BOARD MEETING MINUTES
Unapproved Board Meeting Minutes of
June 14, 2003
CALL TO ORDER
President Todd Graham called the meeting to order at 9:00 AM. Present were 1st Vice President Tom Dorcey, 2nd Vice President Marv Richardson, Directors Bob Adair, Chuck Bailey and Larry Franklin and Manager Gail White. Scott Hayer was excused. The meeting opened with a salute to the flag and a prayer.
APPROVAL OF MINUTES
Marv Richardson moved to approve the May minutes as written. Seconded by Tom Dorcey. Motion carried.
For the month of May 2003 the Treasurer reported income of $45,985.00 and expenses of $37,681.12. Cash on Hand at May 31, 2003 was $229,800.92. Marv Richardson moved to accept the Treasurer's Report. Seconded by Tom Dorcey. Motion carried.
The President read a letter from Scott Hayer thanking all who participated and registered the vehicles and operators during the ORV Clinic. This being our first clinic at White Birch was a giant step for not only preserving the right to operate ORV's but to create new opportunities for the future. To the 36 member who attended, thank you again for the desire to keep this privilege. For those not able to attend there will be another clinic with certified instructors at a future date. Forms for registration are available at the office. See copy of rules which will be enforced.
Report on Old State Road - In response to the White Birch letter requesting a left turn lane on north bound Old State Road, the Clare County Road Commission has denied this request because traffic statistics show no accidents or fatalities. They will, however, be expanding the shoulders when they do the resurfacing of Old State beginning after the 4th of July. The project is scheduled for completion before Labor Day weekend.
Annual Meeting - The annual meeting is scheduled for Saturday July 19 at 10 AM at the White Birch pavilion at the campgrounds. Meeting will include the election of board members. Those unable to attend and who wish to vote may do so using the absentee ballot published in the June edition of the Birch Bark. Lunch will be served immediately following the annual meeting.
Operating Loan Refinance - The loan taken out in 1999 has been refinanced with the First Bank of Clare. The interest rate is now 4 1/4 % versus 8 3/4% for the old loan. This refinancing saves approximately $23,000.
Outstanding Assessment Collection - Our outstanding assessments, subtracting balances of those who are making payments for our current fiscal year, is $162,994. For all prior years outstanding assessments total $578,249 giving us a grand total of $741,244. This means $19,530 has been collected since the May 10th board meeting. Steps outlined in the collection policy adopted by this board on May 10th have begun. A list of 76 lots with outstanding assessments totaling over $150,000 has been submitted to our attorney to begin foreclosure proceedings.
Budget Review - A review of the budget for the period March 2002 through May 2002 vs March 2003 thru May 2003 shows this year's income is up by $27,425. Expenses are down by $789. Balance of cash on hand including our development savings fund is up by $45,128.
Letters were received from Gary Armbruster, Lot 376, and Ron & Darlene Schunk Lot 598, stating their objection to using proximity cards only at the entrance. A letter from Bruce Leister, a new owner of Lot 100, stated his willingness to volunteer his services and his enthusiasm for White Birch.
ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION COMMITTEE - Chick Witchell, Chairman, reported approvals for 5 drives, 5 tree removals, 2 decks, 1 replacement and 1 new garage, 1 residence, 1 porch, 2 sheds and 1 contiguous lot status. A letter is being sent regarding a violation re: 2 trailers on one lot. Approval can be given for a 2nd trailer for 14 days which must then be removed for a minimum of 15 days before a new approval can be granted
ACTIVITIES COMMITTEE - Dick Brandt, Lot 685, reported the garage sales will be held next Saturday, June 21, 2003. Gates will be opened at 9AM. At this time there are 25 sites signed. Father's Day breakfast is being held tomorrow.
CAMPGROUND COMMITTEE - Fred Witchell suggests fencing the playground area at the campground. Plans are to enlarge the area in back of the bath/shower building to possibly build a softball field.
