ECHO LAKE PROTECTIVE ASSOCIATION
Board of Directors Meeting – January 14, 2017
Present: Patti Lennon, Larry Martin, Nancy Engels, Keith Gee, Susan Czerepak
Welcome: Larry Martin
Larry called the meeting to order at 9:00.
Secretary’s Report: Susan Czerepak
Nancy Engels moved to accept the minutes of September 10, 2016. Larry Martin seconded. All in favor. Approved.
Treasurer’s Report: Patti Lennon
In the absence of Bill Mann, Patti presented the financial materials:
- Financial Highlights
- 2016 Balance Sheet
- 2016 Income/Expense by Category
Those materials are attached below.
This calendar year we received:
- Dues: $2265
- Donations: $5710, including a $1,250 donation specifically earmarked for the Charlestown Elementary School ecology project
- Aquatic Nuisance Grant: $6,390
- Watershed Grant: $4,600
- Color Challenge: $4,510 net
Over the past few years, we have steadily been increasing our bank balance. This year members have generously stepped up and increased their donations to the Association. The Color Challenge has proved to be an important source of income, but its success is weather dependent. The current ending balance of $23,969.67 gives us something of a cushion for the next couple of years. However, it is unclear what level of grants we will receive in the coming years. The new administration in Montpelier has voiced its intention to reduce spending and it is uncertain the extent of funding that will be available for environmental interests going forward.
There was a suggestion that the Income section of the Financial Highlights page be amended to distinguish between general donations and special donations that have been earmarked for special projects – the Charleston Elementary School ecology project being a case in point.
Given the uncertainties of the future it was proposed that some of the current balance be placed in an emergency reserve fund. Even with our best efforts, it is almost a certainty that Echo Lake will at some point fall victim to an aquatic invasive species and the clean up work will no doubt be expensive. An emergency fund will provide a leg up for that or other unforeseen problem.
It was also suggested that the Expenses section of the Financial Highlights page be amended to spell out the expenses associated with payroll for the Greeter Program.
Payroll Total $13,356.00
Payroll taxes $1,643.00
Admin fees $1,843.00
Larry offered that his wife, Lisa, has volunteered to administer the payroll as a donation in kind, equal to 15% of payroll wages. She has experience in administering payroll for Martin Associates and would be happy to take this on for ELPA’s next payroll season beginning in May 2017. NorthWoods, who currently provides this service for a fee, should be informed. Nancy Engels volunteered to inform NorthWoods. Susan Czerepak made a motion that Larry and Lisa Martin assume the payroll responsibilities. Nancy Engels seconded. All in favor. Approved.
It was noted that currently, Bill Mann, Treasurer, is the only member of the Board who has access to the Association’s checking and savings accounts. For backup and to provide checks and balances we need a second board member to be added to the accounts with signing authorization. Larry has agreed to take on this responsibility. Nancy Engels made a motion that Larry Martin be given signing privileges and authority to monitor bank accounts along with Bill Mann. Susan Czerepak seconded the motion. All in favor. Approved. Susan was tasked with drafting a letter to the Community National Bank in Island pond requesting the addition of Larry to the account.
This is Bill Mann’s last year as Treasurer; his term expires in 2018. We need to think about getting someone on the Board who would have an interest in taking on this responsibility and have some time to become familiar with what’s required. To date we have not identified anyone who is willing to take on the position.
A question about auditing also was raised. As a “501(c)(3)” tax-exempt nonprofit organization, we are required to have periodic audits. Keith Gee will inquire of Mike O’Connor, who has a financial background, as to whether he can go over our books to verify their accuracy.
Access Greeter Report:
Terry O’Brien was not present and there was no report.
Watershed/Aquatic Nuisance Grants: Keith Gee
The Citizen Review Committee appointed by the Commissioner of the Vermont Department of Fish & Wildlife which reviews and ranks project proposals for the Commissioner’s final approval suggest in our award for the 2016 grant that we should become more self-sufficient and not anticipate that we will be award this grant annually. There are limited funds and numerous applicants for this grant. Considering our existing financial situation we agreed that we would not apply for the Watershed Grant in 2017. We will send a letter thanking the state for the grants we have received to date, which have been of enormous assistance to us. We will also include in that letter a statement that depending on circumstances we may be applying again in the future. Keith Gee, will prepare that letter.
