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The meeting was called to order by President Kaney at 10:00A.M. Directors in attendance were: Anselmo, Colvett, Daniels, Johnson, and Freeman.
Staff in attendance: Brown, Gwozdo and Wyatt.
Upon motion made by Johnson and seconded by Colvett the minutes of August 22, 2013 were approved as submitted.
Wyatt gave the financial report for August.
Kaney called attention to the legal and professional fees. We have had a great deal of success in collections of past assessments but not without cost.
Long Range Planning
Pieper’s report was read by Kaney.
- Millns settlement check and consent judgment has been received.
- Martin container case mediation will likely be rescheduled due to counsel schedule conflict.
- Kaney, Daniels and Pieper met with representatives of the Ridges HOA concerning the road issues discussed at last month’s meeting. Discussions are ongoing with no developments yet for full Board review.
- A policy for selling lots owned by Roads and Security was drafted by Brent McCaghren and submitted to Eller’s committee for review. The committee should have a policy ready for the Board in October.
- An owner of a lot on the border of Wolf Laurel and the Schlitt property advised that there is no road in front of her property. After investigation Pieper found that RMS always thought the property was owned by Schlitt and did not maintain the road. The property owner has always paid the annual assessment. Pieper recommended that a credit be given until 2017 for the road portion of the property owner’s assessments. After much discussion a motion was made on this unique issue by Colvett and seconded by Johnson to approve Pieper’s recommendation. The 600’ of additional road has been brought up to standard.
- Anselmo reported that the investigation of the Big Bald situation continues.
Our website is up and running. The response has been very positive and all current features are being utilized by our property owners. I think the web master will be responsive in making changes and additions as needed to the site. We will be receiving instruction on the workings of the calendar this week so that we can add meetings and events ourselves. There is also a newsletter feature available which we are exploring. I would hope we could produce a monthly newsletter. We will be taking instruction on Twitter and it will be available shortly.
The combination of e-mail and website has enabled RMS to keep the mountain up to date in a timely fashion.
Discussion of archiving comments and requests from the website and possibility of daily road conditions followed.
- Phase one of ditch and shoulder work on Big Bald Rd. and McKinney Gap has been completed. Currently the last mowing of the season is being done.
- We continue waiting for a replacement pump for grader.
- Last year’s 20 inches of snow at Halloween caught us unprepared for plowing. This year we have completely rebuilt 2 salt spreaders, ordered cutting edges for plows, and prepared to mount winter tires. He noted that studded tires were used last year at a great savings in the cost of chains. The life span of a set of chains is 16 hours. In a normal year the crew goes through 30 sets. Last year only 4 sets of chains were needed with the use of studded tires. Brown has signed the contract with Norton for 80 tons of salt.
- Brown is obtaining bids for trimming the pine trees on Wolf Laurel Rd by Mountainside Town Homes. The trees create a safety issue in the winter as they shade the road and cause constant buildup of ice and snow. French Broad is willing to cut trees adjacent to the power lines at no cost.
- The Black Bear project was halted due to breach of contract. This is an issue between the contractor and the Preserve. RMS serves only as administrator.
- We have received numerous complaints of wash boarded roads. When the roads are wet as they were most of the season we could scrape and compact the gravel. As soon as the roads dried they became rough and bumpy. Without a water truck to wet down the road when grading, the gravel will not compact and within 2 days the roads are wash boarded again. Brown and Gwozdo will get estimate on a flip sign to post appropriate road conditions and cautions. This would be placed outside the gate.
- In answer to question regarding the widening of McKinney Gap at the blind curve, Brown explained that they had widened the road 4 feet and then hit rock face. Currently he does not have the time or the budget to go further.
- There was a discussion of whether RMS could require 4 wheel drive vehicles only under certain road conditions.
- A new relief guard has been hired in anticipation of the winter season.
- Gwozdo apologized for dropping the ball on the letter to the rental agencies and the property owners who rent. She intends to include the winter hazards and potential cost to property owners for the time of RMS staff assisting rental clients to reach the rental unit safely.
- She reported that RMS is receiving a large number of complaints about the Preserve gate being open. The managers of the Preserve are extremely slow in repairing the gate. Currently RMS is authorized to repair or replace the gate arms. We cannot call the phone company or the security company for repairs. Our property owners are asking why they are paying security fees when the back door is open. She agrees that this is a legitimate concern. Daniels asked Gwozdo to prepare recommendations
- The ARB forms and Guidelines are now on the web site. Colvett is dissatisfied with the layout and will make some changes as he feels the information is difficult to locate.
- Freeman reported that there is a tree cutting application, asking to cut and top trees on RMS reserve property between Oak Ridge Dr. and McKinney Gap Dr. Since the trees are on RMS property Freeman suggested that the application be considered by the Board. Colvett asked that the application first be considered by the ARB Committee.
- Freeman suggested that the decision on this application could set precedence for tree cutting on other property owned by RMS.
Kaney requested that the sign in procedure for property owners attending RMS meetings be implemented.
Johnson, liaison to the Governmental Study Commission reported that at the September 9, 2013 meeting of the Governmental Study Commission the attorney presented a summary showing potential combinations of HOAs. It is a complicated issue but the group continues to meet and discuss the matter.
Questions and Comments from the Floor
Property owner anticipating his first winter in Wolf Laurel had questions regarding plowing of snow and road conditions which were answered by Brown.
The property owner also had questions regarding the security gate. Last winter his neighbor mistakenly called him in Florida and reported that someone was breaking into his house. He called the gate and the guard told him that he could not leave the gate to investigate. The guard was remiss in not explaining fully that while the guard could not leave gate he would have someone go to his house. There was a large party on his road and numerous vehicles, the police were called and responded but there was no break-in and no vehicle tracks in the man’s drive.
Next meeting will be October 17, 2013
J Lewis Daniels,