PONDEROSA COMMUNITY CLUB
BOARD MEETING MINUTES
March 9, 2008
President Bill Griffin called the meeting to order at10:35 AM. Board members present were Jeanne Whitlow, Peter Smith, Tim Olson, Gina Wilkins, and Association Manager, Bob Melson.
Community Wildfire Protection Plan
Bill received a notice from Cascadia Conservation District in Wenatchee regarding our developing a Community Wildfire Protection Plan. The County is encouraging us to sign-off on this plan. Bill asked Bruce Merighi to provide us with the information we need to act in regards to this request and to guide us in having a practical plan for our community.
Bruce said the plan covers more than the Ponderosa and includes areas like Standing Rock and another nearby development. The Conservation District assists communities like us so that the District can advocate for us to obtain grants and other monies to help implement the plan. It is not legally binding, but does commit us to sign off on the concept of having a plan in case of a wildfire in our area.
Bruce presented a document that details what we have currently available to fight a wildfire. He went through the document and displayed a map that showed:
- Our safe zone (located within a greenbelt west and south of the power lines) is for firefighters to make it possible for them to stay longer in fighting the fire. Bruce emphasized that the safe zone is for firefighters not for residents or their property. The goal for residents of the communities is evacuation to a safe area in Plain.
- A fuel break on both sides of Primitive Park is necessary to disrupt the horizontal spread of the fire Bruce proposes a hundred foot break with fifty feet on each side of the road. This is not a clear cutting but a thinning to open up the crown spacing and the removal of ladder fuels. Given the small size of our lots, clear cutting the Ponderosa would not be of any real value. Unless we have a 200 foot clear cut of everything on either side of Primitive Park, the only solution for members is evacuation.
- We need to clean up remaining slash piles from previous thinning of our greenbelts.
- We need to clean up ladder fuels in our own lots and removing fuel existing near our homes and other structures.
- We need to clean up some remaining highly flammable areas in the Ponderosa. One is located on the way out of Ponderosa across from our entrance sign.
Bruce said that Primitive Park south toward highway 207 is not currently an evacuation option.
The Conservation District is planning to help us both develop a plan and to find the monies to implement the plan. Bruce said that implementing the plan (including the land across from the entrance sign) is way beyond what we can be accomplished with volunteers. There is time, workers, and equipment needed to do the job. The Fire Department has signed off on this plan. The next step is for the Association to make any further suggestions the Association wants to add or subtract from the plan and to sign off on the plan.
Recruiting for the Fire Department
Two members have stepped forward to volunteer for the fire department. We have had up to twenty-five members but have managed to stay viable with a core group of twelve. Not only full timers can be of help to the fire department; the fire department can find a place for part time users of the Ponderosa as well.
Peter Smith reported on the transition from the way we have financed Ponderosa in the past to where we are and where we are headed in the future. Bob does have a process in place on how our cash is handled. We have hard copies of payments and receivables available to keep us acceptable for auditing processes. We also have a reconciliation process in place.
All Board members will be able to sign checks. This will help Bob be more efficient in paying bills. We are also going to obtain a corporate credit card that will eliminate the need for petty cash.
Over 90% of our membership make timely payments, but a few members are problematic. We need a standard set of rules to handle these and make sure we follow these as directed by the procedures. Where action is required such as filing liens, we need to do that. Each member needs to be handled in the same manner as any other member. Currently we have 5 members seriously in arrears. In answer to a question, turning off the water is not in the Bylaws and for health and safety reasons, it is better to follow up legally rather than turning off the water. Foreclosure, because of the cost of filing, is the last resort in the process.
Our investments are currently in CD’s and they are paying us 4.9%. This is currently adequate, but in our five year plan, we might consider other investment opportunities.
Association Manager’s Report
Capital Expenditures: Bob is looking down the road five years to determine the cost of capital expenditures facing us so that we can begin to plan for them.
Liability Insurance: We are well insured in regards to liability and our insurance does include fidelity for officers and employees.
Financial reports: Copies of the monthly status reports are now available on the bulletin board and in the office. This replaces the need to have them summarized in the Board meeting. Bob pointed out that we have LeMaster Daniels accounting firm do a yearly review of our books. Every seven years we do a complete audit. As treasurer, Peter said he also does a mini-audit. Nancy added that Quick Books makes it possible to reconcile our books each month to the very penny.
Roads: Bob passed out two sheets Paul Johansen prepared that gave us cost estimates for chip and sealing roads, and lists suggested priorities for which roads should be paved first. We can accomplish this either through a gradual process (use capital reserves) or pass an assessment and do several roads at once. The more roads we do at a time, the less it will cost. An effort also needs to be made to coordinate with water system improvements and the coming of fiber optics.
The caretakers did an experiment this past winter with a snow blower and were able to widen the roads further than with our plowing equipment. We could consider looking into either a capital expenditure for a snow blower or hire snow blowing during a big snow winter like the past one. Members have written several positive comments regarding snow removal this winter.
Email list: Bob mentioned that our email list now contains close to 200 and Nancy said that nearly 350 members have responded to the information request.
Bill passed out a draft of revised Board Officer Descriptions which will be reviewed by the Board members for further Board action at a later meeting.
Real Estate: Bill raised the possibility of having a real estate attorney attend one of our Board workshops to explain to us more fully what we can do and can’t do legally with our properties.
Insects to Help Control Knapweed: The Board authorized Jeanne to pursue the distribution of insect in the Ponderosa to control knapweed.
Annual Meeting: In answer to a member’s question, Bill said that the Annual Meeting this year would focus on looking forward to the future rather than a review of the preceding year.
Information Booth: Bill asked the Board to consider having an information booth at social events to further inform the members of what’s happening in the Ponderosa.
Security: A member brought up the increase in robberies in the Wenatchee area and said that he had been robbed twice in the recent past. Bob mentioned that we have had no official reports of break-ins. It’s important that Bob be notified of these incidents so that we can respond more effectively as a community.
Meeting adjourned at 12:10 PM.
Secretary, Tim Olson