NOMINATING COMMITTTEE - Marv Richardson reported there are nine candidates running for four board positions. Of the nine, three are incumbents - those being Todd Graham, Marv Richardson and Bob Adair. In addition, new candidates are Brian Kozlowski, Jeffrey Tyrell, Philip Lindenmuth, Theresa Obrecht, Patricia Evans-Walker and Richard Hess.
SECURITY COMMITTEE - Fred Witchell reported an informal survey he conducted regarding the use of
proximity cards as the only means of gaining entrance. He reported that about 60% of the respondents preferred using the card system although concerned about the cost of issuing cards. 40% had concerns with families and friends being unable to gain entrance. Another suggested alternative is to open the gates on weekdays during certain hours to allow the entrance of contractors, business vehicles etc. which would eliminate their need for proximity cards. Further opinions are sought.
BYLAWS COMMITTEE - Anne Hobart, Chairman, reported there have been 2 meetings since the last board meeting. First meeting was to hand out bylaws from other similar associations. Second meeting was going through the bylaws and make revisions. Work will continue until the revision is ready to submit to the board at some future date.
Manager Gail White reported the gate is now working properly. Codes inadvertently omitted when re-entering the data base are added as soon as the office is notified of the omission. The campground was full over the Memorial Day weekend. Problems with the painted surfaces at the campground are being corrected as one bath at a time is being redone. Accumulation of trash is becoming a big problem because of the cost of removal and the unsightliness at the site. Easter Seal Association donated a wheelchair, a walker and a 4 prong cane in case of member need. Request approval to make a donation to the Easter Seal Society. Barb Adair has volunteered to research past policies of the boards and to prepare a book of policies available at a single source. A road grader part was ordered so the grader may be able to limp through the summer. We are looking at the possibility of purchasing a used road grader. The insurance carrier has advised that if ORV trails are designated as such, the cost of liability insurance would be out of reach if obtainable at all. Bulk mail permit has been repurchased although WBL does not fit within the US Postal Service category of non-profits.
ACCOUNTS PAYABLE - Payables were reviewed. Bob Adair moved to pay the bills. Seconded by Marv Richardson. Motion carried.
Having reviewed the bids for the office addition, Scott Hayer recommends we accept the bid from Herschberger's of Clare to build a new 16' x 20 1/2' office on the northeast front of the clubhouse. The bid, including the concrete, totals $11,500. Bob Adair made a motion that we support the recommendation. Seconded by Chuck Bailey. Motion carried. Don Kuester, Lot 656, circulated a petition regarding lakes usage for which he received 48 signatures, a copy of which is attached. Tom Dorcey moved that this petition be enacted as part of our policies. Seconded by Bob Adair. Motion carried with one nay vote. Electronic Door Lock for Pool - no further bids could be obtained. Marv Richardson made a motion to move this item to the August meeting. Seconded by Bob Adair. Motion carried. Re: the proposal to limit entrance by prox card only submitted by Larry Franklin - Marv Richardson made a motion to move this issue to a future meeting. Seconded by Larry Franklin. Plans are to develop a survey to be completed at the annual meeting which, in part, would address this issue. Bob Adair moved to send out a violation letter to a member of the community. Seconded by Marv Richardson. Motion carried.
Sales of Association owned lots - Anne Hobart, Lot 454, reviewed realtors' proposals for handling the sale of WBRLA lots. Having researched the qualifications of the realtors she presented a rating of six bidders. Bob Adair made a motion that the Board select Reiss Real Estate of Farwell, Mi as the broker. Supported by Larry Franklin.
Motion carried. Contribution to Easter Seals - A motion was made by Marv Richardson to make a donation of $250 to the Easter Seal Society in exchange for services and equipment. Seconded by Bob Adair. Motion carried. Trail Signs - Having conferred with the insurance representatives and possible liabilities involved, it has been suggested that signs be posted stating "Not Approved for ORV Use - Violators Will be Prosecuted". Bob Adair made a motion to purchase the necessary signs. Seconded by Marv Richardson. Motion carried. Information policy - Article 14, Section 2, of the Bylaws, in part, reads "The Association shall, upon demand at any time, furnish a certificate in writing signed by an Officer of the Association certifying that the assessments against a specific Lot remain unpaid or have been paid as the case may be. A reasonable charge may be made by the Board for the issuance of these certificates. Such certificates shall be conclusive evidence of payment of any assessments stated to have been paid".
