Meeting was held at 55520 Big River Drive, Bend, OR 97707
Quorum Present? Yes
Members present: Dean Drabin, Doug Patterson, Andra Smith, Tim Jenning; Bart Gernhart not present, but available by phone.
Meeting was called to order by Dean Drabin at 10.27 a.m.
Checking account: $75,285.98
Mailbox account: $2021.29
Balance shows an increase of approximately $40,000, making it likely that it should increase by that amount each year—meaning that we should have a sufficient balance for paving ($180,000) in 2025, the earliest year it might become necessary. Was observed that increasing our dues from $100 per year per lot to $150 had been a smart move.
Move excess funds from checking to CD? Since our current CD is maturing Nov. 18, Dean will look into available rates and options to combine funds into a larger CD, hopefully paying better than 4%, while leaving a sufficient balance in our checking account to cover this winter’s expenses.
Payment Portal numbers: Turns out our online payment portal was widely used by owners, with better than $11,000 in dues payments coming to us in that manner. So, despite some modest operating expenses attached to it, along with added complexity for our bookkeeper, it was judged that creating the portal was a good move, providing an online payment option for owners who did not want to pay by check.
The number of subscribers to our website is up to 76—far better than the 16 reported at our last Board meeting. This means that it will be much easier to get word out to our owners via online posts. Dean said that, ideally, the number should be 100, or even 150, which would ensure that news would be widely distributed, online and by word-of-mouth (example given being the announcement of a recent water shut-off, which instantly reached all subscribers one day prior to the event.) Therefore, we should continue to encourage more owners to subscribe and thereby increase the total.
Dean contacted Vic Russell Construction and was informed that we are still on their list of clients for snow removal this winter.
Chipping Project, Spring, 2024
Dean reported that we have received a grant of $1000 from the County for a fuel reduction project. While this is considerably less than the grant from 2023 ($5000), we still have $1300 left over from last spring’s chipping project, which means we’ll have a total of $2300 available for the next one—which also means that we will have to contribute as much as $1700 in order to do the work in spring, 2024. The Board determined that this will be well worth the expense and voted to approve it.
Dean is in the process of renewing our Firewise application for this year. All steps have been completed but one—a fire risk assessment, which should be done in January 2024, and which result in our continuing status as a Firewise community. This status is valuable, as among other things it contributes heavily to our ability to qualify for County fuels reduction grants.
Bart reported that our roads continue to be in good shape—largely because of the preventative edge treatments we had done last summer. Despite minor cracks here and there, we are not experiencing severe distress and potholes along the edges, which will allow us to wait until 2025 at the earliest—and, hopefully, as late as 2026—to do a community-wide road repaving project.
Possible Culvert Project on Heierman
Dean and Bart agreed to examine the blocked culvert at one spot towards the south end of Heierman when snow thaws in the spring, to see whether there will be a water build-up in that location which threatens the integrity of the road. If it does, we may have to have a contractor dig out the culvert, so that the water will empty into the larger culvert to the west, which ultimately drains into the river.
Discussion: Bart agreed that CC&Rs are definitely controversial and might cause some uproar in the neighborhood but should at least be studied to know what the issues are. Possible limits on short-term rentals, for example, might result in complaints from those who purchased properties expressly to rent them out, believing at the time that such purposes for those homes were permitted. Dean pointed out that creating CC&Rs is much easier at the founding of a POA, rather than later on, when gaining support of the community as to the details and extent of restrictions might be considerably more problematic. It was agreed to table the discussion until the spring meeting, when we could then invite the president of Fall River (who created CC&Rs) to join us in order to educate us about the process.
River Access Lots: there has been some confusion regarding ownership of the four, small river access lots (listed at A, B, C, and D on the map) within our community. It was assumed, at various times, that the lots belonged to OWW1; then it was believed that Deschutes County owned them; but it turns out that they belong to the granddaughter of Sydney Gross, the original developer of the community. As such they are not considered developable, either because they are too small, or because they are located in wetlands. There was a report of someone digging a test hole on the largest of these, on Big River Drive, with the suggestion that maybe the property was being sold. But since no official notification of a sale was forthcoming in the ensuing months, the assumption, at least for now, is that all of the properties remain status quo. It was pointed out that the lot next to it, though similarly unbuildable, was being outfitted, legally, to be used as an RV camping site.
Electronic Speed Monitor: at our request, the County Sheriffs placed a trailer-mounted speed monitor on Big River Drive, just north of Casper, facing southbound traffic, and calibrated to begin flashing when speeds exceeded 25 mph. It is not known at this time what impact the monitor had on potential speeders, but since we are now officially on the list with the South County Sheriff in charge of the units, we will continue to ask for their use (restricted to two weeks at a time) in the future.
Meeting was adjourned at 11:45 a.m.
Minutes Submitted by Andra Smith, Secretary