be installed at the outdoor pool which will house a men’s and women’s bathroom as well as changing areas.  If this trailer works out a permanent one will be installed.  The Clover bridge project is currently on hold.  There is no immediate danger to the public.  We are up to speed with all dam work.  The basketball court on Glade is being fixed this week.  Finally, the fishing information that was sent out as part of the rental package has to be revised.  Currently all fish will be on a catch and release basis and only artificial bait will be allowed. 

Under Old Business:

  • Whelan stated that adjustments were made to the preliminary budget and the revised balanced budget was presented to the board for approval.  A motion was made by Steve Kavanagh and seconded by Bill Baehr to accept the 2022/2023 budget.  It passed unanimously.  Whelan stated that the new budget is now available to any member that wants a copy.
  • Project updates were addressed by Gamble above; however, expanded information was discussed.  The beach on Pine Tree Lake will be expanded and a kayak/boat rental program will move forward once white beach sand becomes available.  The bath houses at Main and Pine Tree beaches are being upgraded.  The structure will be the same but everything inside will be replaced.  Work on the outside will commence after the inside is completed.  The outside will have a Nantucket look with blue cedar shake.  The roof will be replaced and new doors installed.  Plumbing will be installed for an outside shower.  Venting will be installed. 
  • Due to the numerous beach closures at Pine Tree beach due to geese waste in the area that is tested by the State, letting dogs run free in that area was discussed.  Pine Tree beach is an island so fencing will not be required if dogs were allowed to run free between dawn and 10:00 AM.  A gate is being installed by the bridge due to a new shack being built that will be shelter for the attendant checking ID’s and passes.  Free permits would be issued to dog owners to obtain permission to allow dogs to run free without their leashes.  The permit will allow the Association to keep records and control the usage.  The owner will be responsible for picking up dog waste.  Bill Baehr, Buz Whelan, Darryl Gamble and Nicole Clemens will be meeting to formalize rules and procedures.
  • Annual meeting prep will begin soon.  The only document that cannot be printed is the agenda.  A problem in the past was the copier machine breaking down when we have to print items that go into the package.  Packages need to get to the post office by July 8th.  The annual meeting will be held at the Community Center.  The office is looking for volunteers to help with the collating and stuffing of envelopes.  The 3 by-law revisions that will be presented to the membership are:
    • Return to the simple majority vote for a by-law change (50% plus 1). Currently, 2/3 votes are needed to pass a by-law change.  That means that a no vote counts twice as much as a yes vote.  It should be noted that a dues increase and elections require a simple majority.
    • The second change is a housekeeping item that addresses an issue that was argued about on FaceBook for the annual budget to be presented to the membership for review and comment.  In the past the annual meeting was held in the spring but moved to August since most of the members at that time were vacationers.  The annual budget was presented to the members at the spring meeting where they had about two hours to review and comment.  Past boards ignored this requirement when the meeting date was changed.  It is state law that an approved budget needs to be in place by May 1st.   In 2008, Whelan made the preliminary budget available for review and comment for 30 days to honor the spirit of the by-law.  The new change will correct this by-law.
    • The third change is also a housekeeping issue.  The by-laws state that the polls for the voting period at the annual open meeting must be opened for 30 minutes.  The change will state that they will be opened for 30 minutes or until all votes have been cast.

Past by-law changes include mail-in voting, quarterly payments and changing the annual meeting from the third Saturday to on or about the third Saturday.

Under New Business

No new business.

Committee Reports    

          Kathy Whelan spoke on behalf of Finance and Planning.   The meeting was held on April 23rd where a short discussion was held on the revisions to the preliminary budget.  Whelan also stated that rental income is at $584K for an 11 month period and rental fines are down; Code Enforcement violations are at $178K; total income has a positive variance of $96.9K while YTD the figure is $2.4M; total expenses are good and within budget. Year to date we spent $1.9M; dues collections are at 68.33% A recommendation was made by the committee that a staff member of Emerald Lakes reach out to Tobyhanna Township if they pass their Short Term Rental (STR) ordinance, to obtain a list of all permits issued or properties identified as short term rentals that are registered. This will help us identify home that are STR’s. The next scheduled meeting will be held on Saturday, May 21st.

Director’s Comments

Bob Leon stated that there are 11 homes for sale in Emerald Lakes.  They are:

  1.          $225K listed for 24 hours
  2.          $495K listed for 4 days
  3.          $345 listed for 6 days
  4.          $320K listed for 6 days
  5.          $275K listed for 7 days
  6.          $389K listed for 16 days
  7.          $420K listed for 16 days
  8.          $285K listed for 22 days
  9.          $329.5K listed for 32 days
  10. $388.7K listed for 46 days.
  11. $235K – Auction

Land for sale:

  1. $50K (3.12 Acres) listed for 36 days
  2. $21K (.63 acres listed for 39 days
  3. $29K (.66 acres listed for 83 days
  4. $29K (1.19 acres) multiple listings for 331 days and 539 days.

Public Comments

          Connie Simpson asked that dogs not be allowed on the beach after 10:00 since little kids get scared, and she would like to see signs posted.  She also asked when the saunas would be opened.  Gamble stated they would be opened when the Community Center opens.  More controls need to be in place.  Simpson asked when they could start using the dining room and game room and was told that no tentative date was set.  We are waiting for a final inspection.  She also asked when the kayak rental program would go into effect and was told once sand was available so that the beach could be expanded.

Louise Leon thanked the board for their service.

Mary Kavanagh asked if there were cameras at the bath houses.  She was told yes and that additional cameras will be installed.  She also inquired about a smoking area at the Community Center and was told that one was planned and will be located out the door by the men’s bathroom.  Finally, she inquired about having fundraisers and was told that it can happen if there is a sponsor.  For fundraisers to help pay for projects at ELA, she was told it is probably not cost effective.

