FOUR LAKES BOARD of TRUSTEES
June 21, 2018
Home of Terry Deschenes, 7:00 pm
A. Committee Reports
Treasurer: Rod Case
Rod distributed the monthly financial reports before the meeting, and there were no questions. Rod is still waiting on some receipts from committee chairs for reimbursement.
Before the meeting, Rod reported that he had made solid progress on getting quotes for surveys to confirm the location of the eastern boundary of the community property adjacent to the bridge/easement area. One of the companies (Eastside Consultants) did the original platting work for the developers of Four Lakes. They keep papers on all their work, so they were confident they could get a real jump on answering our question. The easement papers show the actual job numbers for the work that Eastside did back then. The key issue is always finding good reference markers as starting points. If they are correct, they will have detailed info on the locations of the markers.
During the meeting, Rod reported that he had received a response from the surveyors (Eastside Consultants), and the estimate is $4500-$5000, which is much higher than expected, due to today’s market in which surveyors are in high demand. It’s unlikely that we will proceed at this cost.
Following the meeting, Rod provided additional info from Eastside Consultants:
Questions: Since they did the original boundary survey for the project to convert a portion of the original community property strip into an easement back in 1975, did they place stakes at the key boundary corners and/or along the longer lines? If they did place stakes, what should we look for if we try to find them?
Answers: The paperwork from back then has no indication the surveyors installed stakes. In those days it wasn’t required like it is today. However, it would probably be worth looking. They would be metal stakes, likely a 1/2-inch diameter pipe (we could use a metal detector to look for them). Rod does plan to see if he can find them.
Roads: Tom Norton
Terry led a discussion on the quotes that Tom obtained recently for the work scheduled to be done this year in August on the roads. Enclosed is a copy of the actual quote from AC Paving (our roads contractor the past two years) as well as the work sheet Tom did to make his budget estimate for this year’s budget. Also enclosed is a map showing the locations of the four work areas. Tom’s 2018 budget was right on target for these projects, except the work to be done on 241st Ave – that’s the hill road off the loop (location #2 on the map). It is also the $20,100 item on the bid sheet. To solve the ongoing problems we have on this hill, the contractor recommended paving it with 4” of asphalt, rather than the normal 2” we have been doing, along with additional ditching work.
Keith Renfrew provided additional details before the meeting on the four locations on the enclosed map:
This is in front of the mailboxes and involves removing two large stones, widening the radius of the turn and resurfacing
This involves the first 20’ or so going up the hill, as well as the cross street at the bottom for about 10’ in each direction. The contractor will tear up all the asphalt in this area, grind it into large-size gravel and reapply that to the road, coving it with 4” of fresh asphalt. The goal is to provide an outlet for the water under the roadbed to flow through the ground-up roadbed under the fresh asphalt.
Resurface, repair the chuck and widen the radius at the entrance to 4 Lakes. This is the corner that is on your right side as you leave 4 Lakes.
Resurface strip on 162nd St that was excavated in 2017 for a culvert to clear water from one side of the road to the other.
The work on location #2 exceeds the 2018 Roads budget and Tom is looking for guidance from the Board on where to go from here. We had $16,935 budgeted for this work (in addition to $3,030 for incidental repairs which we will still need). The actual cost will be $31,056, leaving a shortfall of $14,121. Rod confirmed before the meeting that we currently have approximately $39,219 in our Roads Reserve.
Meeting attendees discussed the bid and details of the planned work on the hill. Terry will check with Tom on a couple of outstanding questions raised during the meeting about the work (chip seal, drainage).
Decision: Board members unanimously voted to approve the full package of work as estimated, pending satisfactory responses on the questions raised.
Tom is still working with Potelco to complete their repairs from their earlier work.
Community Property: Janell and Matthew Wells
Rod mentioned that he still needs to get receipts on the mowing work, and Mark said he would check with Don. The community work day has not yet been rescheduled. Meeting attendees commented that the mole control this year seems to be effective.
Water: Evan Lurton
Summer work on meter replacement has begun. Dug the first four holes on the top of the hill. Will do three meters this Tuesday, then will do the fourth one in July.
Terry will provide a document that he wrote up to give to new neighbors – Rod can post it on the website.
Lakes: Dave Prochazka
Steve is working with contractors to get the lakes treated this summer (dates TBD). Scott reported that he is seeing increased beaver activity around Osprey and Horrocks Lakes.
Emergency Preparation: Mark Anderson
Mark reminded all about the planned emergency preparedness drill in September.
Hospitality: Sharon Ayers
Terry mentioned that a couple of new residents have been contacted recently.
