Twin Rivers Ranch Property Owners Association Minutes, Board of Directors Meeting
Call To Order: President Pat Hurt called the meeting to order at 1:04 PM at the Old White Bird School. Present were Pat, John Urbahn, Don deSa, Debbie Little, Cathy Little, and Susan Schubert. Kristin Donaldson joined by phone.
Approval of Agenda: Debbie moved, John seconded, and all approved the agenda with the additional items added:
- Discussion of a letter from a property owner notifying the Board of the sale of their house and adjoining lot on a Phase I Association road, complaining about the maintenance – weeds, graveling, and grading – of the road to their lots, and requesting the Board consider charging owners who live in the Ranch more for annual dues and those who only periodically visit less for annual dues;
- Placement of a road name sign for Shuck Creek Road where it intersects Hammer Creek Road;
- Removal of the locked gate which has been placed across Pilgrim Ridge Road without the Board’s knowledge or consent; and
- Update on reservations for the 2020 Annual Membership Meeting at Hoot’s Cafe and the annual barbeque at Swiftwater RV Park.
Approval of Prior Minutes: Debbie moved, Cathy seconded, and all approved that the minutes from the October 2019 Board Meeting be approved.
Discussion of Letter from Complaining Property Owner: Pat will respond to the property owner with a letter. He reported that he talked to the property owner and explained that the covenants do not allow the Board to charge different rates based on whether or not the owner lives on the property or only visits periodically. Pat also explained to the property owner that all roads are sprayed once a year, and that roads lightly traveled may in fact have grass and/or weeds grow back after spraying. Pat also called another property owner on the same road who said that they have never seen a problem with maintenance of the road or with weed and grass control on the road. That property owner also knows the purchaser of the house and additional lot and stated that the purchaser does not have a problem with the maintenance of the road, either. Pat stated that Robin Lipinski, Association equipment operator, is doing an excellent job of maintaining the roads and spraying for weeds. The complaining property owner also owns a lot on top on Pilgrim Ridge Road, so Pat drove up to check on the accessibility to that lot. Pilgrim Ridge Road was snowed in. Robin had not been able to plow it because it had a locked gate blocking access.
Locked Gate on Pilgrim Ridge Road: The Board did not place or authorize the placement of a locked gate across Pilgrim Ridge Road. This has happened in the past, too, and the Board removed the gate at that time. Debbie moved, Pat seconded, and all approved that the Board will have Robin remove the gate and the posts. The Board will store the gate until someone claims it.
Winter Access to Roads on Top: The Board discussed how to provide winter access to owners of lots on top as one owner was unable to get to his lot because of the snow, which resulted from the locked gate preventing plowing of the road. The Board will include in the annual May mailing that owners on top can call the Board and request that the roads be accessible for a certain date. Given enough lead time, the Board will check on the road and have it plowed if necessary.
Road Chair Report: Don reported that the roads have been plowed several times this winter. Robin thought there was a problem with the brakes on the truck, but it turned out to just be a stone which he removed. Robin plowed on top, and it was difficult because it was wet, heavy snow and lots of it. He was unable to plow Pilgrim Ridge because it had a locked gate on it. He was able to plow Elk Run. Don confirmed that parts of Gregory Creek and Hammer Creek Roads will be graveled and rolled but that the graveling and rolling will be limited to those sections that need it. Sections of Shuck Creek Road might also be done. He will try to get the work done prior to the May mailing, possibly in April. The graveling of the roads on top was completed in the fall of 2019 as planned and budgeted for at $7600. He will also have a couple of loads of gravel placed on Shuck Creek Road this year, which is also in the 2020 budget. Pilgrim Ridge will also need gravel in the next year or two. John moved, Pat seconded, and all approved the report.
Treasurer Report: Debbie presented several documents for review: a balance sheet comparison between the end of year 2018 and the end of year 2019; the actual and budgeted income statement for end of year 2019; an income statement comparison between 2018 and 2019; an end of year statement of cash flow for 2019; a balance sheet for January 31, 2020; and a copy of the Association’s income tax return for 2018. Copies of these statements can be obtained from Debbie for anyone who wishes to see them. Included below are only those items which were mentioned in the meeting. You may also contact Debbie if you have any questions about this information. Debbie reviewed the financial reports, as highlighted below:
Balance Sheet Comparison for 2018 and 2019.