          Eight (8) new members were welcomed to the Community.

A motion was made by Bill Baehr to adjourn.  It was seconded by Ange Noonan.  Meeting adjourned at 10:52 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.

Emerald Lakes Board of Directors Open Meeting, March 26, 2022

Photo by fauxels on Pexels.com

By Kathy Leslie-Whelan

          The meeting was called to order at 9:37 AM.  Six board members were present.  Steve Kavanagh was absent due to illness.  General Manager Darryl Gamble and Assistant General Manager Nicole Clemens were also present. After the pledge of allegiance, Buz Whelan, President started his message addressing Short Term Rental (STR) information on the unofficial FaceBook page.  He said that there have been court decisions that state that homeowners have the right to do what they want with their properties.  He stated that the Board is aware of the latest issues at neighboring HOAs as well as the ordinance that the Tobyhanna Township is considering.  Although we cannot ban STRs there are actions that the Board has taken to protect the quality of life in the community. The fines are more robust and enforcement is being ramped up.  The major complaint in our community is noise that goes into the night.  When complaints come in security will be sent to let them know they have to tone down the noise.  If they have to go out for a second time, a $250 summons will be issued. If they are called again a second summons will be issued for $500.  If this property receives a third summons, it will be for $1,000 and will continue at that rate for any other summons that is issued.  If the fines are not paid, the property will be considered not in good standing and all amenity use will be suspended. 

Chris Claude interjected stating that discussions need to happen regarding possibly taking away use of amenities for repeat offenders.  In addition, noise monitors will be required on these properties that notify the owner that the STR is too loud. Claude also stated that STR owners have to supply a contact # that is available 24 hours a day.

Whelan continued his message stating that these regulations apply to everyone whether they are full time residents, weekenders or STRs.  Whelan said that most of the STR owners are not problems.  They are reasonable and good people but there is a small percentage where there are issues.  It only takes a few bad landlords to challenge the quality of life.  In addition, it is the intent of the Association to hire more public safety personnel.  Whelan mentioned the extension of Pine Tree Beach which is a new project that will start in the spring. 

Whelan continued to state that the Board was looking to pass a preliminary budget and make it available to the membership for review and comment over the next 30 days.  The final budget will be voted on by the Board at the next open meeting scheduled for April 30th.  Our fiscal year begins on May 1st

Finally Whelan stated that the Community Center (CC) is looking good and that we are down to our last inspection.  We are close to officially opening the CC where the Bar and Grill will be functional.  Events such as trivia night, bingo, karaoke night and special events will start to be scheduled.  He hopes everyone will come out for a meal at the center and drinks at the bar.

          Dave Borsos gave the Treasurer’s report.  He stated that he has two items to discuss.  The first item is that there is no bad news.  The second item is that we are in good shape financially and are under budget in most areas.

Borsos stated that currently $2.3M is in income totals year to date (YTD) while $1.7M are in expenses. Some highlights at the end of February are:

  • Dues income is at $1.2M  YTD
  • Chief Enforcement Officer (CEO) income is $163K YTD and $73K over budget
  • Access card income is at $53K  YTD and $25K over budget,
  • Rental income YTD is $500K
  • Expenses are $1.7M YTD.  They include administrative payroll, general and professional services, public safety payroll, CC and Recreation, Insurance and Utilities.
  • Cash assets are $896K
  • Reserves are $564K

          A motion was made by Bill Baehr to accept the Treasurer’s report.  It was seconded by Bob Leon and passed unanimously. 

Under Old Business:

  • Ice fishing rules and regulation were developed by Vice President Chris Claude and Eric Bergstrom of the fishing club.  These regulations will be added to our Rules and Regulation document.  For the first year ice fishing will be limited to Deer Lake and may eventually have Lower Deer Lake added.  Ice fishing will be allowed Monday through Sunday between the hours of 9:00 AM and 4:00 PM.  There will be a catch and release of all species of fish.  Only artificial bait will be allowed.  The Association will not be supplying rest room facilities and no one is allowed to relieve themselves publically.  Only one rod, with one tip up will be allowed.  All fishermen must carry a valid fishing license and Emerald Lake permit if over the age of 16.  No shack structures will be allowed; however, wind breaks will be allowed and must be removed by 4:00 PM.  Chris Claude made the motion to accept the ice fishing rules.  It was seconded by Bob Leon.  It passed with a four to one vote.  Dave Borsos voted against this item.
  • Currently the Association has a watercraft and can go out to check on the fishermen and women.  Members from the fishing club will be deputized and allowed to give summons out for any violations of the rules.  Anyone without proper ID will be asked to leave the lake and anyone refusing will be reported to the police for trespassing.
  • Other items to be added to Rules and Regulations under the public nuisance rule are fines ranging from $250 for first offense, $500 for the second offense and $1,000 for the third or any subsequent violations.  Under Catch and Release provision, all species of fish will be added. A new fine of $50 will be added for anyone on a boat without a life vest.  Children 12 and under must wear vests.  Anyone older must either wear or have a life vest available on the vessel. A motion was made by Bob Leon to accept the changes to the Rules and Regulations document.  It was seconded by Bill Baehr.  It passed unanimously.
  • The Board believes they have a sound preliminary budget.  A motion was made by Bob Leon to approve the preliminary budget.  It was seconded by Bill Baehr.  It passed unanimously.  The budget will now be available to the membership for review and comment.

