Click here to fill out our event recap form.
Click here for an IRS 1099 form.
Click here for updates to the POALH rules and regulations.
Click here for photos from the June 21 Aquatic Plant Workshop.
Click here if you're a waterfront homeowner interested in learning about weed and muck removal.
Click here for our updated Memorial Fund donation policy.
March 27, 2015
President’s Message: Early spring update
I am hoping that getting the 2015 Spring Packet out early this year will bring us great weather sooner than later!! It has been a difficult winter but in the midst of the challenges, the board has much off season news to report. Some of the info below is a repeat from our January email blast, but in case you missed it….
New Tax Collector
Ed Bader recently was named Tax Collector of the Association after Brenda Armstrong rendered her resignation after three years as Tax Collector. We appreciate very much Brenda’s efforts in improving our tax collection system.
Ed Bader has been our Budget Chair and will continue in that role as he assumes the Tax Collector position. The Board of Governors last summer decided the timely collection of taxes would be a high priority for the Association. To achieve this goal, the membership was encouraged to paid their taxes within the one month grace period or be subject to the long standing procedure of assessing a 1.5% interest charge on all taxes not paid within the one month grace period. A majority of our members responded appropriately and paid their taxes within the one month grace period. Collection of the 1.5% interest charge per month on other late payers and other delinquencies is on-going. In addition, liens have been placed on all delinquent accounts that are two years or more delinquent.
Collection efforts continued in the fall and winter when at the recommendation of the Tax Collector the Board of Governors approved engaging legal counsel to assist in the collection of the largest delinquent accounts. This process is underway and as an independent tax district, the Association’s Tax Collector and legal counsel will follow established legal procedures to collect all of the delinquent taxes.
Finally, the Board has authorized the Tax Collector to investigate utilizing a standardized tax collection system used by many towns and tax districts in New England including the Town of East Haddam. All of these procedures will insure the Association collects a significant amount of taxes on a timely basis so that the burden of funding the annual budget of the Association is carried by all of the members and not just 85% of the members who pay their taxes on a timely basis.
We are fortunate; however, that we have the opportunity to appoint another member of our finance committee to take over her responsibilities. Ed Bader has been a great professional resource through the past three years serving as our budget chairman and providing support to the treasurer and tax collector. Ed understands the board’s objectives, our challenges, and has been committed to adopting best practices in our financial operations, budget review, allocation of reserves, all while supporting a conservative taxing policy. We expect this to be a seamless transition as we prepare for the next tax billing period.
In the interest of providing more information to Association members, the Board asked the Treasurer to provide on a monthly basis a summary of the actual monthly revenues and expenses, the amount of the cash balances in checking and money market accounts, the activity of special appropriations (i.e. the 2nd Beach Dredging Project), the Reserve Balance Allocations approved by the members at the Annual Meeting in August 2014, a summary of the Year to Date Actual Revenue and Expenses with the Balance to Fund the Remaining 2014-15 Budget and the amount of Unallocated Reserves. The totals of the Allocated Reserves, the Balance to Fund the Remaining 2014-15 Budget and the Total Unallocated Reserves tie into the total amount of cash in the POALH Checking and Money Market Accounts. During the year,the Association maintains its financial accounts on a cash basis.
At the end of the fiscal year (June 30) our Independent Accountants, Bowman, Monaco & Black, PC, conduct a review in accordance with Statements on Standards for Accounting and Review Services issued by the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants. A copy of that report will be posted on the web site after it has been received and reviewed by the Board. This report is prepared on the accrual basis of accounting. These periodic statements will soon be posted to the website. Please direct your questions about these reports to Lee Griffin, POALH Treasurer.
Lake Quality Improvement Committee updates
This committee has been very active on a number of fronts. As we have talked about often, the quality of our lake is an important issue for our association. Many of you are frustrated with drainage problems that ultimately impact our lake. Whether we are planning for our annual invasive weed treatment, improving our access to the lake and waterfront through special projects, or planning for future maintenance of our water shed and run off into lake waters, these issues require that we develop a Lake and Watershed Management Plan. We need both short and long range planning discussions, we need to identify resources and support to help us achieve our goals. Over the past year, our formerly called “weed committee” has expanded its scope and committee membership so we can adequately discuss needs and plans of action. The committee’s first project, the dredging of the lagoon at second beach boat launch is almost complete pending final sediment removal and clean up. There is a report also posted to the website that will explain the project results.
Our Lake Improvement Committee members are also active with East Haddam Lakes Association. In fact, in large part due to the leadership of Felicia Tencza and Randy Miller, we have been instrumental in working with town and agency officials to apply for a recent grant to support our lake initiatives. While these wins may be small (read more below in Randy’s report) it begins the dialog and positions POALH to be a key player in our region, whether it is presenting our case for town budget funds (visit the website for details) or providing supporting information to help us win grant dollars. Randy and Felicia have done an outstanding job in bringing what we are calling stakeholders representing town and state offices together to support these initiatives and to help with the development of our Lake and Watershed Management Plan. Please take the time to visit the website for copies of presentations and other informative material.
