TWIN RIVER RANCH
PROPERTY OWNERS ASSOCIATION
P.O. BOX 130
WHITE BIRD, IDAHO 83554
Greetings Members: It’s time for the 2021 Annual Membership Meeting and Picnic. It’s been a trying year for many, but things remained pretty much unchanged here on the Ranch. We hope this letter finds you and your family well and having survived the COVID-19 pandemic.
NOTICE OF ANNUAL MEETING AND PICNIC: The 2021 Annual Membership Meeting will be held Friday, June 18, at 10:30 at the meeting room of The Confluence Resort (formerly Hoot’s Café). Coffee, tea, and cinnamon rolls will be provided at the meeting. There will be a picnic at Swiftwater RV Park following the meeting. Burgers, hot dogs, bratwursts, buns, condiments, drinks, deviled eggs, and potato salad will be provided. Please bring a side dish or dessert if you can.
AGENDA: A copy of the meeting agenda is available on the TRRPOA website, twinriverranch.com.
FINANCIAL REPORT: The financial report will be distributed at the meeting. A copy will also be included with the meeting minutes that will be mailed to members.
ROAD REPORT: A road report will be given at the meeting. You can refer to the website for the meeting minutes, which will contain a summary of the road report.
PROPERTY SALES AND CONSTRUCTION: Property sales have been strong this past year, and prices have increased. A report on sales and current listings will be given at the meeting and will be available in the minutes for viewing online.
SRRFD: The Salmon River Rural Fire District will give a presentation on fire safety and their organization.
ITEMS UP FOR VOTE: There are two Board positions open. Please contact a Board member if you would like to be considered and cannot attend the meeting. Susan Schubert and Kristin Donaldson are running for reelection. Nominations will be also taken from the floor. There will be a vote on increasing dues to cover the increased cost of road maintenance, and to build up the Association’s Reserve Account funds to a safer level. There will also be a vote on an amendment to the Covenants regarding the use of the Association’s Reserve Account funds (see Reserve Account below). The amendment will require membership vote to approve planned (non-emergency) expenditures from the Reserve Account in excess of $5,000. An example would be the purchase of equipment like our road grader. If you cannot attend the meeting, there is a proxy enclosed for voting on Board members and a voting sheet for voting on the Amendment to the Covenants and on the dues increase. Proxies and voting sheets sent through the mail and received at the Post Office after close of Post Office on June 16 will not be counted.
DUES INCREASE: This past year has shown a huge increase in property sales and building activity on the ranch. Due to the increased traffic – new residents as well as commercial vehicles from building contractors and suppliers – our roads require much more attention than in the past. Additionally, there has been much more activity from FedEx and UPS trucks which sometimes pass through our roads more than twice a day. Unfortunately, gravel and fuel are more costly and there does not seem to be any indication that prices will return to levels seen in prior years.
The main access roads to Twin River Ranch are Gregory Creek and Hammer Creek Roads. The majority of families who use an association road to gain access to their properties use either Hammer Creek or Gregory Creek Roads, some use both roads. Both roads are very steep and “wash boards” are common. The wash boards can be graded out with some success, but the roads can only be graded when the roads are wet. Thus, the further we go into summer, the worse the wash boards become. Placing gravel on these wash boarded roads has met with very limited success. Very quickly the new gravel is at the edges of the road and the wash boards return quickly.
In the past, the association has applied grading F mixture to these two heavily traveled roads. Grading F is a mixture of crushed basalt and clay. It is produced in this area by Camas Gravel for the US Forest Service. Grading F will bind to a dirt road if the road and the grading F are both wet at the time of application. The first time we applied grading F to these two roads was a great success. The gravel stayed where it was placed for well over a year and did a great deal to mitigate the wash boards. This application was successful because the grading F was delivered to us wet thanks to Mother Nature (rain). These two roads were also wet at the time of delivery. This material was then compressed with a rented roller and we had a fine result. The second application was less than satisfactory. The grading F came dry, and the roads were dry. It could not be compacted by the roller without moisture.
