Holly Lake Ranch Association
Board of Directors Open Meeting Summary
Tuesday, January 15, 2013
ALL FIVE BOARD MEMBERS PRESENT
Rob James, GM present
President Larry Bowman chaired the meeting
There were no action items upon which the Board voted. The meeting was informational and provides an opportunity for property owners to discuss items with the Board. The following is a summary (not official minutes) of the meeting.
Larry Bowman called upon HL Volunteer Fire Department Chief Joe Cirasola who had requested to speak. Cirasola reported that a home in the Ranch was destroyed by fire last night. The cause of the fire was identified as an overheated fireplace/flue. Cirasola said that homeowners should not build “roaring fires” in their residential fireplaces. He also urged homeowners to have the fireplace flues cleaned and inspected on a regular schedule, perhaps every other year or so. Cirasola also provided a report of Firefighter Al Murfin who suffered a cut on his hand. Murfin was care flighted to a Tyler hospital as a precautionary measure because of possible heart–related problems.
OPEN MEETING SUMMARY DISCUSSION/REVIEW
Agenda Item 1.) 2013 BUDGET OVERVIEW
GM Rob James presented a breakdown of the revenues and expenditures within 2013 budget. He reported that the HLRA budget this year is slightly under $3.5-million.
James said the primary source of income remains the dues paid by property owners. Dues are expected to bring in $3,013,652. Included in dues is the pass-through cost of our contracted trash service at approximately $300,000. Golf Membership Dues, greens fees and other miscellaneous golf income are expected to bring in $463,895.
The GM broke down anticipated expenditures by department: Administration-$997,657; Security-$676,577; Maintenance-$532,514; Roads-$230,000; Pro Shop-$192,605; Golf Maintenance-$617,502; Recreation $53,416 and Restaurant $37,800.
Golf expenditures not covered by Golf Income amount to approximately $360,000 of the budget and represent $12.95 out of each property owner’s monthly dues of $106.92.
(A more detailed breakdown by department as presented at the meeting is attached to this summary.)
James offered insight into some of the 2013 expenditures: New backhoe to replace 10-year-old model; First Aid Training for Security Officers; upgrading the gate arm equipment; improved lighting for the security cameras; tree removal must continue; repaving the walk path and adding exercise stations along that path; new septic system at the billiard building/pavilion; air conditioning in the maintenance building shop; painting the inside of the Fitness Building, and replacing the ball machine at the Tennis facility.
The West Side Swimming Pool will be resurfaced and additional moneys have been allocated to improving the landscaping around the pool entry area. We will continue to add split rail fencing around selected common areas.
Property Owners Questions re 2013 Budget
Why is there $10,000 budget for deer harvest? James: We have a carryover amount of $16,325 from 2012, which along with this $10,000 in 2013 is expected to cover the cost of thinning 75 deer out of our herd. The herd reduction was recommended by the Texas Parks & Wildlife Department. The trapping is scheduled for February.
Which Board approved this budget? James: the 2012 Board developed and approved the 2013 budget after beginning work on it in June 2012. That board consisted of Larry Bowman, Greg Demko, John Sparks and Jeanette Sterner. By the time the proposed budget reached the approval stage, the A-Board had been dissolved.
Why is rental of the ice machine in Restaurant budget? James: The ice machine (at the Cart Barn) and dishwashers are all rental units. The ice machine in Holly Hall, however, was purchased.
Agenda Item 2.) LAKE GREENBRIAR
Rob James reported that a professional engineering company dive team inspected valve mechanism that was originally installed when the lake was built. This valve has never been used. It is essentially frozen in the closed position. They suggested that there would be no economical fix for this problem and suggested that we consider alternative solutions. Desiring a permanent fix, we have asked the engineering firm to provide us their thoughts and rough expense figures. An operable drain system is a must for us to have the ability to lower the lake as was planned for this winter. Obviously that plan is on hold at this time. We have invested $13,000 to this point.
Property Owners questions re Lake
Has the Sabine River Authority been contacted regarding our plans to lower the Lake? James: No. The engineering firms was hired to inspect valve and advise if it would be possible to free stuck valve and lower the lake. That same engineering firm would advise of any necessary licensing to lower the Lake.
Aren’t there certain types of fish that eat algae? James: Lake Green briar has an open spillway. That type fish cannot be used because of the threat the pose downstream should they not be contained within the lake.
Several years ago homeowners were billed for a special dam assessment which was being applied to an insurance policy on the dam. Is the dam still covered by this policy? James: The $3.69 monthly assessment was to cover a major catastrophe such as the dam breaking. Currently there is an umbrella policy that would cover some of the cost associated with such an event…in no way…would it cover all costs. It did not make financial sense to continue to direct the monies to the possibility of a catastrophe damaging the dam. The Board at that time decided to use the assessment money to construct Holly Hall. They made the decision not to refund the money to property owners. There was a vote by the people to build the Hall.
Has thought been given to lowering the overflow pipe to achieve the desired water level? James: A hitch gate that can be manually raised to release water and/or hold water has been suggested. This would not threaten the integrity of the dam. Bowman: The original valve broke when they were trying to open it.