Tom Dorcey made a motion that we follow our bylaws and produce a certificate for a lot which is requested by a member in good standing at a cost of $1.00 each. Seconded by Bob Adair. Motion carried. Requests for certificates will not be honored until a ruling of state and federal privacy guidelines is received. Any requests for a list of outstanding lot assessments over and above the certificate provisions were discussed and the Manager was requested to research the state and federal regulations regarding the privacy act. Marv Richardson made a motion that the Board direct the Manager to seek legal interpretation of the Right to Privacy for members of our Association and the responsibilities of the Association. Seconded by Bob Adair. Motion carried. Approval is granted to go to an independent attorney if necessary. Playground Fence - Marv Richardson moved that the campground committee be approved to spend $830 + to build a rail fence around the playground area. Seconded by Bob Adair. Motion carried.
COMMENTS FROM THE FLOOR
Chuck Hastings, Lot 78, expressed his concern that the new office addition be aesthetically and potentially pleasing in keeping with the appearance of the clubhouse. Second comment is his annual plea for some sort of restrictions or control over motorized use of the nature trail between the campground and a string of wetlands. Despite his complaints there are still no indications at the entrance of that trail that it is not for motorized use. Don Kuester, Lot 656, is in support of signs stating no motorized vehicles on nature trails. He announced that those interested in the golf outing must be paid by July 19. Anyone interested in the golf outing on August 2 should now be signed up so that the golf course can be notified of the number of participants. Terry Obrecht, Lot 251,asked for an estimate of the cost of proximity cards should the Association furnish those to the members. Referring back to a letter received by them in 1999 or 2000 she argues there should have been a grader purchased rather than the new truck. She provides her computation of future assessment arrearage based on a March 2001 letter stating current delinquency of + $100,000. Joe Romine, Lot 542, states his objection to having to put up a fence to keep ORV's off the campground. Second request is do you have a maximum price allowable for the electronic door lock so it could be taken care of before the next meeting. He also asked about the number of ORV violations which have been written this year. Dave Obrecht, Lot 251, continues to elaborate about the great assessment structure of the Canadian Lakes Association as opposed to White Birch Lakes. Dick Brandt, Lot 685, complements the board for their impartiality. He enlightened us as to his past 21 year history of board actions and delinquent assessments. He stated concerns that of the 9 candidates for the board this year he hopes that they have a sincere interest in White Birch rather than a personal vendetta or ax to grind. The membership should be aware of the missions of these candidates and the candidates should speak of their goals at the annual meeting. The motion of the board to seek legal advice on the privacy issues of the bylaws is a good move. He disagrees with building a fence around the campground and also with the suggestion that White Birch be run by volunteers. Gary Cheadle, Lot 1010, states that ORV violators cannot be controlled unless security is informed of who they are. Very important to get some kind of identification or tag number of the unit or units. The effort is being made to catch violators but we need everyone's help. James Ardine, Lot 526, suggests that the Board provide security with a 4 wheeler to aid in catching the violators. Fred Witchell, Lot 648, stated if he has information concerning ORV violators he will contact those persons. He is now working with police and has 5 names of non-members using White Birch property who will be ccontacted. Betty Logsdon, Lot 800, asked about rules regarding loose dogs. She states frightening dogs are running loose at the corner of Hemlock and Elkhorn Way. Ron Tagg, Lot 246, asked if comments could be placed on the agenda prior to any Board actions. Jim Shaw, Lot 296, asked if any progress has been made toward posting lot number on lots.
The President makes a charge to the Environmental Committee to work on a recommendation as to how to handle the nature trail at the campground i.e. signage, possible fencing, costs etc in order to protect the nature trail. Security is charged with submitting a proposal for identifying lots.
Bob Adair made a motion to adjourn. Seconded by Chuck Bailey. Motion carried.