2010 ANNUAL MEETING MINUTES
Lost River Valley Property Owners’ Association
June 5, 2010
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.
Minutes of the 2009 Annual Meeting
The membership considered the minutes of the 2009 Annual Meeting.
There were no corrections or additions to the minutes from the membership.
Bob Dillard moved that the minutes be approved as written. The motion was seconded by Keith Todd. The motion was approved unanimously by voice vote.
Greg Thomas, Treasurer, provided a Treasurer’s Report. He began by reporting that the Association is currently in a positive financial status. Actual income for 2009 of $46,121 exceeded the projected income of $42,700. Actual expenses of $41,211 were less than the budget projection of $42,700. Included in that amount was a $10,000 contribution to reserve fund. The Association has paid for all roadwork projects to date. He also informed the Association that its insurance policy premium was reduced through the establishment of the Lost River Valley Property Owners’ Association Safety Committee.
Greg Thomas reported that the Association began 2009 with $27,420 in the Reserve Fund. The Reserve Fund has been invested in financial instruments that provided a greater return than retaining the balance in the Association checking account. Total reserve funds at the end of fiscal year 2009 were $37,782. Greg informed the membership the Association is very close to achieving its objective to maintain a balance of $38,000 in the Reserve Fund, which represents approximately one year of budgeted expenses. No reserve funds were expended in 2009. On behalf of the Board of Directors, Greg expressed appreciation for those who had contributed to the fund, and he encouraged the membership to make contributions in the future. Including a tax liability owed to Hardy County, the Association paid $392 in tax liabilities in 2009, which also includes federal and state taxes. Total assets for the Association as of December 31, 2009 were $41,866.
Greg noted that, due to the blizzard snow conditions, the Association assumed significantly greater expenditures for snow removal and mitigation. The additional expense was largely due to the need to retain a tractor to remove the snow. A total of $14,927 was utilized for snow removal services.
Greg Thomas also provided the membership with an update on collection of delinquent 2010 Annual Assessments and read the list of the 9 owners who have yet to pay their fees for this year. The total amount owed (without interest and penalty) is $1,575.
Given the positive financial condition at the time of developing the budget for 2010, the Board of Directors approved no increase in Annual Assessments for 2010.
The floor was opened to the membership for questions regarding the Treasurer’s Report.
Several members of the Association asked if liens had been placed against any of the property owners who are in continuous arrears in submission of their Annual Assessment. Greg Thomas indicated that liens had been placed on the properties owned by Alyce Estrada-Palma and Cecil Bott.
Bob Alcock explained the complex process involved with placing a lien, and indicted that doing so was a last resort after numerous attempts had been made by the Association to contact the member who was delinquent in submitting their Annual Assessment.
The membership expressed its thanks to Greg Thomas and the Board of Directors for their financial management of the Association.
There being no further questions regarding the Treasurer’s Report, Bob Leiston moved that the Treasurer’s Report be approved as presented. The motion was seconded by Bill Loy. The motion was approved unanimously by voice vote.
Bob Alcock provided the membership with an overview of the substantial recovery efforts related to the massive snowfall earlier in the year. The membership commended the efforts of Bob Alcock, the contractors and others on their efforts. The membership also expressed appreciation for keeping property owners informed during the process. Several members expressed their appreciation for posting alerts and updates on the Association website.
Bob Alcock then provided an overview of the current road maintenance activities.
In October 2009, Board members surveyed our roads and developed a list of projects for the Fall roadwork. The plan was to do the Fall roadwork in early December so that leaves could be cleared from the ditches and culverts. In the past, water-soaked leaves clogged ditches and culverts. Unfortunately, bad weather hit the first week in December and we were not able to complete the Fall roadwork.
There were six “snow events” that required plowing, compared with two the previous winter. Because of the existing snow and drifting, the February storm required engaging Garlan Funkhouser and his son to plow with their farm tractor.
In late April, Board members again surveyed the roads and created a master list of projects to guide our contractor for the Spring roadwork. The Association’s roads survived a very harsh winter in amazingly good shape. However, some road segments turned soft. The steep hill of Settlers Valley Way and the down grade to the creek under Whispering Pines needed significant amounts of shale to restore the roadbeds.
Over the past few years Spurs Access has been a continual problem with numerous potholes and soft spots. This year, on the advice of our contractor, we applied shale from the beginning of the road, around the corner and down to the last driveway on the left. The shale will work itself into the existing material and stabilize the road. The last major work on Spurs of this type was in the early 1980’s, according to Jeff Grove.
In the future we will need to put down shale at the end of Fox Squirrel to restore the crown. We will also have to evaluate what to do about the beginning of Moonshine Hollow. A perpetual spring seeps under Moonshine and softens the road.
At the conclusion of his year’s Spring road work, we will place speed limit signs in strategic places along Association roads. Each of the four entrances to the Association will have a sign. Another six signs will be placed where property owners have indicated speeding is a problem.
Keeping trees and bushes trimmed back from our roads continues to be a problem. The Association spent about $19,000 over three years (2007, 2008 and 2009) to hire a tree trimming service with a boom truck, chipper and crew. The expenditure opened up our roads significantly and provided many piles of free mulch for property owners. But many of our roads are overgrown with bushes and trees, hampering road maintenance and snow plowing operations. We need to think carefully how we keep up with the growth of vegetation.
Several culverts were clogged with debris, and a contractor has been retained to clear them. Following that, the Fire Department will be asked to flush out the culverts.
Bob Leiston inquired about a French drain that was installed on Fox Squirrel Way several years ago. He expressed concern there has been seepage from a nearby spring. Bob Alcock indicated that a ditch was being installed to direct the water from the roadway.