Under New Business

  • Two Spring Projects were discussed.  The first item is the Pine Beach expansion.  The beach is being expanded to the area in front of the volleyball area.  Since this is not in the alcove and water flows freely in that area, hopefully there will be fewer beach closures due to bacteria in the water.  The second project is the boat/kayak rental at Pine Tree Beach. Plans are still under development.  There will be a small station at the bridge where IDs will be checked on the weekends before anyone can enter the beach area.  Kayaks and paddle boats will be stored on the current beach where boats can be launched easily.  Boats will be chained to racks, however, that might change to an enclosed structure.  Life vests and paddles/oars will be secured in an enclosed structure. Anyone renting a water vessel will be required to wear life vests.  Pricing on the rentals is currently being discussed.  Rentals will be available to all homeowners and rentals in good standing.

Committee Reports    

Chris Claude spoke on behalf of the Real Estate Committee.  This committee had a virtual workshop for landlords. The requirements for the landlords were discussed as well as the rules and regulations being distributed. 

          Kathy Whelan spoke on behalf of Finance and Planning.  At a special meeting on March 4th the committee reviewed the budget and made minor adjustments.  All members agreed that the budget was a sound document before it was submitted to the Board for their review.   A second meeting was held on March 25th to discuss the final budget after the Board review and the February financials.  Highlights were discussions on the rental income, CEO fine collections, credit card fees which will be reinstated effective May 1st and collection fees.  The next scheduled meeting will be held on Friday, April 22nd, however, that may change to Saturday, April 23rd.

Director’s Comments

Bob Leon stated that there are 7 homes for sale in Emerald Lakes.  They are:

  1.         $299K listed for 2 days
  2.         $270K listed for 8 days *
  3.         $395 listed for 11 days (Foreclosure)
  4.        $225K listed for 15 days
  5.        $260K listed for 18 days *
  6.        $450K listed for 33 days
  7.        $499K listed for 52 days *

Homes ranged from $299K to $499K. A repeat listing is a property that has been taken off the market and put back on and identified with an *.  No lake front homes are available.

     Dave Borsos stated that real estate pricing has gone up.

     Bill Baehr said that he bought his home here 4 years ago and the value of his home has gone up by 35%.  He was away for a while so it was his first time seeing the renovations at the CC.  He said he was thunderstruck by the improvements.  He realized there were delays due to Covid, material shortages and permits but the place is gorgeous and the wait was worth it.

Public Comments

Randy Kopp of Huckleberry stated that he has been here for 2 and ½ years.  He wanted to know that since Pine Tree Lake has been closed during the summer what type of impact more activity will have.  Will there be a negative impact.  Gamble and Clemens stated that they hope that this issue resolves by moving the swimming beach over where the water flows stronger.  Clemens stated that last year, preliminary testing at Pine Tree showed where the water was coming in.  He also stated that septic systems should be required to be pumped out every so often.  Claude stated that he bought this up a while back.  He feels that all septic systems should be inspected every 3 years.  The board will have further discussions on the septic pump issue.

          Kathy Whelan asked members of the fishing club if that by having catch and release of all species, how will it affect the bass in the lake.  Will all baby bass born be vulnerable to other fish in the lake?  Eric Bergstrom stated that a fishing survey is completed at various times that identify what species and size of fish are in the lake.  When stocking is done, a determination of what and what size will be added to the lake.

          A gentleman in the audience asked if the Board addressed roads.  He was told that the entire stock of cold patch from Lowes was purchased and is currently being used on the worst areas in the development.  The plant that we order cold patch from opens on April 15th.  At that time, maintenance can be more aggressive on addressing the pot holes.

          Five (5) new members were welcomed to the Community.

A motion was made by Chris Claude to adjourn.  It was seconded by Dave Borsos.  Meeting adjourned at 11:10 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.

Emerald Lakes Board of Directors Open Meeting, February 26, 2022

By Kathy Leslie-Whelan

          The meeting was called to order at 9:34 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 January’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 stating that enforcement of rules and regulations will be stricter. Scanning of badges at the amenities will be enforced.  He also stated that the General Manager with working up a budget on projects so that the board can make a decision on which project or projects will be completed this year.  Some of the projects mentioned were a dog park, kayak rental program, beach and pool facilities, expanding Pine Tree Beach.  Whelan said that these projects will improve the quality of life as well as upgrade the value of homes.

          Dave Borsos gave the Treasurer’s report.  He stated that for the month of January dues income, prior year’s dues, dues interest, dues late fees and collection fees is $1,235,678 Year to Date (YTD) and is $90K under the budgeted amount.  Other income is at $444K YTD which includes Public Safety citations, bank revenue, and rental revenue.  (Rental Income was $435K).  Code Enforcement Officer (CEO) revenue, access card, boat and fishing fees, resale fees, compactor cards, snack shack and misc totals are $23K bringing the income totals to $1,907,029 YTD. Expenses for different cost centers YTD are as follows: Administration $413K; Public Safety $82K; Maintenance $730K; Community Center/Recreation $136K; General/Professional $26K; Utilities $75K; Insurances $92K.  The total YTD expenses are $1,555,410.  Cash Assets are $759K YTD and Reserve Fund is $491K 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:

  • Signage Regulations and fine schedule, water safety rules and formalizing escalating fines was completed and will be reviewed at the workshop meeting on March 12th
  • Annual budget preparations are underway.  Finance and Planning will be meeting twice in March to go over the budget.  The board will approve the preliminary budget at the next open board meeting where it will than become available to the membership for viewing and commenting for 34 days. The final budget will be approved at the April 30th open board meeting.
  • Spring and summer projects were discussed during the President’s message.
  • Update on Community Center (CC) –The kitchen and boiler room have been completed.  The room next to the kitchen needs to be set up.  The health inspection was fine but there were a few minor issues with the water inspection that need to be corrected.  Some items to be repaired are a depression by the well that needs to be filled and a well cap replacement.  Whelan again invited the membership to come in and look at the CC when it is opened.
  • Ice Fishing – The problem with ice fishing is enforcement of the rules.  It is not known if all ice fishermen are part of the Association and are throwing back any bass that they catch.  One director voiced concerns over the holes in the ice and it being a safety issue for children who may venture out on the lake.  Various members of the fishing club attended the meeting to voice their concerns over losing the right to ice fish.  Eric Bergstrom of the fishing club presented various solutions which included:
  • Alternate the lakes for ice fishing.  Designate one lake per year.
  • Limiting fishing to two days per week and fishing would only be allowed during the hours of 9AM to 4PM.
  • Security would have to cover the lake and check that the fisherman isn’t taking bass from the lake.  $100 fine should be implemented to anyone that has tried to take bass from the lake. 
  • All ice fishermen must enter lake at designated area.  No one will be allowed to enter lake from their home if they live on the lake.

