Board of Directors Meeting 9/24/20 POA Community Center – 7PM



Thursday, September 24, 2020 7:00 PM 


Board Members, Committee Chairs, Club Representatives, employees, and a limited number

of residents who have requested to attend.

Board of Directors Members Present:  Dave Hafner, Patricia Hawkins, Scott Giska, and Donna Yetzer

Board of Directors Members Absent: Robert Starks

Community Manager Present: Bruce Keller

Assistant Community Manager: Dave Wismann

September 24, 2020 Motions:

  • Approval of August 2020 Minutes — Board Secretary
  • Approval of Variances—Architecture Committee
  • Approval of August 2020 Financial Statements

Call to OrderPatricia Hawkins

President Patricia Hawkins called the Board of Director Meeting to order at 7:00pm

Pledge of Allegiance:  

The meeting began with the Pledge of Allegiance. 

President’s ReportPat Hawkins

On September 26, Governor Holcomb is moving Indiana to Level 5 of the “IN Back on Track” reopening plan.  While face masks are still mandated in certain circumstances, all indoor and outdoor functions can open at full capacity.  Full capacity comes with a caveat, however, as social distancing must still be observed.  Attendance limits at POA meetings may be relaxed, but it is not likely that they will be lifted given social distancing requirements.  Willie’s will see its capacity raised to 100%, however, given social distancing it is unlikely that they will be able to attain that.  Steve Van Wassenhove, Willie’s owner, is preparing a communication that will advise the community how his restaurant will operate moving forward in Level 5.

Your board has considered the governor’s directive and believes that we should allow traditional trick-or-treating in Hidden Valley Lake this year.  We will, of course, cancel it if ordered to by the state and/or county.  Children’s Activities, led by Autumn Farmer, is finalizing plans for our other Halloween events and will communicate specifics as soon as they are available.

This evening’s board meeting is the last that Bruce Keller will attend as our community manager.  As a board, we know we speak for our employees, volunteers, and residents when we say that his contributions to, and impact on, Hidden Valley Lake would be difficult to exaggerate.  We thank him for all he has done for the valley, and for all board members past and present, and wish him well in retirement.

We are organizing a farewell event that will give residents an opportunity to say goodbye to Bruce.  It will be an open house on Thursday, October 8 from 2:00 pm until 6:00 pm at the golf course.  We will send out a general invitation to the community shortly via List Serve and Facebook.

Treasurer’s ReportDave Wismann

All amounts are rounded to the nearest dollar.

Financial Position as of the end of August 2020.

Our Cash Position on August 1, 2020, $1,228,039.00

Ending Cash on August 31, 2020, $1,257,073.00


  1. All amounts are rounded to the nearest dollar.
  2. HVL POA plans annually for a balanced budget. (i.e., anticipated annual expenses are planned to not exceed anticipated annual income).  
  3. Some infrequent expenses are predictable such as replacement of vehicles, maintenance of our roads, the many lake dams, swimming pool liner, lake dredging, etc.  
  4. Funds are escrowed each year to cover those future expenses and are included in the totals. Projected cash at year-end is generally equal to zero dollars plus escrowed funds for above mentioned expenses as well as necessary reserves. Reserves include two months of operating capital, capital for asset purchases, and Architecture bond payments to be refunded.
  5. All financials are audited by an outside auditor annually.

Secretary’s ReportScott Giska

  • Approval of August 2020 Minutes

Motion made by Donna Yetzer and seconded by Dave Hafner to approve the August 2020 meeting minutes.  Motion passed 4-0.

Community Manager’s ReportBruce Keller

  • Discussion of Stoelting dock request

Terms for this dock installation is yet to be determined.  Bruce will set up a meeting between the Stoelting’s and the Board of Directors.   

To hear more discussion, visit our website and listen to the audio portion.  

Community Manager’s Report

Recently while updating some historical information in preparation for my retirement I ran across a community master plan proposal that had been contracted in 1990 and 1991.  In the study was a proposal for increasing your dues to $994 per lot with a home by 2001.  Including trash pickup your cost to live in HVL would have been about $1,150, $150 more than what you pay now.  The plan included adding additional docks, improving roads, adding bathrooms to existing shelters, bathrooms at the marina and I could go on, but I think you got the picture.

It’s hard to tell where your dues would be today had that plan been approved, but it is safe to say they would be much more than they are today.  The study cost around $20,000 and was voted down by the community.

