Below is a summary of some topics discussed at this month’s meeting. (The official minutes of the meeting will be published on the SIPOA website following their approval at the May Board meeting.)
President Ed Jones opened the meeting by announcing that recent technology upgrades in the Lake House’s Live Oak Hall have made it possible to broadcast both the meeting and its electronic presentations using the online meeting software called “GoToMeeting.” [Editor’s note: Meeting announcements had provided instructions on how to “join” the meeting and, if necessary, how to download the GoToMeeting software or App.] This meeting was SIPOA’s first use of GoToMeeting to enable remote attendance. SIPOA would appreciate receiving comments about remote attendees’ meeting experience via firstname.lastname@example.org.
Treasurer, John Feldman ,reported a solid financial picture, including: operating cash increased by almost $3.1 million due to timely collection of annual assessments; Capital Reserve cash increased and required funding for 2017 will be in place by the end of April; Liabilities are within expectations and the $700K line of credit balance will be repaid in full by the end of April; and Owner’s Equity at the end of March was $10.3 million.
Executive Director Heather Paton provided several updates. This year’s street sweeping gathered over 500 cubic yards of live oak leaves that would have otherwise washed into our storm drains. The reconstructed Boardwalks 3A and 3B were reopened last week, and repairs to the Oyster Catcher Community Center’s pool deck were completed last Friday. Gatehouse construction is proceeding toward a projected Certificate of Occupancy date in late May. 90% of the Assessment payments that were due by March 31 have been collected, and late notices have been sent for the remaining 10%. The 29 emails received in March at email@example.com covered 18 topics, each of them addressed by Staff. Architectural Review statistics were: 14 applications pending, 5 new homes approved/not yet started, and 24 new homes under construction. The 110 maintenance projects approved by staff in March is a record high, and it brings the total maintenance projects year-to-date to 258.
Each Board Member gave a short update on status of committee work. Don Smith (Activities) reported that the meeting schedule had been set for the first Monday of the month and the public is invited to attend. Michael Orris (Environmental) said that the committee had an extensive discussion about ways to ensure that users of Palmetto Lake and the trails near by are made aware of dangers posed by alligators. The group also discussed rotation of plants on traffic islands and replacement of a SIPOA Live Oak tree lost to Hurricane Matthew. A new Common Property Landscaping Subcommittee has looked at how the island’s common properties are being maintained and will report recommendations to Environmental in May. Mr. Orris closed by announcing that the next Adopt-a-Highway cleanup on Bohicket Road will be held May 6.
Guy Gimson (General Operations and Maintenance) reported results of a recent study of North Beach by Coastal Science & Engineering (CS&E): North Beach is very healthy, bird habitat is excellent, and the inlet has migrated 225’ south (greater than the long term average and probably due in part to Hurricane Matthew). CS&E made two recommendations: obtain permits to scrape surplus sand from North Beach and move it to the Beach Club area, and leave dead wax myrtles in place on the dune lines to assist in dune growth. (Based on discussion at the Board meeting, members of GOMC and Environmental committees will research the pros and cons of the possible beach scraping before action is taken. The permitting process takes about 18 months, and the work can be spread across multiple years.) Mr. Gimson also announced that traffic signs will be replaced in May with signs that are DOT-compliant (i.e., installed 5’ above grade and reflective), and he closed by saying that Lake House energy consumption has reduced by 24% compared to one year ago due to installation of LED lighting and upgrading controls.
Ed Houff (Legal) said that the committee has established subcommittees to work on several issues, including: need/desirability for rules regarding personal or commercial drone aircraft on the island; means of controlling contractors who perform work on properties other than the one for which island access was granted; and feasibility/necessity for requiring contractors to cover loads on their trucks/trailers.
Dennis Pescitelli (Nominating) said that the new committee had held an organizational meeting and developed a calendar for the nominating process. Dan Kortvelesy (Planning) announced that the committee is identifying issues for the 2018 Strategic Plan, adding that he had distributed material to Directors that would guide them through an assignment to document progress on their committees’ 2017 objectives and suggest topics for inclusion in the 2018 plan.
Ed Houff (now for Safety & Security) reported that subcommittees were established to work on several issues brought before the group, including: deal with recently adopted security policies (integrate them into the Rules & Regs, develop a handout to be available to owners and visitors); recommend policies for the use of electric motor-assisted forms of individual transportation; and research feasibility and issues associated with instituting a license plate reading system in place of the Gate’s bar codes and readers. S&S will also work with the subcommittees described above for Legal.
Ed Jones called on heads of Special Committees to give brief updates. Julie McCulloch reported that the Marketing Task Force continues to meet with the Lou Hammond Group about the new joint website, adding that the target release date is mid-June. Con Constandis said that the Election Improvement Special Committee is focusing on identifying ways to be more efficient in handling ballots, reviewing voting instructions sent to Property Owners, and reviewing operational procedures of the Nominating Committee. Ed Williams reported that the Housing Special Committee has reviewed results of work of the 2016 committee as preparation to start 2017 work. Ms. McCulloch reported that the Emergency Preparedness Subcommittee has studied communications, planning & preparation, and post-storm cleanup and will generate recommendations for Board discussion at the May 15th Board meeting.
In “Old Business,” Mr. Houff announced that SIPOA’s outside counsel advised that SIPOA has no standing in relation to The Seabrook Island Club’s plan to install lighting at the Tennis Courts.
Several Motions were put forth for Board consideration and approved:
- A new Policy on Trash Dumping by Commercial Entities stating that commercial house cleaning companies shall be treated as “contractors,” in that they may not use SIPOA’s Trash and Recycling Facility as a place to dump trash or recycling resulting from their work in homes or at regimes: The contractors’ trash and recycling may be discarded in the home’s receptacle or the regime’s central trash facility; alternatively, it must be removed from the island by the contractor. Assessments are $50/dumped bag for a first offense, and $100/dumped bag for second and subsequent offenses. Rationale for implementing the policy is that “removal of trash and recycling left at the Seabrook Island Road facility costs SIPOA more than normal pickups at residences or at centralized regime trash pickup points. SIPOA pays by the pound for trash collected at this facility.”
- Contracting with Applications By Design, Inc. (ABDI) for new gate access software to replace the current “outdated” CapSure and Association Voice software and to streamline operations: In describing the software, Mr. Houff noted that the new software will be compatible with current barcodes, integrate with SIPOA’s Property Owner database, and provide such additional function as allowing Property Owners and rental agencies to transmit gate passes to their guests via email or text for printing prior to arrival. (Guests will have to show ID the first time the pass is used at the Gate, and all guests will continue to use the left traffic lane to enter the island.) Ms. Paton added that SIPOA will conduct a vehicle census/survey to confirm specifics of Property Owners’ vehicles before converting to the new system.
- Spending up to $14K to repair the Lake House pergola’s water damage: The work will be put out for competitive bidding.
The next meeting of the SIPOA Board will be held on May 15, 2017.