ECHPOA MEETING MINUTES FOR January 3, 2018
The meeting was called to order by President Paul Ellis at 7:04 pm.
The previous month’s minutes were handed out to be reviewed. There was a spelling correction of Jasen Nelson’s name in the second sentence of the Building Report. Motion to accept the minutes as corrected was made by Sharon Alfers and seconded by Patrick McCrary. The motion carried.
Treasurer’s Report – Karen Ellis pointed out that there was a returned check with a Non-Sufficient Fee (NSF) that the member had replaced with cash. We ended the year only 1 member short from what we had in 2016 and we are currently ahead of last year at this time by 10 members. In previous years the corral income has brought in the most money, this year however, we expect the rental income from the association building to bring in more money. Motion to accept the Treasurer’s Report was made by Clif Barrett and seconded by Sharon. The motion carried.
December 6, 2017
Fish Fund $2,378.22
General Fund 3,833.04
Save Our Pond Donations 2,228.00
Checking Account $8,439.26
Membership Dues $ 40.00
Fishing Permits $ 25.00
Fish Food Machine $ 0.00
Corral $ 195.00
Donations-Save Our Pond $ 50.00
Building Rental $ 374.00
Returned Check & NSF $ 210.00 Save Our Pond – recovered
Total Income: $ 894.00
IREA $ 150.71 October-November electric bill
Colorado Natural Gas $ 169.47 November-December gas bill
Returned Check & NSF $ 210.00 Save Our Pond – returned
Total Expenses: $ 530.18
January 3, 2018
2017=74 members, 62 with fishing permits
2018=12 members, 10 with fishing permits
Fish Fund $2,403.22 ($500 secured for Save Our Pond)
General Fund 4,121.86 ($300 secured for Save Our Pond)
Save Our Pond Donations 2,278.00
Checking Account $8,803.08
Activities Report – Paul announced that there are still no new activities planned until the Firewise startup in the spring. Imara suggested we hold a Fish-a-Thon with the community in the summer to raise money, which would also raise awareness of how important it is to Save Our Pond and remove all the fish because of the gill lice. Clif said fish with gill lice are perfectly fine to eat, as we do not eat the heads, it does however cause stress on the fish and they do not live as long. Paul said a Fish-a-Thon could also be used to raise money to purchase fish to stock the pond at a later time. He also explained how gill lice can be transferred from one pond to the next on water foul. It can also come in from fisheries that stock the ponds. He read about a study that found Brook Trout to be more resistant to gill lice. He suggested that we stock the pond with more Brook Trout and as the other fish die off or get fished out we will be left with healthy fish. Clif said because Brook Trout only grow to be about 8-10 inches, we might need to lower our fish size regulation limit from “all fish kept must be 12 inches or over in length.” Sarah Bowman offered to email us contact information for the Boy and Girls Scouts in our area for the Fish-a-Thon. She also said that the ECHPOA sign on Clark Road and Elk Creek Drive was broken, but someone else said they thought it may have been fixed. Motion to accept the Activities Report was made by Karen and seconded by Sarah. The motion carried.
Building Report – Karen made the sad announcement that member Paula Morris passed away the week before Christmas. Our hearts and thoughts go out to her family. Paula had offered to replace the broken bathroom windows, that project is now less of a priority. Paul reported that we have obtained 2 written estimates to remodel the bathrooms, add a shower and closet, one from a general contractor and one from a plumber. We are waiting to hear back from 3-4 others, including an electrician, to review and compare before making a decision. Motion to accept the Building Report was made by Patrick and seconded by Sharon. The motion carried.
Corral Report – Paul announced that we still have 2 openings for horses. Patrick expressed his interest in taking both and has already submitted an application. Next step is to find time to meet and interview with the other boarders. Motion to accept the Corral Report was made by Patrick and seconded by Sarah. The motion carried.
Pond Report – Clif announced that despite the gill lice, the fish are active and population is good. Today he was able to catch 3 fish in about 45 minutes. He believes the ice is about 8 inches thick. Many thanks go out to our new neighbor Chris McAllister who has been taking care of the skating area, we are so lucky to have him. He has been shoveling the snow by hand and flooded it last Sunday to make it smooth. He uses power from his cabin and pumps water from the pond through a hose to cover the skating area which settles in the low spots and freezes smooth. Clif and Patrick offered to help move the snow next time with their ATV’s. Please do not throw rocks onto the ice as it is very hard on skates and skaters. Please only drill holes and ice fish on the east or outlet side of the skating area.
