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CLRRA Board of Directors Monthly E-Newsletter
April 2018

President's Report

 

Board Changes:  

Andrew Burt resigned from the Crystal Lakes Road and Recreation Association Board on March 22, 2018.  Thank you Andrew for all of the time you spent reviewing and preparing the Association's financial documents.

Bryon Fesslor has been appointed as the interim treasurer to fill this position until a new treasurer is appointed.

On March 24th, Bob Chestnut was appointed to fill the vacancy until the election in 2019.  Bob, we greatly appreciate your willingness to step forward and assume this position.

Licensed Community Association Manager:

The CLRRA Board plans to contract with Westwind for a part-time manager to keep us in compliance with state law, this will be a two year contract.  Our hope is to provide community continuity and to train our staff during this period.

Forest Access:

Crystal Lakes will be pursuing its existing access and surveying the easement and removal of signage and barriers to the Bear Gulch Trail in May. At this time this access will only be for pedestrians, bikes, and horses. Once this work is completed, we will resume negotiations with the National Forest Service for OHV access. As a part of this process CLRRA will be setting up boundary signs to prevent infringement on the adjoining private properties.

Greenbelt Mitigation:

Work with our grant contractors will begin in late spring or early summer.

New Signs:

New signs are now up at Basecamp and at Huron Road. The main entrance sign has had a problem with frost for the foundation. Our Road and Facilities Supervisor managed to drill pilot holes for the large sign so installation has been rescheduled.

Transition:

Both CLRRA and CLWSA are working through transition issues, setting up a new payroll processing company, working with package delivery services as packages will no longer be accepted in the office, terminating office equipment contracts, and changing phone and internet providers.  While these issues are time consuming; working through budget reductions is a primary concern. The CLRRA Board has revised office closure hours as a part of this process. As of April 1st the Basecamp office will be closed on Sundays and Mondays, this is to provide staff with some weekend time off due to budgetary constraints.  Changes have also been made to the fishing pass process, please read the View for details.

 

Cheryl Poage

President CLRRA

FY2018-2019 Budget

Bryon Fessler, CLRRA Vice President/Acting Treasurer

 

As expected, the R&R budget for next fiscal year has an approximate $170,000 deficit for several reasons. First, the tenant (W&S) no longer pays rent to the landlord (R&R) for the shared use of staff, equipment and facilities which amounts to about $145,000 of the deficit. Second, R&R had to create a new model for operating alone and those management positions come at a cost (e.g., contract Community Association Manager to remain compliant with state law, Assistant CAM in training to eventually take over, new Road & Facilities Supervisor). The Board believes this model will allow the Association to better focus on its mission (put the "Road" back in "Road & Recreation") and provide some much-needed stability for the staff and volunteer Board members going forward (transitions like this take an enormous toll on everyone involved). Third, the Cost of Living Adjustment (COLA) has gone up 4% the last two years and our annual assessment has not which equates to about $30,000 in higher expenses. Fourth, the number of lots continues to decrease due to lot consolidations (1,602 this year and 1,590 next year) which equates to a $5,520 loss in revenue. Fifth, there are 29 property owners who owe the Association a combined $32,005 in past assessments, late fees and interest. The Board has made tremendous progress in this area as it used to be 100 properties owing over $70,000.      

 

The Board recently transferred $50,000 from operating to "Operating Reserves".  Luckily, similar Boards did the same and the Association now has $200,000 in emergency funds which are entirely operational in nature and not part of our normal Reserves. The Board intends to use some of these funds to cover the approximate $170,000 deficit for next fiscal year and then ask property owners to approve an assessment increase in FY2019-2020 when all costs of operating alone are known. As you can see, the Board can only use emergency funds for one year and that it is not a sustainable long-term solution. If property owners don't approve the assessment increase the following year, then the Board will have to make drastic cuts that will be felt throughout the community. The Board will continue to take steps to reduce workload and save money wherever possible. Property owners will receive a copy of the draft budget along with the annual mailing that goes out in early May (the same time the assessment invoices get mailed). There are lots of opportunity for you to get involved and stay informed including running for a volunteer Board position, signing up for a committee and attending Board and Annual meetings. 

 

Transition Update

Bryon Fessler, CLRRA Vice President/Acting Treasurer

 

As was said at the town hall meeting and in the newsletter, the total financial impact of W&S's decision to move their operations to R&R property owners is unknown; however, we do know that W&S no longer pays R&R the $35,000 annual overhead fee as their employees will not use any R&R facilities or equipment. Additionally, W&S no longer contributes $110,000 to R&R for salaries and wages as they will no longer share 50% of the CAM and Office staff and 33% of the Field staff. That equates to at least $145,000 of revenue that R&R will no longer have in its budget. The Board is committed to funding the budget shortfall for one year using operating reserves. We can thank previous Boards for saving this emergency money and we currently have about $150,000. The R&R Board has some serious business decisions to make to best meet the needs of the property owners going forward. Some examples of these decisions include the closure of the R&R office on Sundays and Mondays year-round, the proposed elimination of fire permits, the redesign of the guest fishing passes and the elimination of all sales tax items sold in the Office all of which contribute to budgetary savings and reduced Office workload. 

