Virginia City Highlands Property Owners’ Association

Minutes - Monthly Meeting, Tuesday May 9, 2006

Virginia City Highlands Fire Station Training Room

Present:  Richard Woolley, Rick Bent, and Rita Lumos

Absent:  Debra Gravenstein and Martin Landaburu

I.       Call To Order, Declaration Of A Quorum And Approval Of Meeting Agenda

 Declaring a quorum present, President Woolley called the meeting to order at 7:00 pm.  President Woolley asked the board and audience members to adhere to Robert’s Rules of Order and only speak one at a time.

II.     Approve Minutes Of April 11, 2006 Meeting

President Woolley asked if there were any additions or corrections to the minutes of April 11, 2006.

Ø                A motion by Lumos, seconded by Bent to approve the minutes as submitted was approved unanimously.

III.    Financial Statements

A.               Monthly Cash Report

B.               Monthly Financial Statements

Lydia Hammack reviewed the financial statements.  The current balance in the operating account is $32,033 and in the reserve account is $28,114.  Expenditures for the month included the $3,507 Ombudsman Fee. 

She noted that 17 owners have not yet paid their 2006 dues; three of those have also not paid their special assessment.  These will be turned over to the attorney for collection at the first of July. 

President Woolley estimated that when fixed costs are deducted for the remainder of the year the November end balance will be approximately eight to ten thousand dollars. 

Joel Smith, resident, expressed concern that the budget will be run down so low with no contingency and asked if any special assessment would be made to bring up the operating fund.  President Woolley replied that the board shares this concern and may have to do a special assessment if there is an emergency.  He noted that historically the operating budget has been depleted by the end of the calendar year when new dues begin to come in.  The budget was considerable deflated when the current board took office and they have been very careful about spending any unnecessary funds.

Income for Fiscal Year 2006 is about $6,000 less than previous years.  Transfer fees are down from previous years and architectural fees are down somewhat.  Annual income is approximately $77,000; fixed expenses are about $44,000, not including road maintenance.  The remainder is not sufficient to adequately do snow removal and road maintenance. 

When balloting is complete and one of the options for road improvements is chosen, there will be an assessment levied.   President Woolley explained that association assets cannot be maintained properly with the current income levels.

Many of those attending expressed the opinion that the ballots should only contain options for road improvements, and not give an option to do nothing.

Karlyn McPartlin said that money has been wasted in the past and the board needs to gain trust from the owners in order to get more money.  She thinks the board is doing the right thing by proposing a plan and asking the owners to vote on their choice.

The road plan choices on the ballot will have proposed dollar amount for an assessment stated.  Several people suggested that the assessment be levied in August.  If the amount is high it is possible that installment payments may be made.  It was suggested that a small additional amount be added to the assessment to build up the operating fund to provide for unforeseen contingencies. 

Ø                A motion by Lumos, seconded by Bent, to accept the financial reports and cash report was approved unanimously.

IV.   Comments by Association Members (NRS 116.3108(3))

Keith Judson requested that an agenda item be added to Committee Reports on future agendas for a report by the Documents Committee.  He also would like the item from the March agenda about revising the architectural guidelines repeated on the next meeting agenda.

V.     Committee Reports

A.               Architectural Committee

Minutes were submitted from the Architectural Committee for the meeting of May 2, 2006.  A total of six applications were considered, five approved.  Fees collected were $225.

B.               Road Report

John DuFresne has been grading the lower roads.  The issue of which association will maintain the shared roads has not yet been finalized.  The upper roads have not yet been graded pending that agreement.  A limit of $6,000 worth of road grading work has been set.  This work will be partially financed by the sale of excess vehicles. 

Joel Smith asked if the association should consider vehicle weight restrictions during the spring mud season in order to diminish damage to the roads.  It was pointed out that while this is a good idea, it would be very difficult to enforce without having a person to monitor traffic.

