Meeting was held at:
LaPine Fire Station
55785 South Century Drive
Quorum Present? Yes
Board Members Present — Dean Drabin, Bart Gernhart, Doug Patterson, Tim Jenning
Board Member Absent — Leonard Dahl
Call to Order
Meeting was called to order by Dean Drabin at 9:02 a.m.
Dean Drabin Provided a summary of our accounts:
Regular checking account total: $55569.04
Mailbox account: $2,275.02
Certificate of deposit: $66,525.08
PPL — Budget expenditures last year:
$7600 — New mailbox structure
$4750 — Chipping, but $4000 was covered by grant; net cost to OWW1 was $750
$4600 — Snow removal
Dean noted that last winter was on the light side in terms of snowfall. There was no berm-removal service at our driveways due to staffing shortages at the snow removal contractor.
ROAD REPAIR REPORT
Bart Gernhart restated that we completed a crack-seal project during the summer of 2020, at a cost of $14,000. He also noted that we did not have any contract work done last year. There are a couple of areas of pavement distress near the shoulders, primarily due to heavy trucks and equipment around construction sites. We also had a couple of potholes. Bart noted it is difficult to get a contractor to even look at such a small amount of repair work. Earlier this summer, Bart volunteered to personally reair the holes if the Board covered the cost of materials and a couple of tools. The Board agreed to cover these costs. Bart completed those repairts and will continue to perform minor road repairs.
Bart then raised the issue of rising oil (asphalt) prices that mirror current gas prices, along with a shortage, and therefore, increasing cost, of labor for paving projects. As a result, he predicted that the cost of our future chip seal (two to three years from now) will in all likelihood be substantially higher than the amount of savings we are currently accumulating. It is hard to tell where the oil and labor market will be in the future, but it might be prudent to increase annual dues now, so that the money for the project will be there when it is time to do the repaving. Among those present there was general agreement that it would be best to increase the dues pre-emptively, so as to avoid being short when the money is needed for the project. Based on this feedback, Dean and Bart said that the Board will take this issue up at the next board meeting.
Someone noted that the drainage ditches around Heierman Drive need to be cleared to prevent flooding. Al Zupo stated that they had been done years ago, but it was consensus that they needed more work now Dean stated that the Board will take a look at it and make a decision on what to do at the next board meeting.
Bart noted that some of the roads south of South Century Drive (Casper and Heierman) will need to be widened eventually as new home construction continues in that area. This will be most cost effective if the work is done as part of our future chip seal project—which, incidentally, will be another factor in the increasing cost of the project.
Dean noted that the cost of this year’s chipper service was $4750, but since he acquired a County grant of $4000, OWW1 only had to pay $750. We had very good participation this year, and our plan is to continue to pursue grants for this type of fire protection work. Someone asked how much brush is too much for the chipping project. Dean noted that there is no limit.
Dean also noted some fire prevention measures he has learned in dealing with various agencies:
Do not use wood chips in the first five feet around the house; river rock or something similarly non-combustible is a better solution.
Continue to thin and limb trees within the area out to thirty feet from the home. If that has been accomplished, work to increase that zone out to 100 feet (or, ideally, the roadside.)
Bitterbrush and juniper bushes are particularly bad to have near the home, because of their flammable properties.
Someone stated concerns about the need for thinning of USFS property abutting our HOA. Dean noted that the USFS addresses these issues according to their own schedules and priorities, and therefore our HOA does not have much influence.
Someone asked if individual property owners can get work done under grants from other agencies; Dean suggested that they contact the Upper Deschutes River Communities (UDRC), as they do have funded programs for low-income owners and seniors.
Someone noted that the mailboxes on South Century are a dumping ground and asked if we could do anything about it. Dean said that there was not much we could do, aside from asking people to refrain from leaving things there. Someone asked if we can get rid of the old, non-locking mailboxes. Dean and Doug Patterson noted that we cannot legally remove them, as they are technically Federal property.
PAYMENT PORTAL — Dean explained various options to allow owners to make annual dues payments electronically, along with the costs of each option:
First Interstate will administer the service, at a yearly cost of $119 to the HOA
Members can continue to pay by check at no charge.
If members pay by debit card, the HOA will be charged a fee of 1.75%, plus 25 cents for each transaction.
If members pay by credit card, they will be charged a fee of 3.5% of their bill as a transaction fee (example: a $100 fee will result in a total charge of $103.50.)
Dean asked for input: general consenus was to go ahead and implement the change.
Dean said he bought and installed several speed signs (15 mph.) He noted that he is not sure they are effective. Someone asked if we could get the speed lowered on South Century Drive. Bart noted that it is a County road and they follow the national standard for determoining speed limits. Therefore it is not likely they will lower the speed limit permanently, but maybe they could do so near the Big River boat ramp and bridge area, during the high volume summer months when peple tend to park on the shoulders. Dean and Bart said they will call the County to discuss.
Someone raised the issue of short-term rentals, such as Air B&Bs. Dean noted the Board has no authority to regulate them. He also noted that the County has very limited authority to regulate these properties. He did suggest that if you hear a major problem, you should feel free to contact the County Sheriff. Al Zupo also suggested that if there is an out-of-control party at an Air B&B, you can contact Air B&B directly.
Dean noted that they have been out there, doing control work (spraying.) Someone noted that they had called 4 Rivers Vector, but that no one had shown up. Dean suggested that they may have been experiencing staffing shortages, like so many other entities, this year. On the other hand, several people noted that they felt the workers were out there, and doing a very good job of spraying.
Someone asked Dean for an update on the sewer system plan. Dean noted that there was currently no progress being made, that the original estimate of $3.8 million for the project would have resulted in an unacceptable charge oof $250 per month for each owner, and that even the tentative funding for the project disappeared when the pandemic hit. He said that years in the future, sufficient funding might become available to make the project feasible, but for now, the money is simply not there.
Elections were held for two board positions. Dean Drabin was re-elected to serve another three-year term; Andra Smith was elected to serve her first three-year term.
Meeting adjourned at 10:08 a.m.
Minutes submitted by Bart Gernhart, Secretary