SALT POND HOMEOWNERS ASSOCIATION
BOARD OF DIRECTORS MEETING
February 15, 2008
The meeting was called to order by Acting President Dick Crawford at 2:03PM.
· Board Members Present: Katherine Coulson, Dick Crawford, Chuck Gularson, Michael Headman, Jim Kennedy, Ronnie Malone, and Don Praisner. Bill Kester, Board president, participated via speaker phone; Bill voted in favor of all motions and agreed with adjournment at 5:04PM.
· Homeowners Present: Jim Beachboard, Chris Brown, Ann Crawford, Gary Clipp, Mary Davis, Bruce DeForest, Louis Herndon, Bill Loschmann, Dick Malone, Wilbur Pearce, Loeda Stango, and Jim and Trish Wright
Don Praisner moved that the minutes of the January 18, 2008 BOD meeting be approved; the motion was seconded and passed unanimously.
Treasurer’s Report: Chuck G. stated that the 2007 End-of-Year financial statements were received from L & N on 02-14-08; consequently, the statements have not been properly reviewed. In these end-of-year statements, the golf course monies were listed under SPHA. As of January, these monies have been moved and properly placed in separate golf course accounts; the $18,000 advanced by SPHA at settlement to purchase the golf course has been reimbursed. Although CD’s are not earning similar interest rates as of this time last year, all supplemental cash continues to be invested and laddered in CD’s. In regard to the payment of SPHA annual dues/fees, there is approximately $75,000 in delinquent accounts as of 02-14-08. Next week, after Chuck G. and L & N staff have reviewed the delinquency data, late letters will be mailed to those owners who have not paid their annual dues/fees.
Legum & Norman Report: Donna Hemphill reported that Blue Heron Landscape has exercised their option and given notice that they could not honor the landscape maintenance contract. Chris Brown and Bruce DeForest are working on other options. A variety of roofing bids (4) for the community center were shared; they ranged in price from $33,500 for a shingle roof, $88,470 for cedar shakes, and $158,000 for a tin/metal roof. (See Roof Repair Status for full discussion under Old Business). Donna shared that there was one resale within the last month. Katherine C. asked for clarity about the $500 capital assessment fee per resale. Katherine was informed that the $500 fee can be paid by the seller, buyer, or shared. The $500 fee goes into SPHA capital reserves.
Homeowners’ Forum: No one present had a comment or question at this time.
Architectural Review: No report.
Communications: Michael H. inquired about the mailing of the Annual Meeting notice and letter. This letter, in addition to sharing information regarding the annual meeting, includes details on SPHA Board elections and the requesting of nominees/candidates to seek a 3-year seat on the BOD. Donna H. stated that the annual meeting notice is mailed approximately 60 days prior to the meeting and will most likely be sent in early April. She also stated that the Northside Park Community Center in Ocean City, Maryland has been reserved for the 2008 Annual Meeting. The meeting will take place in the afternoon from 2 to 4.
Community Center Maintenance: Michael H. noted that the roof flashing leaks seem to have been stopped. Even with the recent severe rain storms, there has been no evidence of any leaking in the Community Center. The outside awning is nearing completion and should be installed soon. Maintenance Activity Report: Dave Flickinger has made repairs to and painted the damaged ceiling in meeting room; assisted in the relocation and installation of the water heater located in the kitchen ceiling to the outside area attached to the kitchen; placed two motion sensitive security lights at the front corners for the mailroom area and parking lot; and applied clear seal spray to the concrete block walls around upper deck to slow freezing and thawing breakdown of this wall.
Community Center Rental: Mary Davis recommended that the $1 additional fee for non-residents apply just to the paid, exercise classes at the SP Community Center. Mary did not think it was appropriate to charge the $1 non-resident fee to the SP social groups (Party Bridge on Mondays and Couples Golf on Thursdays) using the facility. As she shared, the exercise groups are money making activities with hired staff; the social groups are for the benefit of the SP residents and no fees are involved. There was agreement among those in the audience as well as the Board. The Board voted to continue to apply the $1 non-resident fee to exercise classes only. Mary D. also volunteered along with Michael H. to organize a small committee to develop a long range plan for use and needs of the Community Center, including painting the inside, replacing and purchasing prints and other decorative items, and tuning up the kitchen area.
Engineering: No report.
Finance: See Treasurer’s Report.
Golf Club: Bruce DeForest reported to the Board in five areas: (a) Maintenance: the golf cart fleet has been serviced; many required new batteries; maintenance and lawn equipment have been checked and readied for spring as needed; (b) Pro Shop: it is being painted; there is new furniture, accessories, and seating; and inventory has been ordered and is coming in; (c) Computer System: computers have been completely upgraded, website has been set up and updated, and the golf club now has wireless capabilities; (d) Accounting: the 2008 budget has been drafted; increased membership is a major resource goal for this upcoming year; all golf club accounts are now completely organized and separate from SPHA accounts; (e) Snack Bar and Beer License: the snack bar needs to be professionally cleaned; all equipment appears in working order; obtaining a separate food license and the ABCC license is in process.
