A MESSAGE FROM MITCH
September 29, 2021 - President’s Message
EDH HOA Members
Summer just blew by, and fall is upon us – although it hasn’t really felt that way just yet. That said, I think it won’t be long before we were wishing for warmer weather!
It’s been three months since my last President’s Message and your Board has been busy. I’ll hit some high points:
The community road work was certainly delayed, but if you have been in the neighborhood last week and this you know that Gruber Excavating was hard at it and are today packing up. As you may have read in the meeting minutes our priority areas included:
Craigle Lane near the intersection of Emmitt Road where there was a need for a culvert and road mix.
McGee Road where there was need for some water management and road mix.
Favorite Gulch Rd from around Owl Gulch Rd to Heights Drive where the road needed crowning, water management and some serious road mix.
We were able to get the road mix we needed for free from Neil Hurni (first mine on the left), and I’ve been watching trucks coming and going since last Thursday. I’m happy to say that we were able to complete these three priority areas. We had to go a little over what we had originally budgeted, but any road work improvements are worth it. I wish we had enough resources to cover all of Favorite Gulch in one year, but every bit helps and there is always next year. As we have said before, the HOA road maintenance is a multi-year and ongoing endeavor. As with this year, our future road maintenance strategy is to address safety issues and then methodically attempt to address other areas – with the hope that all of the major roads will get attention every three or four years. Our next Board Meeting Summary will include a full report on the work and the costs.
One thing I would like to ask is that we all work to keep your speed down. You may recall that several years back we all agreed that a 25-mph speed limit was a good idea to help keep down the cost of road maintenance. Until now, that speed limit was necessary if you wanted to keep your vehicle in one piece! Just because we now have some good road doesn’t mean we shouldn’t continue to abide by that limit – besides preserving the road, it makes the neighborhood safer. It’s amazing what you might see if you take your time!
Last thing on roads – Special THANKS to Jason Kreth and Brad Smith for helping to lead the efforts and get this work done.
Lake Recreation Area
We pulled the boat slips out this past weekend and we are starting to shut things down at the Lake Recreation Area. While our expansion of the boat docking facilities did not go as expected, we have been making progress. Using the extra funds from this year’s boat slip rentals (4 slips rented @ $400 each), we are moving ahead with the purchase of some used floating docks made available by the Gates of the Mountains Marina. We will be bringing those in later in October and refurbishing them for use next year when we finally move ahead with the expansion. Also, we have collected the two smaller floating docks and we will be refurbishing them over the next month or two. Our thinking here is to use the floating docks as tie up areas for smaller boats and personal watercraft.
Another idea that has floated up over the last couple of months and was briefly mentioned at our last Board Meeting had to do with the weed issue in the boat dock area. As you likely know (if you have been to the area in late July) there is a significant floating weed problem, caused primarily by the backwater affect in the boat slip area. Many years ago, someone created a causeway across the side channel of the lake that now connects the HOA property to the island area (Federal property). This work provided only one relatively small culvert under the causeway and severely restricted the flow in the side channel – which resulted in the backwater area where floating vegetation collects. The idea of removing the causeway and replacing it with a walking bridge to the island or adding more culverts has been discussed. This is just an idea at this time and may or may not go anywhere – I just wanted to take this opportunity to let everyone know. Expect a lot more dialog on this before anything happens.
We have a lot of good things going on at the waterfront and Mike Daw is our primary force behind all of this work – THANKS Mike.
Mine Recreation Area
At our last Board Meeting, we created a special work group (led by Jason Kreth) to address some areas in the Mine Recreation Area where miners have “undercut” the bank – creating conditions that might result in a collapse of the overburden. In the near future, we will be arranging for some equipment to come in and remove some of the more dangerous overburden in this area. In the meantime – please be careful.
New mailbox compartment sales continue as more neighbors are building and moving into the neighborhood. Just a few weeks back, we sold the last of the compartments available in the five mailbox units we have and just last week we had our sixth mailbox unit delivered – which has 16 additional compartments – just in time! Mike Daw installed the new unit and we are working with the USPS to make it fully functional. While we haven’t sold any of those compartments yet, we will have two additional parcel boxes for the upcoming holiday season. We will also be working on the purchase of another “four parcel box unit” as a part of next year’s budget.
Huotari Lane Gateway & Gate
With the help of Mike Daw, we were able to replace the Huotari Lane gateway this summer. However, budgetary constraints prevented us from moving ahead with the actual solar powered gate that we wanted to install. I’m hoping we can keep this on the front burner for next year’s budget.
Hunting season is upon us, and we are already seeing unfamiliar vehicles coming and going. We will continue to expand our signage on the lower portion of Favorite Gulch Road and all of Huotari Lane. The signage advises the public that while the lower portion of Favorite Gulch Road (from the FS property lakeward) is “public”, there is no access to public lands. The Huotari Lane signage emphasizes that Huotari Lane is not a public road and affords no public access. As we have said repeatedly, access on Huotari Lane and the Lake Recreation Area is restricted to HOA members and their “accompanied” guests. The only exception is for those associated with the mine / hayfield that are supporting the maintenance of Huotari Lane and use that road for access.
One last point on hunting season – If you see anything that looks suspicious or note any trespass issues, you are encouraged to call the Law Enforcement of MT Fish, Wildlife and Parks. The easiest thing is to call 1-800-TIP-MONT (1-800-847-6668). This number is monitored 24/7 and they can quickly get you to the local wildlife officers or the appropriate enforcement official.
FY21 Dues Collections
We are slowly chipping away at delinquent dues, but we have about 10 lots that still have not paid their FY21 HOA Dues. Three of these are what I refer to as “chronic” nonpayers and we are working to place liens on those properties. Of the remaining seven, there are a few that are likely late simply because they are absentee owners and we are having difficulty connecting. Finally, there are several lot owners that are choosing not to pay their dues for reasons that I can’t explain. Our goal remains to clear those chronic nonpayers as quickly as possible and to achieve 100% dues collection before the year is out.
As we discussed in the June or July Board Meeting, the Board has implemented a new process for handling Neighbor Complaints. While nothing has changed in our overriding precept related to neighbor complaint review – to promote neighbor-to-neighbor communication and resolution, we have formalized the process a bit. Complaints need to be made in writing (or email) and need to be specific enough to clearly determine if the complaint rises to the level of being a violation of the HOA Covenants. We are now looking into setting up something on our website (behind the Members Only curtain) where complaints will be filed online. More to come on that.
While we have had some complaints in the recent past regarding nuisance animals and travel trailers / RVs on properties longer than the 6-month maximum, all these complaints have been resolved through simply facilitating a higher level of communication. As always, the Board focuses on encouraging neighbor-to-neighbor communication as the solution to most neighbor complaints and we are proud to say that this approach has proven successful for every complaint we have received.
Thanks, and I hope you have a safe and enjoyable fall.
To view the minutes of the annual meeting and other related documents, go to the PRIVATE PAGES of the website.
REMEMBER TO VIEW THESE DOCUMENTS, YOU MUST BE SIGNED UP AS AN ONLINE MEMBER. SEE THE HOME PAGE FOR INSTRUCTIONS.