Entertainment: Nina Hufford
Scott confirmed that Nina would provide receipts for recent events to Rod next week.
Communications: Janelle Wells
Legal: Terry Deschenes
Security: Jason Didricksen
Before the meeting, Jason reported that his family would be moving out of Four Lakes, and he formally submitted his resignation as Chairman of the Security committee. Terry confirmed that he was accepting the resignation, and everyone present thanked Jason for his work on behalf of the community.
B. Old Business
NEW BOARD MEMBER
Terry had contacted John Ricchio about his resignation from the Board. John had said last month that a series of events in personal life made staying on the board difficult. We agreed to see what 30 days would bring. He was contacted prior to this meeting and confirmed that it was what he wanted to occur. His resignation was accepted, with reluctance. The Board voted to add Bob Liebling to the Board to fill John’s term.
Brian provided a detailed update on his discussions with George on establishing a plan to replace the bridge over the outflow creek and to find a way to address the Wittrens’ security concerns about traffic through the easement.
First, Brian emphasized that George agrees with the board that we all want the bridge back – it’s a wonderful addition to the community
George also wants very badly to work with the board to figure out a path forward, and he is excited and appreciative of the community’s efforts
George requests a communication to the community of some sort by the board about the differences between community-owned property and easements and to establish rules and codes of conduct
Brian reiterated George’s position, and the board agrees, that the easement is just for people to travel across the Wittrens’ property between SE 162nd and the community property access to Heron Lake, not to stay and fish
George proposes some sort of gate to be installed on either end of the easement; it’s incredibly important to have a way to control user access to the easement because the board does not have control and it would provide some control for the Wittrens (perhaps by passing out codes to community members – there are plenty of locking mechanisms with hundreds of codes)
George would like to see an agreement in writing that could be recorded with the county; otherwise, he doesn’t feel like he has authority to call the police or to revoke access to the easement (this concern is caused by the incident in recent years that led to a community member being arrested for harassment)
George proposes that a person requesting access would sign a code of conduct, then George would provide a code for access to the gate
Rod raised the concern that we may have to go to the 80 members of the community to consider re-writing the easement language. Brian will check to see whether we need to include any statements about the easement in the by-laws.
The attendees discussed the specifics of the gate proposal, since it is not clear whether this would be legal and whether a property owner has any authority to impede passage on the easement. It was pointed out that this does seem to be a similar situation to earlier discussions about an entry gate for the entire community.
For reference, the Four Lakes map currently includes the following statement about the easement: “Walking Easement Across Private Property – For community use to pass through. There is no access to the lake from the easement; lake access is from the community property side of the dam.”
Rod emphasized that we really do need a date proposed for when the bridge would be replaced.
After the meeting, based on the discussion, Mark assembled the following response for Brian to communicate back to George:
A collective group of neighbors from the Four Lakes Community (not the Board) would like to help. Here are some things that the group can do to help reach a resolution on this matter.
- This group would like to help rebuild the bridge by July 31, 2018, physically with a work party. People want to pitch in. We ask that George pick a date soon, so we can schedule to be there to work together as a group.
- The group would like to help with signage on both sides of the easement that states a code of conduct for the users of the easement (their usage of it is their physical agreement to abide by the code of conduct). The signs remind patrons that they are on private property and must respect the code of conduct for the easement. (i.e. – easement is for foot traffic exclusively, no stopping on the easement, no fishing from this private property, etc.). We did discuss George’s request for a locking gate and distribution of cypher codes to residents, but we don’t think administration of that system is feasible over time, plus we also have concerns about whether it’s truly legal to implement an impediment of that sort to the allowed use of the easement.
- For offenders of the rules, the group is happy to contact via phone the home of the nuisance as well as knock on the door to remind them that they are on private property and remind them of the code of conduct for the easement rules. We want to encourage appropriate communication among neighbors.
- Offenders will be notified that after one warning, the authorities will be contacted if the problem continues.
- The community will be notified of where community members can fish, on the community side of the bridge. The community will maintain this area and will make very clear to provide a fishing spot for people in the community on Heron Lake.
- We ask that George construct a letter explaining these changes to the easement and the bridge, that the Four Lakes Board will pay to send to all Four Lakes Community members.
We ask that George respond to us within 7 days regarding his agreement with these six items. If he is unable to respond in 7 days, please provide us with a date by which he can respond.
The next meeting is scheduled for Wednesday, July 25, 2018 at 7:00 pm at Terry Deschenes’s home.
–Marc Sanders, Member At-Large