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The meeting was called to order by President Beneke at 10:00 A.M.
Directors in attendance in person: McKnight, McCaghren,
Directors in attendance by telephone: Beneke, Smith, Romero, Moeller, Potts, Ames
Directors absent: Foster
Staff in attendance: Brown, Wyatt, Gwozdo, Porche, Connor
Audience: Tom Wrenn, Jim Deloatch, Steve McKnight, Lewis Daniels
Upon motion made by Willie Romero and seconded by John Ames, the Minutes of January 20, 2017 were approved.
Finance: Louise Wyatt
Wyatt reported that December, January and February have been busy with billing and processing payments. The audit in February went well. January financials are incomplete because final entries need to be made from the audit.
Collections are lower this January compared to January 2016.
Wyatt reported RMS received a check for $6000 in February from the ski slopes which pays all of 2015 assessments and part of 2016 assessments.
The balance sheet shows a difference between 2016 and 2017 due to the addition of equipment, the motel and lot inventory.
Wyatt reported on the LLC companies: We received the tap fees for the water hook ups from Carolina Water and are current. French Broad Electric is a coop that has a capital credit fund. A 1989 credit is due to Bald Mtn. Development Corp. With McCaghren’s assistance, he and Wyatt arranged to have the name changed so the RMS will receive the capital credit checks directly.
Wyatt reported that the manager of the Ridges HOA delivered the annual dues to RMS and pointed out that 3 property owners had not paid. McCaghren pointed out that the agreement with the Ridges allows RMS to contact property owners that are in arrears. Beneke suggested we wait 30 days and if payment is not received to send a letter.
Gwozdo asked if the barcode deactivation letter should be sent also. McCaghren and Beneke agreed that the Ridges property owners should be treated like the RMS property owners and a letter should be sent out in April if required.
Roads: Jason Brown
Since last report:
Wolf Laurel has had 10 rain days; received 2.68 inches of rain along with 3 wind storms and 1 thunderstorm. Wolf Laurel has had 6 snow days; receiving 18 ½ inches of snow WLRM crew has distributed 31.50 hopper loads of 3 to 1 salt mix at a total of 10.50 tons of salt.
During these weather events WLRM crew removed numerous trees from the roadways and with ground saturation levels above normal have repaired 2 slide areas and have had complaints of muddy conditions.
Removed downed trees from RROW’s on Lower El Miner, El Miner, Phacelia, Spring Brook, McDaris Loop, Hampton Gap, and Painted Ridge.
Due to weather conditions the day lighting project on Ivy Way@ Spring Brook is at a halt and the road is shut down but as soon as weather permits it will be finished.
Scraped and graveled some of the worst areas where roads were near impassable Upper Haw, Upper Lookout, Lookout, Oakridge, and McDaris Loop.
Repaired slide areas on Ivy Way, Lower El Minor, and Buckhouse@ Bee Tree
As per the WLRM 2017-2019 Work Schedule all “Regular Duties” are on schedule and within the allocated budget. In regards to the non-allocated “Additional Projects” the budget and schedule is not allowing for these projects at his time and the only “Additional Projects” that will be addressed is in the fire prevention program for which the funds have already been allocated and approved.
Repaired forks on CAT skid steer
Changed cutting edges on all snow plows
Traveled to Greenville Recyclers’ and purchased metal for equipment fabrication
Purchased 3 riding mowers, shop hand tools, snow blower, tool boxes, safety equipment, and miscellaneous shop supplies from a local small mechanic shop going out of business. Per the WLRM 2017 Capital Equipment Schedule
Fabricated a flatbed for the 2005 green Chevrolet 2500 HD and installed on truck.
Ordered new brake adjusters and muffler for the Ford L-9000 dump truck and will be installing them next week.
As per the WLRM 2017 Capital Equipment Schedule the 2006 Dodge Ram 2500 along with the 2003 Curtis Snow Plow will be replaced this year. By the April board meeting I will have all quotes and information on the new equipment and trade in values for the old equipment.
All other equipment is up to date on service and is in good running order.
