top of page

Report to the Community-January, 2023

Board of Directors, Lake in the Clouds

 

Dear LITC Members,

  

This month’s Board Meeting was held on January 13th, attended by Charlie Schaffer, Pres., Pat Pancoast, VP. Bill Scott, Buildings and Grounds and Joyce Torrey,  Secretary.   

Guest:  Melanie Stracko, G27

 

We are starting off the new year with some fairly good news to report, but first a quick rundown on our activity.  

Our Office Administrator Diane Schaffer successfully survived the audit done by Owens, CPA that has been completed. Nothing was amiss, and the auditors had a few procedural suggestions that the Board is reviewing.   The information required by our insurance company for an annual audit was submitted and is being reviewed.

The boiler in the club house developed a leak, and Bill Scott, our Buildings and Grounds Board member, was able to figure out what was wrong and fix it.  And when a tree blew down across Lookout Point Road, Charlie Schaffer, Byron Majors, and Jamie Brush fired up their chain saws and cleared it out quickly.   These are just two examples of how our volunteers show up and pitch in to save this community’s dollars.    

 We got a very nice letter from the Greene-Dreher Fire Company thanking us for our donation in December.    The Board feels very strongly that it is important for us to support the volunteer organizations that will come to our aid in times of emergency.

The committee that is reviewing and updating our Schedule A and B building requirements met for the first time in early January.     Carol Shumway, Chair of the committee, informed us that both of the towns that Lake in the Clouds is part of --Greene Twp. in Pike County, and Barrett Twp. in Monroe---have adopted the new PA Title 68 codes, and we will update our own documents to reflect those regulations.   The committees’ goal is to have the new documents ready for the Board to review in February.  

We were pleased to have a guest, Melanie Stracko attend the meeting.  Melanie said she was there to observe, to see how we work and what we do.    Honestly, we wish more LITC residents would show an interest in what the Board does, and what is actually involved with being a Board Member.    Maybe we could entice more of you to run for seats!  The Board meets in the Club house on the 2nd Friday of the month at 6PM.  All are welcome to attend, with the understanding that when we go into Executive Session you will be asked to leave, as that is when we discuss member complaints and/or disputes.    

Now concerning PennDot and our entrance roads:  Mr. Hudak our engineer from Kiley Associates, returned to meet with a special session of the Board on January 10th.     He brought the revised plans, and the excellent news that he was able to negotiate some changes to the way out roads were classified. 

I mentioned last month that PennDot had classified our Lake in the Clouds Rd entrance as “Medium Traffic” meaning it would carry up to 1500 cars a day!    This was based on the number of lots in our community, including all of those which have never been developed.   Under that classification we would have been required (among other things) to install a raised concrete divider down the center of Lake in the Clouds road at our entrance, at considerable expense to us.    

Mr. Hudak was able to negotiate with PennDot with the result that the agency has re- classified LITC Road as “Low Traffic”, saving us a significant amount of money and some very unnecessary headaches.    We are also happy to report that we can divide the work over a span of 3 years to spread out the impact on our budget.    With that news the Board went ahead and approved the project, which will likely begin in the spring.

Joan Griffin our Treasurer told us that barring any major unforeseen expenditure we may be able to absorb the cost for Phase One (Logger Road) into our existing budget, without the need to impose a special assessment on our Members!  

And I think that is very good news to start the year with!

Stay Warm

 

Joyce Torrey

Secretary,  Board of Directors

Report to the Community-November, 2022
Board of Directors, Lake in the Clouds

 

 

 

Dear LITC Members,
 
This month’s Board Meeting was held on November 11, attended by Charlie Schaffer, Pres., Joan Griffin, Treasurer, Carol Shumway, Parliamentarian, Bill Scott, Buildings and Grounds and Joyce Torrey,  Secretary.    Briefly,  we also had a guest from the community, but I will tell you about that in a minute.