Several members expressed their displeasure that the State of West Virginia had not maintained the portion of Settler’s Valley Way that was under its jurisdiction. Bob Alcock provided the membership with a brief history of how part of the road came under jurisdiction of the state. He indicated that he has contacted the Department of Transportation on numerous occasions to request that the roadwork be done. However, due to budgetary constraints, it was unlikely the State of West Virginia would have the resources to maintain their roadway.
The membership then entered into a discussion regarding tree trimming along Association roadways. Bob Alcock stressed the need to continue tree trimming for safety purposes. He indicated the Association had expended approximately $19,000 over the past three years for tree trimming services.
As an alterative, if a boom mower could be used, the cost for tree trimming services would be reduced significantly. Bob Alcock indicated the cost would be approximately $3000.
Peter Lefkin requested that the Board of Directors ensure the Association is not liable for any costs associated with accidents to contractors, including contractors retained by the Association for other Association-related activities. Bob Alcock indicated that he had been assured by the Association attorney that was, in fact, the case but would discuss the matter with him again.
Antoinette Brenkert expressed great concern that the use of a boom mower would cause undue damage to the vegetation. Margo Pfleger expressed similar concerns regarding the use of a boom mower. Bill Leiston indicated that a boom mower was the best equipment for trimming trees on Association property.
The membership requested that, if a boom mower is used, then the tree trimming be performed to meet the mutual objectives of preserving safety on Association property, while also preserving as much vegetation as possible.
Bob Alcock indicated that additional speed limit signs had been purchased and would be installed following the completion of the spring roadwork. He further indicated that the locations for the new speed limit signs had been assessed.
Bob Sause requested that a speed limit sign be placed on Pleasant Valley Drive.
Antoinette Brenkert inquired if the Association Bylaws or Covenants include restriction on tree removal on private property. Bob Alcock indicated neither the Bylaws nor Covenants address the issue. He reminded the membership that the Bylaws had been amended to prohibit commercial logging on any Association property.
The membership then discussed the use of All Terrine Vehicles (ATVs) by younger people. Bob Alcock reminded the membership West Virginia law states that use of ATVs was restricted to those who possess a valid driver’s license, or who are registered with the State for permission to drive an ATV. He further reminded the membership that the Association’s Covenants restrict the use of ATVs to those with a valid driver’s license. Keith Todd requested the Board to send a letter to the membership reminding them of these restrictions.
On behalf of the Board of Directors, Bob Alcock thanked the many property owners who called or emailed the Board this past year and let us know about problem areas on our roads. He stressed it is only with this cooperative spirit that we can work together and fix problems promptly.
The membership again thanked the Board of Directors for their efforts to maintain safe road conditions throughout the year.
Voluntary Construction Fee Schedule
Bob Alcock thanked the membership for their contributions to the Road Maintenance when property owners engage in significant construction projects.
Greg Thomas reminded the membership of the voluntary fee schedule currently in place:
1. New Home $300
2. Major Renovation/Major Landscaping
Adds 50% or more square footage to current structure, and/or 15 or more truck loads of fill material. $250
3. Minor Renovation/Minor Landscaping
Adds less than 50% square footage to current structure, and/or 14 or less truck loads of fill material. $200
4. Other Improvement
Job takes more than 5 working days. $100
5. Small Jobs
Job takes 5 or less work days, e.g. storage shed or decking. No Fee
Bob Alcock provided the membership with an overview of recent bear sightings and activities involving property owners’ homes and surrounding areas. He stressed the importance of keeping properties free of debris and burning off grill residue after use. He also asked that property owners remove bird feeders when not in use.
He indicated the West Virginia Department of Natural Resources had placed bear traps at strategic locations on Association property. However, the effort was unsuccessful in trapping any bears.
Bob Alcock requested that the membership contact the Department of Natural Resources in Romney, West Virginia to report bear sightings and to request that traps be placed in the area. Hank Dove provided the membership of the number to call.
Roland Smith informed the membership of a possible incident whereby someone released a bear from a trap at an undetermined location on Tom’s Knob Approach. He indicated the truck used to transport the bear did not have a government logo or other markings that a government vehicle would traditionally have.
Bob Dillard informed the membership that an additional multi-address mailbox was available from the Lost City Post Office. Bob Alcock indicated the new mailbox would be installed simultaneously with the new speed limit signs. He requested that members who currently have private mailboxes consider removing them and utilize one of the multi-address mailboxes.
Bob Alcock reviewed the Association “Good Neighbor” polices as well as strategies for keeping bears from the properties of homeowners.
The membership requested the Board of Directors to send a letter to property owners to remind owners about shooting restrictions, ATV usage and adherence to the 15 mile per hour speed limit on all Association property.
Election of Officers
The Association then conducted the election of officers for term of office from July 1, 2010 through June 30, 2011. The following Association members sought election to the Board of Directors:
President – Bob Alcock
Vice President – Karen Imhoff
Treasurer – Greg Thomas
Secretary – Mark Smith
Member at Large – Bret Limage
The floor was opened for additional nominations. No additional nominations were made. Bob Dillard moved that the slate of officers be elected. The motion was seconded by Margo Pfleger. The motion was approved unanimously by voice vote.
The membership thanked the Board of Directors for their service to the Association.
Bill Leiston moved that the meeting of the Annual Meeting of the Lost River Valley Property Owners’ Association be adjourned. The motion was seconded by Hank Dunn. The motion was approved unanimously by voice vote. The meeting was adjourned at 2:05 pm.