Rattlesnake Island Association

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Rattlesnake Island Association
The Annual Meeting of the Rattlesnake Island Association began at 8:58 am on June 25, 2011 at the Mount Major Community Center in West Alton, NH. A quorum was reached with members and proxies in attendance.
Bob Tarbell, President opened the meeting by welcoming the membership and reviewing the agenda. He asked if all members had checked in and let members know that keys, stickers and parking passes were available at the meeting. He also reminded members that trailer stickers purchased today would be priced at $100 and starting tomorrow the price will increase to $150 for the season.
There was a brief general discussion about the landing, the trailer storage area and the lower parking lot. It was confirmed that the same key will open the trailer storage lot and the boat launch. Each member is allowed one key.
Bob Tarbell continued the discussion with introductions. The Board members stood and introduced themselves and then the members in attendance stood and introduced themselves.
Bob then moved on to the secretary’s report:
Karen Sedlar, Secretary requested that the minutes from the 2010 Annual Meeting be accepted.
A motion was made by Loretta Girard, Lot #312 to accept the minutes. The motion was seconded by Michael Wood, Lot #756 and unanimously accepted.
Karen Sedlar continued by announcing the annual ice out winner. Ice was officially declared out on April 19, 2011.
Karen Sedlar then proudly announced the official launch of the website for the Association – www.rattlesnakeassociation.com is now available to all members. The web site contains general information about the Association, past meeting minutes, dates for upcoming annual meetings, and also has electronic forms for requesting parking passes, trailer stickers, launch keys, etc. This website will continue to be enhanced for member communications to eliminate the need for mailing information to members.
For now, we will continue to mail invoices for the Annual Association dues however we are trying to expand our electronic communications with our members. Karen encouraged all members present to verify that we have a correct and current email address in our records.
Finally, Karen let the members know that with the help of Scott Nixon and Nancy Watson a new Policy Manual for our members is being created. There will be more information to follow as it becomes available.
Following the Secretary’s report Bob Tarbell thanked Karen Sedlar for her efforts in putting a web site together for the island. This will be an invaluable tool as we continue to build and enhance the site.
Bob then moved on to the Treasurers report –
Chuck Klaubert, Director, reviewed the budget and noted that we currently only have three delinquents which is a great improvement over previous years.
In the past, when annual dues were not paid, they were handed to an attorney for collection. Steve Avery, Board Member, will now make a one time courtesy call to members (new delinquents only) when a member’s dues become past due. This will give members an opportunity to pay their dues along with a $50 late fee before their account is passed to our attorney for collection.
This new courtesy will not be extended to repeat offenders.
Chuck continued by reviewing the income statement for the past year and the budget for the coming year.
A motion was made by Loretta Girard, Lot #312 to accept the 2010 income statement. The motion was seconded by Pete Sampson, Lot #740 and unanimously accepted.
A motion was made by Ray Calleaux, Lot #460 to accept the 2011 budget. The motion was seconded by Loretta Girard, Lot #312 and unanimously accepted.
Bob Tarbell continued with the agenda, there was no “Old Business” to discuss.
New Business was introduced by Russell Scott, Chairman:
The NH Electric Co Op has applied for the permits needed to upgrade the service on the island. Currently the island’s power is supplied from Mahaut Shores, through a lot on Sleeper Island and run to Rattlesnake Island. The proposed upgrade will put a power supply at our launch area on the mainland and then direct to Rattlesnake Island. This means that if there is a power issue on Sleeper Island, Rattlesnake will not be affected. As an underwater cable will be required, it will likely take some time for this project.
When / if this project is complete, and our present power line from Sleeper Island is discontinued, the Association would no longer need the lot on Sleeper Island. Members should think about this as the lot is owned by the Association.
Russell then took the opportunity to extend a “thank you” to Nancy Watson for all her service as a board member and officer of the Association for many years. She has resigned from her position, but continues to work on an RIA project with the town of Alton. She has been talking with the town about the property on the interior of the island. The center of the island is community property. The southern side is owned by the Lakes Region Conservation Trust and the Northern side is owned by the RIA. Nancy is talking to the town about putting the land we own into current use which will save the association money on taxes. We will keep the members updated on her progress.
Russell then took the opportunity to thank Lyle Trumbull for his many years of service to the Association and the Board of Directors. Lyle will be retiring from the Board after the Annual Meeting today and his loss will be felt by all of us. We can not thank Lyle enough for all his efforts and help with the Association.
Russell then reminded members that a permit from the town is required to burn outside. In the past, the town has allowed us to get a permit for the season and then call in when going to burn. Scott Nixon, Secretary, has visited the fire department for his permit and was told that this will no longer be allowed as this process caused issues with the State. RIA members who want to burn should contact the fire department for further information.
Russell continued the discussion talking about the work that has been done on Nowicki Road. To access the Association’s lower parking area, members travel down Rollins Rd. to Nowicki Road. The Association has been granted a “Right of Way” from Bernard who owns the land. Therefore any work to that road requires the approval of Mr. Bernard. Lyle Trumbull, Director, worked with Mr. Bernard to make improvements to the road. Please drive slowly and respect the neighbors when accessing the lower parking lot.
Continuing with New Business, Russell discussed the proposed changes to the Association’s By-Laws. The By-Laws for the Association are registered with the State of New Hampshire and were last looked at over 40 years ago. The Board has taken the time to review the By-Laws, reviewed them with legal counsel, and has provided a proposed set of new By-Laws to the members. Russell then called for a vote to accept the modified By-Laws.
Rich Ray, Lot #34 asked what percentage of the Association’s membership is needed to approve and accept the By-Laws.
Chuck Klaubert, Director, responded that 1/3 of the membership is needed and the members in attendance today in person or via proxy would be enough. Chuck went on to explain that Lee Turner was the original author of the By-Laws which were created with Melanson, the original project developer for the island.
Today, the Association’s Board defers all planning to the Town of Alton. The Board researched and discussed several issues with Jim Reams, Lot #426 a lawyer with the State of New Hampshire to update older clauses and language and to bring the document into the 20th century.
One example, Chuck pointed out, is the change to the due date for Association dues. A second example was changing the date of the Annual Meeting to the last Saturday in June instead of the last day in October. Many changes were made to gain consistency with the procedures the board and the Association members follow today.
Loretta Girard, Lot #312 asked if the procedure for changing the By-Laws should include sending the old By-Laws out to members with a description of the changes.
Bob Tarbell, President, responded by stating that the Board took a very old document and set of By-Laws and updated them so they made more sense for the current organization.
Chuck Klaubert, Director, added that the major changes include:

