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I. Introduction of New HLRA Employees
II. New Rules in Section 3
III. Food Assessment
IV. Outside Membership
V. Alcohol Board
VI. By-Law Change
VII. Fire Marshall Appointment
VIII. 9-Hole Golf Course
IX. ACC Appointments
X. Greens Committee Appointments
XI. Work Groups
XII. Open Discussion

(NOTE: This is an open meeting where the above agenda items are presented and explained to the property owners of Holly Lake Ranch (HLR). Comments and questions from participants are summarized and discussed. The property owners may present additional agenda items during the Open Discussion segment of the meeting. No action is taken at this meeting. Where necessary these agenda items will be brought before the Combined A & B Board meeting for discussion and action. The next A-B meeting will be held January 29.) All four B-Board members were present as was GM Rob James and several department heads.

 Bill Beggs opened the meeting by stating that all should be courteous to those who will present information and to those asking questions or making comments. For the sake of time, presenters from the floor have 5 minutes to make their comments.
I. New HLRA Employees. Rob James introduced David Grover, who is the new Maintenance Department Supervisor. He has a lot of experience in heavy equipment, both operating and repairs. He also has experience in kitchen fabrication, which has been most helpful with the renovations we have been doing in the restaurant. Julie Westmoreland will be the Office Manager in the Administration Department. She has a great deal of experience in the accounting and computer fields.
II. New Rules in Section 3. Some rules have been changed in Section 3 because of the need to improve on the collection of dues. So, some rules and policies have been implemented so as to increase the desire to pay and/or renew payment of dues. One of the problems is the $2500 initiation fee required of new owners, so some of the residents have decided not to pay their regular dues since they cannot sell their property. If they own a lot that is valued on the tax roles for only $1,000 or $500, it is difficult to sell the property to someone else if the potential buyer has to also pay the $2500 initiation fee. The current dues pay rate is about 45% in Section 3. In an effort to get people to renew their payments and also increase the likelihood of selling property in Section 3, new policies have been proposed and will be acted upon by the A & B Board. These policies become effective February 1, 2008 and apply to Section 3 only. The new policy reads as follows: "The lot initiation fee for Section 3 is hereby changed to be Two Hundred Fifty ($250) dollars or ten (10%) percent of normal lot initiation fees, whichever is greater, for all properties purchased in Section 3. However, any person buying property in Section 3 and wishing to participate in the Golf program will be required to pay the full non-discounted initiation fee. If a person has their initiation fee reduced or waived under this policy and later purchases property in any other section of Holly Lake Ranch, they will be required to pay the full initiation fee unless they paid it by joining the Golf program. Under this policy all extra lot fees from any and all ownership of properties in Section 3 are hereby removed. If a person owns property in Section 3 and then buys additional properties in other sections of Holly Lake Ranch, the properties in the additional section(s) will be subject to the extra lot fees in those section(s). Properties that are rented or otherwise occupied in addition to an owner's primary residence will require the usual renter's fees for said property." Bill mentioned that the average lot size is 50 feet wide and 100 feet deep, which approximately half the size of most average lots on HLR. With the new septic laws, you really cannot get a septic system and a home on that small of a lot. To eliminate that problem, plus hopefully increase the desire to purchase in that area, the Board is eliminating the extra lot fee for Section 3 only. Again, the intent is to get more people to start paying and/or make it easier to get people to sell their property in this section. Instead of abandoning the lot, perhaps it can be sold to someone who will maintain payment of dues and maintain the property.
A. It was asked if they are allowed to use the amenities of HLR. Bill said they have to pay the $2500 fee if they chose to play golf and pay the golf dues. Otherwise, yes, the due-paying owners in Section 3 are allowed to use the amenities the same as other HLR residents who pay their dues. Larry reminded everyone that the owners in Section 3 have a much smaller lot than most owners who live in other sections, so they are not getting anything "free" out of these new policies.
B. It was asked how the policies changes will help. It was explained that several people, who live in Section 3, have tried to sell their property since the initiation fee began, and have not been able to because the actual cost of the property was lower than the initiation fee. Therefore, most people were not willing to buy the property. This has eliminated most purchases of property and as a result some properties have been abandoned, so HLRA is not receiving any dues for these properties. The policy changes are an effort to revive the sale of property in this section and either obtains owners who will pay dues or encourage current owners to begin again their payment of dues.
