2011 Annual Meeting Minutes
Lost River Valley Property Owners’ Association
June 4, 2011
Call to Order
The Association President, Bob Alcock, called the Annual Meeting to order at 1:05 pm and noted that a quorum of the membership was present. Bob Alcock introduced the members of the Board of Directors and indicated that Karen Imhoff, Vice President of the Board would be taking the minutes in place of the Secretary, Mark Smith who could not be present.
Bob Alcock directed the membership’s attention to the meeting agenda and asked if there were any additions to which the membership responded there were not.
Minutes of the 2010 Annual Meeting
Bob Alcock presented the minutes of the 2010 Annual Meeting to the membership and after establishing there were no corrections or additions, asked that they be approved. Steve Cupo moved that they be approved as written. The motion was seconded by Al Amori and approved unanimously by voice vote.
Greg Thomas, Treasurer, provided the Treasurer’s Report. He began by directing the membership’s attention to the 2010 Financial Summary.
The actual income for 2010 of $46,899 exceeded the projected income of $42,200. The additional income was due to the receipt of delinquent road fees which were collected in 2010 and construction fees. Greg thanked membership for paying the voluntary construction fee and asked that they continue to do so in the future. The actual expenses of $50,487 exceeded the budgeted projection of $42,200 due in large part to the cost of snow removal. The excess cost for snow removal was mitigated by a savings in the cost of tree trimming. Tree trimming was almost half the projected budgeted amount after having used a boom trimmer which was much less time consuming and labor intensive than the manual tree trimming the Association has done in past years. Greg noted that the actual insurance expense was more than budgeted due to the purchase of a $700 three year supplementary insurance policy for members of the Board. Greg also informed the Association that a contribution to the reserve fund of $2,500 brings us very close to our goal of one year’s expense budget. The reserve fund at the end of 2010 totaled $40,705. On behalf of the Board of Directors, Greg expressed appreciation for those who had contributed to the reserve fund and encouraged the membership to make contributions in the future.
The Board of Directors approved an increase of Annual Fees for 2011, however, after reviewing the final 2010 financial report, agreed that an increase in fees would not be necessary, thus making it the third year in a row Annual Fees were not increased.
Greg Thomas stated the figures provided at the Annual Meeting were worked up 10 days prior to the meeting. As a result there could be slight modifications to the financial statement. He then directed the membership’s attention to the 2011 Financial Projection. He credited Bob Alcock for his hard work in helping reduce insurance expenditures. Three years ago Bob Alcock created a Safety Committee, made up of the Board of Directors, which provides annual reports to the West Virginia Board of Risk and Insurance. As a result, the Association’s insurance premiums have been reduced from approximately $10,000 per year to a projected budget of $2,500 per year.
An increase in bank fees has occurred as a result of using new technology which allows checks to be scanned and deposited instead of having to physically take the checks to the bank for deposit.
The budget includes fees for tree trimming. However, the Board of Directors is hopeful that the actual cost for tree trimming will be minimal. An assessment of the roads will be necessary in the fall to determine if further trimming will be necessary.
The projected expense for 2011 is approximately $45,000.
The goal of the Board of Directors is to have one year of expense budget in the reserve fund. The 2011 projected budget will be approximately $46,000. With our current balance in the reserve fund of $45,850 we are very close to our goal. These funds are maintained within two Certificates of Deposit (CDs) that return 3% interest but maintain the liquidity needed for reserve funds.
The Board of Directors has continued to seek payment from members who are delinquent in paying their annual fees. Greg Thomas stated there are a small number of members that are delinquent. The Board of Directors has been more aggressive in collecting fees and in 2010 started to file liens against those who have not paid for several years. Two leins are still outstanding from the previous year. Four new liens were filed this year and of those four, three have been paid. The cost of filing a lien is $255 which the Association must pay, however, when the lien is settled, the Association is reimbursed that cost. Over $2,000 has been recovered this year through the lien filing process.
Currently there are six property owners who have not paid their fees. The total amount due for delinquent fees is slightly under $4,000.
Bob Lieston asked for the names of those who are delinquent. Greg Thomas indicated that Albert Ellis Jr. is delinquent for 2011 only; Alyce Estrada – Palma for 7 years; Cecil Bott for 6 years; Bob Myers for several years however, has paid half the amount owed; Debbie Fulton who owns two properties, one with a co-owner which is paid up to date and one that is delinquent; Darrell Miller, 2 years however has made partial payment and Jon Harmon for current year only.
