[These minutes have not yet been formally approved by the LTPOA BoD jmh]
LTPOA Meeting Minutes, March 8, 2005
The meeting opened at 7:03 p.m. with the following board members present:
Linda Fulford, Pat Harting, Chris Townsend and Ron Sansone. 27 lot owners were present.
The minutes of the February meeting having been posted on the website, inserted in the newsletter and passed out at the meeting, President Sansone asked for a motion to accept the minutes, motion made by Chris Townsend, seconded by Linda Fulford, motion passed unanimously.
President Sansone opened the meeting by saying that the Sewer Committee had met with Ed Kemp, an engineer and an attorney and the goal is to get the sewers on the ballot for next April. The Sewer Committee will give more details later.
Linda presented a new format for reporting the treasurer's report as follows.
|Total revenue||$ 2,651|
in Checking &
Money Market account
Linda explained the new format and said that the new report shows the actual expenditures and if there is a minus symbol it means that we have gone over budget for the month. She said that the property taxes had been budgeted for $2,560 but actually were $2,714. There unfortunately is nothing that can be done about this.
Janet Hirsch asked if the revenue from the regular and special assessments were all from this year or previous years. Linda replied that some of it could be from previous years because of monies obtained from legal action but the amounts still had yet to be determined. Monies owed are generally regarded as bad debt and then when collected they are considered as monies received. It was decided that a special account would be set up for these monies.
Charlie Lents asked if anyone had paid their special assessment in advance. Linda said that she had received several overpayments. This money will be applied to this year. After considerable discussion it was decided that a special account would also be set up for pre-paid assessments. Mr. Lents then asked if we knew what assessments had not been paid. Linda replied that at present we did not but in future the assessments would need to be identified as those who are current, those who are in arrears and those who have paid ahead.
Mr. Lents then asked if we had a figure for what should be paid. Following a lengthy discussion on what was necessary on the treasurer's report it was decided that three new columns would be added going forward for assessments paid to date, assessments not paid, and assessments paid in advance. Also an asset account for prepaid assessments would be initiated. An account for the assessments still outstanding from this and past years would also be initiated. There was discussion on the fact that the new format for the Treasurer's Report had been set up in order for the report to be more easily understood and care should be taken that too much information did not prevent this.
President Sansone asked for a motion to accept the treasurer's report as read, and the treasurer's report would in future include the three new columns, motion made by Chris Townsend, seconded by Pat Harting, motion carried unanimously.
Janet Hirsch read the finance committee report as follows:
Finance Committee Report 3/8/05
This month the finance committee again discussed the problems with the Treasurer's Reports.
· Examination of the financial data revealed that during the first six months of the fiscal year over $5500 was collected in special assessments. It appears that these funds were not applied to reduction of the loan principal and are just sitting in the checking account. When we voted for the Special Assessment the Board made a promise to the owners that all special assessments would be applied to the loan. The Treasurer has done a good job collecting special assessment money but the money has to be applied to the loan.
· The reports of expenses through the month of December showed that we have paid $3585 in the first five months for legal fees. The budgeted amount for the entire year is only $3000. It is the suggestion of the committee that we should ask for an itemized list from the attorney since we are already over budget.
Long/Short term planning
Sewers have to be our number one priority and it appears that we will have funds available for the stream analysis report.
|Suggested schedule for assessment collection:|
|Mail invoices||May 1||July 1|
|Assessments due||June 1||August 1|
|Send 2-week reminder notice "taking to court"||June 15||August 15|
Make phone calls and turn over to attorney for prosecution
|July 1||September 1|
State of Illinois is publishing the names of delinquent taxpayers. The finance committee still believes this is a good tactic for the LTPOA to use for people who are delinquent with their assessment payments.
Regularly scheduled meetings
6 pm Wednesday, the week before the LTPOA Board meeting.
Chris Townsend asked what the stream analysis study was and Janet replied that the Sewer Committee would be better able to answer that question.
Linda Fulford made a comment concerning the monies which had been paid into the checking account rather than the money market account. She said that the board agreed at the point when it did not think there would be enough money to get through the year without going broke, that they were not going to apply any more to the loan principal after the $19,800 payment that was made previously. She then said that as we now know we can get through the winter, she wanted to know if the board wanted to move the special assessment money. President Sansone said that he did not remember agreeing to this and asked the secretary to look through the minutes to where this had been said. (Nothing was found in the minutes concerning this). He said that all the money that came in from the special assessments had always been for loan reduction. Janet Hirsch said that there had been some discussion with regard to extra regular assessment money being applied to the loan but the board had said no to that. Chris said that he would also go back through the minutes because he remembered it.
He said that considering we spent $16,000 on road repair and money for the south side bridge and knowing that we were not in a very good situation financially with only a $7,200 budget perhaps it was a bad decision, but if we have the money there now it needs to be applied to the loan.