C. There was a question concerning the method of collecting dues from non-paying owners in all sections. The Board is working on methods to increase the collection and is in the process of implementing them with legal counsel. As of now, they have access only to their property. Bill mentioned that most are individual lots that are of concern. There are some homeowners who are not paying, but the majority of those not paying, are lot owners only. Most of the owners of abandoned lots are not paying taxes either. They may have purchased some time back for access to HLR but are now no longer using the lot for whatever reason. Rob agreed that the policy should be enacted because it is the hope that someone will buy the property and will be dues paying residents. This should help the Association overall.
D. The question was asked if the people of Section 3 be included in the Food Assessment. The answer was yes, they will unless they are renters.
III. Food Assessment. This is still in processes. The Board and the GM are still working out the details of implementation. The Food Assessment program will be voted on by the A & B Board at our meeting next week. This assessment will be $20 per lot ownership and $12 for singles. This is required of property owners who live within Wood County or any county that adjoins Wood County. This is homeowner and lot owner. If you live outside the counties that adjoin Wood County you can opt out of the fee and pay a $6 assessment that will not apply toward any food. The $6 will go in a special fund that will be used only for the restaurant. The main objective of the Food Assessment is to bring patrons into the restaurant and make the restaurant viable to the operators so the Association will not have to subsidize it and secondly to pay off the debt owed on the restaurant.
A. A question was asked about ownership of more than one property and renters. It is one assessment ($20 or $12,) no matter how many properties you owe. The policy of HLRA on rental property is that renters are charged only the base dues and the fee for garbage collection. Rental property is not charged assessments. This is an assessment; therefore, the renters will not be charged the Food Assessment. (When there was a Road Assessment, the renters were not charged this amount either.)
B. John Sparks added that the first billing will be April 1st. On that billing, we are going to offer property owners the opportunity to pay on an annual basis. For example, if your assessment is $180 (9 months x $20) in total, then you can pay that amount in April and that will carry you throughout the year so, if you are away on vacation, away for the summer, etc., you will not have to worry about losing your monthly assessment. You will have the entire time to use your food credit at the restaurant rather than having to pay by the month and use the food credit within a 30-45 day window. We are trying to make it as "user friendly" as possible. (Note: Since the open meeting it has been decided that the monthly food assessment will be valid for 2 months.)
C. A question was asked about the assessment being reviewed in a year. Bill stated again that because of getting accounting procedures and software in place, the billing will not start before April 1. Nevertheless, at the end of the year, the assessment and the progress of the restaurant will be reviewed. The assessment is not meant to be a "forever" fee. As stated earlier, the progress of the restaurant, the amount of debt owed, and the food assessment will be reviewed at varying intervals; the first being at the end of the year.
D. It was asked if the whole amount goes to the restaurant. If you are paying monthly an assessment of $20, the first $20 of food (you may include alcoholic beverages) is credited to your account. The restaurant receives the entire $20. (Note: You begin to pay cash or use your credit card to purchase additional items that month. This system begins again the following months, UNLESS you opt to pay the annual assessment, which is the total amount you owe for every month.) If you are paying by the month and do not use the entire amount for food or beverages, it goes to a "special restaurant account" and NOT the General Fund.
E. Someone asked about the length of time a person had to use their food credit ($20 or $12) if they are paying monthly. Rob said we are starting April 1 and if you pay April 1st, you will have until May 31st to use your food credit. (Note: Since the open meeting it has been determined that the billing on April 1st will be available for use May 1st thru June 30th.) Someone asked if you paid the annual food assessment, could you use it up right away or spread it out. Rob said that you could spend the entire food credit for one big party in May or you could spread it out and use the food credit until the end of the year.
F. It was clarified that you can spend the food credit for food, beverages, alcohol and taxes. Everything, but not for tips.
G. The question was if you spend more than $20, how the rest of the bill is paid. The answer is that you pay the rest with cash, check or your personal credit card. If you only spend $10 on your first visit, you can spend the rest of it at your next visit that month. However, if you do not spend the entire amount in that 35-day window as Rob mentioned earlier, the remaining amount will go to the "Special Restaurant Account." (Note: Though Rob said a person would have 35 days to use the food credit, SINCE THE OPEN MEETING, the Board decided to extend the time to use your food credit to 60 days before you lose the $20 or $12 food credit. Whatever amount you do not use in 60 days, will go to the "Special Restaurant Account. See item "E" above.)
