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The meeting was called to order by Vice President McCaghren at 10:00 A.M.
Directors in attendance in person: Kessler, Krueger, McCaghren, Shook
Directors in attendance by telephone: Moeller, Pendleton, Romero, Simmons, Smith
Staff in attendance: Brown, Connor, Kinsey, Porche’, Wyatt
Audience: 6 in attendance
Minutes: The Minutes of February 16, 2018 meeting were accepted as submitted.
Finance: Louise Wyatt
Wyatt thanked the board from Will Willis’ family and the Ebbs Chapel Fire Department family for sending out the email announcing Will’s death.
Wyatt presented the financial report and balance sheet for February 2018. RMS has received more in collections this year than this time last year. Operating expenses are in line with last year. We are two months in to the budget which is 16.66%. Both Roads and Security fall within that. Homes are 78% collected and lots are 66% collected for 2018.
Romero commented that it appeared that the revenue through the end of February for roads and security exceeded the 2018 budget. Wyatt said that while collections were higher at this point this year, the financial report uses the accrual method for income and the particular line item questioned reflected billed assessments, not assessments received.
Roads: Jason Brown
(written report read into the minutes edited to condense)
Since last report: Wolf Laurel has received 11.5 inches of snow and 3.19 inches of rain. WLRM has had 6 plowable snows, none of which were up to the 6 inch minimum to plow the gravel roads, and have spread 24 hopper loads of 3 part salt, sand, and p-gravel mix to melt the snow on the paved roadways to help with snow removal.
”UPDATE” between 10pm 3-13-18 and 12pm 3-14-18 Wolf Laurel received another 8 to 16 inches of snow depending where I was on the mountain on the mountain. WLRM has had to plow all the roads including gravel roads multiple times and distributed another 10 loads of salt mix. Our monthly snow total has jumped to 23.5 inches with more on the way next week.
Hotel Pipe Issue: WLRM dug out the damaged pipes at the hotel to address the sink hole issue, and observed that there is no simple patch or cheap easy fix. The correct fix would be to replace the old creek pipe with a new pipe from the pipe inlet to the pipe outlet straightening out the creek and preventing future issues. WLRM has obtained bids from 3 outside contractors considering that larger equipment will be needed to complete this project. The bids are being reviewed and compared to an in-house alternatives and the roads committee is working on recommendation.
Gatehouse Traffic Calming Devices: WLRM contacted the paving contractor regarding the speed bump modification and a proposal of $3,200 was submitted to the board.
ROW Landslides: The process of fixing the 10 landslides from the torrential 10-23-17 storms has begun very slowly due to the weather and the slide on the section of Big Bald Rd. right above Pisgah Pass has been repaired. Also the equipment is staged to repair the one on Big Bald road near Hanging Rock before moving on to the slide on Wolf Laurel Rd. After the slides on the paved roads are repaired WLRM will then move on to the slides on the gravel roads. WLRM has contacted 3 outside contractors for bids regarding the larger slides on Buckhouse Rd. and Chestnut Ln. since larger equipment will be needed to complete these projects. The bids are being reviewed and the roads committee is working on a solution to get this work accomplished.
2 loads of 467 clean stone have been spread, graded, and rolled on Bee Tree Ln. 1 load of 467 clean stone has been spread, graded, and rolled on Buckhouse Rd. Multiple loads of ABCM /road bond / crusher run have been hauled up to the maintenance shed in anticipation of drier weather and road crowning.
All roads have been graded and rolled. WLRM has patched all of the smaller pot holes on the paved roads. WLRMS has removed several fallen trees from the RROW’s including brush, limbs, and debris. WLRM has cleaned most if not all of the culverts of debris for proper drainage. When weather permits in between snow, WLRM is digging out silt from a pond on Chestnut Lane used for drainage and fire control water source and with ponds on Town Mt. Rd. and Puncheon Ln. to follow.
Refurbished the box blade on the Mahindra tractor and changed the cutting edges on the box blade for the John Deer. An inventory of all equipment, tools, etc. for 2018 has been completed. The borrowed roller from Silvers Co. has sustained damages and has been picked up and hauled to a fabrication shop for repairs. The grapple bucket on the CAT 272 has been repaired. A fuel shutoff solenoid has been replaced on the Ford L-9000 dump truck along with 2 rear tires. The Demo Mahindra has made it back to the mountain with some upgrades with more on the way. All other equipment has been fueled, greased, and has been or is scheduled to be serviced.
Romero asked if WLRM will be able to borrow the roller again this year. Brown reported the roller was still at the fabrication shop for repair. Brown has contacted the owner of the roller, but pointed out that the roller is not the right piece of equipment for what is needed on the mountain, but that it works. We are possibly looking into renting or buying the appropriate piece of equipment to do the job.
