Association Reserves Spending Controls
The process for this project has followed association governance in pursuing the new and ongoing care of our association assets, as is expected.
Our Financial Services provider, WPS and Secretary/Treasurer Dan Russell have shared the following clarification, which we include for any unsure of them.
· The "Major Maintenance Reserve account" is used to repair or replace assets as listed on the association reserves. Decisions for these expenditures or removing an asset are determined by the board of directors. This is also true for the Water Reserves.
· New assets for the association are presented to the membership at an annual meeting or a specially called meeting for member approval. Upon acceptance, these assets are paid from the "Special Capital account" and subsequently added to the association reserves.
This funding process was amended by the members at the 2017 Annual Meeting where it was approved for a five-year period to include the Special Capital Reserve fund for all new assets, and extended for another five years at the 2022 Annual Meeting (‘23-‘27).
Dock Replacement Project Background
The Board requested member volunteers to form a committee that would work with the licensed biologist to design and obtain the permits needed to replace our failing and overdue central lagoon docks.
Volunteers were commissioned in 2019/2020 to evaluate and present their findings to the Board of Directors along with a recommendation for approval of the submitted designs. Updates on their progress were shared in the 2021 and 2022 Annual Membership meetings, as well as reported in association meeting minutes available on the website.
This project required developing a design for all of the association docks due to federal laws that restrict the total amount of coverage allowed over water less than 11 feet deep.
A committee was not a requirement but was leveraged to ensure a broad representation of our 430+ members’ interests were considered, while offering all the opportunity to understand the options available due to the constraints that determine whether permits can be approved.
Dock Replacement Plan
The Board considers this matter settled, and highly encourages all members to participate in the annual meetings and volunteer for a committee or board role to ensure all concerns and perspectives are represented as our community continues to change.
What was learned - (Questions Asked and Answers).
Will the outside slips be affected when the river is very low?
Yes as they are today. The diagram provided by Grete overlays the existing docks, and it should be noted that no slips have been placed in less water than the current configuration of the center lagoon.
What is the proposed turning radius between fingers?
The distance between finger pier ends is 42’ with one being at 38’
This should be more than adequate for opposing slips and is considered a standard design.
Also of note, the new design removes the 45-degree angled piece at the interior end of the slips to help accommodate pontoon boats.
Were bids taken for the upriver docks?
No. After many discussions with our committee and a team of professionals, it was decided that a net gain of up to 6 additional slips was of greatest benefit to the community as a whole, rather than have less slips in that location, thus no bid for an additional design offering to retain the upriver docks was requested. Reasons included but were not limited to ….
o The historic problems since first opening the upriver docks;
o The need for premature replacement due to damage and decay;
o The distance to any available parking affected the use by most members; and
o This provides an opportunity to provide safer launch and landing space for our non-motorized watercraft.
Do fewer marinas diminish Property Values?
While this was not addressed directly, it is reasonable to assume that providing more moorage overall will provide the greatest benefit to the majority of home owners. No owner is losing access to an amenity from this major maintenance project.
Our Consulting Biologist on this has also stated that if we see the need to allocate square footage back to the upriver lagoon in the future, it can still be done with removal of the planned over water coverage in one of the other lagoons.
The overall square footage over water is the specification that drives permitting not location.
The loss in the number of total boat berths that is required to retain the upriver lagoon gangplank and berths affects the greatest share of the community’s property value.
Will upriver lagoon dock removal affect water quality?
This lagoon has always been the least likely to flush, and that issue will continue to exist. Keep in mind this is not a swimming area, but to be used for water craft.
Will fewer lagoons mean less safety?
Safety was discussed among the committee. Upriver lagoon use for paddleboards, kayaks, canoes, etc. helps keep these human powered craft separated from the large powered boats.
The large rock at the entrance to the upriver lagoon has always been a safety issue to boaters. Efforts to remove it proved fruitless. Members have considered litigation over the boat prop damage incurred due to this obstruction.
It may be true that it reduces the risk of a collision by spreading out the boat traffic across more lagoons. But this likelihood is deemed lower than future boat damage while entering the upriver lagoon given past experience.
Status of Project
Despite sharing these plans in two prior annual meetings, recent concerns were raised by a few members regarding the project design. A virtual meeting was held with the consulting biologist preparing the permit applications for the association.
After providing answers to all questions raised, he stated that he was in final preparations for filing the permit application. Failure to do so would result in another year delay in the project at the earliest. Changes to the designs will require beginning the process of submitting designs for HOA acceptance over, followed by repeating all application steps for permits.
Given appropriate consideration to the member concerns, the Board determined that the original design recommendation was still in the best interests of Lake Entiat Estates membership. It is expected any delay will result in:
· Increased risk of failure in the central lagoon docks, raising liability concerns;
· Increased cost of the replacement project by repeating the design/permit steps;
· Increased costs in materials and contracting resources to perform the work;
· The unnecessary waste of staff, board and volunteer member’s time.
The Board of Directors will vote on approval to proceed with the current design as presented at the prior Annual Meetings (2021 and 2022) and during the October 19th, 2022 meeting.