Board of Directors Minutes 2/22/24

Minutes published in this paper are abbreviated.  A full account can be heard online at



Thursday, February 22, 2024 at 7:00 p.m. -8:30 p.m.– POA Lower Level


Board of Directors Members Present:  Jeff Fuell, Ken Horn, Grant Smiley, Robert Starks

Board of Directors Members appearing via Zoom:  Donna Yetzer

Community Manager Present:  Dave Wismann

February 22, 2024 Motions:

  • Motion to Approve December 2023 Minutes—Board Secretary
  • Motion to approve up to $35,000 for the purchase of a tractor from the Dearborn County Highway sale—Community Manager
  • Motion to approve $35,000 for the purchase of two (2) 2020 Ford Explorer Police Interceptor vehicles from Harrison, Ohio, Police Department—Community Manager
  • Request approval for lake treatment contractor—Community Manager
  • Request to approve the Fireworks contract with Premier Pyro—Community Manager
  • Motion to Approve Performance Bonds for Return 02/22/2024—Architectural Committee
  • Request for Variance for Kerry & Alison Zickuhr, Lot 1138H, 20323 Meercham Way.  Requesting a 10’ variance on the front elevation of the property for a garage—Architecture
  • Motion to Approve November Golf Course and POA Financials—Finance Committee
  • Motion to Approve First Reading of By-law Changes—Lakes
  • Motion for a Townhall Meeting—Lakes
  • Motion to Approve Second Reading of By-law Changes—Parks and Recreation Committee
  • Motion to Approve First Reading of By-law Changes—Safety and Security
  • Motion to Adjourn.

Call to Order:  Robert Starks

President, Robert Starks called the Board of Directors Meeting to order at 7:00 p.m.

Pledge of Allegiance:

The meeting began with the Pledge of Allegiance.

Presidents Report:  Robert Starks

“Good evening everyone and welcome. 

Before we begin we need to outline some ground rules.

Meeting Rules:

  1. Please ensure that all electronic devices are silenced or turned off during the meeting to minimize distractions.
  2. All attendees must obtain recognition from the chairman before speaking.
  3. Only one person may speak at a time. Please wait for the chairman to recognize you before speaking.
  4. Interruptions, side conversations, or speaking out of turn are not permitted.
  5. The chairman has the authority to enforce these rules and maintain order during the meeting.
  6. Any attendee who violates these rules may be asked to leave the meeting at the discretion of the chairman.
  7. The chairman’s decisions regarding speaking order, time limits, and enforcement of meeting rules are final.
  8. Respectful and courteous behavior is expected from all attendees. Please do not interrupt others while they are speaking.
  9. Any motions or decisions made during the meeting will be recorded for future reference.

2024 is off to an exciting start.  We are fortunate to have six qualified candidates for the two open Board seats. These candidates have documented their experience and qualifications.  Over the next couple of weeks, the elections team will be coordinating sessions where you will get to know more about each of these people in order to make your selection.  As volunteers, we all have a shared interest of ensuring that our community remains safe, attractive, and functional.  Please take time to select those who best represent your views and be sure to vote and return your ballot.  Check the “Weekly Happenings” for more information.

Everyone who joins the Board usually has some objective in mind.  My personal objectives are the wellbeing and financial health of our community.  I am sure that you are pleased that our emergency fund has finally been restored.  It is so important that POA’s and HOA’s have a reserve fund that many states require a reserve fund.  Indiana at present does not.  To safeguard these funds going forward we will continue to report to you by each fund type at our public monthly Board meetings.  Being retired myself, I personally know that last year was difficult for residents with the $300 assessment, but the funds are required by our bylaws, and this gave us the ability to meet those requirements as I believe that it is the Boards duty to fairly and justly enforce our bylaws.  The security of knowing we are prepared for an emergency expense was considered a wise investment by those who created this bylaw.  By the way, that bylaw did have two readings in public some time ago which gave you the community a voice in its creation.  Guidelines are now in place to assure you that these amounts will be reported to you monthly.  It is important to remember that this Board was only formed in May of this past year.  Prior to this Board being formed, the emergency fund had been spent in spite of our bylaws.  For this reason you may be asked to vote on this in the future and if you approve it could be added to the articles on Incorporation which would require your vote to possibly remove it.