Why did I choose to give you this history lesson?  To tell you that as a community, everything that was on that master list has been done and most have been done with better quality without huge increases in your dues and assessments.  Is it because of me, Dave, and our employees?  We did have a hand in it, but it was largely accomplished by you the volunteers to your community.  Because of the hundreds of volunteers in Hidden Valley all these improvements have been made while keeping your dues low and, by the way, while purchasing a golf course in the meantime.  You have built this community into a resort-like vacation spot, and you get to enjoy it year-round.

As I leave I get to do so with my head held high, not because of anything I have done, but because I have been part of an amazing family that has developed a community that is continuously reaching top positions in the best of categories for communities.  Thank you for allowing me to be part of your community and remember that I am only a phone call away and I love lunch at Willie’s!  I have decided not to mention too many names in appreciation in fear of forgetting someone.  Most will hear my appreciation when we talk one-on-one.  I would like to thank all our committees and especially our Board of Directors.  I thank this board and every board I have served under over the past 14 years.  You have served with the core values of service before self, integrity, and excellence.  I apologize for any agony you have had to endure because of miscommunication and disagreements. I would especially like to thank Pat Hawkins for the way she has served this community as president over the past six or so years.  You are truly a special lady. 

To those looking to serve this community in the future, thank you for your willingness to serve but hold on tight as you are in for quite a ride.  I can tell you that there are committee and board members that donate several hundred hours a year to keep this community vital and to save POA members money.  I would also suggest you spend some time serving on committees before deciding to be a board member.  It is important to understand the mechanics of how we run, prior to taking on a senior leadership role.

In closing, I would like to reflect on my first board meeting in April of 2006.  I had been given the heads up by the board at the time that there were vast improvements needing to happen in communication with our members.  Although, I do believe we have made some serious strides, we are still not in the realm of complete effective communication.  I told a story that afternoon in the lower level of Willie’s and I believe the moral still holds true today.

There was an older distinguished gentleman who had one hobby.  Taking his 50-year-old roadster out for a Sunday drive each week.  On the Saturday before he would spend many hours in his garage ensuring it was all waxed up to look great for the ride on Sunday.  One Sunday he was on that drive in the country and heading toward his favorite bend in the road.  This was always the highlight of his drive and he was in the zone for making that turn which his roadster had made before in spectacular fashion.  As he prepared for the turn an out of control car comes at him from that very turn.  It was so far out of control that it ran him off the road.  As the out of control car came by him the driver of that car screams at him “hog!”  Well, our friend was beside himself that this guy that ran him off the road calls him a name.  After a few minutes of gathering his emotions he backs out on the road, gets up his optimum speed, enters his turn and promptly runs right into a hog!

Make sure the message you are receiving is the message the sender is trying to convey. Thank You!

Bruce introduced Dave Wismann as his replacement. 

Assistant Community Manager’s ReportDave Wismann

Road paving for this year has been completed

There are a few spots that need some work, but most has been done. What is left will be finished when time is available. Thank you, again, to the community for their patience. It went off with very little problem.

Fitness Center reopening

The Fitness Center has been well-used over the last month.


End of Season Pool & Beach Report by Miranda Wintz:

I think we can all agree that at the beginning of May, we did not think the pool was going to be open. Luckily, we all put our heads together and the pool and beach were able to open safely. This summer went well, and I thoroughly enjoyed my first year as manager. All the patrons were kind to the staff and to me and they appreciated all the hard work that we did in order to ensure their safety at the pool. 

The procedures that occurred for cleaning and sanitizing went very smoothly. The entirety of the staff enjoyed their time working at the pool and the beach and did a fantastic job. I received nothing but compliments about how helpful and happy the staff were this year.

Because the summer went so well, we were able to coordinate a longer summer for the pool. We were open on weekends in September along with a two-hour adult swim on Tuesdays and Thursdays. To say that everyone was happy about the extended season is an understatement and it will be continuing next summer. I believe that this has been one of the best summers despite all the challenging circumstances. I would like to thank everyone, especially the Pool Committee, for their support and I am looking forward to next summer!

Covid-19 response

As Pat Hawkins reported we are tracking the governor’s orders, which are subject to change, and attempting to comply. 

The usual October events, focusing mainly on Halloween, have been approved by the board. The Children’s Activity Committee has done a great job presenting plans that have adjusted to address COVID issues. The Halloween Haunted Car Ride, Halloween Walk, Trick or Treating and the Community Yard Sale are all on the schedule. We ask that participants follow current state guidelines regarding social distancing during these activities. 