Chris Claude and Eric Bergstrom are forming a subcommittee to create a resolution for ice fishing (resolution was tabled to next open board meeting).  The ice fishing may be limited to Deer Lake since it is a small lake and more easily manageable by Public Safety.  All required licensing and permits must be carried by the fisherman as well as their Emerald Lake photo ID and guest passes if they have visitors.  If these items are not shown to public safety, Pocono Mountain regional police will be called so the individual can be cited for criminal trespassing. 

Other topics discussed were:

  • Complete catch and release of all fish.
  • No shacks on the lakes.
  • Long Pond Rd access to East and West Emerald Lake may have boulders or fencing to discourage outsiders from accessing the lake.
  • Rules to include that fishermen wear life vests and to check the thickness of ice.
  • Don Atkiss spoke on the butterfly garden.  He thanked the membership who volunteered to tend the 4 quadrants that have milkweed that is food for the monarch butterfly. Volunteers include Randy and Donna Kopp, Don and Sally Atkiss, Ken and Linda Shuey and Lola Lauri. Special thanks went out to Eric and Pat Bergstrom.  They donated flowering trees and the use of their equipment.  Currently Don Atkiss has 15 milkweed plants in his basement that will be planted at the garden in the spring. In addition, spice plants will be added to attract the bush butterfly and two mason bee houses. The bees are not an aggressive variety. Whelan also thanked Cathy Borsos for the beautiful butterfly wings that she created that are at the garden where many people take picture of their families with the wings.

Under New Business

  • No new business since resolution on ice fishing was tabled till next open board meeting.

Committee Reports    

Real Estate Committee is scheduling a public workshop for March 19th. It will be on-line. 

          Finance and Planning will have a special meeting on March 4th to discuss the budget.  They will also meet on March 19th for their regular meeting to discuss the financials and to ensure that the budget is ready for the board to review.

Director’s Comments

Bob Leon gave a shout out to maintenance for the roads in the community.  They did a great job after yesterday’s ice storm. Bob Leon stated that there are 7 homes for sale in Emerald Lakes.  They are:

  1.         $900K listed for 220 days (Lake front) *
  2.         $499K listed for 24 days (Repeat listing)
  3.         $275K listed for 23 days (Under Contract)
  4.        $450K listed for 5 days *
  5.        $260K listed for 1 day (Repeat listing)
  6.        $225K listed for 1 day *
  7.        $270K listed for 1 day (Repeat listing)

Year to date 146 homes have changed hands which amounts to $139,200 in transfer fees for the Association.  Homes ranged from $225K to $900K. A repeat listing is a property that has been taken off the market and put back on.  Homes identified with an * are available.

     Dave Borsos thanked the board for holding off on the resolution for ice fishing.

          Ange Noonan stated that by live streaming the meeting the board is transparent so they were able to resolve the ice fishing issue.

Chris Claude reminded the membership that there is no street parking at all in the community.

Public Comments

David Shift from Cedar inquired about speed bumps on Cedar by the bridge over Pine Tree Lake.  He stated that many cars speed there and do not stop at the stop sign by Island Drive.  

Randy Kopp stated that it seems that most problems whether it’s fishing or speeding seem to be with enforcement. If you want to enforce the laws you need to take care of personnel.

Mary Kavanagh of Harvest Way stated that she is looking forward to the kayak rentals and hopes that we are considering water safety, and since we are short on public safety staff that is probably why there are few fines.  She also requested that public Safety check out the boat launch area at East Emerald Blvd in the morning.  She thinks there is some sort of activity in a car that is parked at the bus stop. The car bounces up and down.

          Six (6) new members were welcomed to the Community.

A motion was made by Bob Leon to adjourn.  It was seconded by Chris Claude.  Meeting adjourned at 11:39 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.

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.

Committee Reports    

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.

Director’s Comments

Bob Leon stated that there are 8 homes for sale in Emerald Lakes.  They are:

  1.         $900K listed for 185 days (Lake front)
  2.         $230K listed for 174 days
  3.         $169K listed for 152 days
  4.         $575K listed for 151 days (Lake front)
  5.         $425K listed for 73 days
  6.         $145K listed for 59 days (Foreclosure)
  7.         $269K listed for 53 days
  8.         $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.

Public Comments

          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.

Emerald Lakes Board of Directors Open Meeting, December 11, 2021

by Kathy Leslie-Whelan

          The meeting was called to order at 9:32 AM.  All board members were present.  Bill Baehr and Chris Claude 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 October’s open board meeting minutes.  The motion was made by Bill Baehr and seconded by Dave Borsos.  It passed unanimously.  Whelan wished everyone Happy Holidays, whether you celebrate Christmas, Kwanza or Hanukkah.  He further whished a Happy Festivus for the Rest of Us to those that celebrate.  He wished them well in the feats of strength and airing of grievances.  Whelan spoke of the preparation for winter which started in the summer.  He gave kudos to General Manager Darryl Gamble for being well prepared.  Two new 5500 diesel trucks were purchased and electronically modified for the plows and spreaders.  Salt and cinders are currently stocked by the compactor and future needs are under contract. Whelan said that the maintenance staff is experienced and are assigned designated routes that our staff knows well.  Primary roads will be plowed first, followed by secondary roads and finally cul-de-sacs. If a member has a medical emergency or has required medical appointments such as dialysis or chemo, they should register with the office.  Staff will do everything that they can so that you can get out of the community.  The trucks need to cover 36 miles of road on both sides.  That equates to 72 miles of roads to be plowed.  The membership is cautioned not to park their vehicles on the road during an event.  If you do so, your vehicle will be towed away and you will be responsible for all costs.  Parked cars prevent our staff from fully plowing the road as well as being dangerous to our drivers. 