As you know we are under review by the Indiana State Attorney General.  As part of our ongoing investigation, we met at 3:00 today with our Forensic Auditor, and also our lead auditor Tom Bouns from Flynn and Company.  Tom has done our annual audits for the past few years.  Just for reference, these audits cost the POA approximately $25,000 each year.  They provide an annual report  Our forensic auditor has had several interviews with our auditor during his investigation.  We anticipate a final forensic and auditor report in the near future-possibly next week.  His comments are that everything looks good.

Many years ago, I initiated the 15% rule which limits how much capital any board may spend in a given year without a community vote.  The purpose was to give you more control over Board spending. Basically, the rule requires your vote to spend more than %15 of the budget on discretionary expenses such as buildings, cars or whatever.  I was also responsible for writing the original operations manual which is now in the bylaws and requires things such as getting competitive bids and not being able to sell community property without first advertising it.  None of which had not been required previously.  Also, a rule referred to as the 1st and 2nd reading rule was created, not by me but fully supported by me.  As a matter of fact, tonight we have the second reading for two bylaw changes.  This rule was put into effect specifically to require the Board or any committee to provide a first reading at an open Board of Directors meeting, include that 1st reading in the minutes which are made public the following week, and then require a second reading before it could become a rule.  This provides a two-to-three-month window of time for consideration from those involved before any vote was taken.  I am proud of the many hours of work that went into creating these bylaws and which still guides our actions.  But it is important that we follow our bylaws.  The bylaws are not a suggestion.  They are the accumulated culmination of many hours of work and should not be ignored.

Concerning Fiber, we are thrilled to announce that the two year long project to bring underground fiber optics to every house in Hidden Valley is now complete and available to any resident looking to improve their internet experience.  The commitment by the two companies, SEI Fiber and altafiber exceeded 20 million dollars with our part only being support and communication.  We know it has been frustrating for many residents with the disruptions but with now more than 350 households receiving Fiber Optics, the testimonials have all been positive, and there may be a bonus.  According to a study by the Fiber Broadband Association (FBA), adding fiber internet to one’s residential property can boost its value by about 3%, which adds roughly $9,000 to a $300,000 home.

David will discuss this in a little more detail, but Hidden Valley Golf Club is celebrating its 50-year anniversary this year.  We estimate that over 10 million rounds of golf have been played on our course.  We purchased the golf club in 2015 and it will be paid off in 5 more years, (2029). Thanks to the monthly assessment of $8.47 per member, this asset has increased in value and will continue to do so for years to come.

This year our Garden club celebrates their 50th Anniversary.  I have been amazed at the beautiful work and dedication these people have always displayed for our community.  They are truly outstanding!  The current President and longtime volunteer, Luann Roberts invites you to follow the Garden Club activities each month in the Hidden Valley Happenings.  You can also follow along with events that the Garden Club has done over the years.  In April, the Garden Club will have a special meeting that will be a Tea.  Everyone is invited, and they will have a special guest speaker. As always, everyone is invited to attend meetings and events sponsored by the club.   It is a great way to culture a green thumb and salute 50 years of outstanding service.

Lastly, it is always important to recognize and appreciate the efforts of all our volunteers and employees who contribute their time and skills to serve on the HVL Board and HVL committees and clubs. Your dedication plays a crucial role in the success and functioning of our community.  I truly want to acknowledge and honor their valuable contributions and recognize the invaluable role they all play in making a difference and achieving our collective goals.  All of our employees, clubs and committees contribute to what makes HVL so special, and the “Happenings” is the best way to stay informed.

Don’t hesitate to use the community forum if you have questions.

Thank you.

