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LFRPOA Annual Meeting Approved Minutes
29 September 2012
Chester Gap Fire Hall
Call to Order:10:08 am
In Attendance:Michael Yoka (President), Betty Boyd (Treasurer), Elaine Ryan
(Building, Grounds, Safety, and Nominating), and Linda McCarthy (Secretary).
Absent: Laura Foster (Vice President).
Minutes of last meeting:The minutes were read, amended, and accepted as modified.
Election of Four Board Members
By voice vote, Michael Yoka, Betty Boyd, and Elaine Ryan were reelected to the President, Treasurer, and Building and Grounds positions, respectively; Ricky Singleton was elected as the newest member of the Board.
President:Michael reiterated the Board’s renewed commitment to transparency and openness, especially as it relates to Association financial practices.
He also reported that the last audit of Association finances was accomplished in 1994; subsequent attempts to institute audits were not approved. It is estimated a yearly audit would cost at least $5,000. As a functional and cost-effective alternative, Michael suggested researching the different review and compilation services offered by CPAs.
In addition, tax and payroll duties will be officially transferred to the accounting firm of Noble and Noble; this will help lessen the Treasurer’s considerable and involved workload.
Also discussed was a detailed forensic audit, examining Association records since 1994. Methods of underwriting annual financial reviews, beyond redirecting monies from the roads fund, will be investigated by the Board for consideration at future meetings.
Michael also discussed the requirement that three bids must be secured for Association projects costing more than $5,000. With that, he reiterated the ongoing problem of obtaining estimates from local businesses for small entities like homeowners’ associations.
Treasurer:Owing to Betty’s stewardship, a recent review session affirmed that Association financial records were reconciled for the first time in a decade.
Betty also reported that she had transferred $20,000 from the savings to the checking account to cover snow removal expenses during the coming winter. The 2012 Income and Expense Report was circulated to attendees, detailing Association financial outlays and available funds; to date, the Association’s net worth is $42,486.00.
Betty continues to try and recoup fee payments on foreclosed homes. She closed by saying that many community residents have openly expressed gratitude and support for the Association’s current focus and direction.
Secretary:Nothing to report. Committee Reports Architectural:Nothing to report.
Articles, Covenants, and By-laws:Nothing to report.
Roads: In Bruce’s absence, Betty reported that Bob Lake will undertake asphalt repairs before the onset of winter. In response to a question regarding future paving projects, Michael stated that finances must necessarily determine the scope of additional roads surfacing.
Now that the mandatory dam upgrades have been addressed, increased funding can
be allocated to asphalt paving. It is hoped that more of High Ridge Road and the area surrounding the mailboxes can be paved, beginning in the spring.
In response to a question from a resident, Michael explained that paving priorities are determined by the Association’s Roads person in consultation with the contractor.
Besides financial constraints, weather—specifically natural disasters like torrential rains from tropical storms—also dictate how and when paving can be effectively undertaken. Another mitigating factor are the underground springs that contribute to road deterioration, necessitating continual and expensive upkeep.
A second resident inquired about warranties associated with paving projects. Betty replied that, based on invoices from past resurfacing efforts, the warranty period can be either six months or one year.
Building, Grounds, and Safety:Elaine reported that the bulk of necessary rehabilitation work on the dam was successfully completed over the past two months.
Elaine also reported that the dam can’t be deemed completely finished and in compliance with state and federal mandates governing water impoundment reservoirs until the structure passes all necessary inspections required by the Commonwealth of Virginia. Inspectors include Dan Hamric, professional engineer with Ruckman Engineering, and the Virginia Department of Conservation and Recreation's Regional Dam Safety Engineer.
According to Elaine, the Association must comply with any and all requests made by inspectors in order to receive our certificate from the Commonwealth. The dam work has to be completed and the structure certified by the end of January 2013.
All that remains before the reservoir meets requirements stipulated by the Commonwealth of Virginiais clearing the face of the dam, including the removal of all shrubs and any growth other than grass. This will permit state inspectors to better examine the structure, looking for potential problems like boils that portend "sunny day breaks."
