Annual Meeting of the Paleface Ranch Association 09-14-13
I Call to Order
The meeting was called to order by President Bill Paschall at 1:40 p.m. Paschall reported 65 of 158 lot owners were in attendance. The chair declared that a quorum had been established.
Secretary Megan Klein read the minutes from the 2012 Annual Paleface Ranch Association Meeting. President Bill Paschall asked for any corrections to the minutes. There were no corrections and the minutes were approved as read.
III Treasurer’s Report
Treasurer Toby Newlin presented the treasurer’s report. Paschall stated the treasurer’s report would be filed for audit.
IV Budget Review
Newlin presented the 2014 proposed budget.
MAIN MOTION #1
Member Robert Fraser moved to table approval of the proposed 2014 budget until after New Business. John Byington seconded the motion.
V President’s Report
It has been a busy year.
Last November we came with 18 votes of being in the ETJ (extraterritorial jurisdiction) of the Village of Spicewood Canyon. The proposition was narrowly defeated and we didn’t even have a vote in it.
We crack filled all the roads in the subdivision. We chip sealed four side roads and will do the rest next year. The roads are now almost 20 years old and will only get worse and more expensive to maintain. At some point maintenance will cost more than we are currently bringing in.
We have been wrestling wth LCRA and Travis County for almost four months on permits for the Boat Ramp Area Improvement Project, and will complete it, God willing, more than $20,000 under the budget that you, the members, approved.
The Hellrung lawsuit, cause #D-1-GN-12-0000482 was non-suited, or dropped (not suspended) the morning before our legal team, paid by our insurance, was to appear before a judge to request a Summary Dismissal which, I believe, would have been granted.
Prior to the last board meeting, a misinformed individual, who has been identified to us by independent witnesses, invited the public, and opened the front gate, to a board meeting that is only for residents urging the public to come “let their voice be heard”. This individual then did not even show up to become informed and/or let his voice be heard. It did not interfere at all with the board meeting.
And just recently, a misinformed individual sent an email message to many residents making it appear the message came from a community forum; it did not. I did agree with part of the message – that annual meetings have been poorly attended in the past. I strongly encourage participation by our members. Involvement makes a stronger, more cohesive community. Here is my opinion on the allegations and points raised in that message.
An increase in dues is needed for road maintenance, plain and simple. A boat dock has not been and is not part of the improvement project. The dirt piles and their delivery were free, saving us about $2000 dollars. Yes, we are in a drought.
I am unaware of any notice by the post office of inadequate facilities to deliver mail; we currently have boxes for everyone who is a resident or who has requested one. The board, and Megan in particular, has done a lot of research on what we need for the future and that will be discussed today.
Only one individual has used the term “City of Paleface Ranch,” the board has not. Advantages and disadvantages of incorporation will be presented as part of our agenda today, as the board seeks direction from you, our community.
The Hellrung lawsuit has not been suspended; it was non-suited by the Hellrungs.
In the last year nine properties have sold and three homes have been built and five more are currently under construction. I don’t know about you but my experience has been that property values have been anything but flat over the last ten years.
Lastly, I am not seeking re-election. Other responsibilities have required me to spend much time away from Paleface Ranch since January and this will continue well into next year, maybe longer. My service to this community suffers as a result and it should not be so.
So let’s move on.
We could not function without volunteers and, over the past year, many, many hours have been dedicated to our subdivision. I want to thank the board members: Megan Klein, Toby Newlin, Karl Hancock and Gail Finnegan for all their hard work, enduring some frustrations, and being easy and fun to work with.
Other volunteers who deserve recognition and have never asked for anything in return:
Nancy Lambros for heading up the Road Committee, a most important duty with a lot of financial responsibility, and for managing the gate codes.
Ken Klein for his involvement in the Boat Ramp Committee, volunteering for clean ups and hosting many board and neighborhood events.
Jim Hinton for his time and equipment use in removing trees, mowing, and providing expertise and effort as a committee member for the boat ramp area.
Steve Hooge for supplying equipment and personnel and his time for multiple neighborhood projects.
Gary Jenkins for volunteering his time and equipment for mowing along the roads.
Chris Olson for removing trees and brush, even when no one else was there to help.
Tommy Quinn for providing his tractor for mowing common areas.
Ken and Bethany Thoresen for landscaping and clean-up efforts and for funding some out of their own pocket.
Megan Klein and Gail Finnegan for weed killing along all our roads when needed.