We were specifically asked by the state not to include mention of the time and monies spent on our Blue Buffers effort in the Final Report for 2016, because the blueberry planting project was not mentioned in our initial application.
Aquatic Nuisance Grant
Keith is working on the Aquatic Nuisance Grant and will rely on Cindy for assistance. Bill has the numbers that are required for the application. Patti can provide a second pair of eyes.
Larry has submitted a petition to the Town for a grant to also defray costs of the Boat Greeter program. In his report to the Town, Bill included mention of our work with the school. That report will be included in the Town Warning presented at the town meeting in March.
Charleston Elementary School/ Siskin Field Trip/Celebration Update: Jean Wilson
Jean was not present and there was no update.
Keith will research available grants for education programs.
We discussed again donating water bottles to the school. Larry had some samples of water bottles with logos that we might purchase. Larry will contact Jean. Susan was asked to contact the Principal of the Charleston Elementary School to inquire as to whether new water bottles would be useful to the school. .
There was also a question as to whether Amy Wagner has been working as a liaison in the classroom.
Color Challenge Update: Patti Lennon
The Active.com website is up and running so that people can register online.
We have posted notice on our website, where people can download entry forms to register by mail or link to Active.com.
Patti will contact Tom Wagner about posting information about the Color Challenge on our Facebook page.
Patti is endeavoring to reduce expenses. She will order fewer t-shirts and will not purchase sunglasses this year. In addition, we still have enough powder on hand, which in and of itself represents a big savings.
Board Positions 2017/2018: Patti Lennon
The first term is ending for Larry Martin, Nancy Engels and Jean Wilson
Nancy and Larry will continue for a second term
Patti will contact Jean to see if she is willing to continue for a second term.
There was a discussion of future potential board members, but no decisions were finalized.
2017 Spring Newsletter: Patti Lennon
We will email and mail the Spring Newsletter around May 1st
- Access Greeter Program – Terry O’Brien
- Treasurer’s Report/ dues form/request – Bill Mann
- Color Challenge – Patti Lennon
- Save the Dates; Color Challenge 7/2, Annual Meeting 7/22 at the Engels, Annual Picnic 8/19 – Need to confirm that the Beams and Jean will be hosting
- Lake Survey – Peggy Stevens request for volunteers
- Charleston Elementary/Siskin Field Trip/Celebration – Jean Wilson
- 2017 Grants – Keith
- Lake Wise – Susan
- Membership – Larry
- Echo Lake Map – Jean
- Website Address
- Rent the BunkHouse
- Northwoods Trails
- Send other suggestions to Susan
Suggestions for Speaker for Annual Meeting or Picnic – Larry Martin
Patti asked whether or not we should have a speaker at the Annual Meeting or Picnic if the Aquatic Nuisance Grant did not require us to do so. Rather than getting a speaker, Larry suggested that we get a band and turn the picnic into a real party. He has a couple of performers in mind and will check in to it.
Road Erosion Update – Larry Martin
There are no updates.
Fundraising: Patti Lennon
Charleston Mailing/ELPA Flyer –.
Last fall we had recommended a direct mailing to all town residents requesting donations to help support the Access Greeter program. We have learned that the mailing costs alone would be too expensive and there would be little if any return on investment. In addition, since there is no swimming access to the lake for town residents, the request for donations may not sit favorably. The mailing is cancelled.
Echo Lake Map – Keeping this on the table. The map has not been updated for some time. At the last Board meeting we decided to update the map, listing new owners and new lots and make it available for sale. Jean Wilson was getting the current map digitized so that it will be easy to plug in the names and lots, and hoped to have the graphic ready for the Board meeting on May 27th. Keith had offered to edit the content. The hope is to announce the availability of the map in the Spring Newsletter and have the maps at the Annual Meeting for purchase.