Greg Thomas asked if there were any other questions about The Treasurers Report. The membership thanked Greg for the report and with no further questions; Bob Leiston moved that the Treasurers Report be approved as presented. The motion was seconded by Jim Klumpp and approved by unanimous voice vote.
Bret Limage, Member at Large, began by explaining to the membership that he and Bob Alcock survey the roads in the spring and fall and give our contractor, Keith Dove a list of work to be done on Association roads. In November Bret and Bob developed the fall roadwork list which consisted of clearing ditches and culverts and filling potholes. Fall roadwork was completed the second week of November 2010.
As discussed in the 2010 Annual Meeting, it was agreed that the Association would contract a boom trimmer to trim trees lining Association roads. The boom trimmer would cost $3,000 and could trim all Association roads in three days compared to contracting a company to hand trim the trees. Hand trimming cost the Association $6,000 each year and it took three years to complete trimming on the 11 miles of Association roads. It was agreed by the Board of Directors that the boom trimming would be an experiment and, depending on the result, a determination would be made as to whether to continue with boom trimming or revert back to hand trimming. Property owners on one section of Settler’s Valley Way, with approval from the Board of Directors, agreed to trim their trees by hand in order to preserve the Red Bud trees that grow there in abundance.
Winter roadwork required roads to be plowed only two times compared to the previous year which required plowing six times. Only one cinder application was necessary. As a result of the milder winter, damage to Association roads was minimal.
In late April Bret Limage and Bob Alcock surveyed the roads and created a spring roadwork list for our contractor. Although the roads held up well through the winter, the heavy rains this spring caused damage. The roads have been graded, crusher run put down and ditches and culverts cleared. The crusher run used this year was a bit larger; Bret and Bob will observe how that works. New shale was put down on Tom’s Knob, the steep hill on Fox Squirrel and at the end of Fox Squirrel.
Two unique projects were undertaken. A mogul affect had occurred at the corner of Whispering Pines and Valley View. That area received addition grading and shale was put down. On the left side of the steep hill on Moonshine Hollow a deeper ditch was dug in order to channel water down the ditch instead of across the road.
Finally, eight speed limit signs were installed in strategic places along association roads in an effort to keep speeding down and to preserve our roads.
Ed Pickens asked why the road funds have increased 25% and asked if it was due to shale being put down or was there another reason for the increase. Bob Alcock responded that the increased cost is due to an increase in the contractor’s hourly rate and increased fuel charges; additionally, the Board of Directors is being more proactive in solving road issues in order to reduce long term and more costly problems whereas, in the past problems were addressed as they occurred and did not necessarily correct the problem. Greg Thomas also noted that spring roadwork the previous year was minimal due to the extra funds that were required for snow removal.
Bob Lieston commented that, as a monitor for NOAA, he tracks rainfall amounts and stated that in April we had 8.65 inches of rain and about the same in May. The volume of rain along with the extremely heavy downpours has caused leaves to plug drains and ditches causing water to divert across roads. He recommends that property owners monitor driveway and road junctions for appropriate water runoff and clear out ditches and culverts to help preserve our roads. On behalf of the Board of Directors, Bob Alcock and Bret Limage expressed their gratitude for membership and their effort to keep ditches and culverts cleared.
Ray Nichols inquired as to the cost of the speed limit signs. Greg Thomas, Treasurer, stated the signs cost $300 but we did not have a cost for installation as the Board of Directors had not received final bill for installation.
George Brenkert commented on the good job property owners on Settler’s Valley did with hand trimming their trees to preserve the Red Buds. He expressed concern about the boom trimming and asked if the Board of Directors monitored the contractor’s work. He commented the boom trimmer shredded the branches causing damage to the trees and that perhaps the blades needed to be sharper. Ed Pickens commented that the timing of the boom trimmer in November was ideal and that if there are shredded branches property owners can saw the branch which will help the tree heal and contribute to the tree’s appearance.