Willie’s dumpster

The concrete structure and concrete pad have been installed. We plan to install gates to the structure and lights on both structures along the path to the marina area.

Crystal Lake

Maintenance completed the spillway to the Crystal Lake dam and the dam has been inspected.  We are now waiting on the report. 


Dredging will begin within the next week or two on the main lake. When we have firm dates available, we will put out a List Serve advising the community. 


Architecture Committee Report:  Tom Cross

  • Approval of Variances:

Chris & Michelle Knosp

Lot # 1755/1756H

Requesting 20’ variance to place a studio/office on rear elevation of property

Motion made by Donna Yetzer and seconded by Scott Giska to approve the 20’ variance.  Motion passed 4-0.

Mike & Jane Hanrahan

Lot # 1875H

Requesting 10” variance to place a shed on front elevation of property

Motion made by Donna Yetzer and seconded by Scott Giska to approve the 10’ variance.  Motion passed 4-0.

Finance Committee Report:  Kyle Packer

  • Approve August 2020 Financial Statements

Motion made by Dave Hafner and seconded by Scott Giska to approve the August 2020 Financial Statements.  Motion passed 4-0. 

Judicial Panel:  Bruce Plashko

  • Denton appeal of speeding citation

Motion made by Pat Hawkins and seconded by Donna Yetzer for this citation to be upheld.  Motion passed 4-0.

Mr. Denton appealed his citation at the September Judicial meeting.  The appeal was denied.  

Mr. Denton was going 27-mph in a 15-mph zone.  

Future Planning Committee:

No report

Lakes & Parks Committee Report:  Dave Patterson

Dave recognized that this was Bruce’s last meeting with us before retiring and thanked him for all he has done for the committee and the community.  Dave also thanked him for the pizza and beverages, which mostly came from a reserve that the committee already had.

Dave had seen a post online from someone who was looking for someone to come and pick them up from Hollywood Casino as they were incapable of driving.  The post was immediately responded to by several individuals who were willing and able to come and get them.  Dave wondered if it might be possible for the POA to provide a number or some service for the residents who were in the same situation.  Lyft and Uber are not strong in our area, or else they would be the best call. 

Fish & Game Club

Ken Horn reported that the golf scramble is coming on the 26th and is sold out.  They still have availability for a few additional sponsors.  

The Kids Fishing Derby has had to be cancelled for this year.  They haven’t been able to find any vendor to provide catfish at any kind of reasonable size and price.  

Lake Patrol Report

Paul reported that they had issued 2 more citations on the lake. Lake patrol will be on the lake for one or two more months this season and they are short on people.

Lake Statistics Report

Gerry reported that the lake continues to be in excellent shape with oxygen at or greater than 5 ppm down to 12 ft.  Lake Holiday and possibly Paradise need to be checked and treated where necessary for water hyacinth as soon as possible.  Crystal Lake continues to show high levels of algae and it needs to be closed and treated.

Current/Active Business – 

Covered boat lifts and shore screens 

Jill Bittner, Bruce, Dave Wismann, and Dave & Kathy Patterson visited Lake Santee and were given a tour of the lake by their gracious property manager.  We saw many types and styles of lift covers, ranging from basic fabric on frame structures to very elaborate fixed structure, boat house type facilities.  All were in very good shape and we, or at least I was pleasantly surprised at how nice everything looked.  I didn’t see anything objectionable or view-blocking.   As with anything, the covers need to be maintained and not allowed to get run down or shabby looking.

Significant discussion ensued resulting in a motion by Eric Fox and seconded by Gerry Young to allow lift covers/canopies (not shore screens) provided they meet the following conditions:

  • They must be one solid color.
  • Each one must be approved by the Architecture Committee.
  • They must be made of a fabric of some sort, i.e. no metal or wood or plastic structures.
  • They must be properly maintained and follow the property maintenance rules and subject to the Compliance Officer’s inspections.
  • They must be less than or equal to 36 feet in length.
  • They must be professionally manufactured and installed, which means no do-it-yourself jobs.

This motion passed 7 for and 0 against.  This motion is subject to review and approval by the Architecture Committee.  They can approve, disapprove, or kick it back to Lakes & Parks with suggestions or questions for further review and follow-up action.  Jill and I agreed to make ourselves available to present this to the Architecture Committee.  

To hear more discussion, visit our website and listen to the audio portion.  

Task Force Updates — 

Walking trail improvements

Bruce met with John Getzendanner and he agreed to re-start meetings if it is a project that we and the board want to proceed with.  The committee feels it is worth proceeding with.  