WLRMS/WLPOA Septic Exploration:
At the request of Mr. Moeller I scheduled a surveyor to locate the property line above the pond. The line has been located and the bill was sent to the WLPOA.
Fire Prevention Program:
Mrs. Jessica Hocs representing the FIREWISE program contacted me this week inquiring about setting up a meeting with the community regarding fire safety I will pass on her contact information to the committee.
Beneke asked Brown if the road at the building site on El Miner had been repaired and had the property owner paid. Brown replied that the road had been repaired for safety reasons and payment was under negotiation by the ARB.
Security: Sandy Gwozdo
I am happy to report that the previous 4 weeks have been the quietest I have ever experienced as DOS. Weather conditions have created an extremely poor ski season and many of our full time residents have vacationed in warmer climes.
There were no reports of suspicious events made to the Gate or the DOS and no requests for assistance from our property owners.
Patrol remained vigilant and has escorted a few people off mountain for driving within our community after gaining entrance to the ski lodge. A couple of drivers were cautioned for speeding or crossing the center line. A renter lost his way and was escorted to the rental house.
Ronnie Rice has been driving Patrol a few hours a week. His hours will increase as the summer season approaches. Ken Porche continues to drive Patrol 40 hours a week.
I have attached the job descriptions for the DOS, Patrol, the Gate Manual (which specially states what is expected of Gate Staff), and Office Assistant.
Communications & Community Relations: John Ames
- Fire Safety TOB article– the C&CR Committee sent on January 28 the fire safety article for the Top of The Bald next issue.
- Website Interactive Communication Reminder email – the C&CR Committee sent an email on February 7 to remind all property owners about the two means to communicate with the Board and Staff that reside on our website. This email prompted about 6 immediate comments or questions which were promptly handled by Staff or Board members.
- New ARB Guidelines posted – the C&CR Committee worked with our webmaster to get those documents posted on our website effective February 9.
- New ARB Guidelines announcement email – was sent on February 13 to all property owners of record announcing that the ARB Guidelines and Fees were available on the WLRMS website and where to find them.
Insurance / Finance Committee: Willie Romero
Romero reported that the worker’s comp premium was paid and will be paid on an annual basis saving $900 per year.
Wyatt reported that the corporate income tax is now due April 15th and the accountant will have this available soon.
Legal: Sharon Foster
McCaghren reported that our collections are proceeding in a normal fashion.
Road Maintenance & Equipment: Potts
Potts reported that committee met earlier this week and that the committee was aware of all auction purchases made by Brown.
Security: Rebecca McKnight
Property and Facilities: Larry Smith & Dick Moeller
Moeller reported that we received a sizeable reduction in taxes on the motel, but he is going to appeal it because the motel is unusable. He hopes to get the taxes to zero.
ARB: Tom Wrenn
Since the approval of the revised Architectural Guidelines dated January 20, 2017, the ARB Staff has inputted the new document and worked with the Web Master to include the revised document on our website. In coordination with John Ames, he and the RMSB Communications Committee drafted a notification to property owners and the RMSB Staff has provided that notification.
I am aware of one inquiry sent to an RMSB member concerning the revised AG. This inquiry was forwarded to me and I forwarded it to Bob Super, ARB Administrator. It is important for each of us (ARB and RMSB) to keep arms-length from the process. This is to maintain the Board integrity and to avoid any appearance of favoritism in the application process. Bob is our go to person and is to receive all inquiries and he will respond.
Bob Super, our ARB Administrator, is currently working with 3 prospects:
- 358 Burch Springs – owner in SC (reported in January)
- Builder from FL looking for different lot to build his home (reported in January)
- 271 El Miner – Major Renovation current property owner (new in February)
The following activity has occurred under the revised AG:
5 Minor Exterior Applications have been summited: 4 of 5 have been reviewed and approved.
1 of 5 pending approval
4 Tree Applications have been summited: 4 of 4 have been reviewed and approved
The ARB members express our gratitude and appreciation to our staff for their efforts and support in accomplishing the revisions, update of the website, and notification of changes to the property owners.
Wrenn thanked Ames and his committee for all for their work in supporting the publication of the new ARB Guidelines.