Treasurer’s Report:  Jeff Fuell

Cash Position – January – POA

Cash on Hand 12/30/23 $802,288

Cash on Hand 1/31/24 $1,657,471

Operating Funds $956,183

Emergency Reserves $427,482

Maintenance/Replacement $273,807

Future Project Capital $0

Capital Expenses Jan: $852 Communications Laptop


  • All amounts are rounded to the nearest dollar.
  • HVL POA plans annually for a balanced budget. (i.e., anticipated annual expenses are planned to not exceed anticipated annual income)
  • Some infrequent expenses are predictable such as replacement of vehicles, maintenance of our roads, the many lake dams, swimming pool liner, lake dredging etc. Funds are reserved 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 reserved 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.
  • All financials will be audited by an outside auditor annually.
  • 12:15:00—Discussion involving reserve funds (POA/Golf Club) and planned projects for 2024

Secretarys Report:  Ken Horn

  • Motion to Approve December 2023 Minutes made by Ken Horn and seconded by Grant Smiley.  Motion passes 4-0.

Community Managers Report:  Dave Wismann


Over the winter, the maintenance crew repaired the entry way to the POA and raised the counter in the office to make it more conducive to the type of work we do.  The entry way was especially concerning because the floor had buckled.  We were able to have an engineer from the builder inspect the issue over the holidays and guide us on repairs.  The engineer also confirmed that the fitness center was built to support the treadmills and other equipment in the upper area.  Last year, there was a question posed about it.

We have two seats up for election in 2024.  We have nominations and are following the bylaws for the election.

Golf Course Report

We had a few great days in February, and we are looking forward to Spring!  This the 50th Anniversary of the Golf Course and they have some activities they are planning in celebration.

The POA maintenance team removed a wall separating the barroom area and the main area of the clubhouse to allow for more room during the fish fries, outings, tournaments, and other events.  Come by and take a look!

Fiber Optics

The fiber company is close to finishing the initial installation. They plan to focus on restoration next and we will be working with them to make sure your property is returned to its pre-fiber form.

Maintenance Team

We will offer yard waste drop off in April for one month.  Comments are requested.

The maintenance team has rebuilt the Lake Patrol dock, which was in very bad shape.

Request to purchase a tractor and mower at the county auction for $35,000 or less. This equipment is built to trim roadsides and other mowing capabilities. The auction date has not been determined at this time, but it should be soon.


Request to purchase (2) 2020 Ford Explorer Interceptor police vehicles from Harrison, Ohio, PD for $17,500 each.  These vehicles have around 75,000 miles and come fully equipped, with the exception of radios we would have to switch over from our current fleet and the door decals.  They will replace the (2) black Dodge Chargers, which will be auctioned off.

  • Motion to Request Approve up to $35,000 for the purchase of a tractor from the Dearborn County Highway sale, and Motion to Approve $35,000 for the purchase of two (2) 2020 Ford Explorer Police Interceptor vehicles from Harrison, Ohio, Police Department were proposed and denied as a no vote for discussion only after following conversation with attending residents.
  • 21:10:00—Questions about type of equipment, purpose, offer to assist with inspection of equipment, type of purchase authorization, comparison vs new, sealed bid etc.
  • 33:00:00—Jared Ewbank responds to cities and municipal rules for purchasing at auction-suggestion to look at other governments to see is we can adopt our bylaws to better meet our needs
  • 38:00:00—Request to wait on approving Lake treatment and fireworks until more research can be done
  • 47:00:00—Discussion on bids and the process


We received bids from three (3) lake treatment companies, which were presented to the Lakes Committee last week. The current contractor was chosen, coming within $150 of last year’s bid. One company was extremely high, and the other was extremely low. I will reach out to the one that was extremely low to see if they want to do a site check to make sure they understand our expectations in future bidding.

I was asked by the committee to pursue a longer term with our current contractor and they have agreed to commit to a 3-year contract.


We recently found that one of the instruments for measuring dam activity had been removed from a post on top of the dam. There are five such instruments in various locations on the dam and they are very important to the monitoring and safety of the integrity of the dam. Please let me know if you see anyone tampering with these instruments and let me know if you see them damaged or poorly attached. The company will be here soon to make the necessary connections and reattach the instruments more securely.

While investigating the issue, I noticed several lines in the area that looked suspicious. I reported these to our inspector, and he came the next day to inspect them personally. At first glance, he believes they are some types of burrowing animal. We have contacted someone to inspect and remove the burrowing animals and we will continue to monitor the area daily to see if there is any change, which could indicate slippage. If changes do occur, we will contact our inspector to plan to correct. If no significant changes occur, we will be able to do the repairs in-house.

