Report to the Community– December 2021
Board of Directors, Lake in the Clouds

Dear LITC Members, 

This month’s Board meeting, held on Friday December 10, at 6PM, was attended by all elected and appointed Board members (one came via Zoom!).  We also had a number of visitors from the community who wished to address the Board on specific issues.     Just FYI, our practice is to say the Pledge of Allegiance to open the meeting, and then visitors are given 15 minutes or so to discuss their issues.     They are then invited to stay for the committee reports if they wish to, but are told they will have to leave when we begin to discuss confidential issues involving our members.   

This month’s meeting was considerably shorter than last month’s, largely because November passed with little activity or incident.  Most of our committee’s reported that they had “no current report” to make, and our Treasurer Joan Griffin was happy to tell us that no unusual or unexpected expenses had been incurred in November.
Board President Charlie Schaffer thanked the folks who decorated our entrances on both the East and West side for the holidays.  Jan Olsommer did the West side, and a new East side resident Gerry Daidone took it upon himself to do the East side.  Both look great!     
Our members who live on Logger Rd near the RT 447 side did have some excitement early in December, when the Greene-Dreher Fire Department, responding to what turned out to be a false alarm, took the turn onto Logger Road a little too closely and got the truck stuck in the drainage culvert.  Thankfully, none of the fire department volunteers were hurt.    However, the culvert pipe suffered extensive injuries and could not be resuscitated.

A gigantic tow truck eventually arrived and pulled the fire truck out of the ditch, and later in the day Panther Trucking came to assess the damage and give us an estimate on the repair:  $1200.   All Board members approved this expense, and the work was quickly done.     And if you are wondering whether we will bill the Greene-Dreher Fire Department for this expense, the answer is no.   They are an all-volunteer organization that is dependent on donations, and they do an outstanding job for their communities which includes the Pike County side of Lake in the Clouds.  So we are going to give them this one.

Speaking of safety issues, the Board is currently exploring the possibility of getting an AED or automated defibrillator for our community.  Interim Board member Al Sicignano, a retired New York City firefighter, stressed to us the advantages of having this device, especially here in a community where average wait time for ambulances is 30 minutes.  “Without a doubt, it will eventually save a life here” he said.   Vice-President Pat Pancoast is researching costs, and I will be calling the local American Red Cross to ask about their training classes.   While I am at it, I will also inquire about CPR/first aid training.   If we can arrange to have classes held here in the clubhouse we will then notify members with all the details.  If there appears to be enough interest, we will schedule the classes.

A couple of notes:     
--If you are a dog owner, please remember that our rules state that your dog should be leashed at all times when it is not on your property.   (Yes, I know this Board member has been guilty in the past, but I am reformed now!)   Constantly barking dogs are also becoming a problem, particularly on the East side.   Dogs that bark incessantly need to be kept inside at night when neighbors are trying to sleep.
-- PennDot has informed us that Lake in the Clouds is not in compliance with regulations concerning the portions of our roads that connect to PA state roads.    We are currently attempting to ascertain what needs to be done and what it will cost.   Unfortunately, this may impact our dues next year.  We will continue to update you on this situation.
--Finally, please be wary of any unsolicited offers to buy your lots.  Several residents have reported these types of offers showing up in their mailboxes, and they are seldom legitimate.
Have a great holiday everyone.  Think “NO SNOW”!


Respectfully Submitted
Joyce Torrey
Secretary, LITC BOD.

 

November 2021

Dear LITC Members,

This is the first of what I hope will be monthly updates to the community on the non-confidential activities and discussions of the Board.    This is NOT the official minutes of the Board meetings which contain subjects of a sensitive nature, such as rule violations and complaints filed; rather, this is a summary of those subjects that are both important and of general interest to our members.    

On the Monday after the October General Meeting and elections, the Board met briefly to bring the new members up to speed on urgent business, including the election of the Executive Committee, and the need to appoint three more members to fill the one-year term vacancies created by the resignations of other members.  At that meeting Charlie Schaffer was elected as President, Pat Pancoast as Vice-President, Joan Griffin as Treasurer, and Joyce Torrey as Secretary.  Suggestions were made of people who might agree to fill the vacant seats.

On Friday, November 12, the new Board had its first official meeting, attended by all elected members and two of the appointees Bill Scott and Carol Shumway, both of whom were unanimously approved by the Board.  This was a very LONG meeting, since our new members (me, most especially) needed almost everything explained to us ---thank you Charlie and Joan for your patience!

Several subjects were discussed at the meeting that all community members should be aware of, and interested in:

#1.  ALL community members are welcome at Board Meetings to express ideas and concerns.  Please be aware that the meeting time has been changed to 6PM to accommodate the oldsters (me, again).  It will still be on the 2nd Friday of every month.

