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The meeting was called to order by Larry Smith, President, at 10:00 A.M.
Directors in attendance in person: McKnight, Beneke, Ames, and Foster.
Potts was unable to attend.
Staff in attendance: Brown, Gwozdo, Mahowald and Wyatt
Upon motion made by Beneke and seconded by Ames, the minutes of July 2016 were approved. Motion passed unanimously.
Beneke thanked Jim Hill and his team of counters for their swift and efficient count of the ballots. He announced the three newly elected directors: Brent McCaghren, Dick Moeller, and Willie Romero. Smith thanked all who stepped forward and agreed to run for the Board. He also thanked Ken Faliero, Chuck Freeman, and Warren Johnson for their many years of service. He then asked the new directors to take their place at the table.
Election of Board Officers
Election of offices took place resulting in the 2016 – 2017 officers: John Beneke, President, John Ames, Vice President, and Willie Romero, Secretary/Treasurer.
Beneke thanked Smith for his year of service as President.
The first 7 months of 2016 income to Roads and Security increased by payment from 9 homes and 7 lots. Road expenses were normal with a few items over budget and a few under budget. The expenses for Administration and Security were also normal.
She reminded the Board that a copy of the minutes and new signature cards were needed by the bank.
The Board appointed Willie Romero, Becky Mcknight, and John Beneke as the new signees.
One thunderstorm reported with very minimal damage.
The improved turnarounds at the end of Wolf Head Court, Garden Side Lane, and Upper Lookout Drive have been completed.
The road right of way (RROW) project along Upper Lookout is well under way. All brush, trees, and stumps have been removed. All culverts have been replaced. The road banks and ditches are now being cut and will be seeded upon completion. The road grade will be inverted and crowned. Then the road bed will be graveled. The project should be completed by the first of September. This project should not be confused with the private project being done by Harvey English on a private drive contracted by Freddie Wallin that was approved by the ARB.
The second mowing of the RROW’s, intersections, and obstructions is underway and should be completed by the first of September.
Cat 305 excavator broke two hydraulic lines servicing the left final drive the lines have been replaced and the machine is in good working order.
Cat 416 backhoe has had a new left downrigger along with guards installed and is in good working order.
Cat 272 skid steer is still not in proper working order but the CAT mechanic has found the issue and it should be fixed next week.
Ferri flail mower broke two cutter heads due to hidden protruding rocks a new set of cutter heads and bolts have been ordered and we now have twenty three spares.
1500 gallon water skid has been purchased and will be installed on the blue international truck when down time presents itself.
Replacement for the 2003 grey Chevrolet 2500 HD has been located. The Roads Committee has decided on a 2016 GMC Sierra 3500 HD, and I have spoken to the treasurer about the financing of this vehicle, and he has approved. I am asking for board approval for the purchase of the replacement vehicle, “discussion if the board decides I need to discuss these items in an open meeting”. Sale price of $52,135, plus TTL, minus trade in and rebates brings total financed price $46,312.90. There will also be an additional 3 to 5k expense for improvements that will be added to the vehicle once we accept delivery (snow plow wiring and mount, tires, wheels, lights, bed liner, floor mats, seat covers, etc.).
Beneke said this item would be addressed in report by Finance Committee.
RMS Office: Carpet in the front meeting room has been installed under budget and with a warranty.
Other: The septic or perk test on the motel property adjoining the Cagney’s on Spring Valley Drive has been performed and the test failed. The organization will be receiving a letter of denial that we will have a time frame to appeal in which time we will need to hire a soil engineer to explore our options.
Ames asked about road work on Ridgeway as the community seems to be very interested and believes that RMS is doing the work.
Brown explained that Blue Mountain was repairing Ridgeway Road between Upper and Lower Chestnut Village. They also tore up the 150 foot section of Ridgeway owned by RMS below Lower Chestnut Village. Beneke said that he would touch base with Barry Vaughn, President of the Blue Mountain Association for an update of the project. He added that Potts was aware of this issue.
