Community Forum Q&A

Board of Directors

David Wismann- Thank you for your comments and suggestions. We have utilized member’s availability on several occasions to do the legwork on various projects and that input is always welcome.

In this case, we had the time to do the RFQ paperwork and comparisons, however, it had to do with timing.

The formal RFQ process is more than comparing with other providers. It requires advertising publicly and opening the bids at a meeting. There was no time for either request to allow competitors to bid and give a timely response because the vehicle opportunity came up quickly and we have no definite date on the county auction.

We did have comparisons for the police vehicles at the meeting but there was no vote to allow me to present them.

We are working to correct these issues for future presentations to the community. Our goal is to continue to gain community trust by being open and public with our stewardship of HVL resources. It is sometimes uncomfortable for me, as was apparent at the last meeting, but I welcome the feedback so that I can respond accordingly.

Hello Kevin, the short answer is yes. Two residents have filed claims against the POA Board of Directors concerning the HVL POA special assessment with the Indiana State Attorney General.

As reported at the July HVL POA Board meeting we responded to the Indiana State Attorney General by gathering our May and June Board meeting minutes along with the slides and relative information that had been presented as well as copies of the Echos, Annual Audit reports etc and sent them to the AG through our own attorney.  At this time we are awaiting further notice from the AG and will report to the community as more information becomes available.

The board is not sure where the information around approving flock is coming from. This is not the case and is not included in the 2024 budget that passed. There was quite a discussion around Flock cameras at the last board meeting.  It was not approved. Nor was it even brought up for a vote.

ByLaws

Hello Tiffany, the membership cost is $563.50 per half year.  We are not sure what the Barndomium is?  You would need to bring plans to our office and first meet with our Gina Keller. Gina may then tell you it is not an acceptable design or she may recommend you to meet with the Architectural committee for more information. You may call Gina at, 812 537 3091, ext 4.

Wayne, our agenda items come from the Board and also from Committees. We need to have our agenda items to the office the Friday before the meeting in to allow time for the office to put it all together while keeping up with their other duties. Things sometimes change at the last minute and we compensate the best we can. Do you have a specific thing that you notice or a suggestion?

Just talked with Dan Tester. Sign has been up 6 weeks already. They just need to send in the form to get another 30 days.

We have an annual audit performed in February and results are usually provided in April.  The bylaws do refer to an financial audit in section 2-1-1.

Spouses are not always in lock step on every initiative.  You would need to be more specific. 

Chris, we agree and are working toward a solution.  For many years we have used audio recorders and video recorders to record the audio from the Board meetings. We invested in a new microphone in 2020 to provide better audio, but this became challenging when those in attendance asked questions without waiting for the microphone.  In 2022 when we started putting our meetings on zoom, we began to investigate different audio methods and now are concentrating on ceiling microphones. We have attended zoom meetings REMC where they are using ceiling microphones very effectively. We are working toward procedures and improved omni directional microphones to resolve our audio issues.  This last meeting was successful concerning using a ceiling microphone.  We plan to have an additional microphone (or two) at the next meeting.  One of our challenges is to get members to be patient and speak one at a time and to not have side conversations that the mic can pick up.  

For information we have used various transcription services in the past but these services are rather expensive and considering current budget constraints are not currently being considered. Also a stenographer would require the same process as in a courtroom.  Residents would have to walk up to a podium before speaking.   If this procedure were put in place, we could easily record the audio and eliminate any muffled issues….. forcing people to walk up to a podium might be possible, but it would be a big change from the current “raise your hand” procedure and make the meetings even longer.

Please keep in mind that your team has successfully produced many successful meeting records previously and the Board sincerely thanks Rich Gannon, Jeff Fuell, Doug Gabbard and POA Staff for their dedication and hard work and with their help we will resolve the current issues

You are correct in stating that all regularly scheduled meetings are open to residents.  A chair knowing in advance that there will be numerous guests allows him or her to schedule a larger space for attendees’ comfort. 

Communication

Hello Ruth Ann and thank you for your question. As you may know, the current Board of directors is reducing costs wherever possible. For that reason, we use text messaging strictly for emergencies like Water main breaks, No Wake on the Lake, Emergency Weather warnings, and Alerts.  We keep text messages to a minimum because it is expensive for the POA. The cost is 3 1/2 cents per text with a limit of 160 characters per text, (160 characters equals on average 30 words).  If we go over that the cost doubles to 6 cents. With 2000 residents at 3.5 to 6 cents per text that equals $70 to $120 per text message compared to email at zero. Perhaps you can set your phone to notify you when an email arrives? I do not mean to minimize your issue because I sometimes have the same problem.

