Sharbot Lake Property Owners’ Association
2005 Annual General Meeting
Held at the Oso Town Hall
Sat 16 July 2005
Mr. Paul King (President) welcomed the 39 members and guests and introduced the Executive. In attendance from the executive were Rem Westland (Vice President), Ken Waller (Secretary-Treasurer) and Bill Wilson (Member-at-Large).
Adoption of the 2004 AGM Minutes
The minutes of the last AGM were read. A motion was moved by Roberta Anderson and seconded by Dell Brown, that the minutes be accepted as read. Carried.
Year in Review
Paul King reviewed the activities of the past year including the work of the Tax Committee, the new & improved SLPOA website and the continuing support to the Mississippi Valley Conservation and its Watershed Watch program. Paul also reminded the members that the continued successful operation of the SLPOA was only possible through the work of volunteers and that more volunteers were needed.
Financial and Membership Reports
Ken Waller presented the report on the finances of the Association including the number of present members (253) and the health of the finances. With our current balance and proposed budget for 2005/06, no increase in membership fees was proposed. Ken did, however, note that the continuation of membership in the Federation of Ontario Cottagers’ Associations (FOCA) and future plans for lake-quality monitoring, additional support to FOCA in its work on the tax issue and the acquisition of Directors’ and Officers’ (D&O) Insurance, that a fee increase will likely be necessary as early as next year. The issue of D&O insurance, to protect the executive from lawsuits arising from decisions made on behalf of SLPOA, was considered necessary and supported by those in attendance. Moved by Denise Lombardo, seconded by Jane Berryman that the financial report be accepted as read. Carried.
In addition, Ken reminded the membership that nine areas remain without area representatives and sought volunteers. Dean & Cindy Brown and Jim & Diane Thomson volunteered to become area representatives for Brewer Rd. and Burney Point respectively.
Election of Executive
The positions of President, Secretary/Treasurer and the two Members-at-Large were up for election. Rem Westland, the current Vice-president was elected President by acclamation. The now-vacant position of Vice-President was filled by Bill Wilson by acclamation. Ken Waller was re-elected Sec/Treas by acclamation. Roberta Anderson was acclaimed as a Member-at-Large. There was no nomination for the second Member-at-Large position. The executive will seek out and appoint a volunteer to this position for 2005/06.
Tax Committee Update and Report of Meeting with CF Mayor and Council
Rem Westland updated the AGM on the work of the Tax Committee in the past year. In line with the agreement of the AGM in July 2004, the Committee directed its efforts to putting pressure on the Province regarding downloading of services and property tax principles generally. To do this, the Committee allied itself with the Waterfront Ratepayers Association for Fair Taxation (WRAFT), an arm of FOCA. We exchanged views, had influence on the positions being taken by FOCA/WRAFT, and were invited to attend a meeting with Minister Dombrowski. While the meeting with the Minister did not take place, the SLPOA Tax Committee was asked to propose text for a letter to the Minister, which we did and which is available on the SLPOA Web Page.
Rem Westland then updated the AGM on a meeting in the previous week with the Mayor and Council of Central Frontenac to which all Central Frontenac Property Owners' Associations were invited. Tax issues were raised as a number one concern, and were redirected to a follow-up meeting, which is now planned for the same parties for 3 September 2005. The Municipal government plans to make details about this meeting publicly available.
Other issues that were raised with the Mayor and Council were: lake water quality; watershed management; waste disposal planning; and services. The point was made repeatedly by the Associations that we should be seen as allies for the Council rather than as irritants. The demographics of rural communities, especially where there are a lot of lakefront property owners, are changing. There is an influx of experienced and energetic people who have an intense interest in the environment and who provide volunteers for a wide range of activities that improve the region. In return, these people are asking to be taken seriously into account when Municipal decisions are made. Property Owners' Associations are more and more likely to become representatives and supporters of their members in the municipal decision-making process.
First Guest Speaker – Paul Harris
Paul Harris provided an interesting presentation on Estate Succession Planning during which he stressed the need to plan ahead in order to ensure that your wishes are followed and that extra costs (taxes, etc) are minimized for your heirs. One unique option identified involved incorporating the cottage with the parents holding the preferred shares and hence maintaining control, and the children holding the common shares and hence partial ownership.
Second Guest Speakers- Susan Lee and Tanner Whyte, Mississippi Valley Conservation
Susan Lee discussed the Watershed Watch program within the Mississippi Valley Conservation and also discussed the plan to do a full inspection of Sharbot Lake in 2006 looking at water quality, algae growth and the presence of invasive species. She made available copies of the 2001 Report on Water Quality for Sharbot Lake to those in attendance.
Tanner Whyte, a summer student working for MVC in partnership with the Ontario Federation of Anglers and Hunters promoting their 2005 invasive species program. Tanner discussed the identification and implications of several invasive species including zebra mussels (which are likely in Sharbot Lake although formal evidence has yet to be found), spiny water flea, fishhook water flea and purple loosestrife. He noted that control of purple loosestrife is possible through the use of biological control in the form of the release of any of five different types of beetles, which feed only on purple loosestrife. This program followed years of testing to ensure that the introduction of these beetles would not have a negative effect on the environment. This form of control is most effective on large areas infested with purple loosestrife. Tanner offered to assist property owners in the identification and control of invasive species and ask people to identify areas where purple loosestrife is located. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or at MVC head office at (613) 259-2421. Tanner also made available to those in attendance, copies of a MVC Information Kit on Invasive Species.
- Nick Ashley (Brewer Rd.) advised that there was a 10-acre property in his area that had access to Sharbot Lake via a 50-foot wide by 300-foot long strip. An application for variance has been submitted to Central Frontenac Council to allow a residence to be built on this strip of land with a setback of only 50 feet from the water. Mr. Ashley is concerned that the application would be “rubber stamped” by council and warned that such precedence could have far-reaching implications to the rest of Sharbot Lake. He encouraged other concerned property owners to attend the Council Meeting August 8, 2005 at 7:00 p.m. at Mountain Grove. The SLPOA executive agreed to publish a letter Mr Ashley had written, on the SLPOA website.
- Mr. Bill Riggs thanked Paul King for his years as president and for all the work he had done on behalf of the SLPOA. A round of applause from all in attendance endorsed this.
- Special thanks was given to Bill Wilson for all his hard work on the SLPOA website. After one year in operation, this site has become very popular and the envy of other property owners’ associations.
- Bill Wilson told the meeting that he hoped to get another newsletter out soon and put out a call to the members for articles and pictures for it.
Prepared by: Ken Waller, Secretary/Treasurer
Approved by Rem Westland, President