  • Request to approve the Fireworks contract with Premier Pyro for was made by Grant Smiley and approved by Ken Horn.  Motion passed 4-0.
  • 52:00:00—Request to obtain donations for fireworks and offers to donate were made

Judicial:  Richard Paul

53:55—Richard Paul was asked to review the issue raised by Kyle Packer in a letter to the Board.  He gave a short synopsis of the current review.

  • 1:02:55—Estate planning was discussed and address by Jared Ewbank
  • 1:10:00—Mediation of Board and committee members
  • 1:12:30—Article of Incorporation discussed by Jared Ewbank
  • Motion to Table Discussion to Remove Jeff Fuell From the Board Proposed by Judicial Panel made by Grant Smiley and seconded by Ken Horn.  Motion passed 5-0.


Architecture Committee Report:  Tom Cross

Performance Bonds for Return approved through email by the Board of Directors on

January 16, 2024.

Lot # 557H Meghan & Eric Oatman

Property Address 1383 Skyview Circle Bond Amount $500.00

City, State, Zip Lawrenceburg, IN 47025 Dues Owed $0

Fine/Fees Owed $0

Lot # 2689H/2690/2685 Phil Messer

Property Address 20512 Alpine Drive Bond Amount $500.00

City, State, Zip Lawrenceburg, IN 47025 Dues Owed $0

Fine/Fees Owed $0

Lot # 2366H Jeff Meiller

Property Address 1525 Golfview Court Bond Amount $500.00

City, State, Zip Lawrenceburg, IN 47025 Dues Owed $0

Fine/Fees Owed $0

Lot # 1395H Denise & David Martin

Property Address 651 Windemere Hill Bond Amount $500.00

City, State, Zip Lawrenceburg, IN 47025 Dues Owed $0

Fine/Fees Owed $0

Lot # 373H/374/375 Rob Lowe

Property Address 938 Rustic Drive Bond Amount $500.00

City, State, Zip Lawrenceburg, IN 47025 Dues Owed $0

Fine/Fees Owed $0

Lot # 428H Ward Colson

Property Address 1102 Woodland Circle Bond Amount $500.00

City, State, Zip Lawrenceburg, IN 47025 Dues Owed $0

Fine/Fees Owed $0

  • Motion to Approve Performance Bonds for Return 02/22/202 made by Jeff Fuell and seconded by Ken Horn.  Motion passes 5-0.
  • Motion to Open for Discussion the Motion to Request for Variance for Kerry & Alison Zickuhr, Lot 1138H, 20323 Meercham Way.  Requesting a 10’ variance on the front elevation of the property for a garage made by Grant and seconded by Ken Horn.  Motion passed.  No count.
  • 1:20:00 description and details of property by Tom Cross
  • 1:22:50 Sonny Wagner neighbor requests the plans for clarification of appearance of structure.  Tom provided answer of what exceptions are of persons building.  Alison Zickuhr shares additional information regarding proposed design.
  • Motion for Request for Variance for Kerry & Alison Zickuhr, Lot 1138H, 20323 Meercham Way.  Requesting a 10’ variance on the front elevation of the property for a garage made by Grand Smiley and seconded by Ken Horn.  Motion passed 3-0.

Finance Committee Report:  Kyle Packer

December, January and February Finances will not be approved until after the audit in March.

  • Motion to Approve November Golf Course and POA Financials made by Grant Smiley and seconded by Ken Horn.  Motion passed 5-0.

1:29:12 slide information provided for 23 / 24

No approved capital funds for 24.  The Operating budget was approved for 24.  Dollars can be allocated to capital fund but there is no formal plan for 24.

  • 1:30:00—Board eligibility will not be further discussed at this time.  Write in votes requested and denied.
  • 1:35:10—Pat Hawkins discussed the appointment of two people that did not go thorough the office check or the election process.  Two of those people, Doug Gabbard and Dave Hafner, both had their properties in trusts, however, their names, Dave Hafner and Doug Gabbard, appeared on the deed.  That would be the difference.