Security: Ken Porche’
(Written report read into the minutes)
It has been a little calmer since ski slopes have closed, but the snow has returned. That has caused some problems with people wrecking and sliding out of the roads not because of the condition of the roads but people in 2-wheel drive vehicles most of the time. Also a vehicle slid off of Wolf Laurel Road below the upper intersection of Hampton Gap, but speed was a factor in that incident.
Roving has answered quite a few calls for assistance on people out of the road which involved getting people out of their vehicles and getting them home and with assistance getting a wrecker, or helping get back in the road.
Had a call by homeowner that contractor blocking road with his trucks on McKinney Gap, responded to call talked to person in charge advised vehicles needed to be off roadway to allow traffic to pass. He apologized and moved his vehicles.
Received a call to a house on Phacelia Ln. that a red truck was parked in his driveway and a man was walking around his house. I and the other roving responded, was notified that this happened at 17:00pm and we were dispatched at 19:30 not much hope in catching somebody.
Responded to call on Buckeye found contractor had blown transfer case on his truck, buckeye impassable because of ice, got truck to side of road, contractor said he would get it next day.
Received call from gate that had renters come in wanting to be able to shoot their weapons and what hunting seasons were still in, they were told none, roving was dispatched to residence to make sure they understood, because of comments made at gate
Another snow storm has struck roving out with people trying to traverse the roads.
The renters on Phacelia have finally left the mountain, but not forgotten. Madison County Animal Control was here yesterday investigating a dog bite incident involving the Phacelia renters which occurred outside of Wolf Laurel, but MCAC didn’t have the current address of the former residents.
Thanks to Jason and his crew for the great job, sure makes mine less eventful.
Porche’ clarified that the homeowner on Phacelia Lane saw the truck parked in his driveway, via camera, at 5:00pm but did not report it to the gate until 7:30 at which time roving was dispatched to the house.
Communications & Community Relations: Larry Smith
Insurance / Finance Committee: Dick Moeller and David Pendleton
Moeller spoke with auditor. The tax returns for RMS should be completed next week. Deadline is April 15, 2018. The Treasurer and Finance Committee will review the returns and authorize the accountant to file.
Pendleton reported that in working through the departure of an employee, we have a better understanding of how the end of benefits work under NC law, and have made some minor adjustments in the process.
Romero asked the status of the insurance claim resulting from an accident damaging our snowplow blade. Brown reported that our insurance company has all of the information. Pendleton will contact Dan Gilbert for an update.
McCaghren asked Pendleton to look into the cost of getting a fidelity bond or insurance equivalent for appropriate employees and board members.
Legal: Brent McCaghren and Cynthia Kessler
McCaghren reported that the WWTP matter is progressing.
Security: Eddie Shook
Shook distributed an estimate on installing IT security on the back gate– One 8 channel digital video recorder, two outdoor cameras, one for the entrance and one for the exit, software applications, necessary hardware and labor. The committee is in the process of contacting the Preserve representatives about sharing the cost. We will propose sharing the cost at 50% which will leave us with the cost of $2500. The benefit will be that we have a virtual eye on the back gate.
Shook reported that we are waiting on the weather to make the modifications of the speed bumps.
Roads: Jim Simmons
Simmons thanked Jason and his crew for the work they have done through this difficult winter.
Simmons reported that the roads crew has stabilized May Apple with ballast stone and the construction project which damaged the road is still on-going. For this reason, until the home construction is completed RMS will wait to complete the project. The final stage will involve adding an ABCM/ bonding material / crusher run layer to the road and then compacting the material. Simmons reflected that by the end of the process it is likely that May Apple may be one of the best gravel roads in Wolf Laurel. In light of this plan, the committee recommends not pursuing the proposal from Akut-Abuv at this time. With a firm plan in place for May Apple, the committee is now turning attention to other immediate issues and raising the overall condition of balance of the gravel roads..
Simmons presented a committee recommendation for funding repairs of three major projects caused by storm damage occurring in 2017. Bad weather, equipment unavailability (in particular the dump truck being out of commission) and manpower constraints prevented the work from being accomplished by year end 2017. This interruption also caused certain line items of the 2017 budget to not be fully utilized. The committee’s recommendation is to use approximately $69,000 of funds budgeted but not spent from the 2017 budget, roughly corresponding to the line items of payroll, fuel, drainage, gravel and misc. Funds would be used to repair the two major slides, to repair the culvert blowout in front of the motel, and any remainder of the $69,000 for additional gravel. The board discussed the committee’s recommendation to be taken up for action in New Business.
Property and Facilities: Dick Moeller
Moeller contacted Walker Ferguson concerning the next step on the replacement septic system. We are on his schedule for next week.
ARB: Steve McKnight
Since last report, the ARB approved two minor exterior, one interior, and one tree application. Bob Super has been contacted regarding three major and four minor applications. Bob has made visits to the seven sites and expects to approve all seven when formally submitted later this spring.
