January 7th 2019 GH-CP Association BODs Meeting

This post is written based on the statements taken from the Glebe Harbor – Cabin Point Association official website concerning their January 7th GH-CP Association BODs Meeting. There are three issues this post will concentrate on. The date and time of our meetings, our funds left from our RUF for the upcoming 2019/2020 budget and the pier at Glebe Harbor Beach.

Date and time of our meetings.

The last time I checked the GH-CP.org website concerning their meeting times, they listed it to be every second Monday of each month and listed theses dates and times for January, February and March of 2019. On January 14th, 2019, we had a power outage community wide and as far as I know, no meeting was held. I have no idea why the meeting times were changed from January 14th to January 7th as we never received any notice concerning this change, even though we are signed up to the GH-CP email list.

The reason I mention this is they have made the statement on their website that no property owners showed up for the January 7th, 2019 meeting. “There were no community members present”. They seem to acknowledge they have a problem getting the word out to member who have not given them permission to contact them via email concerning their upcoming survey and it seems this should also apply to any and all communications between any BODs and our membership. I know of at least three members who do not have internet access, and this should not keep them from being informed concerning issues/information about our community.That is why I am concerned that we were never notified of the changes concerning their original post concerning meeting on January 14th, 2019.

To expect your members to constantly check your official website for changes is both impracticable as well as inconvenient. After all, that is one of the reasons we have an email list to begin with. This is what they have posted on their website concerning their last meeting. Member Survey:  A survey is still planned to learn which projects/facilities are most valued and how the membership would prioritize our needs.  The results will be shared with the County as part of capital planning and funding. We will also try to utilize mailed formal meeting notices to include additional information for those not allowing us to communicate with them by email”.

To answer the question some of the Members in our community have asked me as to why we have these meetings to begin with, is simple. It is a requirement under our Sanitary District Management Agreement with Westmoreland County dated June 12th, 2017.

Page 6, subsection (a) states Continue to hold scheduled monthly meetings which are open to all property owners of the District. The schedule of these meetings will be publicly posted on the Manager’s website. A specific time shall be set aside at each meeting for District property owners to share suggestions and concerns about the operation of the Property or any other matters of interest regarding operation of the Property”.

I would also like to thank our current BODs for taking suggestions made by member(s) into consideration about changing their meeting times of every second Monday of each month. One reason I know of is that their meeting dates and times fall on the same day each month, that the Westmoreland County Board of Supervisors, hold their open meetings. This is what they have posted on their website concerning their last meeting.

Board Meeting Schedule for 2019: Due to a variety of conflicts, we will probably change the Board regular meetings to the second Thursday of each month at 7 pm. Meeting dates will be posted”.

Funds left from our RUF for the upcoming 2019/2020 budget.

This is the statement that is listed on their website concerning their last meeting. Budget and Capital Improvements 2019-2020: The cost of pool refurbishment, normal operating expenses, and debt service will very little money for projects”. I am sure the word “leave” was unintentionally left out of this phrase and it should be written as, “The cost of pool refurbishment, normal operating expenses, and debt service will leave very little money for projects”.

Concerning the pool refurbishment, it is just about impossible to give an exact number when it comes to remodeling anything. If it was a price to remodel a kitchen or bathroom, you have no idea what may need to be done, once you remove the drywall or flooring. The pool is no different. Since everyone agreed that the pool issues needed to be addressed, it needs to be addressed without taking any shortcuts. In other words, if we are going to pay for it, lets make sure we do it right the first time so this matter will not need to be addressed again, for decades to come.

Concerning our operating cost, that is mostly made up for payroll/employee benefits and we get reimbursed by Westmoreland County concerning those expenses every year. One of the easiest ways to reduce the amount of money spent on these items is to make these positions part time or do away with them completely and use volunteers, to fill these two positions for our office secretary and property manager. It is very common for volunteers to hold these two positions in other Associations. If I am not mistaken, our office secretary position was part time, before we became a Sanitary District. According to our budget we pay $63,746 for staff salary and benefits. If we do away with these positions, we will have this money to put back into our community to fund other projects. The last item in this section concerns “debt service”.