- Under the accrual basis of accounting, the Prepaid Association dues are appropriately reported under Current Liabilities, since they are unearned as of the balance sheet date. Prepaid dues were $14,915 on 12/31/2018, and $21,550 on 12/31/2019.
- 2018 cash balance was $93,901.88 ($35,501.96 checking, and $58,399.92 reserve savings).
- 2019 cash balance was $100,697.26 ($27,134.82 checking, and $73,562.44 reserve savings). The change in the reserve savings is due to transferring $15,000 from checking to the reserve-savings account at year end. This was done because the checking account balance had been maintained at a higher level than necessary in the past, and we could be earning interest on those funds.
Actual and Budgeted Income Statement for 2019.
- TRRPOA incurred a small loss (excess expenditures) of $539.90 in 2019, instead of the planned excess expenditures of $19,617.
- Gravel, including materials and handling, was budgeted at $21,000, but the actual was only $8,872.56 (savings of $12,127.44).
- Mastication was budgeted for $10,000, but the actual was $8,430 (savings of $1,570).
- Legal fees were budgeted at $2,500, but the actual $665 (savings of $1,835.00).
- We also saved $162.75 on website maintenance as a result of Kristin maintaining the site, and saved $191.46 on printing and mailing as a result of Cathy printing and mailing the newsletters.
Income Statement Comparison for 2018 and 2019.
- There was very little change from 2018 to 2019, other than legal fees, which were $6,782.15 in 2018, due to a lawsuit.
Cash Flow Statement for 2019.
- The Statement of Cash Flows reconciles timing differences from our accrual-basis recognition of income and expenses, to actual changes in cash.
- There was a net increase in cash of $6,795.38 from 12/31/2018 to 12/31/2019.
Balance Sheet for January 31, 2020.
- The cash at the end of January, 2020, is up $3,449.63 from the same period in 2019.
- Past due accounts carried over from previous years totaled $1,947 in 2018 and $2,027 in 2019.
- As of the date of this meeting, TRRPOA’s unpaid dues assessments total $9,088, ($5,113 from 2020 dues, and $3,975 from prior years).
Collecting Past Due Accounts
- Debbie will provide typed lien-filing procedures, based on our attorney’s advice, to be included in the Treasurer’s notebook for future treasurers to follow.
- Liens filed in Idaho are only effective for a 12-month period, and only include amounts owed in the preceding 12-month period. A lien can be extended one time for an additional 12 months (24 months total). Some of the liens filed in previous years had included dues from previous years, combined with the current year assessments, in error. Those liens will need to be corrected.
- Debbie will file extensions for the remaining unpaid assessments from 2019 in March.
- Liens on 2020 past-due assessments will also be filed in March.
- Liens older than 24 months have expired, and our only recourse is small claims court. If we win in small claims court and get a judgment, the judgment will remain in force for 10 years.
- There are two properties, owned by the same couple, that have accrued unpaid dues assessments of over $3,000 since 2013. The cost to the Association to file in small claims court will include $67.00 per person (unmarried couple) of court filing fees, and $100.00 per person to have them served with a summons. The judgment will be good for 10 years, and will provide us with several remedies for recovering the amount owed. Cathy moved, Pat seconded, and all approved that move forward with filing in small claims court.
2019 Payroll Tax Return
Debbie found an online service to e-file our quarterly, and annual payroll tax and information returns. The cost is minimal, about $9.00 per return, and the service is fast and easy to use. Debbie will provide the login information to the next Treasurer. Debbie also added on payroll services to her accounting software at a cost of $109.50 for 2020. TRRPOA will reimburse her for that expense.
Income Tax Return for 2018
Debbie reported that our incomes tax return for 2018 was not prepared correctly by H&R Block. They did not properly report our exempt-function expenses, and used improper methods for calculating depreciation on association equipment. Past years have had losses, so the errors have had no affect on any potential tax liability, and there is minimal audit risk for our tiny HOA; however, Debbie discussed the potential ramification of the reporting errors on our tax-exempt status, relating to the 90% test for exempt-purpose expenditures. John moved, Cathy seconded, and all approved that Debbie will amend the returns that are still open under the statute of limitations.
Secretary Report: Susan had nothing to report.