Toby Newlin for gate maintenance and repairs – sometimes those calls are late night and early morning. And Robin Newlin for her willingness to pitch in at almost any time.
Cody Gibson and David Watford for serving on the Architectural Control Committee.
There are many other contributors, everyone who picks up trash at the entryway or along the roads; shows up when we ask for volunteers; shows up at homeowners association meetings or assists neighbors when there is a need. There are times when I think we just need to pay someone to do something and one or more of you offers to help. Man, that is awesome.
Thank you for your involvement in our community. It really has been my pleasure to serve with you this, and past, years.
VI Architectural Control Committee Report
David Watford reported that three houses have been built in Paleface Ranch this year. Five more homes are currently under construction. Four swimming pools and one storage building have all been submitted to the ACC and approved.
Watford asked that property owners please keep trash and debris cleaned up around their construction sites. It has been a problem this year.
VII Road Maintenance Committee
Nancy Lambros reported that all roads were crack filled this year in May by Rhoades Sealing at a cost of $11,992. Successor, Replica, Envoy and Performer were chip sealed by Cummings Paving in August at a cost of $50,632. Both jobs were very well done and we hope to work with these contractors in the future. It is has been hard to find companies we can call again and again.
Our subdivision roads are now 18 years old. Three years ago we hired an engineering firm to inspect the roads. Their report said everything was in good shape as long as we keep on top of preventative maintenance. In the near future we should have fewer cracks to fill because of the chip seal. Next year the last four cul-de-sacs are slated to be chip sealed.
Quite a bit of loose gravel was left on the roads that were chip sealed in August. It is supposed to keep the extra oil from coming to the surface. If need be we can pay Cummings to come back to suck up loose gravel when the weather cools.
Lambros asked that if you have gravel driveways that you try to keep the driveway rock off the road where it will tear up the road surface.
VIII Boat Ramp Area Improvement Committee (BRAIC)
Ken Klein reported that though we have had a signed contract with Pat Haas for four months, the project has yet to break ground due to delays surrounding LCRA permitting. The membership voted to erect a limestone wall but after getting deeper into the project it became apparent that a limestone wall would have a 10 vertical drop in places and that seemed too dangerous. The BRAIC explored other options and ultimately recommended a cement wall at a 45 degree angle. The quote was substantially less than a limestone wall would have cost. The parking surface area will be ~ 12,000 sqft. The wall will have a two foot tall pipe guardrail along the top, french drain and stairs next to the ramp.
IX Election of Officers
Three board positions were up for election this year. John Byington, Karl Hancock, Megan Klein and Nick Granelli were nominated. Megan Klein was re-elected and John Byington and Nick Granelli will join the 2013-2014 Board.
X Old Business
Dead Cedar Trees
A motion from last year’s annual meeting that the Board send information to the membership regarding local companies who will remove dead cedar was never followed through. Megan will get this information out to the membership quickly. Several tree removal businesses include HOW Foundation, ECO Tree Service and Homestead.
The lawsuit brought against Paleface Ranch Association by Mike and Donna Hellrung was non-suited without prejudice. It was dropped but could be brought up again. The Association’s defense has been covered by insurance.
XI New Business
Chip seal of Cul-de-sacs
In 2014 the remaining cul-de-sacs are slated to be chip sealed. The board estimates this will cost $60,000.
MAIN MOTION #2
Mike Hellrung made a motion that the Board ask the county for an estimate of what it would cost to have the county take over maintenance of the roads. Tim Skergan seconded the motion.
Nancy Lambros moved to amend: The Board ask the county for an estimate of what it would cost to have the county take over maintenance of the roads and what would be the non-monetary changes required. Luis Martinez seconded the motion, as amended.
After nearly being included in the ETJ of the Village of Spicewood Canyon, the Board felt a responsibility to investigate incorporation and bring that information to the membership. Below are some of the advantages and disadvantages of municipal incorporation.
- protection against annexation
- prevention/limit of taxation
- qualification for various grants from state or federal agencies
- keeps government close to the people
- enables community to set own rules and regulations
- franchise taxes will bring in some level of additional revenue
- possibility of taxation
- another level of government
- minimum three additional volunteer positions – city council
- conflicts between HOA and City Council
- no interlocal agreements with Travis County Sheriff Department (won’t enforce rules and regs)
- liability – a city can be sued
The basic requirements for incorporation are 201 inhabitants living within the area to be incorporated, 50 of whom must be registered voters to sign a petition to request an incorporation election.