Lakes Committee Report:  Jill Bittner

There were two resignations from the Committee last month; Jim Barnum, however Jim has graciously agreed to still do the lake statistics.  The other resignation was Eric Fox, who had served as Chairman.  

Thank both Jim and Eric for their service.  Eric for his many years of service.

First order of business was to get leadership in place.

Jill Bittner and Ted Gemperle agreed to be Interim Co-Chair.  Motion was made, voted on and accepted unanimously.

Jon Dutton was voted in as Secretary to take meeting notes and prepare the minutes.  That was voted on and accepted unanimously.

The second order of business:

The High Wake rule that has been deemed to be too vague for Lake Patrol to enforce.  Finally, after over three years of on and off discussion and work on clarifying the current High Wake rule with Lake Patrol, the Committee put forth a proposal that the Committee thinks not only clarifies the current rule but will also (with education and training) make it easy for Lake Patrol to enforce.

It should be noted that this is a clarification and is not addressing anything new.

This was voted on and approved to be sent to the Board for consideration.  The Committee recommends that this be put to the entire community for a vote.  The vote was 5 in favor, 1 opposed.

  • 1:39:55
  • Motion to Discuss Recommended Motion to Approve By-law Changes made by Donna Yetzer and seconded by Grant Smiley.  Motion passed.  No count.
  • Pat Hawkins Reading tonight, encouraged to provide feedback, it can go back for a second first reading if substantially different that what was first put forth.  It is here for you to give your input on.  Never before has it come before the board.  It is not a done deal.
  • Ken Horn:  clarification:  Facebook is incorrect in reporting proposed rule change.  It is not a rewrite, it is clarification simply to stop massive waves which are overwhelmingly not wanted by those that took the survey.
  • 1:49:15 Extensive detail shared on “plowing vs. planning”
  • 1:54:20 1677 Dave Jeffcoat shares his findings and thoughts as a member of High Wake Task Force and further discussion ensues
  • 2:02:20 Journal of Water Resource Protection 2022 Study shared and discussed
  • 2:11:43 Pat Hawkins suggests townhall

Current rule

7-10-12. Damaging or Dangerous Wake is Prohibited The use of installed boat devices and/or boat operations that cause the creation of damaging or dangerous wake are prohibited on the HVL Main Lake

Proposed clarification (will replace current rule)


  1. WAKE ENHANCEMENT is prohibited: Wake enhancement is defined as the use of installed boat devices, equipment or placement of passengers on boats for the purpose of creating an enlarged wake. Such devices and equipment include, but are not limited to: exterior panels or wings deployed underwater; rubberized, plastic or metal tanks, chests or bags filled with any material; crowding of passengers to the rear; inside-the-hull water tanks (ballast).
  2. PLOWING is prohibited: Plowing is defined as; continuous boat operation at a slow speed when a boat is not yet on plane, but is moving above idle speed through the water. The effect is that a large amount of water is displaced, creating a very large wake. Plowing is a transitional speed that necessarily occurs between idling and getting on plane. Boaters will refrain from plowing for more than 20 seconds, opting instead to maintain idle speed or swiftly and safely get the boat on plane.
  3. WAKE SURFING is prohibited. Wake surfing is defined as; when a rider trails behind a boat, riding the boat’ wake. The rider is being propelled forward with a boat’s wake. The person may be holding a rope or free riding. The sport differs from wakeboarding in that the rider’s feet are not strapped to the board.

(plowing, wake enhancement and wake surfing added to 7-12-7)

7-12-7. Skiing, Tubing, Flotation, Plowing, Wake Enhancement or Wake Surfing Violation Assessment

If a person violates the rules pertaining to Skiing, Tubing, use of a Flotation device, Plowing, Wake Enhancement or Wake Surfing as set forth herein, then the following assessment will be levied:


(definitions to be added under 7-3)  7-3 Lakes and Watercrafts Definitions of Terms

7-3-1. Definitions

t. Wake enhancement is defined as the use of installed devices, equipment or placement of passengers on boats for the purpose of creating a very large wake.

u. Plowing is defined as; continuous boat operation at a slow speed when a boat is not yet on plane, but is moving above idle-speed through the water, creating a very large wake.

v. Wake Surfing is defined as; when a rider trails behind a boat, riding the boat’s wake.  The rider is being propelled forward with a boat’s wake.

