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HLR Open B Board Minutes

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(File: MinOpenBMeet091509)
(NOTE: This is an open meeting where 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, if they make arrangements to get on the agenda. 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 A/B meeting will be held September 22, 2009. B Board members present were John Sparks, Vice President, Jeanette Sterner, Secretary and Bill Beggs. Rob James, the GM was present. Several department heads were also present.

Bill Beggs opened the meeting. The following items were presented and discussed:
I. Animals of Holly Lake Ranch.
A. Rob reminded everyone you might occasionally see alligators at HLR. They are a natural part of the habitat of this area. You may not trap or bait the alligators because it is illegal. The game warden did say you have a right to protect your property and protect yourself from harm. For example, if they come ashore and threaten a person, you have a right to protect yourself or anyone else against the alligator. This could mean you could shoot it. This is not recommended, but it is a possibility. It is preferred you call the game warden and have him trap the gator. Rob explained the incident where a homeowner baited an alligator with some chicken and hooked it. He called the game warden to have the creature removed, but instead almost received a ticket and a fine. Soon after this incident, a gentleman in Grand Saline caught the gator. The man is willing to come to HLR and capture the alligators. The admin office has information on whom to contact if you have an alligator around your dock or on your property. Jeanette added that the reason the man baited the gator was because it had been around his dock for many months and he and his family were afraid to go by the lake. Before, when he called the game warden, as luck would have it, the gator was nowhere to be seen. So, he decided to make sure the gator was around when the game warden came. Again, you have a right to protect yourself and your property, but it is against the law to bait the gator and hook it. Call the game warden and he will come out and trap the gator.
B. Rob said we periodically have trouble with wild hogs. They can be dangerous, so you must be cautious around the large hogs and female hogs with young piglets. We have had hogs digging up the golf course, so Clayton puts chemicals on the grass to kill grub worms. That is what the hogs eat, so if you remove the food source, the hogs will go somewhere else. On an individual stand point; you can do the same thing. Sevin dust will kill the grubs. Again, you can call the office to see what chemicals work. Someone suggested calling Denny McCarthy, who traps wild pigs. Hogs can be trapped at any time; there is no "season" for trapping. Basically, it is "open season" year round for hogs. Denny has been quite busy because of the number of people calling him to trap hogs, but he is one resource.
C. Rob said homeowners, who have cats, are really not the problem. However, feral cats are a problem in some areas of the Ranch. Right now there is no rule as to how many cats you have. There is no rule to leash your cats. The problem is when the cats go into the neighbor's yard and "fertilize" their yard and gardens. The complaints he has received have to do with people finding "presents" when they are weeding their gardens. The Board did discuss limiting the number of cats and dogs a property owner may have, but that was not deem necessary. The problem is that a person will say those are not my cats, I just feed them. If a homeowner calls Security because the cats are in their yard, Security has no method of capturing them nor do they have a place to put the cats. Rob said it is difficult to establish a rule concerning the cat problem. The best answer is to stop feeding feral cats.
D. Rob said the "deer count" has been completed. A report is being prepared and the game warden from Parks and Wildlife will come to HLR to give this report. He will also give recommendations as to what we can do to control the number of deer at HLR. The preliminary report does indicate we have a large population of deer for the size of our community. Rob said he needs to "squash" some of the rumors going around. One is we are going to have an "archery season" at HLR. That is not true. No firearms are going to be used either. A member of the Wildlife Work Group said a lot of research has been collected and published in the Gazette. These are available in the on-line archives of the Gazette. This research will give you valid information needed to help make some helpful solutions to the overpopulation of deer in this area. Rob said this is an emotional issue. He guesses it runs 50%-50% of the people thinking the deer are or are not a problem. Rob reminded everyone the Wildlife Work Group has done a lot of work researching the issue of an area being over-populated by deer. It can have a negative impact not only on the community, but on the deer as well. So, do not get mad at the publications distributed by the group. They are trying to inform us of the problems that occur when an area is over-crowed with deer or any other type of wildlife. The smart thing to do is look at the report and the facts presented and make some good decisions. Rob said the Association is not saying you cannot feed the wildlife. We are saying it is best not to feed the wildlife.
E. A homeowner said armadillos are a nuisance. Suggestions from the audience include:
1. Fill the holes they sleep in during the day with water. Make sure it is full of water for at least 20 minutes.
2. They too eat grub worms. So, if you spray your yard, they will go somewhere else to eat.
3. Cayenne pepper sprinkled in their holes or in the yard will keep them away.
4. Blood mill also keeps them away. The key again is not to feed the wildlife.
F. A homeowner said buzzards chew up furniture and boat seats. Rob said this issue was addressed before and the Game Warden said you have a right to protect your property.


II. Liberty Water Company is still owned by Algonquin Water Company. Algonquin is the "mother" company. Liberty Water serves this community. This change is supposed to make it easier to pay your bill on-line if you desire to use this procedure. As far as the protest against the rate hikes, no word has been received. Algonquin made an error on some of the legal paperwork filed, so the hearing has been postponed. Bob Adams was hoping we would hear something in October, but with the delay, it might be later in the year. Rob said Algonquin would refund money to the customers if they were found to be guilty of over-charging their customers.

III. The election for two B Board members will be the first Saturday of December. Information on the procedure a property owner should follow if they want to run for the B Board will be sent out early in October. You may pick up the packet of information at the Admin Office. The instructions will indicate that you have two weeks to complete the required paperwork to run. An Open Forum for all candidates will be conducted on Saturday, November 7, 2009. November 15 thru 28 is early voting. Voting day is Saturday, December 5, 2009. Again, the entire procedure will be outlined in the candidate packet of information.

IV. The 2010 Budget Meetings will begin soon. The road plans for 2010 will be discussed at the October Open B Board Meeting. A question was asked about the dam. Rob said there is a hole in the dam on Holly Lake. An engineering company has approved the plans to repair the dam. Dave said the water would have to be lowered by 2 feet in order to repair the hole. People on Holly Lake are encouraged to clean out the area in front of their property. This will be a good time to kill weeds etc. Rob said the date of the repair would be announced. He hopes to have the job completed in October. The Road Work Group suggested we lower the lake in January so as to kill weeds. It has not been decided whether or not to do that. The repair by the bridge should only take one day. John said we would try and do the work on a Tuesday so the bridge being closed will not affect golf carts. People will have to use the emergency exit during the repair. Someone suggested a two-lane bridge be built. Rob said in order to do that the entire engineering plan would have to be redone. He said we would be shocked how much the engineering plans alone would cost.

V. Rob said because of Hurricane Katrina, the Corps of Engineers are placing strict requirements on levies and dams. Next year we have to spend $25,000 for an Emergency Preparedness Plan. What this plan tells you is what will happen if the dam breaks; the effect on property and homes downstream. The law requires you to give an estimate of how many houses will be lost and how many lives may be lost as a result of a break in the dam. This requirement is only for Lake Greenbriar. Holly Lake is too small so it is not necessary to have a similar type plan.

VI. A question was asked about the completion of the roads projects for this year. Rob said we are behind due to the rains we have received. The spring rains caused damage to the bridge that crosses Lake Greenbriar. The water main break also took time away from other jobs. So, you need the roads to dry out, plus you need a certain temperature for the asphalt to adhere to the base road.




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