Long Range Planning: Larry Smith and Cynthia Kessler
Kessler reminded all committee chairs to give provide their feedback on the draft description for their committee.
POA Liaison: Larry Smith
Resolution of the Board authorizing the President or Vice President to execute the necessary closing documents on the WWTP sale at a closing to be scheduled.
McCaghren so moved the resolution. Kessler seconded. A vote was taken. 9 – yes, 0 – no.
Recommendation to provide mailboxes
Approximately 32 residents outside of Wolf Laurel have in error taken Wolf Laurel mailboxes instead of using mailboxes through their respective HOAs, causing a shortage for Wolf Laurel residents. The majority of cases are Blue Mountain residents. Blue Mountain charges a fee for mailboxes and presently has approximately 43 empty boxes in a 44 mailbox stand. Romero spoke with the Blue Mountain HOA President and manager after the last board meeting requesting that the two organizations swap mailboxes so that Blue Mountain residents are using Blue Mountain boxes and roughly 30 unused Blue Mountain mailboxes could be used for Wolf Laurel residents. Blue Mountain proposed to sell the unused boxes to RMS at cost, and if RMS wished to charge Blue Mountain owners who had taken a Wolf Laurel box in error, Blue Mountain said they would work with the owner.
Smith disagreed with asking RMS owners to pay $150 for a mailbox.
McCaghren said he did not think that taking the mailboxes back from Blue Mountain property owners was a good option. He added that the mailboxes on Hampton Gap were going to have to be moved and suggested that RMS find out the cost of adding more mailboxes on Hampton Gap.
The board discussed various options, including adding new boxes, requesting Blue Mountain residents switch back to a Blue Mountain mailbox, charging a fee to Blue Mountain residents using the wrong mailboxes to offset the cost of a replacement box, whether the Post Office will understand the distinction between the organizations going forward, the need for more parcel and mailboxes as the community grows, and various other factors which required further investigation.
The matter was assigned to the Facilities Committee.
Road Committee’s Recommendation to Fund Three Projects.
Smith moved to transfer $68,968 from the cash carryover of the Roads Budget from 2017 to the Roads Budget for 2018, specifically for the repair of the two slides, the culvert blowout on Spring Valley with any additional funds left over to go to the purchase of additional gravel. Simmons seconded. A vote was taken. 9 – yes and 0 – no.
Kessler read the sign in sheet for audience comments.
Steve Wilcox, a resident of the Shlitt property, asked why his section of Wolf Laurel is different than Wolf Laurel Estates. Smith explained the historical background of the relationship between the original developer of Wolf Laurel Estates and unrelated developers who developed other sections of land within the gated community. The developer made agreements with unrelated developers, including the Shlitt family. With respect to the Shlitt property, pursuant to the agreement that both WLRMS and the Shlitt family must honor, the development company must satisfy certain conditions before its development can be incorporated within Wolf Laurel, but because access to the development is through Wolf Laurel Estates, the Shlitt family agreed that RMS assessments would be paid until conditions were satisfied to complete the development. At such time as the conditions are fulfilled, RMS would assume responsibility for the roads and the property owners would be subject to Wolf Laurel covenants. Currently the development is not complete and the conditions have not been satisfied. Smith encouraged Mr. Wilcox to address his concerns about the timing of completion to the developer and to the other owners in the Shlitt property.
Mr. Wilcox asked if there was a way for WLRMS to simply join all developments in the gated community. The board noted that WLRMS does not have the power to unilaterally annex adjoining developments into WLRMS or to disregard the agreements in place governing those developments.
Mr. Wilcox concluded by commenting that, even without RMS undertaking the roads, he would like to be granted voting rights and the ability to serve on the board of WLRMS, as opposed to being considered a satellite out on the end of the Shlitt road and not a citizen of the community. Shook commented that there were many aspects to being part of the community, but his request also involved the imposition of rules and regulations on the property and all the property owners of the affected area need to be willing to accept the same path.
Gail Barr asked why the back side of the mountain doesn’t get their mailboxes from Yancey County. McCaghren said the postal service sets the postal zones that suit their convenience, and all mail is delivered through Mars Hill.
Tony Martin commented that there is a need for more parcel lockers. He asked the board to consider adding more parcel lockers when looking into adding more mailboxes.
Mr. Martin asked if the proposal for May Apple made by Jameson Cox was on hold until later in this year, spring. He also asked if May Apple was going to be restored according to the best practice specification Cox has put forward or just wash gravel put on the road. Simmons advised that May Apple would remain as is until construction traffic ended, then crusher run material will be placed on the road, and compacted.
The meeting was adjourned by Vice President Brent McCaghren.
Next RMS HOA Board meeting is scheduled for April 20, 2018, at 10:00 A.M.
Respectfully submitted, Cynthia Kessler, Secretary