Dave Borsos added that our drivers do not plow in driveways on purpose.  They cannot lift the plow every time they get to a driveway.  Borsos recommended that all homeowners clear an area to the left of their driveways so that the snow doesn’t create a large berm at the end of their driveways.  Chris Claude also cautioned the membership to not blow snow into the street.  He stated that everyone is responsible for preparing their home and vehicle for snow.

          Dave Borsos gave the Treasurer’s report.  He stated that for the month of October dues income is $865K Year to Date (YTD) and is $16K under the budgeted amount.  This figure will correct itself at the end of November since the quarterly dues payment was due in that month.  Dues income also includes prior year’s dues, dues interest, dues late fees and collection fees.  Other income is at $331K 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 $190K bringing the income totals to $1,387,765 YTD. Expenses for different cost centers are as follows: Administration $273K; Public Safety $58K; Maintenance $462K; Community Center/Recreation $97K; General/Professional $21K; Utilities $40K; Insurances $67K.  The total YTD expenses are $1,018,173.

          A motion was made by Bob Leon to accept the Treasurer’s report.  It was seconded by Steve Kavanagh and passed unanimously. 

Whelan stated that Borsos report is in the newsletter that is available at the kiosks at the mail stations.  He encouraged all to read Borsos’s essay which was well written and informative.

Under Old Business:

  • Update on Community Center (CC) – The staging of the center is taking shape right now.  The game room, dining area and front desk and entrance are completed.  Currently the Association is waiting on a fire inspection for the fire extinguishers, hood system and smoke/carbon monoxide heads.  The bar is almost completed.  An ice machine is on order.  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.  The boiler for the indoor pool had an issue that is now corrected.  It is fully functional at this time.  Whelan gave a shout out to Chris Claude who has been working in an advisory capacity.
  • Fencing at the Administration building and compactor looks great.  More work on fencing will continue in the spring. All access to maintenance and equipment will be fenced in and there will be no access to the area during non operational hours.  In addition, landscaping will start in spring in this area. Gamble thanked Kavanagh for recommending Contractors for this service.
  • Two new 5500 diesel trucks were purchased.  They have more torque and will be able to push more snow.  These vehicles are also going to last longer.  It is anticipated they will last 10 plus years.  This is the first time that the Association will be able to follow the Kipcon’s report recommendation for vehicle rotation.  Gamble will always have a vehicle in the budget so we will never have an old truck.  Trade in on the old vehicles will become the down payments.
  • Winter prep is completed.  A schedule with routes and drivers assigned to these routes is currently being evaluated.  Locust Ridge is a back up company for snow removal if needed.  Gamble stated that if there is a medical emergency in the community everyone on staff help to get that member out of the community.  The main roads will be pretreated for ice and snow removal will commence once 3 inches of snow has fallen.
  • All pending projects will be completed before new projects are started, unless it can be done in-house.
  •  Clover Bridge work will pickup in spring.  The scope of work is developed and permits are in place.  The bridge and guardrails will be replaced.  There is no danger to the community.  Gamble doesn’t want to close the road over the winter
  • Covid Update – Masks are optional outside however masks are required at indoor facilities.  Temperatures will be taken before you enter a building.  Swimming or activities are at your own risk.  Employees will be tested on a weekly basis and staff will be masked while indoors. Gamble will follow the board’s lead.

Under New Business

  • The Administration building will be closed for a three day weekend for Christmas and New Years.  Saturday, Sunday and Monday.  In addition there will be a 1:00 PM early dismissal on the Friday before these week-ends.  The compactor will be closed on Saturday for Christmas and New Years.  In addition, there will be a three day weekend for Martin Luther King Day in January.
  • The board is hopeful that the January open board meeting will be held in the CC and will be open to the membership.

Committee Reports    

Rules and Regulations did not meet. 

Appeals were put off due to Covid.  They will meet in February.

          Finance and Planning looked over financials and our numbers look good and stable.  Future project discussions included finishing the floors in the hall ways at the CC and fencing at the basketball courts by the Administration building.   Two recommendations were:

  1. Short term rental dollars figures should be separate from the overall trash budgeted amounts in the 2022/2023 budget.
  2. Management should develop a rental policy for the CC rooms.  The board should have final approval on the policy and rates.  Whelan added that rates should be comparable to rates being charged in the area.

          Real Estate Committee met to discuss goals.  They are scheduling a meeting for next month.

Director’s Comments

          Ange Noonan stated she is happy there is a coordinated effort for snow removal.  She wished everyone a happy holiday.

          Dave Borsos wished everyone a happy and healthy holiday season.

Bill Baehr recommended that the membership start their individual preparedness for the snow.  Ice treatment products and shovels should be purchased now, while the stores still have supplies.  He also stated that the Association is doing everything it can to keep the membership safe from Covid.  Stay home and stay safe.  He ended by wishing everyone happy holidays.

          Chris Claude wished everyone happy and safe holidays.  He also suggested getting out and enjoying the nice weather while it lasts.

