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The meeting was called to order via telephone by President Kaney at 10:00 A.M.
Directors in attendance: McKnight, Freeman, and McCaghren. Present via telephone: Beneke, Faliero, and Johnson. Absent were: Pieper and Potts.
Staff in attendance: Brown, Gwozdo, and Wyatt.
Upon motion made by Freeman and seconded by Johnson, the minutes of November 2014 were approved.
L. Wyatt reported:
- All Board Members had received the financial statements via email. In response to questions Louise explained that 125 tons of salt was purchased in 2014. This is the first time that we have purchased such a large quantity at one time. Because of rising cost and low availability, it was deemed necessary. The cost is shown as a prepaid expense on the balance sheet because usage of salt will extend into 2015 and deducted as used.
- A study of accounts receivable is being conducted and will be compared to the year-end aging schedule in regard to bad debt (properties that are nonpaying).
- Cash on hand at the end of 2014 was $98,000.
- The annual audit will be conducted the second week of February, after which our tax returns will be prepared and the full auditors report will be available.
The following was submitted by N. Pieper prior to the meeting:
- We have received a check covering the 2014 assessments and $500 in interest from the company servicing the new owner of the former Jones property.
- As of January 1, 2015, Ski the Ridges, LLC and any successor or assign is delinquent in payment of the contractual agreement relating to payment for roads and security. We need to consider steps to take to compel payment. My suggestion is demand letter from counsel David Etheridge with payment in full by February 15, 2015, with suit thereafter if unpaid.
- New milestone. The Association obtained a judgment against a WL property owner now residing out of state. In effort to collect we engaged counsel in Tennessee on a contingency basis and have garnished a bank account of the judgment debtor in Tennessee. As you know, the Association is not limited to collection only against the WL property but also has recourse against the personal debtor.
- Counsel is now pursuing actions against delinquent property owners, not only on the basis of breach of the 2002 Declarations, but alternatively founded on earlier deeds containing “pro rata share” language and equitable arguments.
- The Association has invoiced the individual owners of property in the Ridges for their 2015 road and security assessments. Each individual Ridges property owner has failed to pay the 2014 road maintenance and security assessments. The Association will take appropriate collection steps against any individual property owner who continues to be delinquent in payment of 2014 assessments and/or becomes delinquent in payment of the 2015 assessments.
- Our counsel Staunton Norris has advised that he has found no
evidence of ownership of Ridgeway Road within the bounds of the Preserve in favor of Bald Mountain Development Corporation or its successor in interest (WL RMS).
- Regarding non-dedicated or “private” roads we have received an opinion letter from Attorney Stahl that has been forwarded to the Road Committee. Becky and Stephen McKnight have been gathering the information requested by counsel.
- Our counsel Staunton Norris has advised that he has found no
- POA SEWAGE TREATMENT PLANT
- The WL POA is being ignored by its co-owner of the sewage treatment plant (financial institution that purchased the Jones motel property) and is considering filing suit soon to force shared payment.
Kaney noted that the financial institution responsible for the motel property has paid the RMS fees.
W. Johnson reported :
We are waiting for the final approval and legal review of the Covenants which will be posted to our website. An e-mail will be sent announcing to our property owners when the new Covenants are available on our web site.
Ad Hoc Road Study
R. McKnight reported
A Road Improvement Update report was sent to all Board Members.
J. Brown reported:
- One employee was laid off for the winter and will return in the spring as work load increases.
- Equipment: The dump truck is in shop with electrical issues and the skid steer, which is under warranty, has been returned to dealer. This is the second malfunction in only 15 hours use. We also had to put a new transmission in the green pick up.
- We are erecting a new building (26’X 56’ X 28’) at the maintenance yard. It’s ready for wiring and insulation. We also framed a shed over the brine making equipment.
- We have no serious blockage or clogged culverts or ditches at this time.
- Next week we will compost the road banks and ditches. The compost lasts for nine months and has worked well in the past. The smell will go away in a couple of weeks.
- A culvert will be replaced on Glenaire as it was greatly damaged by numerous truckloads of boulders used on a hard scape project on El Miner Dr. The cost will be covered by the ARB road deposit.