First a confession:  I usually look forward to writing this BReport every month;  it’s so much easier than the regular minutes and A LOT more fun than some of the letters I have to write.     But this month I’ve been kind of dreading it.   I try to make this document as upbeat as I can without glossing over the problems and issues we face as a community, but this month I just couldn’t think of anything “happy” to write about.

But then our surprise guest showed up at the Board Meeting.    And he wasn’t there to complain about anything!    He just wanted to say “Thanks” to the Board for putting in all the time and effort to keep our community special.    So, thank YOU, Mr. David Heitz, you lifted my spirits and have saved us all from a very gloomy Board Report!

 

Now back to business:   

 

Joan Griffin our Treasurer reported that our dues collection rate is at 94% for 2022.  But for those members who are delinquent, Joan warned that she is about to begin filing for judgments.  So please make your payments immediately if you do not want a lien placed on your property!

 

 

 

Our intrepid Buildings and Grounds volunteers have been very busy this fall trimming branches, filling gopher holes in the dams, getting our cinder barrels stocked, and putting some boards down at the beach to try to slow down the sand erosion we experienced last year.  I’ve typed these guy’s names so often now that my computer tries to autocomplete them.    When you see them out there working, please say thanks!

 

Early last summer I reported that a community member had reported us to PennDot, claiming our roads-- where they meet RT 447-- are somehow not up to code.        

Last week Charlie received a set of engineering drawings from Kiley Associates that described the issues and proposed solutions to bring us into compliance.      I peered at a page for a few minutes trying to read what it said before I realized I was holding it upside down!      Charlie was told he had to sign it to signify our approval, but since none of us could really understand what the plans said, he asked Mr. Hudak to come in person to and meet with an emergency session of the Board.      That meeting has been arranged and NEXT month you’ll hear what happened.

 

Finally, I want to mention that Carol Shumway who was instrumental in revising our By-Laws last year, has now been asked to tackle the job of examining our ancillary governing documents as well.  Carol will recruit an ad hoc committee and begin work on this new project in January.       

 

We wish you all a Happy Thanksgiving!

Joyce Torrey

Secretary Board of Directors

Report to the Community-December, 2022
Board of Directors, Lake in the Clouds

 

Dear LITC Members,
 
This month’s Board Meeting was held on December 9th, attended by Charlie Schaffer, Pres., Pat Pancoast, VP. Joan Griffin, Treasurer, Bill Scott, Buildings and Grounds and Joyce Torrey,  Secretary.   

 

November was a pretty quiet month, so most of our committees had nothing new to report.  Here’s a quick recap:

Our fish survey was completed and the bill was paid; Ed and Susan Kirstein F37 donated a new magnetic signboard for the Lake in the Woods bus stop; the quarterly dam report was completed; Bill Scott installed some reflector tape on either side of Lookout Point Road to aid in navigation during one of our many “Fog Events” (we’re not called Lake in the Clouds for nothing!)

Last month I mentioned that we had received the plans from our engineering firm (Kiley Associates) outlining the work that would be needed to bring our community entrances up to PennDot code.    The plans were very difficult to decipher so we asked, Mr. Hudak our Project Manager to come and meet with the Board to explain things and answer our questions.   At that meeting Mr. Hudak was facing a somewhat hostile crowd (the Board) but he patiently explained the extensive work that was going to be required and the metrics PennDot uses to arrive at those requirements. 

For example, the designation of the Lake in the Clouds Rd entrance as a “medium traffic” road (up to 1,500 vehicles per day) is not based on any actual counting of the cars on our roads, but is instead based on the number of LOTS in the community that might someday add cars to our roads.     (A board member then suggested that a PennDot employee be invited to come here and lay down in the middle of the road.  And if he was run over more than 30 times that day, I…I mean “they” …. would buy him  a beer!)

In any case some of the requirements might be negotiable and Mr. Hudak promised to do his best to convince PennDot to be more reasonable.   As of this writing we haven’t heard anything back, so once again we are at a standstill where this project is concerned, and what it will ultimately cost.

 

Two more things I’d like to mention, and at first glance they might seem totally unrelated, but bear with me.