Public Comments

          Cookie Litwienski stated that cars are speeding on the corner of White Tail and Bull Run and are ruining her lawn.

          Fifteen (15) new members were welcomed to the Community.

A motion was made by Ange Noonan to adjourn.  It was seconded by Steve Kavanagh.  Meeting adjourned at 11:07 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.

Emerald Lakes Board of Directors Open Meeting, October 23, 2021

by Kathy Leslie-Whelan

          The meeting was called to order at 9:35 AM.  Six board members were present.  Ange Noonan was absent.  General Manager Darryl Gamble and Assistant General Manager Nicole Clemens were also present. After the pledge of allegiance, Buz Whelan, President started his message by acknowledging the death of Marie DeVito, a long time resident of Emerald Lakes.  Whelan stated that Marie and her husband Carm were original settlers of the Association.  They purchased their home on the lake long before Emerald Lakes became an Association.  Marie was a bubbly woman and was liked by everyone that met her.  She was always laughing and died peacefully in her sister’s arms on Sunday.  Marie was 93 years old.  Whelan turned the floor over to Chris Claude to talk about a program he is running for Veteran’s Day.  Claude stated that on Saturday, November 13th there will be the first annual corn hole tournament on the grounds at the Community Center.  All interested parties should sign up by Friday, November 12th.  There is a $20 entrance fee for a team of two.  The winning team will receive a cash prize while teams in first, second and third place will receive trophies.  The event will be paid for by the fee and donations from Claude.  The event will be held rain or shine.  A brief ceremony will be held at 11:00 am to honor veterans.  Registration will begin at 11:30 am for anyone that did not preregister.  The signup fee at that time will be $30.  The first toss is expected to occur around 12 noon.

Whelan further stated that he will let Darryl Gamble speak on the Community Center; however, events are currently being planned for the kids for the month of December.  Events include Letters to Santa and a visit from Santa.  Maintenance has been preparing for snow so if we do get an early snow fall, our staff is ready.

          Dave Borsos gave the Treasurer’s report.  He stated that for the month of September dues income is  $826K Year to Date (YTD) and is $9K over the budgeted amount.  Other income is at $308 which includes Public Safety citations, bank revenue, and rental revenue.  (Rental Income was $304K).  Expenses for Administration are over by $7K.  The reason for the overages is due to an additional staff member being hired and 11 other line items which fall under administrative expenses. Some of these items include credit card fees, collections/judgments, operating supplies etc.  Maintenance, Public Safety, Community Center, Recreation, General and Professional, Utilities are all under budget.  Insurance is over budget but this is due to some policies being paid in full at the beginning of the year.  The budget is broken down by 12 months so the money will be within budget at the end of the fiscal year.  Total expenses were $174K under budget.  Current cash assets are $903K, $276K in reserves and $128K in investments.  

          A motion was made by Chris Claude to accept the Treasurer’s report.  It was seconded by Bob Leon and Bill Baehr and passed unanimously. 

Under Old Business:

  • Update on Community Center (CC) – The Community Center renovations continue to move forward.  The pool heater was fixed and the water is being heated to 82 degrees.  Some work was done on the roof area.  Flashing was installed on the windows and new trim and sealing of the chimney was completed.  In the Spring, the drain on the roof will be looked at and repaired if needed.  Gamble anticipates the CC to open in November (Phase 1).  Phase two will be when the bar and grill opens.
  • Road Maintenance – the outside contractor is coming in on Monday for culvert repairs on Doe, Clearview, Sycamore, Mountain Top and Gap View. The cost is $23K.  Maintenance will be adding stones to pot holes since cold patch season is coming to an end.  A list will be kept of these areas for repair in the Spring.
  • Winter prep is underway.  Two trucks are being geared up now, in case of an early snowfall.  Our credit application is in for salt/cinders.  A new plow and spreader is being purchased as spares and will be used in case of an emergency.  Gamble is currently looking for a new maintenance truck.  The backhoe is out for routine maintenance while the old unit is ready to go. 
  • Project discussions:
    • Fencing at the compactor has increased the scope of work.  The work includes adding an additional gate and fencing to the old camp ground.  Gamble is waiting on pricing.
    • The main entrance will have lighting and foliage added to the two side areas.  The area will require low maintenance.  This work should be completed by Winter.  The work on the  middle area will commence in Spring. 
    • Dam work is completed and is ready for inspection.  Our maintenance staff has taken care of foliage issues.  A training session is being planned for our maintenance staff for items they will be maintaining at the dams.  Dam work will come in under budget.
    • Clover Bridge work will pickup in Spring.  There is no danger to the community.  Gamble doesn’t want to close the road over the Winter.

Under New Business

  • Youth Activities and Projects – Whelan handed the floor over to Claude to address this topic.  Claude stated that there is an area at the CC that can be converted into a mini soccer field.  In the summer, he would like to see basketball tournaments, summer camps and swim lessons being offered.  Gamble has reached out to the Y about arranging “mommy and me” swim classes.  Claude wants to install a concrete pad for roller skating that could be converted into an ice rink in the winter.  Claude requested that the membership reach out to the board on Facebook as to what activities they want to see in the Community.  Once the CC opens there will be a game room and video room for the membership. The game room includes pool tables, shuffle board, skee ball and darts. 

Committee Reports    

Rules and Regulations did not meet. 

Appeals went well.

          Finance and Planning looked over financials and our numbers look good and stable.  Discussions were held on long and short term planning.  Some examples of short term planning were, dog park, soccer field, and boat/kayak rental and lake toy.  Examples of long term planning were bath house at the outdoor pool and feasibility study for ADA compliance.

          Real Estate Committee will be meeting every other month.  They are a good group of people with good ideas that they would like to implement for short term rentals.  The new chair for this committee is Mike Camino and the new secretary is Maria Cita Quinones.   These individuals replace long time serving members Loretta Schneider and Cari Jacobs.

