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The meeting was called to order by President Kaney at 10:00A.M. Directors in attendance were: Anselmo, Colvett, Daniels, Eller, Johnson, and Pieper.
Staff in attendance: Brown, Gwozdo and Wyatt.
Minutes: Upon motion made by Johnson and seconded by Colvett the minutes of June 27, 2013 were approved as submitted.
Wyatt gave the financial report for July. She noted that at the end of June 2013, the assessment collection for homes exceeded the amount collected for the entire year of 2012. The collections for lots at the end of June also exceeded that collected at the end of June 2012. Wyatt explained that the bridge expenses will be on the August financial statement. The payment from the engineering firm is shown under income on the current statement.
Wyatt and Eller have successfully negotiated with Madison County to lower the assessed value of the lots owned by R & S thereby lowering the property taxes.
Yancey County maintains that the 2008 reassessment is good and will not allow the assessed value on the lots to be contested. Wyatt reviewed sales from 2006 forward and suspected that the sale of larger lots in the Preserve was influencing the evaluation. She contacted Yancey County with her suspicion and was told that the State allowed neighborhood comparison as currently used at Mountain Aire. The area is divided into neighborhoods and the comparison for evaluation is limited to the neighborhood. Yancey County said they would take the issue to the State. If the neighborhood concept was allowed all Wolf Laurel property owners with property in Yancey County could realize a decrease in County taxes. Eller thanked Wyatt for her handling of this issue.
Daniels announced that R & S has established a line of credit with Wells Fargo should it be required in a future emergency.
Long Range Planning
Kaney reported that the Governmental Commission is making progress. It is difficult to get five different HOAs to agree. By October they hope to have a consensus of what they want to recommend.
- Mediation of the Millns lawsuit occurred on August 7 with the parties agreeing to settle with the lots being uncombined for assessment purposes and the defendant making a substantial payment to satisfy delinquent assessments
- Additional collection suits have been filed in both Madison and Yancey Counties.
- The Martin container case is scheduled for mediation on September 25, 2013. A representative of the Association with appropriate authority will attend.
- Recently the Association received a letter from a representative of The Ridges POA demanding that R&S perform or pay for capital improvements, repairs or maintenance to roads belonging to Blue Mountain and to The Ridges. President Kaney advised the representative that this Board would discuss the demand at our next meeting on August 22, 2013. However, on August 20, 2013, before the Board had an opportunity to consider and respond to the demand, a letter was received from Asheville legal counsel advising that The Ridges was preparing to sue the Association. There is no basis to support the demand. Under the circumstances with the threat of litigation, the Board will forward the matter to its legal counsel.
- The Association has confirmed agreement with the WL POA concerning waiver of certain rights R&S acquired in its purchase from BMDC in regard to the BMDC/WLPOA purchase and sale agreement of October 26, 2010. Also, the WL POA has agreed to add the Association as an additional insured under its insurance policy to cover any liability for theft from the package receiving house at the gate and has waived any interest in acquiring the office building from BMDC.
The Board declined the tender of Richard King of his lot (WL Estates Lot 76).
Eller reported as with everything, cost continues to go up. He will have definite cost information available for the formulation of the 2014 budget.
Warren reported that the new website is essentially completed. A few items for the ARB to be added. An e-mail announcement will be sent in the next couple days.
- The bridge is complete.
- The ditch and shoulder work on McKinney Gap and Big Bald Rd. is 50% complete and if the weather co-operates should be finished by the end of September. The rain has pushed us back so ditch and shoulder Wolf Laurel Rd. probably will have to wait.
- The widening of the road on McKinney Gap Rd. at the blind curve has been halted by a large rock face, although we have made some improvement.
- The Black Bear project has begun. A consultant has been hired for twenty hours a week. He will give daily updates.
- The equipment is in good condition with exception of the grader which needs a new hydraulic pump.
- An area of paving at the bridge needs to be cut out and replaced. This work is under warranty so will be no additional expense to R & S.
- Security is running smoothly. We are responding to the normal seasonal complaints. New calls this season are reports of coyotes.
- We have new lighting at the Gate. This not only improves vision but also enhances the video from cameras. The new lights will reduce the cost of bulb replacement.
- A Board Member asked if the coyotes were close in. Coyotes have been sighted all over the mountain, in yards, in the village and along the roads. They have been seen during the day as well as at night. They are not protected except by the Wolf Laurel Covenants.
- A Board Member asked if we had determined what rights we had under the Covenants regarding loud noise. The process is the same for any violation of the Covenants. A warning is issued for the first offense. If there is a second offense a fine can be levied. When a report is made to the Gate usually someone goes to the residence. Most times the people comply. If the noise continues the County Sherriff is called. Neither Yancey nor Madison County enforces the noise ordinance but they will respond to check for drugs and underage drinking.
- There have been no new or major construction applications since we last met. We have approved a few minor renovations and permits.
- There has been much discussion regarding the homeowner who cut trees along the golf course. He properly applied for and was granted a permit from the ARB. He also received permission from the Country Club.
- The ARB has no authority for property owned by the Country Club or the POA.
- In the near future ARB will post the address of all approved applications and a brief description of the project on our website.
Election: Eller announced that today he and Anselmo had tallied the ballots received to date. The number of property owners who have voted so far is over 30%. An e-mail will be sent to remind property owners of the dead line for receipt of ballots. The ballot box will be closed at 4:30 p.m. on Thursday, August 29, 2013. The winning candidates will be certified by the secretary and announced the following day.
Anselmo, who is retiring from the Board, expressed his appreciation and enjoyment in working with the Board and staff. Board Members thanked him for his assistance to the ARB Committee in formulating the guidelines, his partnership with Pieper on Legal issues, and his many other accomplishments. He will be missed.
Questions and Comments from the Floor
- A property owner adjacent to a reserve lot owned by R & S produced photos of drainage area blocked by fallen trees. This is causing a mosquito problem. Kaney and Jason will visit the site.
- A suggestion was made that the lots owned by R & S be made public either by e-mail or website.
- Kaney agreed and requested that Eller give a list of lots to Johnson for the website.
Next meeting will be announced.
J Lewis Daniels,