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Spring 2010 Newsletter

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All of us are happy to see the end of winter and the start of summer and another camping season at the lake. This newsletter will up-date everyone on activities since the 2009 annual general meeting. To start, here are your current board members:

President:
Trevor Winters
Residence: (204)253-5449
e-mail: mistey@mts.net
Cabin: 23 – 2nd Street North
Phone: 848-2769

Vice President:
Gary Cavanaugh
Residence: (204) 727-7888
e-mail: wgryc@mts.net
Cabin: 26 – 5th Street South

Secretary:
Teddi Brown
Residence: (204) 339-7996
e-mail: tbrown@retsd.mb.ca
Cabin: 49 – 5th Street South
Phone: 848-7417

Treasurer:
Joyce Harland
Residence: (204)250-7965
e-mail:
joyceharland@gmail.com
Cabin: 18 – 2nd Street South

Past President:
Bruce Hembroff
Residence: (204) 832-4809
e-mail: bhembroff@shaw.ca
Cabin: 53 – 5th Street South

Directors at Large
Gloria Belliveau
Residence: (204) 831-5574
Cell (204) 218-2952
e-mail: g_belliveau@live.com
Cabin: 21 – 3rd Street North
Phone: (204) 848-2952

Brian McVicar
Residence: (204) 727-4777
e-mail: mcvicar@wcgwave.ca
Cabin: 4 – 5th Street North

Roy White
Residence: (204) 261-0353
e-mail: whiteroy@mts.net
Cabin: 4 – 5th Street South

John George
Residence: (204) 726-4096
e-mail: jageorge@mts.net
Cabin: 4 – 4th Street South

Joan James
Residence: (204) 476-2570
e-mail: ejames567@mts.net
Cabin: 14 – 2nd Street North

Kevin Alguire
Residence: (403) 245-9623
e-mail: kjalguire@shaw.ca

Scott Jordan
Winnipeg, Mb.
Residence: (204) 222-7542
e-mail: scottjordanclca@gmail.com

Ryan Givoli
Residence (204) 487-3499
e-mail: ryangivoli@shaw.ca

Report on the September 6, 2009 AGM

The meeting was held at the Park theatre with 115 cabin owners represented. While this is a far cry from our 525 cabins, it still represents a good turn-out of members as well as a good cross section of opinions. The biggest issue placed before the membership was the status of the Comprehensive Review and additional background information regarding the origins of the initiative to implement the comprehensive review. As background, at the end of this newsletter, there is a brief summary of the Comprehensive Review proposal arising from the 2008 AGM and following through into the 2009AGM. This is simply repeat information that was available last year.

Comprehensive Review Actions from the 2009 AGM

There was a possibility that the Minister would sign off on the Community Plan in the fall of 2009, or early in 2010. Therefore, in anticipation of that occurring, at the October31, 2009 Board meeting, there was a recommendation put forward to Parks Canada by your Board that the makeup of the Comprehensive Review Committee be as follows:
– 1 person from Parks Canada
– 3 people at large, or the general public
– 6 people from the Clear Lake Cabin Association

Once the Community Plan is signed, the Comprehensive Review Committee can be put in place.

Additional AGM Discussions

Street signs for the Cabin area

Discussions are being held with Parks Canada, but no action has been taken to date.

Development Review Board

On February 19, 2010, the Development Review Board (DRB) passed a motion which significantly changed the terms of reference and the scope of responsibilities of the DRB. Under these new guidelines, responsibilities of the DRB will include:
– DRB will take an active role in the development review process
– The DRB will be assessing the aesthetic and the design structures to determine if they are suitable for RMNP.
– Development Officer will send completed construction applications to DRB members
– Package will contain enough information for each DRB member to make an informed recommendation.
– The DRB will have 2 weeks to respond to the development officer. If they do not respond, then this is considered that there is no objections and the process would then continue.
– If there is an issue, all DRB members would be informed and a vote would be taken. With majority ruling, a recommendation will then be made to the superintendent.
– At this point in time the DRB will be looking at all development projects. There could be modifications to the types of construction as the process is refined.

