Minutes, Annual General Meeting, 02 August 2014
Lake Matinenda Cottage Owners Association Inc www.matinenda.ca P.O.Box 772, Blind River ON P0R 1B0
Meeting began 11:02am. All 9 Board Members present: Ron Servatius, President; Dave Hall, Vice-President; Caroline Bledsoe, Secretary; Herb Herriman, Treasurer; Dennis Davey; John Godbolt; Laure Olsen; Bill Ryan; Bill Shafer.
President Ron Servatius welcomed members, visitors, and 2 guests — Sue Jensen, Mayor, Blind River and Cliff Spratt, Campground Manager. Unable to attend: Scott Smith, Marina/Arena Manager & Supervisor of Matinenda Dock Attendant. Ron reminded all to use CB Channel 5 for “calling”, then to change to another channel for conversations. Calendar Items: Aug 5-13 MNR Fish Monitoring Program; Aug 14 Thrift/Bake Sale by Craft Group; Aug 15 Bulk Trash Day.
Mayor Sue Jensen said she is focused on ‘fixing town finances’, but presently there is “no money and no promises”. The Town will work with cottagers and the Association on environmental concerns. The Town cannot address Highway #557 conditions, since the highway is maintained is by the Province.
Cliff Spratt said there is a new red “No Wake” buoy in the lake near the Landing. He urged all to ‘leave no wake’ – waves rock boats and stress the docks. He noted that lake water levels were too low this summer, but too high this spring. High levels were due to ‘stuck logs’ at the dam, holding back water, complicated by unexpected heavy rains.
Moment of Silence was observed for 7 residents who passed away in the past year: Sharon Dupuis, Emil Ergang, Ken Irwin, Dixie Grantz, Nellie Otteson, Molly Vitone, Sherrie Wylie.
Garbage Dumpsters: General discussion ensued (as always!). The dumpster area is unsightly, strewn with garbage. A visitor from the campground said she saw bears reach their paws inside the latch cover, release the “bear-proof” latch and climb inside the dumpster! Subsequently Mayor Jensen ‘toured’ the garbage area and noticed that much of the trash on the ground was recyclable plastic bottles/cans. She said the Town would provide blue recycle bins at the site. Benefits are recycling and extension of the lifespan of the town’s landfill. Jensen also said the town would look into ‘bear-proof’ dumpsters. Sue Shafer said she would organize a Dumpster clean-up day in August.
By-Laws Progress, Vice-President Dave Hall: Revised By-Laws were distributed (also posted on website). Dave Hall said the Board worked for 2+ years on revisions; next year members will vote on revisions. Then Hall asked for a Motion to re-open the Constitution for revisions. Motion to re-open: Kaufmann/T Bearman/carried without objections. Dave said the purpose of revisions is to amend and expand the definition of ‘membership’ to be more inclusive. Currently only owners of property may be members; after revisions, owners and persons in their ‘household’ (e.g. family, relatives, close friends, etc.) can be members – resulting in more (often younger) persons involved in the Association and able to be elected to the Board. Questions were asked about voting. Dave replied — there would be no change from current policy of one lot, one vote. If there are multiple owners of one lot, only one person can vote. Owners may choose a proxy to vote for them. The membership agreed that a more inclusive definition of membership would be beneficial.
Secretary’s Report, Caroline Bledsoe: 2013 AGM Minutes (posted on our website, www.matinenda.ca) were distributed; motion to approve: Jean Denaro/Von Dilloway/carried without objections. Bledsoe said the Association nominated 4 cottagers for Ontario Volunteer Service Awards — Jerry Behnke, Jason Imbeau, Ed Pilon and Sharon Dupuis – who were honored at a ceremony in May 2014 in Sault Ste. Marie (website). Bledsoe asked members to send her suggestions for next year’s nominations. Many members commented that Jason Imbeau, Dock Attendant, was doing an excellent job. Bledsoe noted that the Matinenda web site (Jeff Rice, webmaster) is an increasingly good source of information. Examples include a Digital Archive (our history, photographs, newsletters, annual meeting minutes, Treasurer’s reports, etc.) and environmental materials (lists of birds and plants [Matinenda Flora], Ice-Out data [82-year record for Matinenda], water level and water quality data, etc.). Other sources of information for lake news and events are the two bulletin boards – one in the Welcome House, the other at the Dock Attendant’s House. This year the “Plant of the Week” is posted weekly (website). Current (Aug. 2014) Locator Maps, a benefit of membership, were distributed. Maps contain lot locations & owner’s names. Digital copies of Locator Maps are available from the Secretary. The Membership Directory will be available in 2015 and list only those members who indicate on the 2015 Dues Renewal Form that they want to be included. Recent changes in Canadian ‘privacy of information law requires individuals to ‘opt- in’ for inclusion in the Directory. Stories and histories and photos are being collected for the Matinenda History Book with expected completion Spring 2015. Please submit materials to Caroline Bledsoe and Liz Van Atter.