  • Changing the term of our Board members from one year to three years with staggered terms (meaning all Board Members do not come up for re-election in the same year)

  • The collection process for Annual Dues, as bills are now sent out in September and payment is due by October 31st.

Russell Scott, Chairman, continued by stating that membership approval is required to officially change the By-Laws.

Chuck Klaubert, Director, also let members know that the Board has added a new Board position for managing the web site – Media Secretary and that Steve Avery has been appointed to the Board following Nancy Watson’s resignation. This will create an opening for a Vice President. With Lyle’s resignation we will also be looking for another Board member.
Joyce Scott, Lot #1008 asked if a motion was needed to adopt the new By-Laws.
A questions was then asked by Mike Wood, Lot #756 regarding Article 13 – transferring membership and the “Right of First Refusal”. Specifically, if the Association does not ok the sale of a member’s property would the Association purchase the property.
Chuck Klaubert responded that the biggest issue related to requiring Association sign off before a property can be sold is to protect the Association in collecting annual dues. We had an issue during the past year and language was added to better protect the Association.
Mike Wood, Lot #756 asked why the Association would not just pursue liens for the collection of dues.
Chuck answered that this has been explored and that the lien process in NH has changed. It is not an easy process. Furthermore, the Board has researched property deeds and found that not all property deeds are the same. The changes to the By-Laws will protect us.
Steve Cloutier, Lot #250 asked for clarification that the Annual Meeting will not fall on the weekend of July 4th.
Peter Terrio, Lot #788 asked about the top of the island being a non-profit and asking if we had ever pursued non-profit status for the land the Association owns. There was a general discussion about camping on the interior of the island and the restrictions that should be enforced.
Chuck Klaubert, Director, stated that no restrictions are in the proposed By-Laws and that they should be addressed. As another example, property rentals are not enforceable if it is not a restriction in a member’s deed.
Steve Cloutier, Lot #250 suggested adopting a common set of deed restrictions that members would approve.
Lyle Trumbull, Director, stated that the Board and the Association does not have the authority to put something in someone else’s deed.
A motion was made by Jim Reams, Lot #426 to adopt the new By-Laws as proposed. The motion was seconded by Loretta Girard, Lot #312 and unanimously accepted.
Russell Scott, Chairman, then introduced Steve Cloutier, Lot #250. Steve has been talking with Russell about putting a transmitter at the Association landing which will broadcast to his property on the island. Steve has been investigating getting internet service for the island and has also been talking to Metrocast.
Steve’s understanding is that if 10 Association members are willing to sign up for Metrocast service, then Metrocast will consider servicing the island.
Carolyn Murphy, Lot #862 asked if the Metrocast offering would include television, internet and phone.
Steve did not know Metrocast’s packaging or pricing. If we have 10 people that want to sign up, a nominal fee would be charged for the hookup and there would also be a monthly fee.
Carl McGrath, Lot #352 initiated a discussion on Metrocast vs. cellular service. Many cable companies required you to commit to a year, meaning they may not allow for a seasonal type service.
Steve has a sheet for sign ups and asked members interested to see him.

Russell Scott, Chairman then began the discussion of elections for this year. Russell Scott’s three year term is expiring and Lyle Trumbull, Director is not returning. Russell would like to remain on the Board and Lyle Trumbull nominated Dave Dietrich, Lot #268 to fill his vacancy. Chuck Klaubert, Director asked for additional nominations and reminded members that a Vice President is also needed.

With no additional nominations, Chuck Klaubert, Director, made a motion to close nominations and appoint Dave Dietrich and re-elect Russell Scott for three year terms. The motion was seconded by Ray Calleaux, Lot #460 and unanimously accepted.
Meeting adjourned at 10:01 am.
Respectfully submitted,

Karen Sedlar, Secretary

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