#2 Part of the solemn fiduciary responsibility of the board is to ensure the community is financially prepared to handle emergencies.  This means holding funds in reserve, over and above our normal operating costs, to meet these unexpected needs.  This past October, for example, our expenses ran substantially higher than normal due to the need to make repairs to the Lake in the Woods dam, and also to pay the extra legal and professional fees that were incurred in the successful effort to ensure that our October election was scrupulously fair and honest.     By the way, there is currently a proposal before the PA State Legislature that would amend Title 68 statutes (The Pennsylvania Uniform Planned Community Act, Title 68, Subpart D 2020) to require communities to hire certified accountants to tabulate the ballots in our elections.   If that measure passes we will have to accommodate those fees in our budgets.

 

Which brings me to:

#3.   As many of you know, our By-Laws have not been altered or updated since 2004.  Many of the line items conflict with other items, many are confusing, and ALL are almost 20 years behind any applicable current and proposed state regulations.

Now, while the PA legislature is debating changes and additions to the Title 68 laws, we have a very exciting opportunity to proactively tackle and revamp our own governing documents to bring us in line with the modern era.   Our goal will be to make our Rules, Regulations, and By-Laws easier to understand and more relevant to our current community life.

Newly affirmed, Interim Board member Carol Shumway has agreed to Chair the committee that will tackle this huge project, which is expected to take the better part of 2022 to complete.    Ultimately you will be voting on the proposed governing documents, so we hope you will take the time to familiarize yourself with our current ones, and if you are interested here is the website for the current Title 68:  https://www.hopb.co/pennsylvania-hoa-laws-uniform-planned-community-act.

And finally, three quick items:   The Board approved the snow-plowing contract from Panther Trucking for the 2021-22 season. (Keep your fingers crossed for a mild winter).   The work on the Lake in the Woods dam to repair and prevent erosion was completed in October.   And after an open posting to all in the community and a review of interested candidates, the Board rehired Diane Schaffer as Office Administrator.  

So that’s the Community Report for this month.  We will be posting it on our website (lakeintheclouds.org) and also sending it to our email list.  I hope you have found it informative and not too boring (I jokingly said I would call it the ‘Bored Report’). Email me at lolat@ptd.net


Respectfully Submitted

Joyce Torrey
Secretary, LITC BOD.

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

 

Dear LITC Members,

This month’s Board meeting, held on Friday January 14, at 6PM, was attended by all elected and appointed Board members (one came via Zoom!).  We had one guest, Barbara Tracy, a 38-year resident of Lake in the Clouds East, who has agreed to serve, along with Charlie Schaffer and Carol Shumway,  on the Bylaws Committee.  

Barbara brings a lot of excellent experience to the Committee.   She was the Facilities Manager of Colombia University in NY and has managed residential co-op buildings, as well as serving on the Board of Directors of co-ops and non-profits.  

As the Committee explained, Pennsylvania has specific legislation regarding planned communities such as Lake in the Clouds.  Over the course of this year, the Committee will meet every two weeks to examine each section of our Bylaws document, with a goal of ensuring that the ByLaws are in compliance with state legislation and also meet our community’s needs.      Some changes will be required by law; others will be proposed by the Committee in order to eliminate confusing (and sometimes conflicting) rules relating to our elections, job descriptions etc.     As LITC members you will be provided information on these proposed changes in advance of being asked to vote on them.   

The Board thanked Barbara for volunteering for this important work.

 

 

Next, in our ongoing effort to keep our lakes as healthy as possible, we have once again hired Aquatic Environmental to treat Lake in the Clouds and Timber Lake for Bladderwort, and Lake in the Woods for pond weed this summer.  They will also conduct a fish survey in late summer or early fall.   We have also hired Pro-Tree Services to chip the branch pile collecting in the West side gravel parking lot.     In case you didn’t know it, the resulting wood mulch is free for the taking to any Lake in the Clouds member.

 

The Greenspace Committee announced that there are still a few spots open for the Eagle Watch trip on February 1 (weather date Feb 2) conducted by the Kettle Creek Environmental Education Center.   Deadline for registration is January 25.  Contact Jan Olsommer  (jazzy100tazzy@yahoo.com)  if you are interested in attending.  

 

Ed, our property manager, has finished storing the recreational supplies for the winter, and our buildings and grounds are in good shape with the exception of the barrier fence on the southern side of the Lake in the Clouds dam.   That fence was damaged by one of our recent storms and will need to be replaced.   And as I reported last month, some work will have to be done on those sections of LITC roads that connect with SR 447, to comply with PennDot requirements.   We are awaiting a proposal from an engineering firm on how to accomplish this work and at what cost.

As I also mentioned last month, the Board is currently looking into obtaining an automated defibrillator for our community.  We have identified several sources for the device itself but we are still grappling with the logistics…. how and where would we secure it, in order to keep it safe, AND make it accessible when someone needs it in an emergency.

 A couple of notes:    

--The Board approved the re-hiring of Rayvin Gierwatowski as our lifeguard for the summer of 2022.  She did a great job last year and we look forward to seeing her again this summer.

--There appears to be some movement in our state legislature to secure more reliable Broadband access for rural areas of the state although it is way too soon to celebrate…as we don’t yet know what that means for our area.  There does NOT seem to be any government action on cell phone access however.  We will continue to investigate..

Stay warm, and drive safe.



Respectfully Submitted

Joyce Torrey
Secretary, LITC BOD.