Treasurer’s Report, Herb Herriman (report also on www.matinenda.ca) : Herriman reported the financial status of the Association is in good shape. REVENUES AND EXPENSES: Total Revenues for 2014 (only 1⁄2 year, 1 Jan – 30 June) are $790, compared to $1,390 for 2013. Additional dues and income for 2014 are anticipated. Total Operating Expenses for 2014 are $244 ($1,402, 2013). Expenses are for supplies $139, FOCA dues $102 and bank charges $13.50. ASSETS AND LIABILITIES AND EQUITY: Total assets are $12,961, including Current Assets of $1,996 [petty cash ($100), checking account $1,896), Property and equipment $1,328 [Bulletin Board, Printer, Coffeemaker, Canopy, Light], and investments (GIC) of $10,964. Liabilities of $12,961 include Retained Earnings $12,415 and Income $546. (see web site for details). Herb thanked Laure Olsen for her substantial help (collecting mail & depositing checks) and Ben Denaro for review of the Treasurer’s books in 2013. Nancy Harz asked — is the $350 item for FOC A membership (Federation of Ontario Cottagers Associations) an annual fee? Herriman said yes, explaining there were substantial benefits to membership (e.g. information about cottage insurance rates, taxation rates, transferring ownership, etc.). Motion to accept report: Ben Kaufmann/John Grabowski/passed without objection.
Dennis Davey, Board member: Davey attended a Town Council and a Marina Committee meeting. The Town’s financial situation is difficult, due in part to unexpected expenses at the Marina for gas tank upgrades required by environmental regulations. The Town is aware of cottagers’ disappointments regarding slow dock repairs this spring when docks were underwater, making access difficult. Now docks are in good shape; safety is improved. The Town ‘beat us to the punch’ and installed 3 safety ladders. The Association purchased 3 ladders and 3 life rings with throw lines; these will be installed in August. Davey reminded everyone that they are responsible for safety – wear life jackets whenever in your boat and help others if needed. He asked the Mayor to tell the Council that the current Dock Attendant, Jason Imbeau, is doing an excellent job, is helpful, observant, and deserves a raise! Jason left notes on awkwardly parked vehicles with trailers, asking them to park differently to increase parking space. Davey said the town plans to create By-Laws for the Landing and hire an Ordinance Enforcement Officer who could enforce the By-Laws (e.g. write tickets for boats docked for extended periods of time). Since dock space is limited, all are urged to use docks only for day trips and short stays.
Refreshment break (thank you to Bill Ryan for bringing coffee, juice and donuts from town)
Bill Ryan, Board Member: Bill has been on the lake since he was a kid and is glad to be on the Board. He will work with the MNR (Ministry of Natural Resources) on environmental issues, including lake levels and bass fishing regulations. High lake levels can damage docks and shore-line structures. Year-round bass fishing can impact sustainability of the fish population. Bill will also work with the Town’s Ecological Resource Committee. Karen Rice asked about the apparent absence of bats. Considerable discussion followed. Jim Hogg saw a recent bat documentary reporting catastrophic population declines due to white nose fungus disease that kills many bats, but a few are resistant. The disease inhibits the bats’ hibernation ability. Since bats can consume ~600 mosquitoes/hour, we may see more mosquitoes!
John Godbolt, Board Member: John said he was working with Dave Hall and Herb Herriman on issues related to the Association’s status as a non-profit corporation – specifically requirements for filing tax returns and other documents.
Laure Olsen, Board Member: Laure and Doug have been trapping on the lake for 12 years. Laure shared their album of photos and a plaster cast of the largest moose footprint they have ever seen. Laure encouraged all to attend the Trappers Convention in Blind River on August 22-23, 2014.
Bill Shafer, Board Member: At our July 2013 Annual Meeting, 2 motions to improve safety at the Landing were passed. In response, 3 ladders and 3 safety rings/lines were purchased and will be installed this month. Shafer noted that members were concerned about safety training for dock attendant(s). However, Shafer said Jason Imbeau is well qualified and is a Life Saving Instructor. Now the Association and the Town are working together on dock safety, a highly desirable partnership.