East Haddam Receives Aquatic Invasive Species Program Grant for Lake Hayward
Lake Hayward and the Town of East Haddam received great news Thanksgiving week (2014). The Town was selected to receive funding through the CT Department of Energy and Environmental Protection Grants to Municipalities for the Control of Aquatic Invasive Species Program. These matching grants are for Lake Hayward ($9,050) and Moodus Reservoir ($6,000). Both grants are for invasive aquatic plant mitigation. The Lake Hayward grant funds will be used to pay for a portion of the 2015 invasive aquatic plant mitigation program performed at Lake Hayward by Aquatic Control Technologies.
The DEEP award letter noted that the grant application process was extremely competitive. Total requests for funding exceeded $295,000 with only $150,000 in state funding available. Our grant application was written by POALH's Lake Quality Improvement Committee members, with the support of the Town. We were able to submit a strong application, a key piece of which was the dedication shown by lake residents over the years to provide their own funding for invasive weed control.
The DEEP grant program, unfortunately, was only funded for the current fiscal year in the Act passed by the CT Legislature earlier in 2014. Maintaining this program will require further legislative action in coming years. Please take advantage of opportunities you have to talk with or write to your CT State Representative and State Senator (find your legislators and their contact info at www.cga.ct.gov/asp/menu/cgafindleg.asp) about the need to continue this program. It is important for our community, as well as the Town and the State. A special shout out to East Haddam State Rep Melissa Ziobron for her support of the 2014 grant program and endorsement of the Lake Hayward and Moodus Reservoir grant applications.
The East Haddam Lakes Association has worked diligently over the past years to strengthen the relationship between the East Haddam lake communities (Bashan Lake, Moodus Reservoir, Lake Hayward), the Town and our elected officials at the State level. The fact that East Haddam received 10% of the total funds distributed statewide attests to the strength of this collaboration. East Haddam First Selectman Mark Walter (special shout out also in order here for his endorsement of the grant applications) highlighted just what can be accomplished when the state, town and private sector work together toward a common goal. He noted “The long-term health of our lakes is critical, the award of these grants will certainly assist us in protecting these important assets for generations to come.” While not related to the grant, the Lake Quality Improvement Committee has received the 2014 year-end report from Aquatic Control Technologies.
As promised, this off season has also focused on updating our association bylaws. At the same time, we addressed updates to our Rules and Regulations as well.A draft of proposed changes will be included in the March Mailer and will also be a topic for discussion at our first of two town hall meetings on May 31st. Your suggestions will be welcomed and reviewed prior to official proposal and vote at our June and August association meetings.
Planning for Social and Recreational Events
At this writing, we are still without a Committee Chair for Recreation and Social Events. This is a leadership role to oversee and manage strategy, resources and budget for recreational programs such as swim, tennis, recreational games, arts & crafts, special programs like music and food events…...This role requires support from an active committee. Yes, this person needs to rally the troops to get involved!
Last years’ co chairs for Recreation and Social have recommended that the association consider outsourcing to fill a recreational director’s role – Each year, we are having more and more difficulty finding qualified swim instructors who can make a long term commitment to our program. We are also seeing a decline in participation and we are subsidizing more of the costs. Finding volunteers to run activities harder and harder and the responsibility burdensome for the few who continue to step up.
There is a lot of support for the concept of hiring a summer recreational director to keep some of our programs going, but no budget for it at this time. The board has decided that we will not put any program or activity on the calendar without a volunteer to sponsor and run. This will avoid the last minute cancellations and confusion we had last year and scrambling throughout the summer to find people to run activities. The board is discussing a few music/food events for social activities this summer in the event this committee role is not filled. Please join us at the town hall to discuss this issue and help us chart the course for seasonal fun.
Finally, please be on the lookout for this years’ Spring Packet – the plan is to have the mailers out by the end of the first week in March. This packet will include our new parking tags and will be the only parking tags valid going forward. It is everyone’s responsibility to let us know if your packet doesn’t reach you.
Personally, my tenure as President will come to an end this season and I will soon pass the baton to Bob Sudell. As I continue to be concerned about the state of the board representation and too many open positions, I will stay on as Third Beach Representative and will focus on the search to fill our two open board positions for third beach. I will continue to serve on the Lake Improvement and Budget committees.
I for one am ready for Spring and days on the beach! I look forward to seeing everyone soon. Please remember BJ in your prayers and donate to his fund if you can!
Click here to read the 2014 Lake Quality Committee report.
Click here to read the 2014 year-end report (pdf) from Aquatic Control Technology concerning the treatment of Lake Hayward for invasive weeds.
Other items of interest:
• To make sure you receive your Spring packet and other POALH communications, please fill out the POALH information sheet and mail to POALH, PO Box 230, Colchester, CT 06415
• Are you receiving East Haddam alerts? If not download the Everbridge sign-up form
• Do you have special needs emergency personnel should know about? Please download and fill out this form
• To request extra police patrols by the Town of East Haddam download this form
© 2015 Property Owners' Lake Hayward Association