Romero asked about the debris being stock piled along Buck House Road. Brown replied that there is a huge hole on Buck House and Flame Azalea with an unstable bank. All debris will be shoved into the hole, and burned at the first snowfall, under the supervision of Ebbs Chapel Fire Department. There are other locations which have debris that will be addressed in the same manner. Beneke suggested that Brown draft a report and Ames send an email to inform the RMS Community.
- Madison County Sherriff’s office responded to possible home invasion on Oak Ridge Ct. Call was unfounded. Neither Gate nor Director of Security were called by property owner.
- Flag and flower display in chair were reported stolen by two separate property owners on Oak Ridge Ct.
- Call received by gate for the number of Ebbs Chapel First Responders. After questioning the property owner, staff told him to call 911 immediately. First Responders’ and ambulance arrived shortly thereafter.
- Service provider abandoned his vehicle in the middle of Glenaire Drive without notifying the Gate. Patrol and Gate worked together and located the owner and had him return with tow truck. Patrol set out cones and stayed on scene until the tow truck departed with the vehicle.
- Director of Security (DOS) responded to a report of flashlight on the property and within the home of a neighbor. DOS had Gate call Yancey County Sherriff’s office while in route. DOS checked grounds but did not approach house and waited for arrival of Sherriff Department. After 3 hours waiting and notification by Yancey County 911 that a) no such location could be found and b) Officers had been reassigned/call cancelled, DOS checked the doors and windows and departed. There did not appear to be any signs of a break in but it was noticed that there were glass blocks in the wall of the garage, the section of the home most visible to the reporting neighbor. A full moon was apparent and the light reflecting through the glass blocks was dancing around both in the garage and the property outside the garage.
- Patrol reported warning three Property Owners of their speed and crossing the yellow line on Wolf Laurel Road. A service provider was reported to the DOS for the same. The offender contacted the DOS and apologized for his conduct when being cautioned and for his driving. He was warned that the receipt of a second such report would result in the loss of privileges.
- Property Owner on Painted Ridge was alerted to an opened door in his home. Patrol secured the door.
- ATV in Grouse Thicket area was caught and warned by Patrol. The property owner claimed ignorance of the covenants but has promised he would not ride on Wolf Laurel roads again. This is the second Property Owner this season that has been caught and both alluded to another Property Owner who frequently rides his ATV/UTV which is green and bubble capped on Ridgeway Road to and from the WLCC.
- After a report of barking dogs on the deck of a Finny Lane property the Owner was warned.
- The Phacelia dog was photographed on Flame Azalea by Security Patrol. The owners on Phacelia could be heard calling the dog to no avail. The owner of this rental property will be fined yet again.
Smith asked if ATV’s/UTV’s were allowed in Blue Mountain.
Gwozdo replied that to her knowledge they were not. Signage is allowed and Blue
Mountain is littered with realtor signs. Security has been receiving numerous complaints that we were not doing our job by removing the signage.
Romero asked if it made a difference if the ATV/UTV was licensed.
Gwozdo replied that the vehicle had been licensed in the state of Florida in 2015 but
North Carolina did not recognize this type of vehicle.
Foster reminded the Board that it made no difference under our Covenants.
Motorcycles are registered and we only allow them in a limited manner.
Gwozdo pointed out that in the winter the mountain is entirely different and several of the
ATV/UTV owners use the vehicles to plow driveways.
Smith suggested that this issue and a few other items in the Covenants could be better
settled if the property owners were given a voice through a survey.
Ames suggested further discussion on this topic be held at a Board workshop.
Communications & Community Relations
- Survey # 2 Results Email – Email reporting results of the second survey was distributed on July 14. Email and the actual survey report were also posted on the WLRMS website.
- Board Nominee Announcement Email – Email announcing the six nominees for the upcoming Board election was distributed on July 18. Announcement included bios of each nominee and alerted property owners of the Candidate Forum. It was also posted on the WLRMS website.
- Departing Board Member Appreciation Email– Email noting the three departing Board members with appreciation for their service was distributed on July 20 and posted on the WLRMS website.