Jean Denaro, Craft Group representative : Denaro said there will be a get-together for crafts (painting) on Tuesday August 5th at 10am at the Delamater’s cottage. All are welcome; bring a lunch and $3 for supplies. She announced a Thrift Sale at the Landing by the Dock Shop from 10am-2pm on Thursday August 14, the day before the Bulk Trash Pickup Day. Cottagers are encouraged to donate items. Cliff Spratt said people may leave items next to the Dock Shop before the sale. The Craft Group suggests that Thrift Sale funds could be used for a “Memorial Bench” beside the Welcome House or perhaps to extend Dock Attendant’s hours (currently only 4 days/week, Friday to Monday).
Navigation Lights on the Lake: Karen Rice said that navigation lights are placed at a few key locations (e.g. Roy’s Northland, Stover’s Point, Graveyard Island, etc.) to aid boaters. Generally lights are placed by owners on their property, so no permissions are needed. Karen said it is time for the Association to take charge of this ‘informal’ process and to buy lights that provide sufficient light for navigation. Much discussion followed. Jerry Behnke said there may be liability issues. Doug Olsen said that if lights are purchased, cottagers in Bay 68 want lights. Ginny Brush asked whether the Provincial Park might provide lights. Rice suggested we consult with FOCA to see what other Associations have done. Motion to have the Board investigate the Nav. Light situation: Nancy Harz/John Grabowski/carried without objections. A second Motion authorized the Board to spend funds up to $3,000: Von Dilloway/Karen Rice/carried without objections.
Sub-division of Swiss Island: Ron asked Beetli Oberhansli to explain her request to sub-divide Swiss Island. Beetli said she applied for a variance to partition the island, each with an existing cabin (2 cabins were built in the 1970s). She said no further buildings would be allowed. Members asked about waste disposal. Beetli said they have a ‘gray-water’ system , since they have insufficient soil depth for a Class 4 Septic system that requires >2 acres with sufficient soil depth. Sue Shafer noted that if this sub-division was allowed, this might create a precedent for further subdivisions on the lake with more cabins and resulting environmental stresses. Steve Taylor asked …is the Board concerned? Ron replied, yes, and the Board sent a letter to the Town asking for clarification of issues of minimum lot size for sub-division and the lack of notification to the Association and to nearby cottagers. Ron said the Board would ask the Town to notify the Association in the future; then the Association can notify its members, particularly those affected by the sub- division. Both Dave Hall and Steve Taylor, nearby cottagers, objected to the lack of notification. Ron reiterated that the Board would follow up on this issue.
Election of Board: Ron noted that 3 Board members are retiring – Laure Olsen, Dave Hall and himself, so 3 replacements are necessary, 2 of which must be Canadian residents (By-Laws require a majority of Canadians on the Board). Bledsoe’s term is ending; she agreed to accept nominated for a 3rd and final term. By-Laws limit Board members to 3 consecutive 2-year terms, after which they must stand down for at least 1 year. The following were nominated: Bledsoe (Sue Shafer/Ken Bears), Jim Hogg (Herriman/Bledsoe), John Grabowski (Rice/Behnke) and Liz Van Atter (Herriman/Brush). Since there were 4 nominees for the 4 positions, Ron asked for a vote in favor of this slate. All 4 nominees were approved unanimously. The new Board will meet on Monday August 11 at 1:30pm at Herriman’s camp.
Singing of a Matinenda song: Scott Herriman(Herb Herriman’s son and a musician) led the group in singing of “Oklahoma” with Matinenda-specific lyrics written by Gordon Swartzman, a former cottager on 68 Bay. Lyrics:
“MA__TINENDA, where the wind blows handsome o’er the wave, And the wintergreen in bell flowering in the summertime that we all crave. MA__TINENDA, long leisure hours all the day, And the rain it brings, blueberry things, and people do just what they say. We’re glad to be guests in this land, with its natural beauty at hand. And when we say….Yeow!!! Mosquitoes on their way, Still we are saying, We’re doing well, Matinenda, MATINENDA Hooray ! “
Adjournment: Ron thanked everyone for their attendance, Scott Herriman for the PA sound system, Cliff Spratt for providing tables and electric power, and Bill Ryan for bringing refreshments. Meeting adjourned 2:00pm.
Respectfully submitted: Caroline Bledsoe, Secretary, LMCOA