Bev Jost said that she had a big problem with knowing that special assessment money had not immediately been applied to the loan. She said that the board had promised at the annual meeting that every dollar of the special assessment would go to reduce the loan and it was wrong not to stand behind what had been said. Chris Townsend said that he agreed but going back to the $16,000 and the south side bridge situation, perhaps they had not thought past their nose when the money had been spent. Linda said that it was now going to go towards the payment. Ron then restated that this would be looked into because he did not know how it had happened but it was never his intention for any special assessment money to go anywhere other than loan reduction and this was the first time that he had heard that it had not. Chris said that with the loan and payment already being locked in and with the payment towards principal and interest not going to change and all that the extra money was doing was going towards principal, so whether it was done three months ago or now, as long as it was serving its purpose was fine. President Sansone said that he still had a problem with it and going forward the money would go immediately into the money market account and be applied to the loan.
The treasurer was asked if the lake owed any other money and the answer was no. She was then asked how often was the lake going to pay additional principal on the loan. She replied once a year when the special assessments come in. The $53,000 special assessment monies received this coming June would be applied towards the principal. She said that this should lower the principal to around $240,000. $1,000 is always left in the money market account. She said that the regular scheduled payment was $4,489 towards the loan reduction. Ron pointed out to the floor that the amount of $5,500 in the general fund would be transferred over to lower the loan. Chris said that he remembered a payment of $35,000 in June before the loan was signed, so this plus the $19,000 put in since then comes to $54,000. Ron said that prior to Linda being Treasurer all special assessment money was deposited to reduce the loan principal approximately every two weeks. Linda said that since last June approximately $65,000 has been paid toward the loan principal. She said that we still had money in the emergency fund which hopefully we would not need to use so a decision would have to be made regarding this if the legal fees did not take the remainder of the fund. President Sansone made one last comment on the subject by saying that if we worked a little closer and the payments were figured out and worked with the emergency fund, we could be paying more on the loan. He felt that it would be worth taking a chance of having to take money out of the account in an emergency in order for the loan to be reduced. The loan amount is set and cannot be changed but additional principal money is available.
Ray Lauer was not present and his report was read by Pat Harting. Additional matters discussed were the fact that someone obviously has a gate key because the switches are being tampered with. The locks have now been changed. Another circuit board is on order so when this is installed the gate will be working again. Kathy Hopfer asked who she should call if there is a problem with security. President Sansone said Ray Lauer should be called. If it is a problem with the gate Roger Hovis should be called. Mrs. Farwig said that there was a problem with the bus driver using a code to gain access, as the bus is too high for the driver to reach the pad. Something needs to be worked out.
Bev Jost reported that she plans to send out a letter asking owners with violations to clean up their property. They will be given time to do this and if they don't, the board will take further action.
Matt Holloran was not present. President Sansone said that he had spoken with him regarding his report and he said that Matt had been speaking to Marschuetz regarding damage to a road. Matt reported that this winter we had been very fortunate in emergency spending and had only spent a total of $400 so far this winter for snow removal.
Gail Lents reported that this coming Saturday would be the corned beef and cabbage dinner beginning at 6:30 p.m. March 19th would be a St. Patricks Day dance from 8 p.m. to midnight. The band would be Double Take. Tickets would be $25 per couple in advance and $30 on the night. Single tickets were $15.
March 20 would be the children's Easter party with the Easter Bunny from 1 p.m. to 3 p.m. If you are planning to bring a child, please give your candy in advance to Janet Farwig.
Janet Hirsch stated that the web site had been updated with the most recent TAA and the Garden Club information and also all the newsletters have been added. The newsletter was sent out on Feb 26th so if you have not received your copy let her know and she will send one out. The next newsletter deadline is April 24th .
Gail Lents mentioned the children's Halloween parties. This year they would have separate parties for the small children and for the teens. The teen lock-in party went very well. A scavenger hunt was also being discussed.
Lou Harting said that the volunteers would begin meeting again on Saturday mornings. The next time they would meet would be the 19th at 9 a.m. weather permitting.
President Sansone, Marilyn Meyer and Lou Harting attended a meeting on February 9th with Mr. Brunjes, Donna Martin, USDA Rural Development Specialist and Cathy Coffman, USDA Community Development Manager. Marilyn read a report on the meeting. She reported that Mr. Brunjes gave them a copy of the estimated cost of the project and also a quick overview. In his proposal Brunjes said that there may not be a hook-up charge. This charge had initially been estimated at $6,000 per household. He said that this would be incorporated into the total costs. The USDA will insist on a stream analysis be performed by an outside company. This company will tell us what the engineering requirements will be needed for the treatment plant. This analysis has to be paid for by the lake. Mr. Dickhanner, our attorney outlined the procedures needed to create a water-sewer district. Water, however, is not contemplated at this time but we will have the information necessary when it was decided to have water. Commissioner Kemp, our neighbor, is working with us and will get the necessary data from the director of the Jefferson County Planning Department to expedite our application.