- Bear Sightings Alert Email – Email notifying the community of recent bear sightings and basic prevention tips was distributed August 2.
- New Website Progress Report – A status report and review of website redesign in progress was given to the Board on August 10.
- Survey Findings Summary Report – A summary report of the two surveys was given to the Board on August 10.
Purchase of the new truck. We asked for finance rate from the dealer and from Asheville Savings Bank. The dealer did not come near the bank rate.
Beneke moved that the loan from Asheville Savings Bank to purchase the truck at a cost of $49,268.60 at 3.9% for 78 months be approved. Seconded by Romero. Motion carried.
Impact / Usage Fees
Beneke and Lisa Baldwin met to look at licensing fees and Gross Vehicular Weights (GVW) for vehicles in North Carolina. It was decided to charge commercial vehicles with a GVW of 11,000 pounds and above and charge a reasonable rate for an annual pass. The proposal will be reviewed and discussed at the meeting with the Legal Committee and the Security Committee. Smith asked if this would be for all commercial vehicles and not only construction vehicles. Beneke replied that was correct and that there were many details to be worked out by the combined efforts of Legal and Security to make it work.
Foster had circulated her report to all Board Members. Much of it dealt with ongoing litigation which could not be discussed at a public meeting.
Ames commented that during a previous workshop there was a robust discussion regarding the enforceability of the Covenants. The consensus of the Members, led by the Legal Committee’s assessment, was that the Covenants are totally enforceable. He urged Members to take a very confident attitude regarding the Covenants.
Road Maintenance & Equipment
Long Range Planning
The Standing Committees were created last fall and the process appears to have succeeded very well. I took on this task as Vice President and will be happy to turn it over to the new Vice President should he wish. Obviously with the election, replacements need be found. This must be completed by the September meeting in order that each committee member be covered by our insurance.
The first vacancy is Chairman of the ARB. Beneke nominated Sharon Foster and shared his reasoning. McCaghren suggested to the Board that the Chairman of the ARB should not be a member of the RMS Board. Should a property owner oppose a decision by the ARB, the property owner’s only recourse is to ask for a hearing by the RMS Board. If the ARB chairman was also a member of the RMS Board he/she would need to recluse themselves. Beneke withdrew his nomination. Smith nominated John DiPetta, a member of the ARB for the past year. Ames suggested that the appointment of chairman be held in the work session along with further discussion of McCaghren’s comment. McKnight reminded the Board of the timeline. Beneke suggested that further discussion and nominations could be held in work session and a vote held electronically and ratified in September. Meanwhile the chairs will be appointed and given time to add or replace the committee members to be voted on at the September meeting.
Finance Committee Chairman will be Willie Romero as Secretary/Treasurer.
McKnight said that during the past year it was suggested that insurance should be handled by the Finance Committee and asked for the Boards opinion. Beneke asked for a motion to move insurance coverage and issues to the Finance Committee. Romero so moved and the motion carried.
McKnight suggested that Foster and McCaghren be named as co-chairs of the Legal Committee. Beneke suggested that this also be discussed at work session.
Long Range Planning Committee Chairman will be John Beneke, as President.
The Road Committee with Potts as Chairman, the Security Committee with McKnight as Chairperson, and the Commercial Use Committee with John Beneke as Chairman remain the same.
Smith suggested that an additional committee may be needed as we seem to be acquiring additional facilities. Beneke agreed and the issue will be addressed during the work session.
Gwynne Beneke asked Larry Smith if he has the time or opportunity to continue working with the Chestnut Tree group in setting up the test areas within Wolf Laurel.
Smith replied that it is a slow process as he is on a committee of scientists but he hopes to have important information to share in the next year.
Stephen McKnight suggested that with the combining of the Insurance Committee with the Financial Committee members with a working knowledge of insurance should be included in the new committee.
Next RMS HOA Board meeting is scheduled September 16, 2016, at 10:00 A.M.
The meeting was adjourned.