Prohibiting fishing from all POA docks

  • Motion to prohibit loitering and fishing from all POA docks while the lake is at summer pool.

Motion made by Donna Yetzer and seconded by Scott Giska to discuss no fishing off the POA docks.  Motion passed 4-0.

This may or may not be the first reading for no fishing off the marina docks, according to the final language that is adopted.  

Fishing would be available at the dam, marina wall, all small lakes, and from places where there is green space access to the lake.  

There was much discussion on this issue, visit our website to listen to the audio portion.  

High Wave Task Force

This topic generated significant discussion.  Several members felt that there is a rule prohibiting generating high waves and that should be enforced. 

We need to be responsive to the concerns of some members of the community about effectively banning wakeboarding, surfing, and other sports that require higher than normal waves.  Boating activities are changing along with boat hull designs and other features.

I will be establishing a task force to examine this topic.  I will attempt to balance the make-up of the task force to include lakefront homeowners, wakeboarders, wake surfers and skiers, fishermen, kayakers, paddle boarders, pontoons, sailboats, and other pleasure boaters. 

Since many residents overlap two or more of these categories, the make-up of the task force will be difficult to balance.  This will not be a short-term project, and specific milestones are not set at this point, but will be early in the life of the task force.  At this point, I welcome input from the committee and the board regarding the task force plan as outlined so far.  Input from the community will be requested later on in the effort.

Lake access from the Cedar Cliff and Cravenhurst cove 

Steve Siereveld sent a letter to Bruce expressing concern that the lot being cleared across the cove from him might put in a dock that could totally block his ability to get to the lake.  We addressed this several years ago when the owner of several lots on the Rosemead cove wanted to dredge so that he would be able to put docks on the lots.  We laid out procedures whereby the docks might not extend all the way out into the waterway, and docks would have to be staggered so that boats would be able to weave their way through to get to and from their docks and the main lake.  

Community Manager’s Report

Bruce, Dave Wismann, and Dave Patterson met with Chris Lorentz, Ph. D., Professor of Biological Sciences and Director, Biology Field Station, from Thomas More College.  We discussed our lake management and opportunities for him to help us improve.  Overall, he seemed to be very impressed at what we have and how we are managing our water.  We will be meeting with him in the future to view all our lakes so that he can submit bids for treating and managing each of the lakes.  

Safety and Elections Committee Report:

No report

Civic Club Report:Steve Siereveld

Past events:

The float on the main lake went well, although it was very windy that day. There were 3 DJ’s and about 100 – 125 boats on the lake. Great time had by all!

The Labor Day Band and 9/11 Steel Memorial was well attended for such short notice. There was a constant line of people at the memorial and we were told that this was the best group of people they ever had. 

The Last Call Band took the stage at 7 and rocked the night. There was a great turn out for the band. It was a bit dark and we were counting on the light from the full moon that evening, but the moon didn’t come out until after the band was done.

Our last HVL Pool Party was a success.   The night was a bit chilly, but we still had a good time. There were a few brave souls that went into the pool that night.  

Upcoming Events:

10-24-20 Halloween Dance at Golf Course.   Tickets are on sale now.  

Old Business:


New Business:

Tom Wintz, Lot # 1626, was very concerned about the beach party that just took place.  Tom said that the music was very loud and over the top and the bad language was out of control.  At some point the DJ asked people to show their chest.  The party seemed to be promoting shot after shot drinking.  He was very concerned because of the age range at the party which seemed to be 5 yrs. to 75 yrs. old.  

He also felt that he and his wife were not welcomed at the pool parties and concerned there were no lifeguards at the pool party.  

There was some discussion on having a lifeguard at the pool party and Steve did not feel it was necessary.

To hear more discussion, visit our website for the audio portion.  

Adjournment:  8:53pm

Motion to adjourn made by Donna Yetzer and seconded by Dave Hafner.

Minutes Prepared by Gina

Minutes published in this paper are abbreviated and a full account can be heard online at

Now is the best time to sign up for Automatic Monthly Dues Payments

  • Pay your January 2024 dues in full by 1/31/2024.
  • Fill out the form to begin monthly payments toward your July 2024 dues on the 15th of each month beginning February 15th.

Sign up forms need to be received by February 7th, 2024.

Email to, send by mail, place in the secure drop box, or bring into the POA office.

Example of a monthly payment:  If your semi-annual dues are $563.50 your monthly automatic payments will be $ 93.92 each month.