May 2016 Minutes & Notices
Candlewood Isle Tax District
Budget Hearing Minutes
May 14, 2016
Board Members/Officers Present: David MacGown, President; Kim Cronin, Vice President; Nathan Archer, Treasurer; Gonzalo Santos, Technology; John Glynn, Marina; Pat Johnson, Maintenance; Kevin Kovesci, Clerk.
Board Members/Officers Absent: Mike Mocarski, Roads; Vivian Mocarski, Junior Recreation; Tim Larkin, Security.
Public Present: Randy Brozek, Bob Stryker, Gary Chester, Alma and Charles Ferry, Jim Hancock, Glenn Moore, Andrea Anderson, Gillian Grogier, Kathy and Tim Ohsann, Ruviario Martinez, David Bland, John McGurk
CALL TO ORDER
President, David MacGown called the meeting to order at 9:35am.
Nathan began the meeting by explaining that the total proposed budget for the 2016-17 is $585,480. In general, there is an increase in the budget for Roads and Maintenance and a decrease in Security. In addition, there is a $24,000 balance carry forward as a result of past years’ taxes and interest collected on delinquent accounts.
Nathan noted that two years of audits (FY 2013-14 and FY 2014-15) were completed in the 2015-16 fiscal year by the new auditor, hence the over budget amount found in that category. He pointed out that going forward only one audit per year will be necessary.
David informed the attendees that the increase in taxes will be approximately 5%, not as much as last year’s increase, but necessary to keep up with the Roads plan as well as to keep up maintenance in other CITD assets.
David reported that the greatest increase in the budget was once again allocated to improve the Isle roads. He explained that the amount of money proposed in the last two budgets is a significant increase over the amount spent two years ago and this level of spending will continue into the future.
Last year, $60,000 was budgeted to conduct a diagnostic survey of the Isle culvert system to determine which culverts were most at risk of collapse. The survey was completed significantly under budget, and the remaining funds are being used to replace some of the culverts most at risk of collapse. David explained that it was necessary to determine which culverts were in danger of collapse so that funds wouldn’t be wasted by paving over culverts that would soon collapse.
Thirteen culverts are currently being replaced, and paving over those repairs as well as asphalt paving Sunset Trail between Deer Run and Ridge and a section on Lake Drive South near Hemlock will be completed using the remaining Roads budget from the current fiscal year (2015-16). Later this summer, more work will be completed using the 2016-17 fiscal year Roads budget. Specifically, a large portion of Ridge Road will see culvert replacement and repaving with asphalt. In addition, some of the less traveled roads will be resurfaced with a double chip seal, a process which is reportedly more durable than the chip seal process used in the past.
David explained that the Board’s goal over the course of the last three years has been more forward thinking with regard to maintaining the assets of the Isle, from the Trading Post renovation, to improving the Roads, to the creation of, and contributions into the Capital Improvements Fund, which will have over $80,000 this fiscal year.
Pat Johnson explained that the increase in the Maintenance budget is the first increase in the Maintenance budget since he took charge in 2011. The increase covers such things as walkway repairs around the Clubhouse and Trading Post, will be used to repair the lights around the Clubhouse and clean the large windows at the Clubhouse. In addition, new Clubhouse furniture will be purchased, using some of the carry over funds from collecting past years’ taxes and interest. Pat thanked the Oshanns for planting the flowers around the Trading Post and John Cotumaccio for repairs to the basketball court bench and trash bin at the Clubhouse.
Pat also explained that the Waterfront budget was increasing slightly to cover an increase in Lifeguard pay in an attempt to keep up with increases in the State minimum wage.
John Glynn informed residents that the Docks were being installed during the meeting. He reported that the finances of the Marina Committee were in excellent shape, and that the Committee has over $60,000 available. John explained that the Committee is working with First Light to expand the Marina in an effort to deal with the ongoing wait list issue, where approximately 50 residents are waiting for a slip at the Marina.
Gonzalo explained that due to various problems he faced with a website vendor, the Board has decided that a standalone website is the only logical solution to satisfy the Isle’s technology needs.
Gonzalo informed attendees that he has been working with Tim to come up with a long term security enhancement plan using more cameras and greater data storage. While there will be an up front cost for equipment (cameras and recording devices) the cost will be made up by reducing evening patrols around the Clubhouse. The Clubhouse will now be covered with more cameras with multiple camera angles and greater data storage capacity than before. The goal is to provide a deterrent through greater camera use.
David explained that the Board continues to look into various solutions to enhance security while reducing security costs to residents. The idea is to optimize security spending to free up additional spending for roads and facilities maintenance while limiting tax increases.
Bob Stryker asked if the new cameras would be able to determine if people were speeding on the roads. David explained that speed on the Isle roads was an ongoing issue that the Board continues to address, but these cameras are being installed to deter crime, not to reduce speed on the roads. David asked residents to continue to self-monitor their speed and their neighbor’s speed on the roads.
Glenn Moore asked if the cameras will be able to photograph license plates. Gonzalo confirmed that the cameras could photograph license plates, and the length of time the photos will remain in storage will be determined as the technology is implemented.
A resident asked where the Capital Fund account was being kept. David answered that it is in an interest bearing account that earns minimal interest.
Glenn Moore asked if the Board was going to charge residents who tapped into the culvert system to drain rain water from their property. Gonzalo suggested that the impact on the culvert system was minor, and that age and road salt was the real problem. David made it clear that any existing unauthorized use of the Isle culvert system to drain rain water from residents’ property will not be reconnected following culvert repairs.
David Brand spoke of his experience as a Realtor in various Lake Communities. He reported that gate systems tend to cause more problem than they solve, and they tend to be disabled or inoperable often.
A resident asked if there is a security problem on the Isle, and David explained that it has been some period of time since there was a security problem related to someone gaining access to the Isle without permission, but that incident was repeated and traumatic for affected residents.
Bob Stryker asked how much money is required to solve the culvert problem. David explained that each culvert has been rated on a scale from 1-5, with 1 being excellent condition and 5 being near collapse. In order to replace just the 4’s and 5’s the cost would be over $200,000, or two years of the current road repair budget.
A member of the Book Club thanked the Board for permitting the use of the Trading Post for their meetings.
Glenn More thanked the Board for allowing the use of the Clubhouse for the “Dinner and a Movie” nights.
David Brand expressed concern over the use of chip seal and felt he would prefer to have someone fill pot holes than have the roads chip sealed. David MacGown explained that several options have been researched, with no viable cost effective alternatives found. The budget does not nor will it ever provide enough funds to pave four miles of Isle roads. Therefore, the plan is to use asphalt as much as possible on the high traffic areas and to try a thicker chip seal method on the lesser traveled roads to see if it is effective.
The Budget Hearing was adjourned at 10:25am.
Kevin Kovesci, Clerk