Bob Alcock addressed the boom trimming comments and concerns of membership. He stated when the trimming took place he expected phone calls and e-mails but didn’t receive any. He reiterated that the savings to have the boom trimmer trim all trees in 3 days for $3,000 compared to the manual trimming which cost $6,000 per year for three years was why the Association chose that method. The boom trimming is an experiment and members should notify the Board of Directors with any comments or concerns. Bob noted that it may be necessary to use the boom trimmer again this year due to the fast growth of bushes. Dan Reichard commented that the damage to the trees from the boom trimming was much less than he expected and with the cost savings, is in favor of boom trimming. Jim Klumpp stated since the boom trimming is an experiment, one year is too soon to make a decision and to give it a chance. Bob Lieston added that our road contractor’s personal safety and equipment was in jeopardy when tree limbs hung over the roads and that boom trimming has eliminated that problem. He too is in favor of the boom trimming.
Bob Alcock reminded membership of the construction request form which is available on the LRVPOA website. There had been problems in the past with water runoff from newly installed driveways or cleared land and the construction request has helped reduce those problems; there must be an approved water management plan. The form is submitted to the Board of Directors who reviews the request and meets with the property owner to discuss the plan. There were no questions from membership about the form or the process for submitting one.
Bob Alcock also commented that bear sightings are not as numerous as in recent years. Further, he informed the membership that if anyone has a problem with someone using firearms to call 911 or the Department of Natural Resources not a member of the Board of Directors.
Bob Alcock opened the floor for discussion.
Caroline Pickens expressed thanks to the Board of Directors and especially Bob Alcock for serving.
Greg Thomas, Treasurer, made a motion to make a contribution of $500 to the Mathias-Baker fire and rescue department which was agreed to by the membership.
George Brenkert brought up the use of cell phones and the lack of reception in our area and inquired whether the Association has looked into that. Bob Leiston announced that there is a device that can be purchased and hooked up to a personal computer which increases cell phone reception. Several others in the membership commented on places within the association that have cell phone reception. Bob Alcock stated that AT&T has a tower on Bear’s Hell near Baker and Sprint has a tower between Baker and Wardensville. However, there are still areas where there is no reception. Telephone carriers are monitoring cell phone use in the area and will determine where, if any, additional towers will be installed.
Bob Sause asked if the Association has or has considered a Facebook or Twitter page so members can post comments on road conditions. Dan Reichard the LVRPOA Web Master reminded membership that the LVRPOA website updates weather conditions and sends out e-mail blasts to keep membership informed. Margo Phleger volunteered to create a Facebook page. Walton Maloney expressed his appreciation for the e-mail notifications he gets and suggested that those who have not been getting them provide the Board of Directors a current e-mail address. Gloria Weary requested that the website and e-mail notifications continue even if Facebook and Twitter pages are created and that she appreciates the road condition notifications which are very informative.
Al Amori asked if there were any security incidents to report. Bob Alcock replied that there had been no incidents since last summer on Fox Squirrel. Jerry Klein noted that there was a break-in two years ago at the first house on Moonshine Hollow but nothing was stolen. No other incidents were reported.
Election of Officers
Bob Alcock opened by expressing his honor to serve for 6 years beginning as Vice President and quickly taking over as President. He stated that progress has been made in the past years and the Association will continue to grow. He informed membership that he is stepping down as President but will remain on the Board as Vice President in 2011-2012 to help the Board of Directors transition, as he will not be serving in 2012-2013.
The Association then conducted the election of officers for term of office from July 1, 2011 through June 30, 2012. The following Association members sought election to the Board of Directors:
President: Karen Imhoff
Vice President: Bob Alcock
Treasure: Greg Thomas
Secretary: Belynda Hicks
Member at Large: Brett Limage
The floor was opened for additional nominations. No additional nominations were made. Belynda Hicks, incoming Secretary, introduced herself to the membership and expressed her appreciation for being asked to serve. Ed Pickens moved that the slate of officers be elected. The motion was seconded by Jackie Surato and approved unanimously by voice vote.
Greg Thomas moved to thank Bob Alcock for his work. The motion was seconded by Vicky Ames and all the membership agreed.
Ed Pickens offered thanks to the Lost River Retreat Center. Lisa Walker, Manager of the Retreat Center informed the membership that she was informed by a representative at Hardy Telecommunications that they are preparing to install fiber optic cable within the next 3 years to help improve telecommunications in our area.
Al Amori commented that the fire hydrants being installed on Rt. 259 might reduce your home owners insurance and to check with your insurance carrier.
David Dunleavey moved that the 2011 Annual Meeting of the Lost River Valley Property Owner’s Association be adjourned. The motion was seconded by Blair Mastal and approved unanimously by voice vote. The meeting was adjourned at 2:15 pm.