Virginia City Highlands Property Owners’ Association

Minutes Monthly Meeting – Tuesday July 14, 2009

Virginia City Highlands Fire Station Training Room


Present: Morrow, Robbins, Tallent-Stewart, Lumos

Absent:  Biederman

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

Ray Robbins called the meeting to order at 7:07 pm and declared a quorum present.

II.    Approve Minutes of the June 9, 2009 Regular Meeting  

A motion by Tallent-Stewart, seconded by Morrow to approve the minutes of the June 9, 2009 meeting was approved unanimously.

III.   Financial Statements  

A.    Monthly Cash Report

B.    Monthly Financial Statements

Dave Thomas reviewed the financial statements.

Income for the month was $7,265 from dues, assessments, and transfer fees.  Expenses for June were $129,561 including administrative expenses, annual mailing costs, and road improvements.  The ending cash balance as of June 30 was $119,295.  Total assets including property, equipment, and cash are $323,417.  Accounts receivable, due to unpaid dues and assessments, are $12,945.

Expected July expenses are $4,005.

The large expenditure for the month included invoices for road improvements done in May and June.  Thomas commented that the roads are in the best condition they have been in the time he has lived here.  Fiscal year to date nearly $190,000 has been spent on road improvements, which included carryover work from the previous fiscal year completed in late summer 2008.

Thomas also reviewed the draft year end financials which will be presented at the annual meeting.

A motion by Tallent-Stewart, seconded by Robbins, to accept the financial report as submitted was approved unanimously.

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

Cecilia Lak stated that she thinks we need an “architectural standards czar” to note infractions and enforce the guidelines.  Bill Lewis stated that there must be a complaint before action is taken.  He invited folks to notify him if there are infractions and the architectural committee will investigate and recommend to the board for action if warranted.  Ray noted that the issue will be brought up at the annual meeting and encourage people to report violations.

Jim Watson recommended that the board consider using biodiesel in the road equipment.  He stated that it meets all ASTM standards and the equipment will run better than with the current fuels.  Lumos asked about comparative cost but Watson stated that the cost changes regularly, as does the cost of commercial diesel.  Watson stated that it meets the on highway standards.  It should be mixed with commercial diesel during the cold weather months.

Watson stated that he has been working with the Forestry people and has taken down a number of beetle trees.  When the tree is dead the beetles are gone.  If not completely removed, along with all limbs and slash, a fire hazard is created.

The best time to trim pinions is late fall, November and December.                 


V.     Committee Reports

A.    Architectural Committee

 Bill Lewis reported that it is still “dead quiet”.  No applications have been received for several months.

B.    Road Report  

Bob Moore reported that the road crew has a great supporter in Steve Morrow.  He has the expertise and interest and has been a great source of information for the road committee and crew.  He also thanked his crew for their work.  Material was added to several roads and all roads were treated with either mag. chloride or Durablend.  The roads will be watered intermittently over the summer to keep the material active and control dust.  The water is purchased from Virginia City.  After this winter, the roads will improve more as the material settles in. 

He stated that having a roller on hand to use throughout the summer working season would be a big help to their work.  Nearly $10,000 was spent on roller rental in the fiscal year just completed.  The anticipated cost for a good used roller is approx. $45,000.  A roller is critical to the success of the road work.  Currently one is not available for normal maintenance work.

The county is no longer interested in purchasing the front loader.  Other buyers might be interested.

C.   Park Report  

No park report was presented.  Ray will contact Karlyn McPartlin to determine the status of the project.

VI.  Unfinished Business

A.    Review Reserve Study  

The study has been updated to reflect the correct beginning balance, replacement costs, etc. and is an accurate reflection of the state of the association.

A motion by Tallent-Stewart, seconded by Lumos to adopt the Reserve Study as amended was approved unanimously.  Lumos will forward a copy of the study and appropriate form to the Ombudsman’s Office, as required by law.

VII. New Business

A.    Fire Station Sale Offer and Negotiation  

Storey County has had an appraisal of the fire station property performed and is interested in purchasing the property.  The appraisal amount is $250,000.  The County would like credit for the expenditures they have made to the property and included a list of those expenditures with the appraisal.

If the owners are interested in selling the property to the County an independent appraisal must be performed and negotiations pursued.  Bill Lewis, and owner and certified appraiser, talked to a certified general appraiser in Minden who has a lot of experience in Storey County and determined that a commercial appraisal of the property would be between $3,000 and $5,000.  It is not recommended that the independent appraisal be done until there is some assurance that the owners would agree to the sale.

One owner suggested that it would benefit the property owners to have the County invested in the station, and feels that the association should just give it to the County.  If not that, then reduce the lease to $1 per year. 

The whole situation should be explained in plain language at the annual meeting and put to a straw vote at that time.   A meeting with the County Manager and Fire Chief should be arranged prior to the annual meeting to discuss the reasons for the sale.  Andy Biederman will lead that effort.

B.    Water Shortage Concern – Lawns and Swimming Pools

There are currently about half a dozen lawns in the Highlands.  Most are small in size.  The Ten acre association has a provision in their CC&R’s that lawns cannot exceed 1000 square feet.  Craig Chancellor, HRPOA president, is not aware of any lawns in the Tens.

Mike Lupo stated that the issue is not lawns, but the waste of water. 

Chancellor stated that swimming pools do not use a lot of water if not drained and filled each year.  The pool should not be filled from the well. 

Apparently the County has received two formal complaints about one owner’s excess use of water and forwarded it to the state.  It was reported by an owner that there is little the County can do at this time.  The owner may be required to meter his well to determine water usage.

Jed Margolin said that he had talked to the State Engineer’s office and they confirmed that a domestic well can only use 2 acre feet per year.  If more is used water rights must be purchased and transported from whatever basin the water originates in..  A large fine may be levied for overuse under a new provision in NRS.

A change to the architectural guidelines could be made to restrict lawns and water usage.   It should be voted on at the annual meeting and the time might be too short for it to be done before the 2010 meeting.

Craig Chancellor proposes that the two associations stop buying water in Virginia City and instead take it from the well at the park. 

Lumos stated that it could not be taken from that well since it is a domestic well.  The State Engineer has stated that we cannot use that water for such purposes.  The county owns the property the park is located on, and therefore the well.  The volume per year used for road work is not great; the concentration during road work is about 16,000 gallons per day per association.  That would be a huge draw from the water table at one time and not very feasible.

C.   Annual Meeting Preparation  

Since Andy is not present it is not clear whether all arrangements have been made.  No other needs are known.

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

No other matters were presented.

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

An owner who had previously been found in violation of the governing documents, and who had agreed to remedy the problem has not complied in over a year.  The board voted to notify the owner that they must remedy the problem within 30 days and provide proof to the board.  Since the owner has not complied with the previous action a fine of up to $1000 will be levied. 

X.    Adjourn

There being no further business the meeting was adjourned at 9:25 pm.


Respectfully Submitted,

Rita M. Lumos, Secretary