Long Range Planning: John Beneke
The committee has met and is drafting 3 to 5 pillars to recommend to the board at which point the community will be invited to discuss.
POA Liaison: John Beneke
Waste water treatment plant has been put on hold until May.
Beneke called for a motion on the personnel policy proposal.
McCaghren moved to adopt the personnel policy. McKnight seconded.
Beneke invited each board member to express their view point on the policy. He asked McKnight to begin as she had drafted the policy.
McKnight- Just so our audience will understand the issue before us, I would like to provide a little background information. In November the senior staff asked me if I would take the lead in revising the WLRMS Personnel Policies that had not been revised since 1999. I agreed to do so after meeting with them to see what changes they thought needed to be made. I then got online and reviewed several other non-profit homeowners associations to see what they had included that was not in our 1999 version. I then included in the new version several items such as the Equal Employment Opportunity statement, a section on Social Security, Medicare, and Medicaid deductions, Workers’ Compensation Law/Unemployment Benefits, and criteria for employee selection. In the section on Discipline, I provided more information on supervisors’ responsibilities for the performance of their employees, more information on our being an Employment-at-will state, and information about an appeals process for employees charging the reason for termination was for an illegal reason—race, religion, etc.
Staff had asked me to delete two benefits that had at one time been offered, but are not offered now—matching retirement contributions and health insurance.
This draft was submitted to the Board after the holidays in early January for their review. Several suggestions were made and were incorporated into a new draft and sent to the Board again for their further review.
We then had about a two-hour workshop in which several other changes were suggested and agreed upon by the Board. After we had discussed the Policies for quite a while, I asked if there were any other comments or suggestions to be made. Having heard none, I stated that I would revise the Policies with the corrections approved and then send the Board the last draft. This draft has also been provided to the senior staff and they have approved it.
McKnight stated that the document is much better than the previous policy. She compared it to others she saw online and thinks it’s a good document and would like it to go forward.
McCaghren supported the policy as presented and stated that it could be revised in the future as needed. He stated that the existing policy has inconsistences in it including benefits we no longer provide.
He said he would urge the adoption of the proposed policy.
Romero thanked McKnight for the work she had put into the personnel policy. He expressed concern about the policy regarding terminations. Current policy gives full discretion to the supervisors. Romero believes that the board as employer should oversee and review termination before it is acted upon.
Romero also believes that the vacation benefits should be reviewed.
Moeller had some agreements with Romero, however, believed this document should be passed; and if revisions need to be made they could address them in the future. He stated he was in favor of passing the new policy.
Ames said his only comment is that the document, as he read it and interrupted it, does not address enough about the board’s responsibility, involvement, supervision, management and implementation of the policy. He added that if this document has laid at rest since 1999 he does not understand the urgency to revise to the point of having to vote on it when there are questions that several board members have. Ames said he doesn’t see the harm in waiting.
Potts agreed with Moeller’s statement that we should move on and he supports the policy.
Smith commented that once the appeals process was written into the draft he was satisfied. Beyond the appeals process he would like to leave it in the hands of senior staff and adopt the policy as presented.
Beneke agreed with Romero and Ames that more work needs to be done on the policy. He is concerned that there is no oversight by the board, but sees the viewpoint that modifications can be made in the future.
Beneke asked Wyatt if RMS is contributing to one employee’s retirement. Wyatt responded yes for one individual that took advantage of this benefit at the time of employment. This benefit is no longer offered but is still on the personnel policy. Health insurance is also on the policy but is no longer offered.
Romero added that the policy must be posted appropriately as to avoid violation of NC law.
Wyatt reminded the board we had 5 new hires in 2016 each requesting a copy of their benefits. They received the current policy with many cross outs.
There being no further comments or questions, Beneke called for a vote.
The policy was approved by a vote of 4 to 3. Ayes were McKnight, McCaghren, Moeller, and Potts. Nays were Beneke, Romero and Ames. Smith lost phone connection and Foster was not present.
Next RMS HOA Board meeting is scheduled March 17, 2017, at 10:00 A.M.
The meeting was adjourned.