This is really the most important thing concerning this section in my opinion, as it will/can change over time. As the years roll by, we pay them off. When this happens, we can then investigate more expensive projects that may need to be done. So, what do these debt services include? Well, just about everything we have done since we became a Sanitary District. We went from 0 to 60 in about 2.8 seconds concerning our community and making improvements. We have spent money, we simply did not have and now we need to pay it back. The debt service coverage ratio, also known as “debt coverage ratio”, which is the ratio of cash available to debt servicing for interest, principal and lease payments. It is a popular benchmark used in the measurement of an entity’s ability to produce enough cash to cover its debt payments.

The following items/projects/repairs have been made since we became a Sanitary District and we have payed Westmoreland County $549,600 according to their figures. This figure DOES NOT include the RUF for 2019/2020 which should be around $264,000.

  • Glebe Harbor Boat Ramp Repaired.
  • Dredging of the Weatherall Creek Entrance Way.
  • No Wake Signs.
  • Permits.
  • Glebe Harbor Beach Restoration and Riprap Installation.
  • Swimming Pools Refurbishment.

It needs to be pointed out that we had $0.00 when we became a Sanitary District on May 1st of 2017 and if we compare this situation to a family of four with an income of $30,000 per year, it may make the next statement easier to understand. WE ARE LIVING ABOVE OUR MEANS!

For decades our properties/amenities were neglected regardless of the reason, and it seems there is a select few in our community that want everything fixed yesterday. This line of reasoning is both absurd as well as impractical. To constantly throw yourself into debt and know you do not have the means to dig yourself out, (other than spending other people’s money), is why people lose their homes, cars, boats as well as other assets, they may have accumulated over time. As a community, we can not use this line of thinking.

Everything we have done concerning the improvements made to our community, have been done over a 20-month period. We are talking about hundreds of thousands of dollars being spent over 20 months, when we had $0.00 to begin with. That is why I made the statement concerning our debt service, “this is really the most important thing concerning this section in my opinion, as it will/can change over time”.

As we pay off the loans that were taken out to pay for the above improvements, we will have the money that was used to pay on these loans, to use for other projects that may be needed for our community. As an example, we have one more payment of around $32,000 that after next year, can be applied to our total RUF fund, that can then be applied to future projects. If we can plan our projects to be done without the need to take out loans, then we should be able to reduce the yearly RUF that is paid by every property owner, that is a member of the Glebe Harbor – Cabin Point Sanitary District.

The Pier at Glebe Harbor Beach.

This is something that really needs to be investigated and is also a statement about all the money we just spent, on refurbishing the beach area as well. On their website they state concerning their last meeting, GH beach: The old walkway is unsafe and an eyesore. We will seek County help with costs to either repair/replace it or tear it down completely”.

When it was first built, it was a structure you could walk out on and do a little fishing. I know this as both myself, as well as my wife walked out on this structure and met our first neighbor in October of 2016, who was in fact, fishing from the end of this pier. Those days are gone as this structure no longer extends to the water.This could turn out to be one of the biggest money pits we have in our community. A money pit is something of value, which for some reason or another will require considerable amounts of money to maintain, while failing to live up to its intended purpose. The first problem is due to its location.

We have been out there several times when regardless of where you walked to get to the pier, you were walking through standing water as well as mud.The second problem is the distance you need to walk, to get to this pier. This same situation can also be applied to the beach are as well, but when it comes to the beach, most people plan on staying longer at the beach, then they will be standing on this pier. To invest money into this project and use it for an observation deck is not really a bad idea, except for its location as well as the amount of use it would get.

I have had several conversations with other members that have no intentions of using this pier, and the conversation always ends with the same results/complaints. It is too hard to gain access to, for the amount of time that will be spent using it, once there. Since you can no longer fish from this structure, do we really need to spend the money to repair/replace it, when a fold up chair will give the same results from the beach area? As always, this is just my opinion and your comments are always welcome on our new community forum. Your neighbor, Dana.

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