Lost River Valley Property Owners Association
Annual Meeting, June 5, 2021
Because of the need for social distancing and restrictions at present in West Virginia for large gatherings associated with the COVID-19 pandemic, and for safety of all in our community, the LRVPOA determined that the 2021 meeting was to be held via online webinar
Board Members Present:
Phil Robey, President;
A. Toni Young, Vice President.
Bret Limage, Treasurer;
John Rosato, Secretary;
Stuart Pham, Member-at-Large (Roads).
Call To Order and Welcome
Meeting began at 9:30 AM. John Rosato, Secretary verified that a quorum was present.
Approval of Minutes from 2017 Meeting
After a 1st motion to approve the minutes from Mr. Robert Earl, and a 2nd motion to approve from Mr. Stephen Page, the minutes from the July 11, 2020, LRVPOA annual meeting were approved by a vote of 29 (Y), 0 (N), 1 (A).
Mr. Phil Robey, began by noting that the proposed bylaw changes implementing staggered 2-Year terms for Board members was being deferred. Mr. Robey discussed the need to amend the POA’s corporate charter (with the State of WV) before a bylaw change could be considered. Mr. Robey also reminded members to sign up for the Association’s new cloud-based management software, PayHOA. Without a PayHOA account, members would miss out on Association e-mails and text messages, would not be able to pay online, and would not receive automated reminders when due are owed.
2020 -2021 Budget Review and 2021-2022 Budget Approval:
Mr. Bret Limage reported that the Association spent considerably more on taxes and tax preparation as a result of former Treasurer, Robert Earl, discovering that the Association had not filed its federal taxes since 2013. Consequently, all of the paid back taxes were reflected in the 2020-2021 budget year. Mr. Limage also noted an increase in legal fees due to several additional liens needing to be filed for delinquent dues. The road maintenance budget had the most significant overage, with $8,000 in additional expenses due to needed repairs. As a result of these overages, the Board needed to dip into the Association’s investments to pay for the additional expenditures. There were no questions for Mr. Limage on the 2020-2021 budget.
Mr. Limage then presented the proposed 2021-2022 budget. Bret noted that the mailing and postage budget was significantly reduced, based on the assumption that the Board would leverage PayHOA to send e-statements to members that have their e-mails on file. Mr. Limage also discussed the proposed increase in the road maintenance budget. This increase was needed due to escalating annual maintenance costs and the anticipated need for the Board to address deferred maintenance, such as recrowning certain sections of the road network. Finally, Mr. Limage noted that one of the Association’s CD’s matured during the 2020-2021 budget year. Due to the low interest rate environment, the Board decided to leave the maturing balance in the Association’s checking account.
Mr. Joseph Palumbo asked whether the Board could stagger the CDs and whether the Board could put the matured CD funds into an alternative investment. Mr. Limage responded that the CDs were already staggered and that the funds from the matured CD could be reinvested in new, staggered CDS. However, the funds in the Association’s checking account earn almost as much interest as was being offered by Summit Bank. Consequently, the Board did not see value in locking in the low rate for multiple years by renewing the CD. Bret noted that the Board policy has been to only invest the Association’s funds in CDs due to the low risk.
After a 1st motion to approve from A. Toni Young, and a 2nd motion to approve from Stephen Page, the Treasurer’s report and 2021-2022 budget were approved by a vote of 27 (Y), 0 (N), 3 (A). Mr. Limage next asked for opinions on whether Association members would support an additional increase in the annual road assessment to cover escalating road maintenance costs. Mr. Joseph Palumbo suggested that the Board put the road maintenance contract out to bid to try and reduce costs. Ms. A. Toni Young responded that she would take on that responsibility in the coming year. Mr. Jesse Halpern-Robinson stated that he’d be supportive of an increase if the Board presented a plan for how the additional funds would be used to improve the roads.
Mr. Stuart Pham provided a report on roads. Mr. Pham explained that the increased road maintenance costs were the result of multiple factors: 1) increased road use due to more owners using their homes full-time during the COVID-19 pandemic; 2) the need to address deferred maintenance; and 3) additional delivery and construction vehicles using the roads. As a result of these factors, additional gravel was required during the Fall maintenance cycle and the S-curve on the Whispering Pines Way was recrowned with shale to reduce persistent erosion issues. Mr Pham also mentioned that next year the Association will need to cut overgrown brush along the road network, which will be an additional expense.
Several owners commented on the need to control Autumn Olive growth along the roads so that it does not continue to spread exponentially through the Association. A discussion ensued over additional measures, including the use of sprays, that could be used to control the Autumn Olive growth. Ms. Belynda Hicks also offered to collect information about Autumn Olive, and how it can be controlled, and send it to the Board for dissemination to Association members. She believes that many, newer property owners do not understand how invasive Autumn Olive is and how damaging it can be to the forest. The Board agreed to discuss the issue in future meetings and welcomed Mr. Hicks sending the additional information.
Mr. Robey brought up the issue of speeding and noted that it is a perennial issue and that it adds needless wear and tear to the Association’s roads. Mr. Robery also explained that the speeding issue is not only caused be delivery vehicles and renters, but is also the result of Association members ignoring the speed limits. Mr. Pham explained that the use of speed bumps had been discussed in the past, but that Association members had historically opposed them. In response, Mr. Jesse Halpern-Robinson suggested that the Board install some removable, rubber speed bumps as a test to see how effective they are. Mr. Ahmed El-Hoshy agreed with Mr. Halpern-Robinson and suggested that the Board install them at the Association entrances, so they serve as a reminder of the speed limit. Mr. Ernie Falcone was also supportive of speed bumps, but encouraged the Board to avoid placing them on hills. Mr. Robey appreciated the feedback and said that the Board would consider installing some speed bumps as part of a test.
Election of Officers:
2021 -2022 slate of officers was presented for approval:
President: Phil Robey
Vice President: A. Toni Young
Treasurer: John Rosato
Secretary: Kim Bloom
Member-at-large: Stuart Pham.
Note: Nominations closed on June 1. No nominations were taken from the floor.
After a 1st motion from James Glueck, and a 2nd motion by Bret Limage, the officers slate was approved unanimously.
Mr. Robert Earl reminded those in attendance to be mindful of trash etiquette and that the trash shed on Settlers Valley Way should not be used as a place to dump bulk items, unless a pickup has been specifically arranged with Enviroco. Mr. Robey also reminded members who rent their homes review the suggested rental guidelines, which are posted on the LRVPOA website.
After a 1st motion to adjourn from Ms. A. Toni Young, and a 2nd motion from Mr. James Glueck, the meeting was adjourned at 10:20 a.m. by a unanimous vote.