Since the 2013 fall newsletter was mailed, your board has been busy. The Lake City Bank (LCB) loan documents for the Dam construction have been finalized. The loan is scheduled to be paid off in the fall of 2018. To be prepared for any unforeseen large expenses that may occur in the future, the Board opened a $100,000 line of credit (LOC) with LCB. Examples of such unexpected expenses to name a few, could include: dam repairs, new DNR mandates, wetland issues, major repairs or replacement of the weed harvester, dredging, and road repair.
The reason for having the LOC is because the Associate is unable to quickly raise money for unexpected expenses that occur during the year. All of our revenue is collected in a 3 month period, while expenses known and unknown continue throughout the 12 months of the year.
LCB has all of our recent financial history. Therefore it was less costly to establish the LOC now rather than later when it could be needed. In conjunction with the loans, the Board has approved budgets for the years of 2014 and 2015. Budgets are not concrete; they are a tool to help us anticipate expected expenses. This helps us plan ahead so we can reduce the likelihood of large unexpected expenses requiring the use of the LOC. In developing the budget, we determined that the 2014 annual lake dues will remain unchanged. That was only possible because the Board had adequate cash reserves to handle the 2014 shortfall. That will not be the case for 2015. Our reserves will be depleted at the end of 2014. In 2015 we project the dues will need to be increased to $140.0 for Lakefront and $60.00 for Non Lake Front lots. To do this, it will require a vote to change the bylaw. We plan for this to be done at the Annual Meeting.
The PPA, after completing the Dam/Levee construction project is being required by State agencies to maintain it to their standards. Noncompliance risks include fines, having the state take over lake management or even breeching the dam. A large portion of our 2014 budget is geared to maintain compliancy with these mandates. These include but are not limited to: $3,500 for wetlands inspections required by IDEM, $6,000 dam inspections required by the DNR, and a Dam Operator (paid position) to work weekly to maintain the dam, levee and lake.
One notable expense is for repairs to the turtle crossings on the west levee. Since people no longer have easy access, they are illegally using the crossings as their path to the lake. Repairs for damage caused by walking on and dragging boats down them will require an estimated $1,500 to $2,000. If people continue to use the crossings to access the lake, this could become an annual expense. That is why I am an advocate for developing bridges over the rip rap and community docks.
Lastly, we appreciate all the volunteers who have gotten involved in LaPSI, monitored lake levels, website construction and maintenance, community docks, PPA 100 year celebration, wetlands maintenance, grounds work and fund raising.
Steve Herendeen, PPA President