We quickly realized that we need to control the variable of moisture in order to use grading F in the future. The board has decided to control the moisture variable by stockpiling this material adjacent to Gregory Creek Road and Hammer Creek Road. Snow fall and rain will moisten this material for us through the winter and we can apply it when our roads are wet in the spring.
This stock piling of Grading F will require a second handling of this material as it will not be placed on our roads by the vendor but will be stock piled for us to use at a time that will insure an excellent result. This second handling will increase our costs.
This plan to mitigate wash boards, and thus improve somewhat the conditions of these two major roads, is not the only factor driving our costs up. The additional traffic requires us to do more grading, along with special Grading F gravel which requires watering and rolling to keep the steep sections of road passable. The additional traffic also requires more prompt and frequent snow plowing which also includes the higher elevations of Pilgrim Ridge and Elk Run Roads. The Board would like to increase the annual dues to cover the increase in operating costs while still building up the Reserve account, so money is available in case of a road or equipment emergency.
The proposal is to raise the dues to $300 per lot on properties that have sole access on an association road. If this proposal passes, properties that have sole access from a county road would not be affected and will have no increase in their annual dues. However, if this proposal fails, ALL properties on the ranch will have their dues raised 20%, which means those who currently pay $200 in dues will then pay $240 per lot and those who currently pay $75 per lot will then pay $90 per lot.
RESERVE ACCOUNT EXPENDITURES: As the result of assessment collection (annual dues) and frugal use of these assessed funds, the association has been able to create a contingency Reserve Account fund for emergency road repairs and/or other emergency needs. The current protective Covenants do not contain any safeguard for use of these Reserve Account funds, and without these Reserve Account funds, any significant damage to an existing association road, or major equipment repairs, could be catastrophic for some association members. Currently, a Board of Directors could use the Reserve Account funds for projects that may not benefit the entire association membership and that do not fall under routine maintenance. In essence, without any protection, the Board of Directors could utilize these Reserve Account funds for non-emergency purposes, depleting the financial Reserve, and thereby greatly jeopardize the association’s ability to adequately respond to an emergency situation.
The establishment of policies regarding the use of reserve Account funds provides structure and framework for use by successive boards and management personnel and eliminates the necessity of reinventing the wheel when there is a change in the association’s management. The establishment of proper policies provides associations with consistency that outlives any particular board of directors or management personnel.
The health of an association’s reserve account is vital to protecting the financial viability of the association and the property values of its members. HOAs are therefore required to perform reserve studies, make various reserve disclosures, and are subject to limitations on the purposes for which funds may be expended from the reserve account.
Association boards of directors have legal, contractual, and fiduciary responsibilities that require the proper handling of association funds. The importance of being aware of all state laws and requirements imposed by an association’s governing documents relative to the maintenance and use of Reserve Account funds cannot be overstated. The proper allocation and use of Reserve Account funds will ensure that the homeowner’s association has necessary funds available when needed and will facilitate the association’s operations while at the same time minimizing conflicts within the association that frequently result from the improper conduct relative to the collection and use of Reserve Account funds.
Currently our Covenants, under Section 7.3 (Duties of the Association), subsection “c” provides for the Duty to Maintain and Care for Roads. The last sentence in “c” reads, “In performance of this duty, the Association shall incur no expense of the current assets.”
The current Board of Directors feels that an Amendment is needed to further define what the current assets, which is called the reserve account, are to be used for and what limitations the Board must have in using funds from this reserve account. The proposed Amendment, labeled Section 7.3, subsection “d”, is defined on the VOTE page in this mailing for property owners to vote on.
In closing, we hope you will support our efforts to build up the Reserve Account and to safeguard the account from any future misuse. We also hope you will join us at the Annual Picnic and get to know your fellow Association members. It’s time to take a deep breath and return to some measure of normalcy.