Hello Theresa, the full $300.00 is due on 10/31/2023.  Many of us chose to pay monthly and for convenience the second installment is due on 9/30/2023 but if you miss that date you will not have a late fee.  However there will be late fees if the 10/31/2023 date is missed. I hope that helps and if you have further questions, please let me know.  Enjoy this beautiful weekend.

Hi Doug    An email was sent out to follow up on your question. At this point, there is no ban from Dearborn County but, we did send out the following.   Thanks for your question. We followed your recommendation.       SECTION 11 -1

REGARDING BURNING REGULATIONS

DURING THESE EXTREMELY DRY AND DANGEROUS CONDITIONS

Section 11-1 in our bylaws addresses burning in the Valley. All local laws and regulations concerning burning in Dearborn county apply. In addition, HVL requires residents to burn in a non-combustible container as defined at the start of section 11-1 or in a fire pit not exceeding 3 feet in diameter. There are some rules around weather conditions as well. Residents who feel a fire is not in compliance with POA rules are encouraged to contact HVL security. 

1) Engineering is nearly complete. Project should be complete around end of 2025. We are trying to identify road crossings and avoid new pavement getting cut for pipes.

2) The first part of your question is being researched. Hi Bob.  Sorry for delay in answering your question.  We requested a timetable from the NRTC on final street layouts which will include not only availability, but an expectation as to time from order to actual installation.  At this point, they are scheduling 3 weeks out from order.   Our contact has been out of the office for the last week.  We expect this a complete schedule by October 1st.

Hello Jo Ann, we have a number of excellent Real Estate professionals living here in HVL who would be happy to assist you.

Fiber Optics

Rich and I are working on this issue with REMC and NRTC. One of the subcontractors, without permission from them, posted notices in areas where they will be working which seem to put the responsibility on the homeowner. This is not the Board’s understanding when they agreed to have REMC/SEI complete this project.

If the orange conduit has been laid in front of your home, most likely the flags can be removed.  Please give me your address and we will confirm.

We are in the process of planning a series of Town halls now that the network is being activated.  Dates will be announced at the next board meeting (July 27th)

There are no exclusives provided with communications.  If you are satisfied with Verizon, you may keep the service.  SEIREMC is an option available to all residents when the network is completed.

Al, I was not part of that conversation but in checking I am told that this will be discussed at the Future Planning meeting tomorrow night and as you know is an open meeting.  Apparently there is a video that may be shared with the community and if that generates a lot of questions a town hall may be held. I consider this information preliminary and may change. 

Alta Fiber (formerly Cincinnati Bell) will be installing Fiber Optics conduit only in the designated area in Hidden Valley Lake that was previously served and approved when they were operating as Cincinnati Bell.  They are currently working on Morningside and Bellemeade.  We have the same requirements for AltaFiber as we have with SEI Fiber.   The current area for approved installation is North to Fox Ridge Road, South to Firewood Way, East to Matterhorn Drive and West to West to Georgetown Road. We estimate the Alta Fiber service will be available to approximately 400 homes in HVL.   The Alta Fiber Area map is available at the POA office.

Our marketing of SEI Fiber is based on supporting a cooperative who made the financial commitment to bring Fiber to all homes in Hidden Valley Lake.  We do not and have not spent any money for advertising, nor have we spend any money installing this community wide fiber network.   SEI is advertising is many forms of media including our Echoes (cost paid to the Register), Neighbor’s Magazine, the Beacon, and their own “Reach” magazine among others.  Anything we send out from the POA is to inform and update the status.

To clarify, it is not a TV station.  It is a dedicated closed circuit channel that would use the Fiber network to communicate. Any decision on how this dedicated channel would be used would be later but could for example be used to communicate from the POA directly to each POA member.  If only 1/4 of the homes sign up for SEI Fiber, the channel would basically be useless, recognizing it would only broadcast to 1/4 (or less) of the community.  If SEI is successful in signing up a higher percentage of residents, having the dedicated channel could be useful.