Originally the DRB was put in place to review applications for Variances (in the existing building guidelines) by anyone in the Park. This allowed a “peer review” and the DRB made their recommendation to the Superintendent. The new DRB will have significantly greater scope of operations and your Board reviewed this new DRB structure and decided to give it some time to see how it will work out.

New Business

2010 Camping Permit and Work Plans:

Total costs for our camping permit for the 2010 season have risen to $758.95 from $712.37 in 2009 and $673.44 in 2008. The actual camping permit remains unchanged at $484.00, but the $117.22 everyone has been charged as our share of debt recovery for the new water treatment plant and the sewage treatment upgrades is of note. This debt recovery item represents the cabin area share of the debt incurred to build the new facilities and is amortized over 20 years. Our charges for debt recovery will not increase in the future as we are at the maximum allowed to be charged by Parks Canada. To provide members with a better understanding of where their money is allocated, and how it is spent, we provide the following break-out of charges.

 

The cabin area consist of 525 cabins, 32 cook shacks and wood shelters, 10 public washrooms, 1 shower building and 3 light standards. The $484.00 camping permit is budgeted, and spent, as follows:

 

TYPE TOTAL PER CABIN
Building maintenance and repairs $36,771.00 $70.00
Cleaning washrooms and shower building $83,277.00 $159.00
Road and street maintenance $6,721.00 $13.00
General Maintenance
– Mow grass in common area $712.00 $1.00
– Clean-up wood sheds, collect ashes and chips $5,446.00 $10.00
– Tree Removal (safety issues) $13,996.00 $27.00
– Firewood delivery $6,492.00 $12.00
– Firewood cutting and stockpiling $11,612.00 $22.00
– Implement vegetation management plan $3,000.00 $6.00
Miscellaneous (security, fire protection etc) $86,073.00 $164.00
TOTAL $254,100.00 $484.00

Within the miscellaneous line item are other costs allocated to the cabin area related to general administration and cost of shared services to maintain the townsite and support infrastructure.

Within our camping permit, 30% of our fees are used for cleaning the bathrooms and the shower building and the total costs of firewood cutting, hauling, stockpiling and clean-up there represents another 10%. These figures do not include costs of building maintenance and repairs which represents another 15% of the fees.

Important note: With our annual camping permit at the level of $758.95, your Board initiated discussions with Parks Canada requesting that we implement another payment option for camping permits to allow cabin owners to pay over two installments. The one time payment option will also remain in place, but the proposed new second option, which would split the fee into two installments to be collected over the season, would ease the financial burden on cabin owners. Parks Canada have been very receptive and co-operative to this idea and we hope to have additional details at our spring meeting.

Work Plan for the Cabin area – 2010.

Since breaking out water sewer and garbage charges on separate line items a few years ago, we have a bit of extra money from our camping fees which the board can allocate out to additional work items. In 2010 this amount will be in the range of $15,000 – $17,000. The work plan for the cabin area is created by reviewing what is required by legislation, and a review of the maintenance needs of our facilities. There are 2 streams of information which come together to determine the maintenance needs. First, there is a recommendation / listing from Parks Canada staff and second there are recommendations from the CLCA Board, through the work of the Buildings and Grounds Committee.

ACTION:
Based on health and safety issues, the Board has recommended that the following additional work be completed in 2010.

1. Replace sinks and counters in 1 washroom building
2. Replace one stove and concrete base
3. Replace rotten support posts in 2 cook shacks
4. Repair and replace foundation problems and support posts in one cook shack.
5. Roofing on wood shelter

Construction hours:

The Board has recommended to Parks Canada that construction hours in the summer be extended to 6:00 pm. This is an extension of one hour and means that summer construction hours will be from 10:00 am to 6:00 pm for the period from July 1 to the end of the September long weekend.

Web Site:

We are registered as clearlakecabinassociation.org, and we wish to register ownership of the domain name clearlakecabinassociation.com. as well. Currently this is controlled by a domain name re-seller, and the Board is negotiating with them to re-acquire the name.