H. Someone asked if everyone could opt out of the $20/$12 food assessment, which provides you a food credit to be used at the restaurant, and instead pay only $6.00 a month and not get a food credit. That will be taken under advisement.
I. The question was if everyone uses up their entire food credit, how will this help pay off the loan on the restaurant. An amount is in the budget to pay the loan and it is forecasted to pay the loan off in 3 years. The food assessment will help pay the note off earlier. This is especially true because of the $6 received from those who live outside the counties that surround Wood County, as these individuals do not receive a food credit. All of that money goes to the "Special Restaurant Account."
J. The question was what do the people who lease the restaurant pay. As HLRA has done in the past with outside owners, initially the Association will pay the utilities and the loan payment. However, the amount the Association pays for utilities will be phased out, with a reduction every quarter. Depending on the status of the restaurant, the payment of the utilities will be phased out between 9 and 12 months. The Association will pay the rent, i.e. the loan for the building itself. It is their business, but we are picking up the rent. That was the same agreement with the people who leased it in the past.
K. HLRA will retain the liquor license and the new owners will manage the liquor sales, replenish the liquor, pay the taxes, pay the bartender, etc. out of liquor sales. There was concern expressed about who is allowed to buy liquor. There was once a list of "members" who could buy alcohol. Rob said that it was approved by TABC for all property owners to automatically be members of the "liquor club." Now, that the new owners are going to manage the liquor sales, it will be required by TABC to have everyone who wants to buy liquor to sign up as a member of the liquor club. Melissa said she has already spoken with TABC and the "unicard" people and what you will have to do is swipe your driver's license if you wish to buy an alcoholic beverage. Many of you are probably familiar with swiping your driver's license since you live in a dry county, where local bars and restaurants require some type of identification card system. Rob pointed out that since HLRA is a non-profit organization, money cannot be earned by the sale of alcohol as in regular restaurants off grounds. TABC requires that 80% of the liquor sales go back into the replacement of liquor, pay the taxes, pay for the license, pay for insurance etc. The other 20% is for the management of the liquor club, which John and Melissa will be doing. Even that money is restricted to some degree on how it can be used. For example, that portion can be used to pay the salary of a bartender. Some items can be purchased such as a dartboard, bar glasses. You cannot use the 20% for food. So, again because of being a non-profit organization, the owners do not make money on the sale of alcohol as owners of restaurants and bars that are in "wet" counties.
L. Who do you talk to if you have a problem with the restaurant? If there are any concerns about the restaurant, then you talk with the restaurant owners. They are not employees of the HLRA. John Livingston and Melissa Sudik are the owners. So, they are the ones you give the compliments and the complaints.
M. It was asked if Silverleaf was going to pay some type of Food Assessment since Silverleaf timeshare owners benefit by having the restaurant. Having the restaurant is a "reason" to want to come to HLR for vacation; therefore, Silverleaf should be willing to help pay off the loan of the building and help keep the restaurant operational. Silverleaf can advertise HLR as a resort that has "fine dining." The answer given was that SL does not pay assessments. However, it is possible to request Silverleaf to pay some type of Food Assessment per unit. The points given are valid and they will be discussed with Silverleaf at the meeting next week.
N. John Livingston came up and discussed some of the remodeling taking place at the 19th Hole. New carpeting and tiling in some areas. A new bar section was added. Screens were purchased to divide the Fore Seasons area for special functions. The old 19th Hole kitchen has been taken out so there is one kitchen to better serve the customers. An area has been set up for draft beer. They hope to use the Hall for catering events as well. John said that what is going to bring people into the restaurant is quality food and quality service. The food credit is taken off of your bill and hopefully you will give the restaurant a chance to prove it can provide good food and good service. The first week of February is when they hope to open. John said he has been at HLR since 1994 and he is very familiar with the back and forth about "wanting the restaurant and not wanting the restaurant by some." Again, he asked that all come up and give them a chance to deliver. Melissa mentioned some of the recipes and dishes she will be serving at the restaurant. They are working on a menu that will include "heart health" foods. A lot of the classic dishes you have always liked will still be there. You may not have liked the way they were cooked or the length of time it took to get the food out to you. "That will stop." Melissa is pretty meticulous about the delivery of food. They will have "specials" to help bring in customers. Melissa is beginning a training program with staff this week. A mock "dinner" trial of serving customers will occur one night before the regular opening to see if the servers, cooks, and staff are ready.