 

Our marketing of SEI Fiber is based on supporting a cooperative who made the financial commitment to bring Fiber to all homes in Hidden Valley Lake.  We do not and have not spent any money for advertising, nor have we spend any money installing this community wide fiber network.   SEI is advertising is many forms of media including our Echoes (cost paid to the Register), Neighbor’s Magazine, the Beacon, and their own “Reach” magazine among others.  Anything we send out from the POA is to inform and update the status.

Financial

Hello Betty, my apologies for not responding sooner. Earlier I did not have a copy of the attached graph. This is a list of items which is over and above our normal day to day expenses. I am hoping this gives you the information that were looking for. If not, please let me know.

Debbie, I apologize for the late response. The primary purpose as recommended by the Finance Committee is to replace our emergency fund which is required by our bylaws. It also provides some funds for our escrow accounts.  As explained at the May Board meeting, our funds were depleted over privious years with the intention of replacing those funds from savings. However inflation took away the ability to save and replenish those funds. Your current Board is very unhappy to have to be the ones to follow these recommendations and impose this assessment but it is necessary. Thank you for allowing us to explain this.

I can’t respond to this … my insight… I know at least a couple of grants have been requested and we have been denied

This is commission from Comcast … averages about 3500 a quarter.  We will lose this income. 

Non Property Owners …. Not much going into this because of the issue with Security … but Non Residents come through our streets and can get citations, parking, etc

Replacement cards are $5 / Nanny / Grandchild / Etc $50 … correct we did not charge last year because it was a new program but we are consistently charging this year

Thank you Michele. We are in agreement on the funds.  The only problem with Capital improvement is that we set aside capital for some replacements such as vehicles etc. We will discuss.  I have not heard of ERTC but will check.  Not sure about 2020 other than having the Audit report and list of capital items but a lot of unexpected expense could have been due to the new docks?  You seem to have a lot of expertise. Have you ever considered joining our finance committee or any committee for that matter?  You would be so very welcome.  

The HVL POA received $157,200 received April 27, 2020, This loan was forgiven by letter on Feb 19, 2021 Our accountant reports that it went into operating funds and was used for payroll as that was what the loans were for  … 157k at that time of year would have covered to about Mid/End of May.

The pool snack bar has always been operated by volunteers from the Swim Team.  They handle all responsibilities and receive all funds.

The HVL POA is of course the Property Owners Association.

HVL Inc is a privately owned company with no affiliation to HVL POA.  Our Golf course was formerly owned by HVL Inc.

We can certainly ask what the savings would be and it would be helpfull to have less of their trucks on our roads. Another, but not very popular idea is to have a central collection point, (drive thru), where everyone takes their trash.

The category was new in 2022 because so many rentals were occurring.  The BOD added an extensive bylaw below which has eliminated the problem.  The one landlord that was paying the 5k has sold that property this year.  Today we have about 10 registered renters.  Not to say there are not others that are not following the bylaws                               13-3-1. New Renters a. Property owners/landlords renting properties in Hidden Valley Lake must submit a completed HVL Rental Property Registration Form to the POA OFFICE for each property rented. (This agreement is located in Appendix A of theses bylaws.) 103 b. Property owners/landlords must pay the POA a $1,000 registration fee and an annual $5,000 fee for each rental property. There is a minimum $10,000 assessment for failure to register a property or pay the annual fee. c. Any property owner who is currently, as of 9/1/21, leasing their property is eligible to apply to the Board of Directors for a variance on the registration fee and annual fee. Property owners who choose to rent their homes after 9/1/21 may also apply for this variance. Only one variance can be granted for each POA membership. d. All fees are waived for property owners granted a variance, except for a one-time $100 processing fee. e. Renters must sign and adhere to the guidelines contained in the HVL POA Renters Agreement and submit the fully executed document to the HVL POA Office (The HVL POA Renters Agreement is located in Appendix A of these bylaws.) f. Property rental periods may not be less than six months and all renters must be registered with the HVL POA. (As amended 12/17/18; 8/26/21.) 13-3-2. Renters’ Assessment to Use Amenities Renters of property at Hidden Valley Lake Subdivision must pay an annual Renter Amenities Assessment in order to use the amenities provided by the HVL POA. The assessment for a renter and their immediate family to use the amenities at HVL is: $300.00

Comcast currently encompasses this Technology line item.  Looks like $195 was for computer support at the beginning of the season.  All Technology will decrease in late 2023 and is budgeted far less for 2024 due to Fiber installation.

