Meeting Minutes – January 8, 2018

Lake Interlochen HOA 45thAnnual Meeting
January 9, 2018 @ St. Stephen United Methodist Church

Directors attending:Ralph Sobel, Dot Wightman, Ken Seipel, Roger Pendleton,Brenda Cubbage, Bruce Turner, Dan Clement, Bryan Keathley, Chris Slauter. Absent: Nancy Weaver.
Guests:Lt. Bobby Mason, Sgt. Jared Ross, and Crime Prevention Officer Douglas Glotfelty from the Arlington Police Department; Jay Warren, director of communication for the City of Arlington.

Meeting arrangements were handled by Wightman; she and Alice Sobel provided refreshments. 20 homes were represented; 25 members were in attendance.

President Sobel called the meeting to order at 7 p.m.

Warren outlined the city’s initiatives to encourage and support strong neighborhoods with an amplified communication program and to document acts of kindness. He promoted the city’s Ask Arlington app and the increase in news of Arlington on the city website.

Warren reported that the city has recently launched the Dream Team Digital Ambassador program and asked residents to sign up to share Arlington updates and announcements on various social media platforms. More information about the Kindness Initiative and the Dream Team ambassadors is on the city’s website,

The three police department officers spent more than half an hour informing, providing personal insights and answering questions about Interlochen safety and crime prevention with HOA members. They stressed the importance of calling 911 regarding anything that seems suspicious. Lt. Mason detailed how 911 calls are handled. He said, “we encourage you to contact us,” and added, “let us figure out the priority of your call.”

Sgt. Ross reported that crime is down, particularly residential burglaries, and the majority of incidents are vehicular thefts and burglaries — almost all at night. Officer Glotfelty cited outdoor lighting as one of the best deterrents to criminal activity.

Sobel expressed the condolences of the neighborhood over the recent loss of longtime San Juan Court resident Ann Russell. She and husband David were among the pioneering group of Lake Interlochen residents.

Secretary Pendleton summarized 2017 board meeting facts: Four regular meetings, each lasting about two hours, were held at board members’ residences.  There were six guests during the year. Minutes from all meetings are emailed to HOA members and are posted on the website. There were about 5,000 visitors to the website in 2017.

Pendleton reported that producing the neighborhood directory in electronic format instead of printing saves the HOA about $1,000 per issue and affords us the luxury of receiving the Directory twice a year so we can keep the listings up to date. The 2018 editions will be emailed this winter and in the autumn. Pendleton said, “Ralph will continue emailing updates throughout the year so if your phone numbers or email addressed change be sure to notify us.”

Treasurer Turner reported a good year collecting more income than expenses, following Board policy of building a reserve for major financial requirements, specifically a full-lake dredging. “If we can move some funds each year into our reserve,” Turner explained, “then any potential assessment in the future would carry a much lower impact on residents.”

As of December 31, 2017, the HOA assets were $172,722, with $151,236 in checking and savings accounts; about $20,000 higher than 2016. Expenses in 2017 continued a two-year downward trend, totaling $20,299. One line item increase over previous year was lake maintenance labor, about $1,500 higher due to channel end cleaning jobs.

Director Seipel, chairman of the Lake Maintenance Committee, thanked his committee, which includes directors Clement and Pendleton and non-board members Phil Anderson and David Duperre.

Seipel’s summary:

Lake levels are currently at optimum, and we were able to maintain optimum water levels most of 2017. The level did start to recede late summer but only by inches due to abundant rain in the fall.

Water qualitywas tested for e-coli twice in the summer by TTI, an EPA approved testing lab. Results were very good in all channels. Occasionally, readings in some areas are believed to be higher due to lawn clippings, leaves and backyard debris and animal feces entering the lake. Seipel said, “we need to be vigilant of our and our neighbors’ yard crews blowing lawn clippings, debris and leaves into the water.” þ  Tilapia stocking is again planned in the spring to control algae in the summer. We successfully controlled algae in 2017 and plan to follow the same routine in 2018, including running the fountains 24 hours a day in late summer. Tilapia die off when water temperature drops to about 55 degrees. They provide challenging fishing and good eating starting in October. They also provide good food for our beloved bass and birds.

Loch Lomond Drive resident and avid angler Ed Klobas, who helps monitor fish quality, says we need to continue to harvest the 10 -15 inch bass to keep the fish population in balance.

Impound areamaintenance is planned to repair damage to our dam.

Fountain componentsare wearing out and require replacement. We have replaced motors, timers, GFIs, underground conduits and have water-proofed junction boxes. Fountain trouble-shooting is frustrating as we try to determine the faulty component.  Failures and improper functioning of fountains are often caused by fishing lines, plastic bags or sticks getting caught in the impeller and/or shaft.

Channel end cleanup was performed in the North and West Channels in 2017. Debris blown by winds and water currents was dug out to provide at least two feet of water depth.  Seipel’s goal is to always have water at least a foot deep at the very end of each channel to allow for watercraft maneuvering and to prevent plant growth and stagnant water. Limited access to the channel ends requires us to use the old pitchfork and plastic bag approach. Cleaning channel ends is a significant cost to the HOA as well as a negative to channel end residents.