Color Challenge – Patti Lennon would like to continue as the chairperson of the Color Challenge Committee but not continue as Fundraising chairperson. Possibly, someone who is not on the board could take over this position. No suggestions were given.
Membership: Larry Martin
Larry is currently the Chairman and is looking for a replacement. It was suggested that Tom Wagner might be an ideal chair.
The Brophy/McKenna family from Delaware are new lake residents and have expressed an interest in becoming members of the Association.
We discussed getting membership forms to people.
Send forms by First Class Mail in May.
Advertising flyer – There was discussion about creating a 3-fold flyer describing the Echo Lake Protective Association, similar to a flyer for NorthWoods. Memphremagog Press or UPS could do the printing and it was suggested that perhaps Kristin Wilson could help with the design. The flyer can be handed out at Town Meeting and be made available at Town Hall.
Membership application form – Larry has been working on a redesign of the membership application form.
He’s added a section specifically dedicated to Friends of the Association, and has revised the donations section to allow for donations above $200.00.
Kingdom Games Swim Race: Patti Lennon
There had been concern about Phil White using the name of ELPA in advertising this Kingdom Games. It is currently unknown if there will be any Kingdom Games at all in 2017.
Website Security: Susan Czerepak
We have added a new BulletProof Security PlugIn to the WebSite, at no cost. It provides firewalls for website security protection, error logging, login security and monitoring, and a database backup that is delivered to us on a weekly basis, as an .sql.gz file and retained by Susan.
Facebook, Website Blog for pictures: Susan Czerepak
The backend work for posting multiple photos is complex and labor intensive.
The suggestion to set up a blog for pictures is cancelled. We can post individual photos on our web pages one by one. We have not heard anything from Kristin Wilson about the possibility of migrating our entire website to Facebook.
Proposed 2017 Association Dates: Patti Lennon
- May 27th – Board Meeting
- July 2nd – Color Challenge
- July 22nd – Annual Meeting
- August 19th – Annual Picnic
- September 9nd – Board Meeting
Adjourned: At 11:50
Submitted by: Susan Czerepak – January 31, 2017
Financial Highlights for 2016, 2015, 2014, 2013
|501(c)3 Application Fee||$400|
|Web Site Hosting||$432|
|Charl. School Program||$1,250|
*No breakdown of Family vs. Single for 2013
**Annual meeting, picnic, mailings, misc. expenses
2016 Balance Sheet
As of 12/31/16 (Cash Basis)
|Cash and Bank Accounts|
|ELPA Savings Account||$23,918.99|
|ELPA Checking Account||$50.68|
|Total Cash and Bank Accounts||$23,969.67|
|LIABILITIES & EQUITY|
|TOTAL LIABILITIES & EQUITY||$23,969.67|
Income/Expense by Category – 2016
As of 12/31/2016 (Cash Basis)
|Category||1/1/2016 – 12/31/2016||OVERALL TOTAL|
|CASH CARRIED FORWARD FROM 2015||$14,864.22||$14,864.22|
|Charleston Appropriation for 2016||$1,000.00||$1,000.00|
|Watershed Grant – 2015 2nd payment||$1,000.00||$1,000.00|
|Watershed Grant – 2016 1st payment||$3,600.00||$3,600.00|
|Aquatic Nuisance Grant – 2015 1st payment||$3,581.00||$3,581.00|
|Aquatic Nuisance Grant – 2015 2nd payment||$2,229.00||$2,229.00|
|Aquatic Nuisance Grant – 2016 1st payment||$2,130.00||$2,130.00|
|Interest from Savings||$24.74||$24.74|
|Access Monitor Expenses||$525.00||$525.00|
|Color Challenge Expenses||$883.30||$883.30|
|P.O. Box Rental – 1yr.||$48.00||$48.00|
|P.O. Box Key||$9.00||$9.00|
|Charleston School – Siskin Ecological Adventures||$1,250.00||$1,250.00|
|Charleston School Water Bottles||$233.07||$233.07|
|OVERALL TOTAL CASH ON HAND||$23,969.67|