- A ditch on Gardenside washed out and will be repaired.
- The weather has been extremely mild so far this winter. We have used only one load of salt to date.
- The RMS building needs some wood replacement and minor structural repair of the deck. We will need to pressure wash and paint in the spring.
In answer to a question as to the maintenance of Ridgeway Dr., Brown explained that RMS maintains from the lower entrance of Chestnut Village to the Preserve Gate for the account of the Preserve POA and is reimbursed by the Preserve POA. The Blue Mountain HOA maintains Ridgeway Dr. from the Country Club to the lower entrance of Chestnut Village.
S. Gwozdo reported:
- A new lock was installed on the Big Bald gate after a vehicle was sighted within the Big Bald area. New keys were distributed to emergency personnel and Security Gate. We have no proof but highly suspect that a duplicate key had been made by a person who was given a key as authorized by the U.S. Forest Service.
- We had minor mechanical repairs to the entrance system in the past month and may need to replace the computer at the gate.
- Ski season is off to a slow start but our Security Patrol remains busy rounding up vehicles issued orange ski passes found touring our community.
C. Freeman reported:
- Summary of permits issued in 2014 consists of 24 building permits which includes new construction, renovations, minor constructions and landscaping and 43 permits for the cutting and trimming of trees. Since November 17th we have issued 2 construction and 4 tree permits.
- Philip Banks will go on a reduced schedule for the winter as the number of permit applications will be very slack.
In response to Kaney’s question as to whether the bond from Cocoa Brownstone LLC for road damage during construction at the Townhomes has been received, Freeman replied in the negative. If reports of grading at the construction site are true, then a stop work order will be issued until the bond or a check for the road deposit has been submitted to the ARB.
The new signage on Hwy 23 has been erected. The cost of the sign was split between Wolf Ridge Ski Slopes and RMS. Those who have seen the sign agree that lighting is not necessary as it glows in the light from any approaching vehicles. The Board decided not to encourage lighting at this time.
R. McKnight addressed the Board on the issue of electric fencing at 380 Unakite Lane. She and all Board Members received an email with photos of the fence from a property owner asking the ARB to reconsider this fencing option as it goes against the concept of maintaining a natural environment, is perhaps unsafe, and just plain gives a poor impression of Wolf Laurel.”
McKnight cited the ARB’s section 4.24 on fencing which is on our web site. “No fencing is permitted along shared property lines without ARB approval … (shared property lines would include road rights-of-way). Animal deterrent wire to separate specific areas of the property is allowed. Where visible from off-site, it should be non-intrusive in appearance.” (From the pictures, the fence on Unakite is definitely intrusive in appearance.)
As far as can be determined there has been no advanced approval for the electric fence on Unakite. In making a web search, it was found that frequently zoning laws are prohibiting use of electric fencing near roadways or the property of others, primarily from a safety standpoint. On these bases, McKnight made a motion to the Board as follows:
“Since the Property Owner on 380 Unakite did not have advanced approval for the electric fence that was erected on his/her property, I move that said Property Owner(s) be compelled to remove the fence in a timely fashion, and that ARB be notified that the Board directs ARB to not approve any electric or barbed wire fencing within all areas within the jurisdiction of the Association.”
The motion was seconded by Beneke.
The Board discussed the duties and responsibilities of the ARB and the RMS Boards. A major factor was the fact that a property owner fined or denied a permit by the ARB is entitled to an appeal in front of the full RMS Board. Therefore, it would be inappropriate for the RMS Board to take direct action against any property owner regarding an ARB issue. However, it is appropriate for the Board to direct the ARB to perform its duty based on the Covenants and the ARB Guidelines and to take proper action.
McCaghren moved that McKnight’s motion be tabled. This was seconded by Freeman. The motion was passed.
Kaney then directed Freeman, the new Chairman of the ARB, to meet with Philip Banks, the ARB Administrator and take proper action in regards to the property owner who had erected the electric fence. McKnight asked that anyone with knowledge of an electric fence report the address to the ARB and that the ARB determine if a permit was granted. If not permitted, the ARB would take necessary action.
Meeting adjourned at 11:15 a.m.