Demand Letter: During June, 2019, mastication was conducted on Twin River Ranch (TRR). Mastication was conducted on the foliage in the easement adjacent to association roadways. Foliage debris was removed from the roadways and discarded into the easement. On or around August 1, 2019, a demand letter was received by the Association from an attorney who had been retained by a TRR property owner. The letter alleged that, during mastication, a civil trespass with property damage had occurred. It was alleged, in addition to the trespass, that approximately 1650 feet of fencing had been completely destroyed, several fruit trees had been destroyed, and that mastication debris was not removed. The demand letter claimed $10,000 in total damages. Because these alleged damages occurred during an alleged trespass, Idaho statute allows for triple damages, elevating the alleged damage to a figure in excess of $30,000. The demand letter indicated the property owner would accept a payment of $20,000 to forego litigation. This demand letter was immediately provided to State Farm, the insurance carrier for TRRPOA, where a claims manager was assigned. Subsequent to this action, a State Farm investigator met with Pat Hurt and Don deSa, Board members, and with Robin Lipinski, TRRPOA equipment operator, at the site of the alleged trespass where the State Farm employee conducted his investigation. As a result of instant investigation, the State Farm claims manager denied any liability on the part of TRR. This denial was communicated to the aforementioned attorney. Subsequently, the property owner, through his attorney, requested the investigator return to meet with him claiming that the TRR personnel had failed to show him a portion of the damaged fence. The investigator met with the property owner at the scene of the alleged trespass and again, based on the results of this second investigation, State Farm denied any liability on the part of TRRPOA. The redacted demand letter is held in the files of TRR and is available for examination by any TRR property owner, as are all TRR records.
Easements and Encroachments: The issue of rocks placed in the 30 foot easement on an Association road was discussed. The improved road ends but continues as an unimproved, platted road until it intersects another Association road. The rocks are on the shoulder where the improved section ends and unimproved section begins. The Twin River Ranch developer put in an unplatted culdesac at this location when the road was first developed in the early 1990’s. This culdesac has been used as a turnaround area by Association members and equipment operators since then and until last year when the property owner fenced off one side of the culdesac and placed rocks on the other side, restricting use of that area as a turnaround area and making it difficult for the equipment operator to turn around the grader and snow plow truck. This also makes it difficult for anyone pulling a trailer to turn around at the end of the improved section of the road. The Board has determined that the fence is outside of the 30 foot easement for the road but that the rocks are inside of the 30 foot easement. Pat stated that the property owner is aware that the rocks are inside of the easement area. Pat has asked the property owner to move the rocks, but he has not done so. Pat also talked to the Association lawyer who told him we have the legal right to move the rocks and charge the property owner. The Board does not wish to charge the property owner for the movement of the rocks. Cathy moved, Debbie seconded and all approved to request removal of the rocks by the property owner, and, if this does not occur in a specified amount of time, to have Robin move the rocks out of the easement and not charge the property owner. Again, the Board feels that it is important for the membership to know about these issues as part of its commitment to transparency.
CC&Rs Review of Submitted Forms: A property owner’s building approval request on Pine Ridge Road was previously approved via email. The official request was signed and approved by all.
Property Sales and Housing Updates: Cathy reported one home under construction on Doumecq is nearing completion; there are two pending property sales, one on Blue Grouse Road and one on Pilgrim Ridge Road; there have been at least two property sales since the last meeting, one on Doucmecq and one on Pine Ridge Road; one CC&R form has approved and one CC&R Review Form is planned for spring; and construction for the approved CC&R is planned to start soon. A property on Pine Ridge Road is back on the market after being pulled over the winter.
Reservations: Cathy reported that she has made reservations for the Annual Membership Meeting at Hoot’s and the annual barbeque at Swiftwater RV for Friday, June 19.
Shuck Creek Road Signage: Cathy reported that the sign is 24″x6″ and looks like the rest of the road name signs but does not have the logo on it. She discussed the required post with Robin, who will install it, and he requested a 4″x4″ treated post. The sign is $28.25 and the brackets to install it are $14.95. The sign will be placed where the unimproved portion of Shuck Creek Road meets Hammer Creek Road. The placement of the sign was already discussed by the Board at the October 19, 2019, meeting, and approved in a follow up email. Cathy will forward the information to Debbie so she can order it.
Member Forum: No members were in attendance.
Adjourn: There being no further business, he meeting was adjourned at 2:06 PM.
Susan Schubert, Secretary
Twin River Ranch Property Owners Association