Beavers are back! A Westwood resident reported beavers took 70% of his rose garden and a Montreau resident lost two trees to beavers. Sobel has asked Texas Wildlife Services to return and provide trapping and removal of beaver as they did in 2016.

Dock projects for permanent and floating,new and refurbished, must be approved by the HOA Architectural Committee, Seipel reminded,in order to maintain navigable waterways. This is especially important now because of the increased boat traffic on Lake Interlochen during 2017.

President Sobel recognized Ken Seipel for his diligent work in protecting the neighborhood’s most important asset, the lake.

Director Cubbage, chair of the Architectural Committee, reported several projects were evaluated and approved during 2017. She recommended that residents planning building jobs (1) review the HOA covenants posted on the website, (2) contact any member of the Architectural Committee, her or Dot Wightman or Chris Slauter, and (3) talk with neighbors about the project.

Sobel announced the city is scheduling repair work on the metering station located at the S curve where Westwood Drive becomes Findlay Drive. Pipeline problems at the site have caused an unpleasant sewage odor at times.

Director Keathley reported on two subjects he was briefed on at recent civic meetings:

★ Arlington is studying the controversial issue of short-term residential rentals. The city has hosted a series of town hall meetings and has launched an online survey to gather input from citizens. You can participate in the survey, which ends January 31, with a link on the city’s website.

★ A new on-demand rideshare service, operated by Via, is now available in North Arlington. Currently operating only in areas east of South Fielder Street are ten Mercedes-Benz six-passenger vans offering rides for a flat per trip fee of $3.

The city is contributing $300,000 and the federal government $600,000 for the one-year pilot program, with four one-year renewal options. Data collected through the rideshare service will help shape the city council’s future transportation planning decisions.

The rideshare pilot program replaces the Metro ArlingtonXpress commuter bus service that ended Dec. 31.

On the fun side of things, Sobel spoke of success in two highlights of the year: The Interlochen Christmas Lights and the Lake Interlochen Boat Parades.

The Lights Winners

The judges report, since there are so many homeowners who have worked so hard and deserve some individual recognition, it is a tough job to pick only ten. But they did and here are the 2017 Interlochen Lights Award Winners:

The Griswald Award —1116 Crowley. Pearline Cleveland got a late start this year but the entire extended family pitched in to make this high wattage yard one that would make Clark Griswald (Chevy Chase in Christmas Vacation) proud.

The Bob Findlay Award— 1411 Porto Bello. The van de Kamps both had lots of medical issues this year but that didn’t stop them from doing their best job yet in over 30 years decorating three different homes on the Lake.

The Vernon Porter Award — 1101 San Juan. The Wightman’s beautiful front yard has won several times over the years but this year is in honor of our long time HOA President Vernon Porter for the best waterside lighting. You can see best it from the Loch Lomond gate.

Best Theme I — 809 Loch Lomond. The Agura’s Christmas Tree Farm looks like a scene straight from a wonderful Hallmark Christmas movie.

Best Theme II — 1027 Loch Lomond. The Norvells are like the HGTV Fixer Uppers of Interlochen and their new reindeer herd on the Crowley corner hill looks fantastic.

Most Artistic I — 3201 San Paulo. The Cubbage home is a gorgeous waterfall of white lights every year that always impresses with a big moose on the loose.

Most Artistic II — 711 Findlay. The Gaines’ went with a whole new look this year and it worked beautifully with unique hand made multi-colored spiral trees.

The Santa Award –1417 Porto Bello. Bernie Caldwell climbed up on his roof with his two new knees and somehow got Santa and Rudolph high in the sky.

Santa’s Choice — 3116 Westwood. The Smith/Kortkamp family didn’t quite go full Griswald but they came awfully close with their many great inflatables.

People’s Choice— 1409 Crowley–The Bicks did an amazing job renovating their beautiful walled home and garden. Their chimney Angel welcomes and wows every visitor at the Interlochen entrance gate.

Sobel saluted the captains of the Boat Parades, Porto Bello residents Mike Saliba and Ken Simoneaux, and noted that in addition to the longtime Independence Day Boat Parade the recently added boat parades, Christmas and Mardi Gras, are also lots of fun.

 July 4thBoat Parade Winners

First — Lillie Owings portraying Betsy Ross sewing the American Flag riding on Roger Pendleton’s boat.  Second – The Sobels, with Ralph starring as Donald Trump. He was a huge hit. Nothing fake about it. Third – Peggy and Lee Jennings on Miss Peggy Lee, decorated with American flags and red, white and blue stars.

Five incumbent directors were re-elected by unanimous acclamation: Sobel, Cubbage, Seipel, Clement, Keathley.

The meeting ended at 8:45 p.m. Each resident who attended received a special 45thAnniversary thank you gift as they left the meeting.

Minutes submitted by Roger Pendleton, January 12, 2018