President’s Column September 2018
Editor's note: Please take a moment to check out the What's Happening page on our website. By request, I've embedded an interactive fire map and I continue to update my historical weather analysis with Joe's latest numbers as he sends them. I hope the page can serve as a "one-stop shop" to keep up with Hidden Lake. Please continue to send suggestions, photos, and your very own blog post ideas to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Dear HLPOA Members,
The POA held its annual meeting on August 4th at First National Bank’s Community Room. Many of you were there in person or by proxy as we had 28 lots represented which gave us a quorum for the meeting. If you were not able to attend, you can find a full set of meeting notes in the “Documents” section of this website under “2018 Documents”. However, I can give you a summary of the highlights from the meeting from the Board’s perspective. These include:
Subdivision Security: One of the jobs of our caretaker, Casey, is to keep an eye on the subdivision from a security standpoint. Over the Spring and early Summer, he noted a number of suspicious vehicles traveling through the subdivision. On several occasions the vehicles raced away rather than stop and tell Casey what they were up to. Fearing that the individuals involved might be up to no good, the Board approved the purchase of a CCTV security camera system to monitor vehicles entering and leaving the subdivision 24/7 and posted signs to warn individuals that they would be recorded. After this, several vehicles were observed turning around and leaving immediately upon seeing the signage. During the annual meeting, several suggestions were made to improve the quality of the video, particularly related to capturing license plate numbers. These suggestions are being investigated by the Board.
Lake Health: Board member Mike Harkey reported that the lake is down about 1.5 feet compared to the same time last year. This is substantial but expected due to the very low amount of precipitation we had over the winter and spring. Thankfully, monsoon season has occurred and slowed down the rate of loss. Overall, the lake is still in excellent health due to the strong increases in precipitation we had during the prior two years. Mike also reported about the trout stocking that occurred in April and there were many comments about the excellent fishing in the lake this summer.
Firewise Community Update: Joe Stehling gave an update on Firewise activities in the neighborhood. This is particularly important this year due to the very dry conditions that have resulted in a number of large wildfires in the area. Joe once again worked hard to secure grants this year to help members get their lots thinned and thinning is moving forward. However, Joe gave notice that he will not be pursuing these grants in the future and the POA needs to find another volunteer to step forward in this regard. Likewise, the Colfax County Coalition of Firewise Communities (CCCFC) is not active at present due to a lack of participation. Please contact Joe if you would like to get involved.
Development of Financial Controls: At last year’s Annual Meeting, there was a request by members that the Board develop a set of written protocols to describe how we manage the finances of the POA. This document has now been created and was showcased at the 2018 meeting. You can find a copy of it under the “Documents” section of this website under “2018 Documents”.
Legal Review of Covenants: Again, at last year’s meeting there was considerable discussion about the amended covenants (2008) of the POA and their legality. The Board retained a real estate attorney to review the amended covenants and the previous (1995) version of the covenants. The attorney’s assessment was that the 2008 covenants were not valid (for a full description see the 2018 meeting minutes) and as a result the Board filed paperwork with Colfax County to indicate that the 2008 covenants are no longer in effect and that the 1995 covenants are valid.
Objection to Fishing Rules: There was considerable discussion about the current rules regarding fishing on Hidden Lake, particularly the rule requiring that only accompanied guests can utilize the lake. The current rule was voted on and unanimously approved by members back in 2014. The Board did agree to review this rule on a go-forward basis bearing in mind the considerable liability issues that exist with lake usage. The Board also asked members to suggest ideas of their own on how the lake rules could be modified.
Financial Health: Treasurer Brad Snyder gave an update on the financial status of the POA that generally indicated we are in very good financial health. The actual financial statements themselves can be found with the annual meeting minutes.
Policies & Procedures Document: The Board is in the process of gathering all of the rules and regulations concerning Hidden Lake and putting them into one official Policies & Procedure document. The document will serve as a handy reference regarding rules in effect at Hidden Lake and will be available to all members. It will be dated and serve as a “living document” for the POA.
Board Election: At the end of the meeting, elections were held for three Board seats that will be open beginning October 1st, 2018. Troy Williams and Ron Carey are current Board members who were re-elected to serve. Additionally, member John Haggard was nominated and unanimously approved to serve on the Board. The Board and members also recognized Bill Frazelle who has served on the HLPOA Board numerous years but has decided to step down. Thank you for your service, Bill!
As you can see from these highlights, a lot gets accomplished at our annual meeting and I strongly encourage you to attend future meetings if you can. Even if you cannot, please always try and designated a proxy to represent your lot so we can achieve a quorum.