Marilyn then reported that she and Lou had attended a training session in Fredericktown to learn more about the operation of the sewer district. Chris Townsend said that he had been at the February 9th meeting with Brunjes and he said that he was hesitant to go forward because part of the requirements was a survey of lake residents to determine the median income. The survey would cost $15,000 and there was no guarantee that we would receive the grant of $2.5 million. (Note: the actual grant money in question from previous notes was shown to be $1 million not $2.5 million). The grant is subject to the median household income of no more $39,047 for county money and $47,000 for the USDA grant. If the median income of the lake residents was more than these amounts we would not obtain the grant but the lake would have paid for the survey and he felt that the income of the lake would be too high, even though only 80% of lake residents needed to be surveyed, and then we would have to pay the $6,000 tap on fee. Ron said that this question needed to be discussed at the next sewer meeting. Chris said that it needed to be discussed at the board meeting with those who were there. He said that we did not have the $15,000 for the survey. Marilyn stated that the only upfront money that would be needed from the board would be $5,000 for the stream analysis. Any other expenditures would be rolled into the cost of the project. President Sansone said that all of the experts he had spoken to said that the project was very feasible and they did not foresee any problems and this was why we were working on the project. Comments from the floor were that we needed to be looking at a sewer system because if we do not begin looking into it we will never get a sewer system for the lake. Jan Hunnicutt said she had a question on the Lake Restrictions number 11. Janet Hirsch replied that this did not apply to the item under discussion, which was the $5,000 fee for the stream analysis.
President Sansone hoped the sewer system would be on the ballot as of April 2006. Two years ago in the county wide election 82% of voters from the lake had wanted sewers. If the current proposal went through as planned there would be no cost to the property owner for installation. The only cost would be removal of the old tank. The cost per household each month would be approximately $60, with the project being paid for over a period of 30 years. Maintenance would be paid for by the sewer district. The district would be overseen for the first 5 years by the county. President Sansone recited the help given us by Commissioner Kemp and Mr. Brunjes and the fact that sewers would add to the value of the homes out here as well as make the lake safer for all residents. Currently the E. coli is being measured by the county each month free of charge. President Sansone said that he was concerned that our lake could get polluted like Lake Takawitha which had been completely condemned. He did not want this to happen here. He said that the most the lake could lose was the $5,000 for the stream analysis and the cost to put the item on the ballot. In his opinion the lake should proceed with the process.
President Sansone said that he had a gentleman look at the dredge and a proposal may be forthcoming. He also said that he received a call from Ross Dredging with a tentative proposal for them to dredge the lake. Initially the amount had been $230,000 plus our dredge. The present amount is $165 plus the dredge and the project would be completed in 8-12 weeks. Mr. Ross had agreed to be paid over the course of the next 4-5 years with no interest charges being assessed. We would have to pay his daily operating expenses on a weekly basis and $15,000 for mobilization of his dredging equipment. He in turn will remove the sand from the volcano at no charge to us and also remove all dredged silt. He would assist with the silt basins which would need to be installed so that new silt would not come into the lake. These silt basins were not part of his bid. Even if we decide not to go ahead with this, Mr. Ross was interested in removing the sand from the volcano free of charge. President Sansone said that it cost the lake approximately $5,000 - $10,000 to remove the silt from volcano ourselves and we now had nowhere else to put the rest of the volcano. When asked if the whole lake needed to be dredged, President Sansone said mainly the coves would be done.
Chris Townsend said that in January 2004 the Finance Committee came to the board and asked for 7 different things. They asked that the dredging be stopped until money is available and a comprehensive plan is in place with a timeframe for the completion of the project. This was passed 5 to 1. He said that we already had a loan of $301,000. He said that we had just talked about $5,000 not being in its appropriate place and now we are talking about another $167,000. President Sansone answered by saying, the dredging was the same as the sewers, he said that this was an opportunity and if waited down the road he had no idea what the cost would be then. Just to remove the sand would be very expensive. He and Matt had estimated that there were approximately 2,000 truck loads of sand that needed to be moved and we have only moved about 200 so far. Chris said that last March Matt and Ron volunteered to move the sand. However as Ron pointed out there was no room to move any more sand to the lots that he had. There was discussion on what previous boards had recommended to resolve the silt situation in the lake. Anyone who wanted sand could take it from the inside of the volcano berm. It was suggested from the floor that volunteers be asked to brainstorm the issue rather than just let it die. It was asked how much money an extra dollar assessment would bring in. Linda replied about $50,000. It was suggested that a letter be sent to the property owners to see if this was something they would be willing to pay for and then make a decision. At $165,000 the extra dollar for three years would pay for it.
Mike Higgins introduced Duane Miller, lots I58-60. These three lots equal over 40,000 sq.ft. so they are buildable except for the problem of a bridle path and a wet water creek going between lots I59 and I60. In order for Mr. Miller to be able to build per Jefferson County all three lots have to be formed into one lot and therefore the lake would have to sign off on this. This is not possible because the bridle path belongs to the lake. Discussion followed on whether or not the bridle path could be sold as in effect the path had been abandoned since 1948. Mr. Miller would not be building on the bridle path, the sewer lines and water lines would be going under it. Opinion from the floor was that as this was common ground, whether or not it was being used for its intended purpose, a precedent would be set if we allowed the lots to be made into one. It was suggested that Mr. Miller seek the advice of an attorney who could give some insight into this situation so that we may consider it further.
There being no further business, Chris Townsend made a motion, seconded by Linda Fulford to adjourn.
The meeting closed at 8:44 p.m.