Agenda item 3.) DOG PARK
Board Member Greg Demko provided the rationale and explanation of dog parks. The projected cost for the proposed dog park at Holly Lake Ranch is $3,000-$3,500. We currently have a commitment for a $1,000 donation.
HLR Rules state it is illegal for a dog to be off-leash on the property. Our proposal is a designated area at the Section One Mail Box shelter that would be divided into two sections by fencing—one area for large dogs and one for small dogs. This would provide the dogs a free run area for much needed exercise. The dogs (and the dog owners) would also have the opportunity to socialize with each other. A number of volunteers have agreed to clear brush in the wooded area roughly 200 feet by 150 feet. The two runs would be fenced and separately double-gated. Rules of use will be posted at the gate. The umbrella insurance policy held by the Association would provide some liability protection.
Property Owners Questions re Dog Park
How nearby is the closest residence? Demko: No houses are in direct view. Nearest one is at least a couple hundred feet.
Has the Dog Park been approved? Demko: No. It has not. The presentation today is to help everyone understand why we need the park.
Is The Dog Park in the 2013 Budget? Demko: No, it is not. But it is a very low cost and a project that would be of benefit to hundreds of dog owners out here.
Could a fund be established to help defray costs? Demko: Yes, that is a real possibility along with donations.
What if someone deserted an animal at the Dog Park? Demko: That is usually done on the perimeter of the Ranch, but it is a possibility. Such and animal would be caught by security and dealt with per the procedure established for such animals.
Who would enforce the rules at the Dog Park? Demko: It would be done on an honor system. If necessary, Security would be called.
The survey asked if they would use a Dog Park, not if it was wanted. Demko: Again, that is why I am making the presentation today…to let folks know what and how a Dog Park is used.
What is the fine for having a dog off leash? Demko: Yes, there is a rule and a fine of $50. Currently, there is no place to have your dog off-leash.
Thank you for presenting this project. I currently do not have a dog, but I understand how the Dog Park would be beneficial. Demko: Like everything there are pros and cons. Everyone has likes and dislikes, with not everyone being in agreement. But this would be an added amenity for us and our pets. Bowman: Not every one is going to like or approve a specific project—except for the roads. If there is enough interest, the project will be discussed and investigated.
Agenda Item 4.) RULES & REGULATIONS
Board Member Danny Oouimet said the revised Rules and Regulations had been adopted by the Board on January 3, 2013. They are now posted on the web site and are available in printed form at the Administration Office. The 2012 Work Group spent many, many hours working on this document, gathering information from several departments. The WG tried to make the document more user friendly. Gray areas were reworked to provide more detail and better understanding. Previously, there was discussion suggesting that these new rules should be reviewed by all property owners before being put into effect.. But both the old Board and the new Board reviewed the draft thoroughly. If there is anything in the new Rules and Regulations that is wrong or incorrect, please bring it to the Board’s attention. You will find things are a lot easier to locate and understand.
Agenda Item 5.) Restaurant Work Group. Board Member Jerianne Bayley said that she is serving as the liaison of the WG. Property owner members serving are: Linda Wagner, Jim Atchley, Chuck Snodgrass, Mike Dunham, Sue Mumford and MaryLou Thurau. The WG was organized to look at all the options re: use of the facility. The WG has met with the goal of trying to solve restaurant problems and to encourage property owners to start using this amenity. Should anyone have suggestions on as to what to do please contact any one of the WG members.
Property Owners questions re: Restaurant
When the current contract is up, what is going to happen? James: The current lease terminates March 31, 2013. This new WG was organized to look at all the different options as to what to do. This is not to say the current contract may be terminated, there have been worse before she came, but other options will be looked at.
Are background checks done on the people who contract to run the Restaurant? James: No. The employees at the restaurant work for the restaurant. They are not employees of Holly Lake Ranch. They work and are paid by the contractor.
Bowman: There are other Work Groups being established including: A WG to explore the feasibility of a covered year-round swimming pool, a WG to address our loss of trees; and a landscape WG that has been working on the Restaurant Clubhouse parking area. We have also established a Finance Committee that will work closely with the Board. All of these are underway.
Why is there no longer a Work Group for the Lakes? Bowman: At one time there was a Lakes WG that essentially turned into the Fishing Club. This is a valid point and should be given consideration.
Agenda Item 6.) RV, TRAILER BOAT STORAGE. Bowman: A second informational meeting will be held for interested RV owners on Saturday, January 26 at 19. Those interested, please come.
Sensitive Document Shredding. Bowman sought a show of hands on this subject. We will contact ArkLaTex in Tyler and announce a date should the service be provided.
Property Owners Questions on MISCELLANEOUS TOPICS
Would the Board consider charging for any of the amenities in the future like is done with Golf? Bowman: This is something we will be looking into and see what implications there are. This has been raised before and is worth investigating.
Now that Blue Plate is out of business, is Jody going to move back there? James: This is strictly Jody’s decision. She would have to give notice to the Association, but that is strictly up to her.
Why does the Association not provide Handicapped Parking at the Restaurant? James: Originally the building had an exemption, but this is something that should be investigated.
Bowman thanked all for their interest and for attending the meeting. The meeting was adjourned at 3:40 p.m.
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