First, the Board has been asked if anything can be done about obscene, demeaning or just plain nasty political flags or signs that some members have installed on their property.   I don’t have an answer right now; we’ll be discussing this issue next month.

Second, many of you are aware that our long-time mail carrier, Barb, has been going through some rough times lately, both health-wise and other wise.    Margaret Cafarella (D-54), sent numerous emails out to our community members asking for donations.  Then she bought a card and spent a day driving around the community collecting money and messages of support for Barb.     She was able to present Barb with a very nice gift indeed, along with the sure knowledge that this community cares.

So how are those two things related?     Well, I guess they’re not really.  But when I was reading through the list of donors it struck me:    I know some of our LITC members are Republicans, and some are Democrats. There might even be an Independent or two in there.     But ALL of them are good, kind, caring people who wouldn’t hesitate a second to help someone in need.  

And ALL of them deserve to be treated with kindness and respect don’t you think?

Have a wonderful Holiday Season, and here’s to a healthy New Year!

 

Joyce Torrey

Secretary,  Board of Directors

Report to the Community– September, 2022
Board of Directors, Lake in the Clouds

Dear LITC Members,
This month’s Board meeting was held on September 9 th . All Board members attended except for Carol Shumway who was dealing with some health issues. We all wish her a speedy recovery!

Panther Trucking has completed much of the repair work on some of our roads, with new tar and chips, and some new drainage ditches carved out at the sides of the roads which should help to keep erosion to a minimum this winter.


We’ve purchased a new roll of snow fence to replace one that was falling apart, and this fencing will be installed near the East side dam by the end of October. Our regular team of volunteer “Roadies” were out a few weeks ago filling pot holes. Thanks to their efforts we are in good shape for the winter. They also trimmed back some overhanging branches on the East side.


We had a great picnic! Everyone had a wonderful time and we couldn’t have asked for better music, OR better weather. My post-picnic analysis however, uncovered the fact that our “cost per attendee” exceeded the $5.00 per guest we charge. We love to have your extended family and friends come to the picnic but our budget was designed to provide the picnic free of charge for our LITC residents. So, to offset a bit more of the extra cost, we will be raising our per guest fee next year to $10 for 12 and over. So
mark your calendars! August 12, 2023. Picnic Day.


On August 31 st , the General Meeting Packet was mailed to all members in good standing. The packet contained the minutes from our last General Meeting in May, the proposed budget for 2023, information on the four Board members who are running for re-election this year, and our new proxy ballot.
I received a number of phone calls with questions about the ballot and so want to reiterate that there are 4 open positions on the Board this year, and four Board members running for re-election. If you are mailing your ballot it must be received in the office by Wednesday September 28. You can also drop it off at the office or into my hands but in any case Wednesday September 28 is the deadline. And of course, if you
are coming to the General Meeting on October 1 st you can vote there, I’ll have ballots there for your use.


We hosted two sessions of “Meet the Candidates” (Saturday September 3, from 10-11AM and Tuesday, September 6, from 6-7PM) and both sessions were attended by a number of interested (and interesting!) LITC members. We will continue this practice each year, although the format will change as we learn what works and what doesn’t.


REMEMBER The General Meeting and Board of Directors Election will be held October 1 st , 1PM at the pavilion. And if the weather is good that day we will have our final bonfire of the year at the beach starting at 6PM. Bring a chair and whatever you are drinking.


A couple of important items to remember:
1. Lake in the Clouds Rules and Regulations DO NOT ALLOW HOMEOWNERS TO OFFER THEIR HOMES FOR SHORT TERM/WEEKEND RENTALS SUCH AS AIRBNB AND VERBO! In fact, the MINIMUM rental period is three months, and must be registered with the Office Administrator. This has been the LITC policy for many
years, put into place to help ensure that our families and properties are safe and protected from total strangers who have little regard for our community. Unfortunately, there are now a few property owners who are ignoring this important rule. We are sending warning letters and imposing fines where
necessary, and have now contacted our attorney. We will be taking whatever action is necessary to stop this blatant disregard for our community’s rules.