 

Additional transition decisions include the $12,500 that R&R paid W&S for their share of the manager's truck which they no longer needed and the division of shop tools, equipment, computers, etc. The focus now is on terminating joint contracts such as the copier contract ($2,100.30 cost to each Association), telephone/Internet (cost unknown at this time), payroll company, etc. We also established a May 24th target date to end the 50/50 cost sharing of the Office staff and 33/67 cost sharing of the field staff. This date falls on a payroll date and will allow R&R to meet W&S's deadline of June 1st. 

 

Another area of discussion concerns the current delivery of UPS/FedEx packages to the Office, as this is neither a R&R responsibility nor a W&S responsibility. This topic is on the agenda for the Joint meeting on April 21st and interested property owners are welcome to attend. The transition team is currently drafting notifications to both agencies regarding their responsibilities to deliver packages to property owners and not the R&R Office going forward. FedEx will also be instructed to pick up their container which is taking up valuable real estate in R&R's mail shed.

 

Greetings from the Fire Pit Inspection Committee,

We hope all owners had a good winter.  As you probably know, we are still short of normal snow pack which causes concern for the forth coming fire season.  We hope you consider the Fire Pit Inspection Committee a link to a safer fire season in Crystal Lakes.

 

The Committee this year has two goals.  1) Completion of the CLRR Board mandated re-inspections of previously approved fire pits.  These Filings are: 12, 13, 14, and 15.  2) Inspections of new owner fire pits.  Please note that new owners need to have their fire pit inspected and approved before using the pit.

 

We will again use the Owner Self Inspection of Fire Pit.  You may download the form from the documents section of the website or pick up a copy in the CL office.   The self inspection form was designed to ensure that by following the guidelines all inspections will pass.  Please to not submit a Self Inspection that you know will fail.

 

CLRR Board mandated re-inspections will be mailed to affected owners at least one month before inspections begin.  Owners failing to request an inspection will be coded as Non-Approved and denied a Burn Permit.

 

Thank You,

Bob Chesnut

Fire Pit Inspection Committee

Chair

 

Business Internet & Telephone Service

 

For years, the Associations have grappled with the best way to provide business Internet and telephone service to the Office.  The current setup is a joint contract between R&R, W&S and CenturyLink that costs approximately $12,000 per year.  For several reasons, both Associations have decided to terminate the CenturyLink contract and look to other providers.  R&R is looking to install HughesNet for around $3,240 per year which is almost a 50% savings of our share of the CenturyLink contract.  Unfortunately, sacrifices must be made to realize that savings.  For example, the Associations will no longer be able to provide free wifi at Basecamp.  This was a service that was jointly provided by both Associations; however, under the new satellite system, there is no way to separate the business Internet traffic from the non-business and R&R simply can afford to use up all its monthly allowance on non-business traffic.  Additionally, we will only have a single number to contact the future R&R-only office. 970-881-2250.  We used to have additional numbers, conference call numbers, etc. that staff could use to keep the main line open.  That will no longer be the case once we switch to satellite service as it only allows for one number.  The R&R Board made the decision to switch to satellite service in order to help reduce the budget deficit.  $12,000 is simply too much for R&R to absorb now that W&S won't be paying for half of the service anymore.  Time will tell if the reduced cost satellite option proves successful for our business. 

 

Road Culverts

 

It has come to our attention that there are many blocked culverts throughout the Association that are causing water to run across the road causing damage due to the snow run-off. Just a reminder that any culvert that is blocked at a property owners driveway is the responsibility of the property owner to repair and / or clear out so that the water run-off can continue down the path to a run-off location. If a property owner notices a culvert elsewhere in the Association that is blocked and / or causing damage or could cause damage, please contact the office so we can get it repaired as soon as possible. On another note, as of May 18th, 2018 the CLRRA no longer sells or installs culvert material.

A Word From Your Volunteer Manager

 

Since I have become the volunteer Community Association Manager I have become more and more discouraged as I read the opinions  and observations from property owners in the various social media outlets. I would encourage all current and/or prospective property owners to read and understand the Board Covenants and Bylaws so you have a reasonable understanding of how our system of government works. While we all have thoughts and ideas  of ways to make our mountain experience better I find it odd that with all the strong opinions we had, no one stepped up to run for the one Board vacancy we will have next year. If you want your voice heard why not volunteer to give some time back to your community and serve either on the Board or on one of the many committees we have established?  Crystal Lakes is a unique mountain community with many continuing challenges when you consider we are governing a small town spread out over a large area with a wonderfully diverse group of people who call it home. Thank you to all of our current volunteers. Property owners should feel free to sign up for official Crystal Lakes communications which are provided in the weekly View, the monthly Newsletter, reach out to the Board Members or call Basecamp to get answers to your questions rather that relying on social media.  Click here to join our email list (i.e., The View From Crystal Lakes, CLRRA Newsletters, winter updates, etc.).

 

Jim McConnell

Volunteer Community Association Manager

Electronic and Paper Records

Bryon Fessler, CLRRA Vice President/Acting Treasurer

 

The Associations need to separate their electronic and paper records because of W&S's decision to move their operations. Joint office staff are currently separating the electronic records which are currently stored by filing/lot. These records contain historical ledgers and other information that has been captured electronically from the outset or scanned after the fact. The paper records are currently stored in three locations; specifically, the R&R records room, the R&R Manager's office and the R&R shipping container by the trash compactor. R&R proposed and W&S agreed to form a joint task force made up of staff and volunteers. The effort will likely take several days to accomplish. If you are interested in volunteering to help with this effort, please contact Stella at officemanager@crystal-lakes.org

 

 

 
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