Mr. DuFresne was directed to do routine maintenance on the grader and snow plow vehicles.  There is no money for culverts available at present.

VI.   Old Business

A.               Appoint New Members to Architectural Committee

No volunteers have responded to the notice of vacancies on the committee.  No action was taken.

VII.   New Business

A.               Annual Meeting Preparation

1.     Set Date For Annual Meeting

Ø                A motion by Lumos, seconded by Bent to set the date for the annual meeting at July 22. 2006, 10:00 am.  Lumos will contact the Peevers to determine whether they are again willing to arrange food for the picnic.

2.     Adopt Budget for FY 06-07

President Woolley presented a draft budget for Fiscal Year 2007 for consideration.  He indicated that income is projected at $13,000 less than the previous year.  Fixed expenses will be nearly the same as the previous year with the exception of increased utility and vehicle registration and insurance expenses.  Road maintenance has been categorized separately as insurance, snow removal, and normal road maintenance, including normal equipment maintenance. 

The proposed budget will be included in the newsletter to be mailed in early June and will include a comparison to the existing budget.

Lumos pointed out that the five year reserve study is due to be done in 2007.  Current law requires that the study be done by someone approved by the Commission.  This will be an additional fee to be considered in FY 2007. 

Keith Judson noted that the Reserve budget for the year will also have to be approved by the property owners.  Since no changes are expected, the budget included in the existing plan will be proposed. 

Ø                A motion by Lumos, seconded by Bent, to approve the proposed operating budget for submittal to the property owners was approved unanimously.

3.     Items For Newsletter And Mailing To All Property Owners

Items to be included in the annual mailing to the property owners were discussed.  Among those will be the proposed budget, the road improvement plan options, ballots for election of board members, a report about the documents committee, Architectural Control Committee, an article about Fire Safe Highlands, and a president’s letter.  Lydia Hammack will contact previous advertisers to solicit advertising for the newsletter.  Rates will be as previously established.  The county fire marshal or fire chief will be asked to submit an article on the area’s ISO rating. 

B.               Request by Joe Alt for audit of attorney fees

Joe Alt requested an audit of attorney fees for a period of about 3 years showing what delinquent owners have been charged.  He stated that he felt no one knows what amount of fees have been paid.  It was pointed out that there is a contract between attorney and association for fees charged.  Ms. Hammack presented a report of all attorney fees paid in the past year.  Mr. Alt and others reviewed the report.  He found the fees to be reasonable and withdrew his request for an audit.

C.              Any Other Matters Which The Board Members Wish To Discuss

Lumos noted that a request had been received by the board after the agenda was published   and asked if anyone objected to the issue being addressed at this time.  Since no one objected an agenda addendum for this item was approved. 

Phyllis Blake has submitted a request for permission to have a small business sign at her house.  She has been approved for a home based business by Storey County and stated that the state Real Estate Division requires a licensed realtor to have a sign at his/her business.  Several people expressed concern about approving a business sign at the edge of the roadway adjacent to a residence.  President Woolley stated that he will contact Ms. Blake to relate the concerns and ask her to try to find another remedy agreeable to the Real Estate Division.

President Woolley stated that he had completed a lengthy form early this year which was sent by the ombudsman in response to a complaint.  There has been no further correspondence on the complaint.

He reported that in his conversations with the ombudsman’s office it was strongly suggested that the association be managed by a professional manager licensed by the commission.  If that were to happen it would be very expensive and documents would be strictly enforced. 

VIII.          Executive Session

Ø                A motion by Bent, seconded by Lumos, to close the regular session and go into executive session was approved unanimously. 

The regular session was closed at 9:15 pm.  An executive session to clarify procedures for the handling of complaints and requests for reimbursement of fees paid to the Architectural Control Committee was held.

IX.        Adjourn

There being no further business, the meeting was adjourned at 9:30 pm.

Respectfully submitted,



Rita Lumos, Secretary