Friday, March 1, 2013

Minutes from 1/28 Board Meeting (approved 2/25/13)

January 28th, 2013

President Jacobs opened the meeting at 6:01 PM and Director Stapp led the group in the flag salute.  Directors Jacobs, King, Schendel, Stapp, and Wilkey were all present.  Guests in attendance included Barstow Heights Residents, Norm and Tricia Sheppeard, John Heald of Unique Landscaping, and Rich Harpole, City Council Member of the City of Barstow.

Mr. Rich Harpole was the first to comment.  He stated that he had read the Minutes from our October meeting online, and was concerned that we had told our residents that annexation into the City of Barstow was unlikely because so many residents are opposed to it.  Mr. Harpole wants to make sure our residents have more information to consider and came to start a dialog with us to further discuss the possibility.  While those residents who are opposed are concerned about possible zoning changes, sewer hook-up issues, and property tax increases, he assured us that these fears are unfounded and that the City would work with us to make sure the benefits to our community would outweigh any potential drawbacks.  He named a few reasons why annexation could be beneficial to us and wants to continue discussing the possibility with us in the future.  Director Schendel respectfully offered his objections to annexation and President Jacobs also advised Mr. Harpole to talk further with the City Manager, Curt Mitchell, about making more detailed information about annexation available to us so we can discuss it further.  Another guest, Mr. Norm Sheppeard, also expressed his concerns about additional costs residents might get stuck with and questioned whether the sewer system would be adequate to handle the increase.  Mr. Harpole expressed his desire to continue discussing these issues with us again soon, and needed to leave the meeting at 6:22 PM to attend another meeting.

Mrs. Tricia Sheppeard was back to update us about the Smoke Tree again.  She brought a phone number along for us to use to call for pricing and availability.  The board acknowledged that Mr. John Heald was also attending to discuss his Landscaping Bid with us and that perhaps he could help us get some Smoke Trees to add to the upcoming Landscaping project that is in the works for Venner Park.

President Jacobs requested a motion on the Consent Items.  Director Schendel motioned to accept the Minutes of the November 26th, 2012 Meeting, along with the Financial Reports for November and December of 2012 as presented.  Director King seconded the motion.  Motion carried unanimously.

The Correspondence was offered for review.  Director Jacobs highlighted three items in the Correspondence folder including:  1). The statements from Desert Community Bank that showed that approximately $1000 worth of interest had been earned on our accounts over the past year, 2). A letter from the County that shows our allocated tax revenue for FY 2012-13 will be $57,855, and 3). A letter from SDRMA informing us that a longevity distribution of $175 would be credited to our account this year because we have been participating in their Property/Liability Program for 25 years.

H Street Park was addressed.  The Safety Check List from the City was reviewed.  Director Stapp reported that the Ground Squirrel problem continues to be under control and that he only found one hole that continues to need re-filling occasionally.  The Board is still waiting for more information from Town & County Tree Service regarding Bid 12-03 Tree Maintenance.  The Secretary was directed to send Mr. Hilarides an invitation to the next board meeting so the board can ask questions and get more information from him.  The Secretary was also directed to order a new Rules and Regulations Sign for H Street Park, as that is still needed there as well.

Venner Park was addressed.  The Safety Check List from the City was reviewed.  The gopher is back and leaving mounds in the grass again.  The Secretary was directed to ask Mark Gerardi for any suggestions he can offer to help us to remedy our gopher problem.

Proposal 12-04 (Landscaping at Venner) was reviewed and the Board discussed the Landscaping project with Mr. John Heald of Unique Landscaping.  His company was the only one to offer a proposal to do the work and had submitted a detailed estimate with photos and rock samples.  The Board reviewed his estimate and the sketch of the proposed landscaping layout.  The Board asked for further clarification about how much rock would be needed and Mr. Heald responded that it would be approximately 85 tons.  The Board was especially pleased with the idea of using wall blocks to create a retaining wall along the top edge of the volleyball court and asked Mr. Heald if he could look into the additional costs of adding more sand and new wood to re-furbish the nearby Horse Shoe Pit area also.  Director Wilkey suggested having a more defined border of some kind to separate the Volleyball Court from the Horse Shoe Pits as well.  Director Wilkey also mentioned that he would need to abstain from any vote pertaining to the hiring of Mr. Heald since his daughter is currently dating Mr. Heald’s son (conflict of interest code). Mr. and Mrs. Sheppeard also let the Board know that they have some large decorative rocks they would also be willing to donate to the Landscaping project.

The finalized spiral-bound copy of the District’s FYE 6-30-12 Audit was reviewed again.  President Jacobs motioned to approve of the final copy of the Audit.  Director Stapp seconded the motion.  Motion carried unanimously.

The Website/blog was discussed briefly. The Secretary informed the Board that there had been increased traffic on the Facebook page and that we currently have 59 subscribers who have “liked” the page.  Residents have been utilizing the page to communicate about and help warn each other of the three dangerous dogs that had been on the loose in the area.  The secretary was excited that so many have now discovered this new way for residents to communicate so easily with each other and hopes it will continue to be a source that can strengthen and unify our neighborhoods.

The General Manager reported that things have been going much smoother at the office and that she was feeling more confident after having had a little extra time (no Board Meeting to prepare for in December) that helped her accomplish a lot more of the tasks on her list.

President Jacobs requested Directors’ reports.  There were none.  President Jacobs did direct the Secretary to make copies of the sketch of the proposed Landscaping layout for all of the Directors to have to study before the next Board Meeting so some decisions about the project can be made.

President Jacobs asked the Secretary if there were any additional bills to be paid.  She indicated there were none.  Director King motioned to pay the bills as presented.  Director Wilkey seconded the motion.  Motion carried unanimously.  There was no new business to address.

The next Regular Meeting is scheduled for Monday, February 25th, 2013 at 6:00 PM.  The meeting adjourned at 7:21 PM.

Respectfully Submitted,

Jen Rubio

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