Director’s Comments

          Bob Leon stated that there are 13 homes for sale in Emerald Lakes.  They are:

  1.         $500K listed for 381 days
  2.         $320K listed for 207 days
  3.         $250K listed for 140 days
  4.         $900K listed for 95 days
  5.         $750K listed for 91 days
  6.         $230K listed for 84 days
  7.         $169K listed for 62 days
  8.         $620K listed for 61 days
  9.          $250K listed for 60 days
  10. $240K listed for 47 days
  11. $200K listed for 36 days
  12. $145K listed for 3 days
  13. $231K listed for 3 days

Homes ranged from $145K to $900K.

Bill Baehr made a public service announcement.  Since it is getting darker earlier, the membership should be carrying flashlights as well as wearing reflective clothing while out walking their dogs or running.  Dogs should also be wearing reflective clothing and walking should be facing traffic so that you can jump out of the way, if need be.

Chris Claude advised the membership that on top of outfitting dogs with reflective gear, vehicles should also be prepared for winter.  He also reminded the membership about the Veteran’s Day event to be held on November 13th.  There will be a cash prize for the winning team with trophies going to the first 3 winning teams.

Dave Borsos stated that he has a renewed energy since he sees that projects are being followed through on.  Things are getting done.  He would like to see more people come out and be a part of this wonderful place.

Buz Whelan reminded the membership that Trunk or Treat will be held on Saturday, October 30th at 12 noon on the CC grounds.  Rain date is Sunday.  It is chilly out so bundle up the kids.

Public Comments

Kathy Leslie Whelan thanked Ange Noonan and Nicole Taff for helping her trap, neuter and release three feral cats in her area.  Nicole Taff is very active in our community even though she lives in Albrightsville.  She puts up her own money with helping us to control the cat population.  Nicole Taff does accept contributions.

          Nine (9) new members were welcomed to the Community.

Steve Kavanagh made the motion to adjourn.  It was seconded by Chris Claude.  Meeting adjourned at 10:40 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.

Emerald Lakes Board of Directors Open Meeting, September 25, 2021

by Kathy Leslie-Whelan

          The meeting was called to order at 9:41 AM.  Six board members were present.  Chris Claude 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 2021 minutes.  A motion was made by Bob Leon and seconded by Steve Kavanagh.  It passed unanimously.

Whelan turned the floor over to Ange Noonan to present a plaque to Kathy Whelan, who was honored with the volunteer of the year at the annual meeting in August.

Whelan started his president’s message by stating that the board has long and short term plans.  As to the financial stability of the Association, he would like to move forward with a 10 year dues program.  Our last two increases over the last two decades consisted of a $200 increase which was a financial burden on some of the membership.  Our membership requested that smaller increments be implemented.  The program consists of a $10 a quarter increase, every other year.  This will allow for bite size increases instead of a larger dollar amount increase.  The plan is to present it to the membership at the end of February, beginning of March.  Some of the smaller short term projects are a dog park, completing the Community Center, a kayak rental program and a lake raft/slide for one of the beaches.  The kayak rental program will include safety vests and paddles and should be financially self sustaining.  Whelan said that the board is responsible for property values and the quality of life for the members. 

Whelan also suggests that Rules and Regulation develop a policy for children up to age 14.  They should be required to wear safety vests while in a water craft on the lake.  Adults will be required to have vests with them in the water craft.  Although the Association cannot enforce Pennsylvania or Game and Commissioner Regulations, we could enforce it if it were part of our Rules and Regulations. 

          Dave Borsos gave the Treasurer’s report.  He stated that for the month of August the Association operated within budget.  August income was at $318K.  Year to date (YTD) income is $787K.  These figures include income from dues, prior year’s dues, dues interest, dues late fees and collection fees. Income from public safety, bank interest, rental revenue and compactor cards is $77K for the month and $295K (YTD).  CEO revenue, access cards, boat/fishing fees, resale fees, compactor card, newsletter ads and misc is $444K for the month and $1,228,249 YTD.  The Association is $177K over budget for income.  Under expenses which include payroll, taxes/benefits, outdoor pool heating, road repair, community center repairs and water testing is $216 YTD.  Road repair was $340K, however, that figure will go up to $467,571.  This includes in house road repair which consists of pot hole repair, roll patching and stone for dirt roads. $23K was spent on storm and drainage issues due to the torrential storms.    $96K has been spent to date on the Community Center repairs for the month with $340K YTD.  Water testing was $1.5K; cash assets $277.5K; reserve fund $244K; investments $129K.  The board postponed the motion to accept the treasurer’s report to verify payroll figures and compactor card dollar figures.

Under Old Business:

  • Update on Community Center – The Community Center is being worked on daily.  New furniture is being put together.  There is no concrete date for opening but the building will open before the bar and grill is operational.  Our liquor license is in safe keeping and will be renewed when the bar is ready to open.  It will take approximately 30 days for inspection before the license is reactivated.  The building will first be opened for meetings, pool and game rooms.  New smoke detectors and fire extinguishers are being installed.  In addition, more cameras are being added to the facility.  This project was a big undertaking.  All work is being done properly to ensure longevity. It is anticipated that the building will be opened in time for Trunk or Treat which is scheduled for Friday, October 29th.  The bar and grill should be opened before Christmas.
  • The outdoor pool was closed for the season.
  • Road Maintenance – for this fiscal year is $467,571 was spent.  Speed tables (bumps) located at Main beach and the outdoor pool are working out well so more tables are planned throughout the Community for next year.  Gamble wants to install 2 to 4 tables per year.  The current cost is $3,800 per pair.  Signage will be added since these bumps could destroy plows during the snow plowing season.  That signage will also warn drivers when they are approaching a table.  The temporary speed bumps that were purchased cracked due to traffic and damaged some of the roads so they will not be installed on the roads.
  • Gamble made a comment on future project by stating that everyone has different opinions and things that they enjoy.  He is requesting that the membership not to be too judgmental when a project is decided on. 
  • Basketball courts on Glade drive was decided to complete in house.  Three contractors were no-shows for giving quotes on the needed repairs.  Currently our staff is tied up with road and drainage repair due to the torrential rains.