2. We LOVE our wildlife, we really, really do (except for maybe those deer munching away in my garden). But if you have ever had to clean up the road and your lawn after bears got into your garbage cans you know what a nasty job it is and why you shouldn’t leave those cans out by the street overnight. Unfortunately, some folks who are only here on the weekends, put the cans out when they leave….and leave their neighbors the job of cleaning up the garbage when the bears get into it.  The Board has gotten a number of complaints about this, but there is really very little we can do except to AGAIN ask folks not to put the cans out the night before. Here’s a suggestion: before I moved up here full-time I would double
bag my garbage and take it home to NY with me. And now many of us set our alarms and put the cans out by 6 am on collection day. Note to the guilty parties: if you should arrive some weekend to find last week’s garbage all over your own front porch, be warned that a complaint to the Board will NOT result in
a satisfactory outcome for you……
That’s it for this month. Hope to see you all October 1st at the pavilion!
Joyce Torrey
Secretary, LITC BOD

Report to the Community– October, 2022
Board of Directors, Lake in the Clouds

Dear LITC Members,
 
This month’s Board meeting was held on October 14th, attended by Charlie Schaffer, Pres., Joan Griffin, Treasurer, Joyce Torrey Secretary, Al Sicignano, Bill Scott, and Carol Shumway via Zoom.

Joan brought us up to date on matters of budget and finance concluding with the assurance that we are in good shape heading into the winter, and barring any unforeseen catastrophe we will be able to meet all our bills.   We were audited early in October with no major findings.

Charlie announced to the Board that Bill Scott has agreed to head up the Building and Grounds Committee.    All volunteers, these are the folks who pitch in and help Ed (our grounds manager) tend to a major portion of the maintenance that is needed at our recreation facilities and roads.  Just as an example, in the week or two after the General Meeting they pulled the swim float out of the lake and secured it on the beach, moved all the picnic tables to their winter home under the pavilion roof, tended to the branch pile, cut up a fallen tree on Westwood Terrace, repositioned a speed limit sign, and cut back branches that hung over our roads.   These guys save us a ton of money, and they deserve our thanks:   Jon Pancoast, Byron Major, Rich Everett, Jerry Diadone, Dave Heitz, Rich Olsommer, Alan Shumway, Al Sicignano, Bill Scott and Charlie Schaffer.   

 

I know many of you read the sign board at the West-side entrance because I often get comments (good and not-so-good) from our members, when I attempt to be clever.     So this week you may have noticed that the sign went from a punny Halloween message, to a very stern warning aimed at people who have come here through an AirBnB rental.    We understand that the violation is not the fault of the renters; nevertheless, they need to be aware that their presence here is prohibited, and they are barred from using our recreation facilities and common areas.        

This troubling violation of our Rules and Regulations seems to be increasing….and we consider it to be one of the more serious problems we are facing this year.   Our governing documents, including the Rules and Regulations, are always part of the packet that new buyers are given, and they must sign that they have read and received them.     Sadly, a small number of new owners have chosen to ignore them.  We will go after these violators through the courts if need be.    BTW, Greene Township is also developing some very stiff rules and restrictions on these short-term rentals which will hopefully aid us as well.
 

As I have stated before, this policy was put in place many years ago to prevent as best we can, the disruptions caused by people who have no interest in our community and our peaceful way of life.   The policy is designed to keep our facilities from being used and abused by people who do not pay dues here, and don’t expect to ever be back, or care if things are broken or destroyed.

I usually try to end this report on a positive note.  For this month it has to be the absolutely gorgeous fall--both colors and weather--we are enjoying this year here at beautiful Lake in the Clouds/Wood/Timber.    Members have been posting some stunning photos on Facebook, and I think that this is the weather and the scenery that keeps us all here in the Northeast.        Have a good Fall!

Joyce Torrey

Secretary, LITC BOD

bottom of page