The Board has envisioned our web site as a means of communicating information to members on issues important to our area. Relative to the Comprehensive Review, we have been receiving information from Waskesiu (Prince Albert National Park) regarding some of their costs relative to running sewer and water to individual cabins. This is important information for all of us to have and it is contained at the end of this newsletter in a letter from Herve Langlois, a cabin (cottage) owner at Waskesiu. It will also be added to the website.

Cookshack Etiquette:

Due to several complaints of noise and general rowdy behavior at one or two cookshacks, the Board will be posting general guidelines for cookshack etiquette. These will be common sense guidelines and will re-enforce the rule that quiet time needs to start at 11:00 pm. Parks Canada has agreed to assist us in the implementation of these guidelines.

Board Committees:

Boating and Marine – John George and Brian McVicar as alternate
Building and Grounds – Gary Cavanaugh
Development Review Board – Roy White and Gloria Belliveau
Townsite Security – Gloria Belliveau Joyce Harland
Vegetation Committee – Scott Jordan; alt. Kevin Alguire
Procedural By-law – Roy White and Trevor Winters
Website – Joyce Harland
Newsletter – Joan James and Trevor Winters

It is readily apparent that as a Board, the Clear Lake Cabin Association has never developed any type of policy or direction for those members of our Board who represent us on these various committees. Therefore, the Board is taking appropriate action to develop these statements of direction by conducting a Board retreat in June 2010 to establish policy and direction which will allow our cabin area to be more pro-active and less reactive. The Board tested this concept this past winter with the development of a DRAFT vegetation management plan which is the next item, and it proved to be very useful and successful.

Vegetation Management:

The big pine and fir trees in the cabin area are rapidly reaching the end of their life cycle as witnessed by the number of trees that have had to be removed over the past few years. It is imperative that we work with the vegetation committee to develop a plan to re-forest our area before all of the existing trees are lost. There has been a distinct lack of progress in developing a vegetation plan over the past few years, so your board has taken a pro-active approach. In October, the board struck a 3 member sub-committee with a mandate of developing a draft vegetation management plan to the Board by March 15 2010. This sub-committee with Gary Cavanagh in the chair and Kevin Alguire and Joan James has worked with Scott Jordan as our representative on the vegetation committee and developed a Draft plan which was reviewed by the Board on May 1. The results are that board members will look at the document presented, and let Gary know about any topic we would like to see changed. The objective is that in the long term it will develop into our policy for vegetation. In the short term, we will look at the loss of trees and identify common areas that would not be affected by future building where trees can be replanted starting October 31, 2010.
Motion: To accept the draft vegetation management plan in principal. Carried.
Action: That Scott Jordan work with the Park to determine the logistics of obtaining and planting vegetation. His report to be given at the AGM. has been forwarded to Parks Canada and will be shared with other members of the WTA.

Notice of Dates for the 2010 Spring General Meeting

The spring meeting will be held on Sunday July 4 2010 10:00 am – noon at the Jamboree Hall. Meeting dates for the 2010 AGM will be announced at a later date.

Odds and Ends

The Board would like to remind everyone that the Park does not pick up items such as : old televisions, bar-b-ques, old couches, fridges, carpeting, old lawn chairs, construction refuse, and other large or electronic items. We are expected to take this material to the land fill in Onanole or to the appropriate recycling depot.

Comprehensive Review Explanation and Information

Over the winter of 2009 -2010, there was a concerted effort to gather factual information from Prince Albert National Park (Waskesiu) regarding their experience and costs relative to installing water and sewer in each individual cabin rather than maintain a system of public washrooms. As we are about to undertake a comprehensive review of our area which includes a review of our services as compared to other methods of service delivery, it is important that we deal in facts on all issues and not rumors.
– First is a letter from Waskesiu Cabin/Cottage owner Herve Langlois on the 10 year old Waskesiu experience,
– Second are comparative costs to construct an insulated 8 foot by 6 foot add-on shed to house a bathroom.

Letter from Herve Langlois at Waskesiu

Barry Chapman forwarded your inquiry to me. I do not have any of the documents you referred to but can answer some of your questions.