Under New Business

  • Rules and Regulations will have a policy where the manual will be updated two times per year.  (End of January, beginning of February and the end of June beginning of July.)  An item addressing signage will be added to the manual based on conversations with outside counsel.  A sign is anything that conveys information.  It doesn’t matter what material the sign is made up as (wood, cardboard, metal, cloth etc,). The only exception to the signage rule is National flags.  They are considered symbols.  Per our Covenants # 11, no sign shall be displayed without approval from the grantor.  Approval can be obtained at the Administration building.  In addition, a policy will be developed regarding political signs.  There will be time limits as to when they can be displayed and no sign can attack the other opponent. 
  • Financial Stability –See above President’s message. 
  • Under discussion are two by-law changes that will be presented to the members at the next annual meeting.  The first change is to add “on or about 30 minutes” for the polls to be opened for in person voting at the meeting.  Currently the polls are opened for 30 minutes so the membership cannot move on with the meeting until that 30 minutes is expired.  This past meeting showed that voting was completed within 10 minutes.  The second change deals with the reducing the 2/3 votes required for a by-law change to a simple majority.  It was stated that every yes vote only counts as a vote where the no votes can carry more weight.   If 100 people vote yes and 51 people vote no, the motion fails.  Every vote should carry the same weight.
  • Personnel – An operations manager was just hired.  He will report directly to Darryl Gamble and Nicole Clemens.  He will be in charge of all projects and will be able to size up the job to determine what materials are needed.  He will also pick up materials.  He is proficient in carpentry, electrical and plumbing.  Our Chief of Maintenance staff individual will report to this individual where the rest of the team will still report to the chief.  The new individual will be training other staff and will be on call 24/7.  He will deal with any emergency that arises.  There should be a cost savings to the Association since we will not have to call in contractors for plumbing and electrical needs.

Committee Reports    

Rules and Regulations had nothing to report. 

Appeals had nothing to report.

Buz Whelan stated that although he could not attend the last Real Estate meeting, the committee had concerns over lighting and signs.  The signs are subject to vandalism and they want to try to get vandal proof signs or catch the individual(s) that are destroying the signage.  The new chair for this committee is Mike Camino and the new secretary is Maria Cita Quinones.   These individuals replace long time serving members Loretta Schneider and Cari Jacobs.  Both Loretta and Cari will remain members of the committee.

The Finance and Planning committee made two recommendations.  The first was to move the Association money into different accounts since only $250K is insured.  This was a recommendation by the outside auditor.  The second recommendation was that any time money is moved the board should give their consent in writing.  They were told that at least one board member and the General Manager or two board members usually signs a check when money is moved from one area of the budget to another.  Earl Frank, former chair, is working with the new committee to assist with reviews.  The review of the latest financials (August 2021) which represents 4 months into our fiscal year are as follows for cash:

  • Rental income is over budget by $50K and should beat annual projections.
  • Compactor card has no budget since these fees were built into the rental tier program.
  • Code Enforcement Officer (CEO) violations are $35K over budget which equates to 70% of budgeted amount of $100K.  This is due to the CEO identifying rental properties that are not registered.
  • Access card income is $48K where annual budget is $38K.

Expenses for 4 month are as follows:

  • Under administration credit card fees are $11K while the annual budget is $15K
  • Legal services are under budget.  They are at $2K while $40K is budgeted
  • Public safety is under budget by approximately 50% due to payroll.  Currently we are understaffed,
  • Compactor is over budget $78K for first 4 months.  $200K is in budget. (Money from compactor cards will offset this figure.)
  • Community Center and Recreation under budget by $68K since salaries are not needed while closed.  Pool maintenance is over budget by $9K.  Spent to date $24K while $15K in budget.  Issue was the fitting blew on the pump system and spewed water all over.  The item had to be repaired and the water cleaned up.

Misc Items:

  • Capital budget (Reserves) over budget by $335K (4 months).  $185 left for remainder of fiscal year.
  • Community Center expenditures are $184K
  • Road paving at $340K.
  • Equity is at $1.3M down from Audit report.
  • Collections are at 64%.  80% of collections were made by Administration.

Director’s Comments

          Bob Leon stated that $19,200 was collected by the Association in transfer fees.  22 homes are currently under contract so that be an addition $26,400 that can be collected in transfer fees.  According to Zillow this morning 19 homes are currently for sale in ELA with a price range of $169K to $900K. 1 home has been on the market for more than 352 days, 6 have been on the market between 84 and 180 days and 12 are on the market under 45 days.

Borsos asked Leon if he could identify homes that are up for sheriff’s sale.

Whelan commented that money from fees, fines and transfer fees can be used for new capital projects such as a dog park or any new amenities.  Any new amenity cannot come out of dues. 

Ange Noonan stated that she would like to see meeting times regulated.  There are times when discussions are off topic.

Bill Baehr agreed with Noonan that meeting times should be regulated.

Buz Whelan stated that the off Broadway troupe that was originally scheduled to perform at the Community Center will be moving from November 20th of this year to January 15, 2022. The bar and grill should be functioning by then.

Public Comments

None

          Sixteen (16) new members were welcomed to the Community.

Bill Baehr made the motion to adjourn.  It was seconded by Steve Kavanagh.  Meeting adjourned at 12:01 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.

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