IV. Outside Membership. One thing we are considering based on the Survey on the Restaurant is outside membership. People expressed an interest in having outside members in order to help the restaurant be successful and remain open. Based on that data, the GM and B Board have had several discussions on the implementation of such a program. It would be a controlled situation and the details of how it would operate are under study. If you have some input on this issue, you may e-mail or write a letter to the Board. (Note: These discussions will include the Security staff. Some of the restrictions being considered are: The membership would be for the restaurant only and it would be for a limited time, say one year. An identification card would be shown to the Security guard. Due to time, only these restrictions are presented here by the Admin office and the B Board; however, the safety of the property owners is always an integral part of the decision making process.)

 V. Alcohol Board. That issue was discussed during the presentation of the Food Assessment. This is a separate group that was formed to meet TABC requirements for a non-profit organization, which has a liquor license. John Sparks is the President. John Livingston is the Vice President. Rob James is a member as the representative for HLRA. The Board makes sure that TABC regulations are maintained.

 VI. By-Law Change. The B Board is recommending a By-law change to Article VIII that reads: "Any special assessment or non-emergency contract or capital expenditure equaling or exceeding $100,000 (One Hundred Thousand Dollars) in total shall require Class B Membership approval constituting a majority of the votes cast by the eligible voters." (Note: This proposed By-law change was reviewed and suggested by the By-laws Work Group, which the B Board accepted as a positive addition to the current By-laws. The purpose of such a proposal would be to help prevent expenditure by the B Board such as the building of the Fore Seasons restaurant without a vote of the membership.) John Sparks said that the B Board is currently putting this proposal into practice even though it is not an approved change by the A Board. We will not authorize expenditure for any new amenity that exceeds $100,000 without first bringing it to the people for a vote. It is a protection against unwarranted spending on projects so they do not become excessive and incur significant debt.
A. Two individuals felt that a $100,000 limit was too low because it is possible that needed structures would not be built if it depended on a vote. Therefore, the Board should consider a higher amount. Perhaps a limitation of perhaps a percent of the annual budget would provide a more reasonable figure for future projects. The Board will consider this suggestion, but will probably maintain the amount of $100,000.
B. It was asked if a "transfer of property" be included in this limit of $100,000. The B Board feels that such a transfer would be included. However, Bill stated that such a transfer would require full Board approval so it is not clear the outcome of such a vote. Jeanette feels that at least the proposal would be made at the combined Board meeting concerning the transfer of property and a vote would be record the circumstances of the transfer and the result of the vote.

 VII. Fire Marshall Appointment. Red Bailey has the certification for this position. He will be recommended to the A Board to be appointed the HLRA Fire Marshall.

 VIII. 9-Hole Golf Course. The proposals that have been discussed for some time now with Silverleaf are at a standstill. Silverleaf presented a different set of proposals to the Board in October. The Board made some revisions to these documents and we have not heard their response since that time. This will be on the agenda for discussion next week. A property owner said that the Board has accomplished a lot in a relatively short time. He also wanted to point out that as soon as an agreement is made of the 9-Hole Golf Course, the amount of dues which Silverleaf will begin paying will substantially increase. This is a very desirable outcome, to have Silverleaf pay a more equitable amount in dues, which corresponds, with the amount we property owner's pay.

 IX. ACC Appointments. The Board is working closely with the ACC in maintaining the Rules and Regulations of HLRA. There is one opening on the ACC. Their function is to go out and look at the property where there is a desire to build a house or other structure. They also review the plans of the builder, whether it is a new home or an addition to the home or property. After their review, the ACC issues a permit to build the structure. They visit the site before construction starts, during construction and after completion. The ACC makes recommendations to the Board if there is a problem with the builder's plans or if there are any violations of the Rules and Regulations. The ACC does meet weekly. If any one is interested in becoming a member of the ACC and help in this critical function, please let the Admin Office, Board member, or an ACC member know of your desire to serve.

 X. Greens Committee. The structure of the Greens Committee is as follows: Each Board member appoints someone who has expressed interest in serving on this committee. In addition, the MGA has two members (President of the MGA and one other person) and the WGA (President of the 18-holers and the President of the 9-holers) has two members. The GM, Golf Superintendent (Clayton) the Golf Pro (Carl), and one B Board liaison serve on the committee. (Note: The meetings are open meetings, so interested persons can attend. One can also give suggestions or concerns to one of the committee members.)

 XI. Work Groups. Some of the Work Groups have openings for volunteers to serve. The Groups are: Parks & Recreation; Finance and Administration; By-laws, Regulations, Restrictions and Elections; Golf Course Design and Construction; Public Works; Public Safety; Roads, Runways, & Right of Way; and Restaurant & Food Services. The Restaurant WG will serve to help with the advertising and promotion of the restaurant. (Note: The function of the Work Groups varies but the intent is to have a group of people research and review possible projects, issues and concerns of the Ranch. They provide recommendations to the Board and the GM that would help improve the atmosphere and enjoyment of HLR. The GM and the Board decide if the recommendations should be acted upon or if proposals be adopted.)
A motion was made and seconded that the meeting be adjourned. Motion passed.
Summary of the minutes of the Open B Board Meeting 012208 are submitted by Jeanette L. Sterner, Secretary of the B Board.

Last Updated on Friday, 17 April 2009 15:20  

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