The Board doesn’t think we meet the 201 inhabitant requirement yet but we are getting close. It is the Board’s recommendation that interested parties should further investigate incorporation and move forward, or not, based on their findings. It is the Board’s feeling that it should not be the HOA Board that pursues incorporation.
MAIN MOTION #3
Mike Hellrung made a motion to table the discussion of incorporation until more information is available. The motion does not receive a second.
Annual Maintenance Fee
The Association’s Annual Maintenance Fee is currently $300 per lot per year. The last increase was seven years ago at the Annual HOA Meeting in 2006 – increasing from $200 to $300 per lot per year. Bill explained that the Association has dedicated the majority of funds toward road maintenance over the years and has largely been able to keep up. Engineering reports from three years ago found the roads to be in good shape for their age and this speaks to the Association’s diligence in regular maintenance. But the cost of materials for regular maintenance have been steadily increasing. Given the recent years of drought and the age of the underlying road bed, it would not be surprising to begin seeing failures in the road bed (potholes and dips). Road failure repairs are costly and would be an additional strain above the already budget-busting cost of regular maintenance. It is for these reasons the Maintenance Fee Increase proposal has been brought to the membership for a vote.
MAINTENANCE FEE INCREASE PROPOSAL
Proposal to authorize the Board of Directors of the Association to increase the Annual Maintenance Charge per Lot to Four Hundred ($400) per year commencing with calendar year 2014. Voting Results: 59 For; 20 Against; 74.68% majority.
The Association has nine (9) unassigned mailboxes left but we are still sixty (60) boxes short of having enough for the neighborhood, once built out. There are two options. Mailboxes in the same style we have can still be purchased. They are no longer approved by the USPS but the Spicewood postmaster has agreed to allow us to use them. They are only available from one source. Three 16-unit boxes and one 12-unit box plus pedestals will cost $4416. Electrostatic painting on the existing boxes to improve their appearance will cost $1695. Total cost of old-style boxes plus painting: $6111.00.
The second option is to scrap all of our old mailbox units and replace them with postal approved units in the new style. Each unit has 16 mailboxes, an outgoing mail slot and two small package boxes. Purchasing 10 units would give us 160 mailboxes and 20 new parcel lockers. The mailboxes can be numbered 1-160 and the parcel lockers A-T. We would keep our old package boxes because we never seem to have enough. The Association was able to score a significantly discounted quote for a large order. Total cost of new-style boxes: $9376.80.
Delivery of the mailboxes can be made to the post office and the post office will remove/install boxes free of charge. Regardless of the option chosen, the post office would like to order the mailboxes by consecutive addresses – waiving the rekey fee of $25/box (old style) or ordering them correctly from the start (new style). Old boxes will be taken to metal recycling center.
MAIN MOTION #4
Ken Klein made a motion that: The Association replace all existing mailboxes with new style mailboxes and purchase additional mailboxes to build out to 160. Steve Barker seconded the motion.
Mike Hellrung moved to amend: The Association replace all existing mailboxes with new style mailboxes and purchase additional mailboxes to build out to 160 and attempt to resell old mailboxes within six (6) months.
Central Texas Water Coalition
Paleface Ranch Association has joined the ranks of the Central Texas Water Coalition (CTWC) membership. The CTWC was organized to address water issues of the Lower Colorado River Basin and advocate for the preservation and conservation of the Highland Lakes’ water supply and water levels for health, safety and recreation, and for recognition of the Highland Lakes as an irreplaceable economic engine for the State of Texas. Adding Paleface Ranch HOA to their membership roster lends weight to the cause and keeps us abreast of the latest news affecting our water supplies in the Highland Lakes.
LCRA has recently announced they are considering lowering the “constant level” lakes by three feet to capture more rainwater. The Highland Lakes generally considered constant level are Lake Austin, Inks Lake, Lake LBJ and Lake Marble Falls. The CTWC may soon see a swell in membership.
There is growing disapproval of the way LCRA is managing the lakes. The momentum has started to shift from LCRA being behind closed doors – some political figures are starting to get involved.
MAIN MOTION #5
Ernst Leiss made a motion to adopt the budget with the $400.00 Maintenance Charge. Sharmae Erickson seconded the motion.
MAIN MOTION #6
Mike Hellrung made a motion to estimate the cost of accessing the mailboxes other than accessing the mailboxes beside the road. There was no second.
Meeting is adjourned at 4:26 p.m.
Bill Paschall, President
Megan Klein, Secretary