The grant application decision from the Park County Board of County Commissioners scheduled for December 14th was “cancelled until a later date.” County Commissioner Mike Brazell contacted us by voice mail late December to let us know that we need to get other grant partners before coming back to meet with them. Paul announced that he will be contacting Trout Unlimited, Izaak Walton League of America, and others to discuss grant partnership. He also mentioned looking into the Platte Canyon Community Partnership (PCCP) Resale Boutique in Bailey which is offering a percentage of their profits to selected non-profit organizations in exchange for 4 volunteer hours per week, 2 weeks to 2 months time periods, and or donated items for sale. Applications are due in by January 19th. Clif offered to contact Ducks Unlimited. Imara suggested speaking with realtors, possibly asking the newly created Fire Adapted Bailey (FAB) organization for direction, and has created a postcard rough draft asking for donations that would be mailed to all property owners in Elk Creek Highlands/Meadows. This postcard donation plea will emphasize the fact that if all 360 property owners contribute just $111 each, we would achieve the total amount the commissioners are asking us to obtain. Our goal this year is to reach $40,000.00 in grant partners, donations, selling Park County fishing permits, possible Fish-a-Thon, building rental income, and in kind volunteer hours. This, along with the $50,000.00 grant that the Park County Land and Water Trust Fund Board recommended to the County Commissioners, will allow us to purchase augmentation water and the equipment needed to measure water evaporation required by state law and Save Our Pond. Karen reminded us of what Joe Burgett, Assistant Chief, Platte Canyon Fire, told us during our Firewise Community Kickoff last spring; always leave early and if you can’t leave early it would be better to “shelter in place” from a fast moving fire and not take the chance of our only one way out being blocked or potentially thousands of cars trying to reach safety at the same time and being stuck in a traffic jam. By “shelter in place” he means going down to the pond and jumping into the water until the fire passes. The smoke would be bad but there is nothing around the pond that would burn and we would be alive to tell about it. Many thanks to all of those who have already donated money, sent support letters, and emailed the commissioners to help us save this invaluable resource.
There was a long discussion on what needed to be included in a postcard/newsletter mailing to accommodate the younger generation with computers and not wanting to receive paper and the older generation who do not have computers and need to receive paper to read and send back. Some people want more information, while some people want less. There are no resources to create the traditional 4 page, double sided, folded in half and sealed newsletter again this year which costs the association about $600 to produce and mail. The small postcards that were created and mailed in October took much less time and cost only about $150. Bottom line is the money comes from the people who pay for their membership to go to the majority of property owners who do not. 2018 annual family membership is $40 and is required to use community property, including the pond. Annual fishing permits may be purchased for an additional $25 which includes 4 badges per family. Anyone fishing on community property must be a member and pay for the fishing permit or a guest of someone who has. Badges must be visibly displayed while fishing. Annual memberships and fishing permits expired December 31st of the same year purchased. Checks can be made out to ECHPOA and mailed to, or placed in the lock box at 86 Elk Creek Drive, Bailey, CO 80421. The postcard committee will need to discuss further and decide what needs to be done to cover Board of Director ballots, annual membership dues and fishing permits, and the Save Our Pond donation plea.
There was some discussion of community members not knowing what the difference was between ECHPOA by-laws and the Elk Creek Highlands / Meadows covenants. By-laws are rules that state how to run meetings, social events, fishing, boarding horses, and approximately 20 acres of community property usage. By-law rules can be change by the Board of Directors. Covenants are legal restrictions between the property owners within the subdivisions and the developer. Covenants were filed with the county in 1970 and need 75% written consent of property owners to be amended. In order for covenants to be enforced, a property owner would need to file a complaint through the courts and a judge would decide on enforcement proceedings. The members of the ECHPOA have formed a consensus that they do NOT have the resources and will NOT try to enforce the covenants, but can provide a forum for discussion of covenants issues if desired by the property owners. Paying the annual ECHPOA membership will have NO effect on the covenant legal restrictions, it DOES help maintain, and gives you access to, the community property and pond.
We will also continue working to obtain a 501C3, tax exempt status, to eliminate property taxes. Everything slowed down last month with the holidays.
Motion to accept the Pond Report was made by Clif and seconded by Sarah. The motion carried.
Blog Report – Karen wanted to add to her report from last month, restating that for the past 12 months (Dec. 2016-Dec. 2017) not only were 4,101 hits, but that she also wrote 53 articles, added 105 pictures and 13 pages. The report for this month is 367 hits, slightly above average, 3 articles, no pictures, and 1 page added. Motion to accept the Blog Report was made by Sarah and seconded by Patrick. The motion carried.
Old Business – Karen re-read the minutes from the last meeting which reported Erica Diana, our insurance broker, consulted with their legal representatives and has determined that anyone who has ownership in a property within the Elk Creek Highlands or Meadows subdivisions “shall be bound by and abide by” the ECHPOA By-Laws. Therefore, if there was a loss assessment due, it would be assessed to all 360 property owners and not just the 74 paying members. Paying the ECHPOA “voluntary dues” allow property owners access to the community property and pond, which is considered the “social” aspect of the Association. However, Erica had also stated that the insurance company has very good lawyers who will fight to defend the Association against any claimant, not only because they do not want to pay liability, but because the Association has proven to be compliant with all their guidelines, and not negligent. Karen also contacted Travis Keenan, an attorney who specialized in HOA law. He stated that a member of a nonprofit corporation, such as our Association, is not liable for the corporation’s debts. If the Association incurs a liability, the claimant/creditor can only satisfy that liability by levying upon the Association’s assets such as the Association’s insurance policy, cash from the Association’s bank accounts, and land owned by the Association. Because the Association does not have a right to collect assessments from anyone, including voluntary dues, neither should the Association’s claimant. Sarah suggested we might want to post these findings on the bulletin boards for all property owners to see.
New Business – Karen announced that the July meeting this year falls on a holiday, rescheduling will be discussed later.
Motion to adjourn the meeting was made by Clif and seconded by Sarah at 8:38 pm. The motion carried.