Ronnie Malone presented information from the Golf Club Marketing Group. A first mailing of 2,240 letters and brochures will occur in February. The first mailing will aim at 12 local, year-round communities as well as all Salt Pond lot and homeowners. The mailing will include a letter from Bill Kester, Board president, a membership brochure, a return envelop, an invitation for a free round of golf to be used between now and April 1, plus a $25 gift certificate to the Pro Shop for joining early. The theme of the brochure and advertisements is “Play without Devoting a Day!” A golf fee rate card is being finalized/printed that will be placed in local hotels and establishments that vacationers frequent. The marketing group is setting up a “speakers’ forum” to present to area organizations and groups, such as the Men’s Club at St. Ann’s and the VFW. Delaware magazines, the Yellow pages, and local newspapers will run stories and ads as appropriate. The marketing group will have signs made for Birdie’s Snack Bar, including location and hours of operation. In the next SP newsletter, a request for volunteers to become golf course marshals will be included. Course marshals will be trained and monitored to insure that golfing is an enjoyable experience. During the marketing and budget presentation and discussion, Louis Herndon and Gary Clipp inquired about specific incentives to increase membership, including preferred tee times, reduced cart fees, practice balls, and associate memberships. Many of these incentives have been addressed by the marketing group and included in the brochure. Associate memberships had not been included in the brochure; but the marketing group will meet with Art Whaley, golf pro; Bruce D., golf club general manager; and others on the Golf Club Committee to consider.
Chuck G. shared that the golf club budget has been drafted and outlined. There are modest goals for revenue at the start of the year, and these goals were met in January. The major revenue areas for the entire year are greens and cart fees, the Pro Shop, and club membership. Expanding golf club membership is the #1 priority; the goal is to increase from approximately 100 members to 142 members. If revenues and expenditures go as planned, there is a potential for a positive cash flow of $62,000, including placing $20,000 in reserves, within the first year. Chuck will report to the Board and community on a monthly basis. Copies of the drafted golf club budget are available through him and L & N, but not on site.
Insurance: Dick Malone reported that insurance has been obtained successfully for both the SPHA and the SP Golf Club. By shopping and dealing with different carriers and brokers, Dick M. was able to secure better coverage at a lower cost. The new carriers have made specific suggestions/recommendations to the Board that must be done in order to obtain this coverage. The Board reviewed the recommendations and authorized the completion of these tasks. The Board thanked Dick M. for his expertise and commitment to obtaining appropriate and cost-savings insurance for the community.
Landscaping: Chris Brown reported that Blue Heron, the original contractor, has opted out of the contract. As a result, Chris B. and Bruce DeForest divided the original contract specifications into two areas: (a) mowing, trimming, and sprinkler systems; and (b) plantings and mulching. They have contacted Lawn Works and RG Landscape respectively about re-bidding these two separate areas. If the two bids fall within the combined cost of the Blue Heron contract, the Board authorized Chris and Bruce to accept the new contracts as the spring season is rapidly approaching.
Legal: Jim Kennedy reported that he has assumed this responsibility from Bev Thierwechter and has met with her in this regard. Jim is currently gathering all legal documents related to the sale and purchase of the golf club.
Newsletter: Michael H. reported that the next SPHA newsletter is scheduled for April 2008. The deadline to submit articles and information is March 15. Gary Clipp suggested that until SP lot and homeowners can receive the newsletter via email, the Board may want to consider publishing future newsletters in black and white to reduce costs. Michael will follow up with Dick O’Leary, newsletter editor, regarding costs involved and potential savings.
Ponds & Wetlands: Ponds & Wetlands: Louis Herndon reported that Paul Thompson, a SP homeowner with significant experience in these areas, Bruce DeForest, golf course general manager and golf course superintendent, are working with Louis H. to secure quotes on solid waste separation equipment and to build a containment cement pad. The anticipated costs are in the $10 to $15,000 range to complete both projects. Jim K. moved that the Board authorize the completion of these issues prior to the start of the mowing season; Ronnie M. seconded. The Board approved unanimously.
Chris Brown and Jim Beachboard provided the Board and community with an update regarding violations of the Conservation Easement Mandates. They have met twice with Todd Fritchman of Envirotech Environmental Consulting, Inc. and they have toured and verified violations of the community ponds. They recommended that a letter be sent to all homeowners who have homes/lots that abut a pond; an educational town meeting with Todd Fritchman be scheduled; and on-site, individual meetings occur with owners in violation. After much discussion, the Board determined that the next appropriate step was to contact Salt Pond Associates and request the timely installation of the easement/boundary markers as agreed at settlement. Chuck G., with legal consultation, will draft and mail the Board’s request.
