Virginia City Highlands Property Owners’ Association

Minutes - Monthly Meeting – Tuesday September 9, 2008

Virginia City Highlands Fire Station Training Room



Present:  Andy Biederman, Steve Morrow, Ray Robbins, Mary Tallent-Stewart, and Rita Lumos

I.       Call To Order, Declaration of a Quorum and Approval of Meeting Agenda

President Andy Biederman called the meeting to order at 7:05 pm. and declared a quorum present.

II.     Approve Minutes of the August 12, 2008 Meeting

A motion by Tallent-Stewart, seconded by Morrow, to approve the minutes of the August 12, 2008, was approved unanimously.

III.    Financial Statements

A.     Review Financial Statements

Dave Thomas reviewed the August Financial statement.  The balance on hand is $71,869 in the Operating accounts, $67,480 in the Reserve Account, and accounts receivable of $8,740 for total current assets of $148,089.  Expenses for the month were $3,967.  A motion by Tallent-Stewart, seconded by Morrow, to accept the financial statements was approved unanimously.

B.     Review of FY 2009 Annual Budget

Mr. Thomas passed out a lengthy analysis of the annual budget and of the road plan expenditures from the time of its adoption in 2006 to the present.  He also outlined the work detailed in the road plan which has yet to be accomplished.  The gravel road work is approximately 50% completed.  Many of the roads yet to upgraded have never had material applied and may be more expensive to complete than the roadwork done to date.  At the current rate of special assessments, it will take a total of 4 ˝ years of special assessments to complete the work.  He demonstrated that if the special assessment is not levied in this fiscal year there will be a negative cash balance by December.  He also stated that if the special assessment is not levied the road improvement program must be abandoned.

Mr. Thomas also pointed out that Nevada law requires that the reserve fund be adequately funded to cover capital expenses for a five year period.

Ray McPartlin asked whether the future road expenditures outlined in the analysis are based on actual costs or the costs estimated in the original road plan.  Thomas stated that they costs are based on the road plan.  He proposed that future road work will be more expensive than the work to date.

Patrick Flanagan expressed concern that money is being spent in a fiscally responsible way.  He stated that the magnesium chloride was not included in the original road plan and should not have been used.   Steve Morrow indicated that the road committee looked at many procedures for completing the road work and decided on the methods used.  He also stated that the road plan does not specify construction methods, although it does outline maintenance methods. 

Gabriel Venegas stated that the owners do not object to the special assessment, but they are concerned with the way the money has been spent.  He asserted that more work has been done than is necessary.  He stated that the road manager does not know what he is doing and needs more supervision.  It was noted that the road committee is directing the work and that the chair of the road committee, Steve Morrow is a professional engineer with considerable expertise in road construction.   President Biederman pointed out that many property owners have expressed compliments and satisfaction with the road work completed and with the application of mag. chloride.

Dave Thomas read from the road plan indicating that a road stabilizer was indeed called for in the plan.

Andy Biederman stated that the application of mag. chloride has worked very well on Dortort.  It has benefited multiple owners in terms of dust control.  He also stated that the plan must be dynamic and that the expertise of the road committee should be utilized.

Andy stated that the association has a commitment to improve all the roads. 

Ray McPartlin stated that he doesn’t care what the assessment is; he is not against assessments.  He passed out a position paper stating his concerns about the road work.  He does not believe that the assessment is necessary for this year.

Dave Thomas responded that his numbers and Ray’s are comparable.  He noted that running the balance down to a minimum of $50,000 or less does not comply with state statutes regarding cash reserves. 

McPartlin stated that a separate corporation could be set up to own the equipment and rent it to the association in order to not have to comply with the reserve fund requirements of the law.

Karlyn McPartlin stated that the vote for approving the budget at the annual meeting was not correct.  Lumos stated that the vote was taken twice, two people counted, and the budget was approved both times at that meeting.  If the budget were to be changed the whole process would have to be done again, including mailing the new budget to all owners and then convening a general membership meeting to vote on the new budget. 

Biederman asked if there was a motion to revise the budget and none was made.  A majority of the owners present were not in favor of spending the money necessary to revise the budget when the only changes would be to the beginning and ending balances.

Tallent-Stewart also pointed out that many owners have complimented the road manager and committee on the road work that has been completed and that the views expressed by some present do not represent the views of the majority of the owners.

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

Jud Margolen suggested that we not continue to pay the annual Ombudsman’s fee.  The matter has previously been adjudicated and it was found that the association is subject to the provisions of NRS 116 and the fee must be paid.  

An owner complained that his account had been turned over to the attorney for collection and claims he had never received any notice of the amount due.  The board will take the matter under advisement.

Gabriel Venegas asked if there is a program for weed abatement, noting that white top is getting out of hand.  Mary Tallent-Stewart will do research on the issue and report back.

V.      Committee Reports

A.     Architectural Committee

Rita Lumos reported that the Architectural Committee had only two applications for minor landscaping improvements and relocation of corrals at the September meeting.  A lot owner inquired about placing a manufactured home on her lot and was told that type structure is not allowed.  The matter will be on the October agenda for discussion.

B.     Road Report

Bob Moore reported that grading was done in the past month on Sazarac and Empire for maintenance.  Dust control was performed by spraying water on the areas treated with mag. Chloride.  Culverts were replaced in some locations and others had been cleaned utilizing the water truck.  Speed limit signs will be installed this week. 

Plow truck number one is in the shop to correct a performance problem and to ensure that it will be ready for the winter ahead.

Moore noted that it is the homeowner’s responsibility to maintain the culverts across their driveways.  It was suggested that we might be able to offer a service to clean those culverts for a fee.  He was directed to try to find out what an appropriate charge might be and what vendors who provide that service currently charge.

He reported that the street sign inventory complete and that a total of 14 intersections require sign replacement.  Two of the poles are missing.

Bob asked whether it would be appropriate to install culverts on Graves where a number of  one-acre homes are located even though that road technically belongs to the Highland Ranches.  Lumos reported that there is no formal agreement on the maintenance of Graves and Grande.  There is currently only one ten-acre home on their side of these roads.  Andy suggested that coordination be done with the other association before any work is done.

Lumos presented four estimates from street sign vendors.  Three were over the internet and one from a local company.  A motion by Tallent-Stewart, seconded by Robbins, to purchase the signs from Traffic Control Services, Inc. was approved unanimously.  The cost will be approximately $2490.  There is no funding through Fire Safe Highlands to replace the signs.

VI.   Unfinished Business

A.     Reserve Study – Choose Consultant

Lumos reported that as of September 8 there are two registered reserve study specialists.  The second person is located in the Reno area.  The consultant that the association has been in contact with has submitted all his paperwork but is not yet registered.  Lumos was directed to try to obtain a proposal from the newly registered specialist in Reno.

B.     Status of Complaint to Ombudsman

A stipulated agreement has been presented to the association from the Attorney General’s office.  If accepted, an administrative fine of $250 must be paid.  The board’s attorney suggests that the settlement is the most cost effective solution and urged that we accept it.  A motion by Tallent-Stewart, seconded by Robbins, to pay the fine and approve the agreement was approved unanimously.

Karlyn McPartlin stated that the association should not have to pay the fine, but rather the former board members should pay the fine.  The board agreed that the association must pay the fine.

VII.  Any Other Matters which the Board Members Wish to Discuss

No board members had any further issues to discuss.

VIII.          Executive Session to discuss possible violations of CC&R’s

No executive session was necessary.

IX.   Adjourn

There being no further business the meeting was adjourned at 10:00 pm.

Respectfully submitted,



Rita Lumos