Betty added that $7,000 has already been set aside to cover thedam face clearing.Carlyle Weaver of Weaver Works, principle contractor for the dam upgrade, will perform the necessaryvegetation remediationbefore 1 November. Future trimmingsand clearings
can be accomplished by the Association at minimal expense.
Elaine added that the upcoming brush clearing is in addition to the more extensive tree removal project undertaken by Lake Front Royal resident Willie Foster a few weeks ago. Nine substantial trees had to be extracted as part of the dam rehab. Willie professionally accomplished this; his fee of $7,500 was considerably less than what other tree removal companies normally charge.
In response to a resident’s question, Elaine outlined why the dam project had to be executed and why it was such an involved process. According to Elaine, the Commonwealth of Virginia, in concert with FEMA regulations, reclassified the dam A-1, owing to its proximity to State Route 522 (Remount Road) and the Town of Front Royal.
According to Commonwealth regulations, the structure must be inspected annually by a certified engineer; however, with judicious and managed upkeep, it should be 20 to 25 years before the dam requires extensive rehabilitation similar to what was accomplished over the summer.
During the dam discussion, a publication from the Association of State Dam Safety Officials was cited, along with a quote in it by a contributing law professor: “In today’s litigious society it is safe to assume that in the case of a catastrophic dam failure, extensive litigation will ensue. Any competent lawyer, representing the victims, will sue all possible wrongdoers in seeking redress…including…the owners and operators of the facility…”
In the case of the dam, the potentially culpable owner and operator would be the Lake
Front Royal Property Owners Association.
Elaine also reported that engineers recommended installing a heavy duty fence and “bull gate” to help control unauthorized vehicle access to the reservoir, lessening the opportunity for vandalism and damage from private cars and trucks. Depending on the design, the fence and gate combo will cost either $2,800.00 or $3,735.00.
One attendee suggested paying willing and able youths living on the mountain to help construct the gate and fence complex. The proposal would save money, while promoting civic involvement by younger Lake Front Royal residents. Board members will discuss the matter further at a regularly scheduled meeting.
In response to a question, Betty stated that a roller the Association purchased several years ago for roadwork has since been traded to a paving contractor for services rendered, per an agreement between the Association and the contractor. Additionally, the Association tractor used by Clyde for maintenance was sold for $600, with the proceeds deposited into the appropriate Association account.
Unfinished Business:The ongoing problem of speeding vehicles was discussed. Past suggestions that speed bumps or depressions be included in paving projects were briefly revisited. Several attendees noted that such features make navigating mountain roads extremely difficult in snow and ice.
Betty reported that she had successfully engaged an individual who was discharging firearms on the mountain. Unaware that he was “disturbing” anyone, he quickly and politely agreed to cease shooting guns, as required by Warren County statute.
A resident asked about a more effective way to report vandalism and similar crimes to the Sheriff’s Office, beyond simply dialing the non-emergency number (635-4128).
A recommendation was made to bring questionable activities to the attention of the Citizens' Advisory Board.
According to the Town of Front Royal Web page, the CAB “consists of 12 citizens [who] reside in Front Royal and Warren County, [and who] meet on a monthly basis to advise and discuss issues concerning law enforcement and the quality of life.” The Board will reach out to the CAB to see if it can be of assistance in such matters.
Finally, several residents gratefully took notice of Willie Foster’s recent tree trimming along community roads and its potential for aiding snowmelt during the winter.
New Business:Several residents complained about the unkempt condition of a lot located on Creek Road. Despite repeated letters from the Board requesting that the yard be properly maintained, the owner has made no attempt to mow the overgrown grass surrounding his house. The matter has been referred to Warren County for action under an applicable section of the County code.
The next bi-monthly meeting of the Board of Directors will be held at Michael’s house on Thursday, 25 October at 7:00 pm.
The Annual Meeting adjoined at 11:16 am.