Recreation: Bill Loschmann reported and requested Board input in 3 areas: (a) the need to hire a cleaning company to disinfect and power wash the outdoor pool area and furniture prior to the opening of the outdoor pool season. Since the Board had previously discussed and approved such an expense in Fall 2007, the Recreation Committee was directed to secure estimates/bids; (b) the need for picture IDs to identify/verify non-resident staff members who may want to use SP recreational facilities and pools. After discussion, the Board approved the use of picture IDs for non-resident staff and directed the Recreation Committee to make/obtain the needed IDs; and (c) the need to repair the expansion joints in the outdoor pool prior to the opening of the outdoor pool season (Opening Day: Saturday, May 24, 2008). The Board moved and approved that the repairs be made.
Salt Pond Plaza: No report.
Transportation: No report.
Websites: Gary Clipp has finished updating the SPHA website; all information is currently accurate. Information on the SPHA website is maintained for two years unless needed for historical reasons. Gary and Michael H. are working with Art Whaley, golf club pro, and Bruce DeForest, golf club general manager, on setting up and updating the golf club website. The set up is completed; the update should be finished by the end of February.
Calendar: All annual SPHA service contracts will be reviewed 3-months prior to renewal, including the recently approved cleaning contract for the outdoor pool area and furniture.
General Maintenance: No oral report (see Community Center Maintenance report for summary).
Spa Repair Status: Bruce DeForest shared that the spa repairs should be completed during the week of February 18. First Choice will be notified to fill the spa. It is anticipated that the spa should be operational by the end of February.
Roof Repair Status: After review and discussion of the roofing contracts and the apparent success of the roof repairs, the Board decided to defer having the roof replaced; instead, roof repairs will take place if further leaking occurs. During the next budgeting season, this matter and current estimates will be reviewed again by the Board.
House/Unit Rental Guidelines: Tabled discussion until March BOD meeting as no committee report was provided.
Boat Rack at the Beach: Dave Flickinger will build and install a new boat rack.
Annual Meeting Planning: Katherine C. introduced the possibility of using a standardized form for Board candidates and also providing homeowners the opportunity to meet Board candidates either during the Annual Meeting or holding a special candidates’ forum prior to the Annual Meeting. Dick C. requested that he and Bill Kester, BOD president, discuss these matters between now and the next Board meeting and return with recommendations. The Board agreed.
New golf course water wells: Tabled discussion until March BOD meeting.
Status of “kids at play” signs: These signs along with the Stop signs to be installed at the intersection of Bethany Loop and Bethany Loop have not been received. The company reported that the signs should be sent within the month.
Additional mail box availability: Tabled discussion until March BOD meeting as G. Buckley was absent.
Community Center fee for social groups: See Community Center Rental report.
Landscaping contracts revisited: See Landscaping Committee Report.
Cable installation in Pro Shop & Community Center: Chuck G. recommended that cable service be installed and the expense shared equally between the SP golf club and SP Homeowners’ Association. If the golf channel is part of the basic cable program expenses, the Board approved installation. Donna H. will follow up regarding costs and availability of golf channel.
Reinstall door between Pro Shop & Fitness Center: The Board voted unanimously with one abstention to reopen the door. Reopening the door will permit handicap accessibility to the Pro Shop and improve and increase flow of patrons between the two areas.
Employee Dishonesty Bonding: Dick M. and Chuck G. shared information and need for this policy, especially considering that there are presently over $1 million in SP Golf Club accounts and that there is a significant amount of cash transactions in the operation of a golf club. The cost would be $521 for $1 million coverage. The Board unanimously agreed to obtain this additional coverage.
Umbrella Policy: At the January BOD meeting, there was community concern that having a $5 million Umbrella Policy was insufficient to cover the Salt Pond Homeowners’ Association (SPHA) and the recently purchased golf club. For $2300, an additional $5 million could be added. Dick C. moved that the additional umbrella coverage be purchased and the cost shared equally between SPHA and golf club; Chuck G. seconded. The Board approved unanimously.
Exterior Maintenance Questions: After discussion and input, the Board approved the painting of the outdoor pool pump house exterior by Dave Flickinger; directed Donna Hemphill to obtain estimates/bids to have the exterior of the Community Center painted; and requested Dave Flickinger and Bill Loschmann to follow up and obtain estimates/bids to clean and repair the indoor pool exterior (East Wall).
The February BOD meeting was adjourned at 5:04 PM.
NEXT MEETING: WEDNESDAY, MARCH 19, 2008
Michael W. Headman, BOD Member
February 19, 2008