First, the cost of the project – done in 1998 – was borne fully by the cabin owners. We paid $134 annually for 10 years as a loan repayment to Parks Canada which included principal and interest at a fixed rate. This levy covered the cost to the property line. Additional hookup costs varied with each property depending on length of excavation, topography and whether or not you were friends with the contractor. I don’t know the range but somewhere between $200 and $1000. An important point is that it was to the cabin owners advantage to have this done when the project was done rather than having the contractor come back for a few hookups each year.

Second, it was agreed that cabin owners would have a 10 year window to hook up and install sewer and water on their property. This was strictly enforced and cabin owners were constantly reminded to get this done. In most cases, owners replaced their old cabins with new ones but a significant number had installations done in their older cabins. Bathrooms were permitted in doghouses and cabins were allowed to add 50 sq.ft. to the cabin for bathrooms. The system is not a deep system and is shut down ever fall, to be reopened in the spring. With the benefit of hindsight, you should not scrimp when the system is being designed – it only leads to problems later.

Third, the community washrooms were torn down at the end of the 10 year period. That provided strong encouragement for cabin owners to install services in their cabins.

Fourth, in 2006, cabin permits were converted to 42 year leases. The lots were appraised and cabin owners were given a 25% discount on those appraisals in recognition of the fact they paid for the sewer and water system. Installation of services became a condition of the leases. The conversion to leases contributed to cabin price increases.

Fifth, in 1997 – one year before sewer and water was approved – cabin lots with old cabins on them were selling below $20,000 – as low as $16,000. Over time, those prices rose to about $135,000 to $150,000 for the lots only. That didn’t happen overnight but prices kept increasing year over year and have now likely plateaued. Today, a new cabin, well appointed, sells for just under $400,000, including the lease.

Herve Langlois

Costs of Materials to build an 8 foot by 6 foot attachment

In the fall of 2009, the President of the CLCA, received estimates for supplies to build an 8 foot by 6 foot insulated shed to add house a shower stall, toilet and wash basin. In addition, an estimate was received from Twilite Manufacturing of Neepawa to actually build an 8 X 6 structure. The complete breakdown of these costs will be available on our website and copies will be available at the spring meeting . Results are as follows:

Home Depot Canada $1,473.99
Rona Home and Garden $1,407.04
Twilite Manufacturing $1,316.00

These numbers reflect all taxes, but do not include fixtures, and all figures were obtained in October 2009. Please refer to our website for the details of these estimates.

Background on Comprehensive Review

The Community Plan document which was forwarded to the Minister for signature in 2008 contained the following clause / direction:

“Within one year of plan approval, form a steering committee and develop a terms of reference to initiate a comprehensive development review for the cabin area. The review will be based on a long-term vision that takes into account the above goals and addresses issues such as density, aesthetics, quality of life, and land use. The comprehensive development review could include, but not be limited to:
Building guidelines
Possible re-configuration of lot footprint
Will maintain maximum lot development or reduce from the existing 71.3 square meters.
Vehicle parking
Boat storage
Evaluation of existing infrastructure
Capital funding
Tenure
Tree removal and reforestation
Green space management including possible redistribution of cabins
Security/Safety
Development along the lakeshore”

In addition, the Community Plan also called for the implementation of a building moratorium in the cabin area until such time as the comprehensive review was completed. The members assembled at the 2009 annual meeting requested details on the proposed moratorium; how did the concept of a moratorium get into the community plan without discussion among members, what are the specific details of the moratorium, why did membership as a whole not have an opportunity for discussion on this subject.

Following debate, the following motion was passed by the 2008 annual meeting:

Send a letter to the steering committee asking them to eliminate the moratorium

In anticipation of the Community Plan sign-off, and therefore the formation of the steering committee, the Board passed the following motion on April 18, 2009.

That the CLCA recommend that in terms of the comprehensive development review for the Wasagaming Community Plan, Parks Canada will consult with the CLCA Board.
Unfortunately, The Community Plan, has still not been signed off, therefore the Board is still not able to get the Comprehensive Review process underway.

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