  • Motion to Approve First Reading of By-Law Change made by Ken Horn and seconded by Donna Yetzer.  Motion passes 3-1.
  • Motion for a Townhall Meeting made by Grand Smiley and seconded by Jeff Fuell.  Motion passed 3-2.


With the 2 resignations it was discussed what process would be used to fill and how many members to have moving forward.  It was determined that 9 seemed sufficient but that could be reviewed and changed if needed.  That was voted on and approved.  The process to fill that vacancy would be the same as has been done in the past.  Place notice in the on-Echoes, list serve and word of mouth.  After attending a few meetings, if that person has an interest in becoming a member there is a questionnaire to be filled out with requested information such as; how long a resident of HVL, where do you live, what interests do you have that relate to the lakes, and what expertise or experience can you bring to the Committee?  After completion those would be reviewed by the Committee members.  The candidates that appear to fit, will then be interviewed by the Committee.  Then a vote to add or not. 

  • 2:21:47—Questions about everyone being fairly represented and turn over

Future Planning Committee Report:  George Lortz

Join us for a Townhall Saturday, March 2 at 9:00 a.m. at the Hidden Valley Golf Club:

Everything you need to know about the Hidden Valley Lake Fiber Optics Network.

***There will be a drawing for a 50” Smart TV.***

Parks and Recreation Committee:  Amy Ayers

 Proposed By-law Changes

QR codes are used due to the length in pages of the changes. To view the bylaws changes, scan the QR code with your phone camera or enter this link.

Do the bylaws have to be read or just made available.  I can be presented by title only per Jared Ewbank.

Did anything change from the first reading.  Prices were removed.  Echoes was removed.

  • Motion to Approve Second Reading of By-law Changes made by Ken Horn and seconded by Jeff Fuell.  Motion passed 4-0.

Baseball March 16 deadline to sign up.  Players ages four to eight needed.

Elections Panel:  Ginny Boyer

  1. Board candidates announcement given earlier in meeting
  2. Timeline for questions for the Meet the Candidates Night GET DATES FROM GINNY
  • 2:30:30—Resident discussion on need for transparency

Safety, Security & Elections Committee Report:  Dave Buschmiller

  1. Review of the Halloween street closures

Overwhelming positive feedback-very small percentage offering constructive feedback

  1. Cold Weather/Ice Safety

Discussion around signage and safety reminders when it gets cold-we want everyone to be able to safely enjoy the frozen lake without incident

  1. Beach Lighting

Will continue to evaluate beach for lighting improvements

Will also take into consideration the Willie’s parking lot and surrounding areas

4) First Reading of Proposed By-law Changes

QR codes are used due to the length in pages of the changes. To view the bylaws changes, scan the QR code with your phone camera or enter this link 

  • Motion to Discuss Motion to Approve First Reading of By-law made by ??? and seconded by Jeff Fuell.  NO COUNT
  • 2:36:25—Discussion on 11-5-5, 10-11-3 and 10-11-4 between Safety and Security, residents and Jared Ewbank
  • Tom Cross suggests additional lighting for parking lot in front of POA and Willie’s.
  • Motion to Approve First Reading of By-law Changes made by Ken Horn and seconded by Jeff Fuell.  Motion passed 4-0.

Civic Club Report:  Kevin Grosse

  1. Upcoming events
  1. Pub Crawl March 9 (Bus service to include Willie’s, The Possum, One Mor Bar & Grill and Barrell Heads-wrist bands will be sold at Willie’s in the bar area on March 6 and 7 from 6:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. or night of at Willie’s between 7:00 p.m. and 7:45 p.m.
  2. Adult Easter Egg Hunt March 30
  3. Spring HVL Community Wide Yard Sale Saturday and Sunday, April 27-28
  4. Winter mixer was held January 26 in appreciation of residents was held at Willie’s
  5. Request for calendar approvals

Old Business:  


New Business:  



  • Motion to Adjourn made by Jeff Fuell and seconded by Ken Horn.  Motion passed 5-0.

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.