Gowdy Shores Homeowners Association
Board Meeting Minutes – Sunday October 30, 2016
At Harbor Cove Management Company, New Buffalo, MI
Board members in attendance: Bill Heimann, Art Herbstman, Linda Leadbitter, Stephanie Mitchell, Shawn Magee, Karen McDonald.
Also attending: Mike and Geri D’Agostino from Harbor Cove Mgt.
The meeting was called to order at 1:05PM ET by President Bill Heimann. The meeting followed the attached agenda.
Bill reported that Virgil Lattimore suffered a stroke. He is now at home with care. Please send a card to PO Box 231, Union Pier, MI 49129
Minutes from the conference call meeting held on August 17, 2016 were reviewed and approved.
Stephanie Mitchell gave the Treasurers report. She indicated that Geri D’Agostino does the day to day bookkeeping and that is working well. We have been operating on a fiscal year and are moving to a calendar year effective immediately. Geri indicated that all bills have been paid to date. There was a discussion about how to handle owners who do not pay annual HOA dues and also if dues should be assessed to owners of undeveloped lots. The board agreed that Geri would list any unpaid balances by name on the accounts receivable chart. The issue of assessing HOA dues (or partial dues) for undeveloped property has been handled inconsistently in the past. The board agreed that this issue would be addressed during the upcoming by-laws discussion and firmer policies would be recommended at that time. Geri is putting a draft budget together for 2017.
There have been two recent complaints about dogs on the beach and/or beach trail. The board agreed that all GSHA dog owners should be reminded to exhibit courteous behavior and to have control of your dog at all times. The definition of control at all times is considered to be within eyesight—this is especially true on the path and beach stairs. Please do not let your dog off-leash until you can see that the path/stairs is clear of people and other dogs.
- Search for a Lawyer. Our current lawyer has indicated that he can no longer serve GSHA as he has a potential conflict of interest. Bill did some research and interviewed a couple local lawyers. The board reviewed several options then unanimously agreed to hire Mark LaRose of LaRose and Bosco, Ltd from New Buffalo. GSHA will pay the necessary retainer fee and will ask Mr. LaRose to start a review of our bylaws.
- Road Maintenance. There will be no further road maintenance in CY16 except for emergencies. We will plan to do the usual maintenance in the spring. Currently we use Ron Ackerman however we have not rebid this business in many years. Mike D’Agostino will contact other firms to get estimates for the spring. He will also investigate using slag as an option instead of the aggregate currently used—slag may be a little more durable. It was noted that our roads get torn up by trucks and construction equipment. The board approved by unanimous consent that effective January 1, 2016, owners who are doing a substantial construction project will be assessed a fee of $1000 for road restoration at the completion of said project. This will be invoiced by Harbor Cove Mgt.
- Beach Security. The beach security provided by Rover worked fairly smoothly this summer but as always there were some glitches. Harbor Cove Mgt. will investigate other alternatives for beach security for 2017.
- Annual summer party. Mary Toll has volunteered to chair a committee to determine alternatives for a summer party. The board noted that the party should be held within Gowdy Shores if possible. Linda Leadbitter will work with Mary to generate some ideas—possibly a block party on a GHSA street. Volunteers who would like to assist with planning are needed and welcome.
- Reserve Study. Treasurer Stephanie Mitchell has begun work on a reserve study. She is trying to determine how much GSHA should keep in reserve (savings) to make sure we can meet our future planned and emergency needs. Stephanie will share an overview of her study to date at the annual meeting in the spring.
- Viewing Deck. Shawn Magee will be stepping down as head of the viewing deck project. Art Herbstman agreed to step up to replace Shawn. Mike D’Agostino noted that he is working on a somewhat similar project for another association. At the last annual meeting the homeowners authorized the spending of up to $3000 for a survey and preliminary plans for the deck. Art and Mike will move forward to get the survey completed. Art will pull together a meeting of those who have indicated they are interested in serving on the viewing deck committee. Mike D’Agostino will provide project management services at no cost to GSHA if we move forward to build the deck.
- Tree Issues. There have been several issues related to trees that have occurred since the annual meeting. We have had trees fall across GSHA roads, across the beach path, into Timberlane’s beach path and onto a Timberlane owner’s property. To preserve safety along the path, Bill and Mike D’Agostino spoke with three tree/arborist firms about how we should handle trees along the beach path and what they recommend for necessary maintenance. Linda Leadbitter proposed that we accept the bid from C&A Arborists for tree clean up and maintenance. The board unanimously approved the proposal. Also, there is general recognition of the aging of trees along our GSHA roads. The board agreed that we should consult with our new attorney if and how to develop a policy for tree maintenance. We will seek clarification from the attorney on liability issues related to falling trees/branches. Bill will speak with the attorney and report to the board.
- Revise By-laws and Covenants, Conditions and Restrictions (CC&R’s). The GSHA by-laws and CC&R’s are in need of updating. Bill proposed a timeline for completing this review over the winter. The board expects to present revised documents to the full membership at the annual meeting in the spring. Bill will ask Mark LaRose to begin reviewing the current documents.
- Policies to deal with rental or problem properties. This discussion was tabled and will be handled as part of the by-law and CC&R update process.
- Next meeting. The next meeting of the board will be Saturday April 8th at Harbor Cove Mgt. offices.
- Annual Meeting. The GSHA annual meeting is scheduled for Saturday May 6, 2017.
The meeting was adjourned at approximately 4:44PM by President Bill Heimann.
Prepared by Linda Leadbitter, Secretary GSHA