These are expenses outside of treatments.  Repair Examples:  Electric for Aerators, Fountains and Lights; Irrigation, Buoys, Signage, Winterization of Equipment, etc.

The increase involves the purchase of Limble software technology @ $5,040.  This is an asset management software that assists manages all our assets, which we have never had before.  The remaining is steady with cell phones and internet expense.

This will be credit adjusted by $3,157.54 due to a categorization error.  

We identified this issue in our very first executive meeting and it was also mentioned publicly during the June Board meeting. We are working with Elavon to possibly improve our existing credit card system and a possible change is being considered.

The majority is the cost of the annual audit.  This is a timing issue.  Today 8/22, both 2022 & 2023 are at 21k.

Not at all about Attorney General which currently is at $250.  We have had several late accounts that have gone to court and required extra hours of negotiations required by the judge.  And issues have arose where advice was needed.  Also our by-laws are being reviewed and updated.

It is way better in the last three years.  The BOD several years ago worked with our CPA to determine we should estimate an expense.  Today, we discuss with the auditors at audit and look at the data from Accounts Receivables to determine the following years numbers.  Just recently we had a negotiation in the courts where over $20k was written off on two different resident accounts.  We also cannot collect late dues on a sale from a new owner where a local title company is not involved.  We have sheriff sales that cannot be collected on either.  These situations are hard to forecast. 

BOD respond …. This encompasses losses of immediate family; the small Christmas bonus annually; small recognitions

The cost of sending out two billings a year and subsequent months late notices …. 2 envelopes, paper, and ID badge costs are a membership expense.  The “Billing” verbiage will be removed in 2024 – Valley Membership

Please visit office to review 1120-H form.  It will be made available at your convenience

A copy of the fixed asset wchedule is available at the POA office.  Please visit at your convenience.

Marla creates a starting point.  Then it is reviewed and altered by the Finance committee.  Then recommended to the BOD who make more changes before presenting to the community in two board meetings. 

The numbers provided in this answer are semi-annual charges:  Dues-$82.50; House on single lot:  $396; Golf Course Assessment-$55.

Al, the setting aside of funds or putting funds into escrow was started quite some time ago. Various members of the Finance Committee suggested and worked on having both Escrow funds and also the Emergency fund. John Reniger, (RIP JOHN), played a significant role in developing these methods. Funds are needed to be escrowed for large capital expense items such as road repaving, vehicles, maintenance equipment, pool liner replacement and other capital expense items.  We are constructing a separate budget sheet that lists the planned capital items and

and as funds are assigned they will be held at a bank and Jeff Fuell plans to make that accounting part of his monthly report.  

Hello Phil, unfortunately no, we do not.  Our roads were not built to county standards and the county will not accept them.  There will be an article in the upcoming issue of Echos to better explain this. If you have any information that could be helpful, please let me know. In the meantime, enjoy this beautiful weather.

Hello Al, the letter sent clearly stated that dues would not increase. It also gave exact numbers for 2024. Please see: https://hiddenvalleylakeindiana.com/wp-content/uploads/2023/09/Emergency-Assessment-Master-pdf-2.pdf

Hello Dylan, our treasurer stated at the May meeting that once these funds are available, they will be reported on a Monthly basis at the Board meetings and printed in the Board meeting minutes. We have established one Certificate of deposit at the 5/3rd Bank and have set up a second account at FCN Bank. A CD at FCN will be funded by 10/16/2023.  It is important to use separate banks to assure the funds are FDIC Insured. Our treasurer will report Emergency Funds separately each month.

It is on the website under Financial Documents and also posted weekly on HVL Happenings

As in years past a budget projection is prepared by office staff and the community manager. This is sent to the finance committee which creates proposal for the next year in public meetings, several of which happened with members in attendance and were on the community calendar. This is then read and reviewed by the board on their own time. The formality of approving the budget in the board meeting is the final step to authorize the community manager to work towards hitting that budget.

In response to the question as to why “proper accounting is not necessarily preferable’, that is not a correct quote.  The finance committee member made the comment “proper accounting is not necessarily proper”.  The subject at hand during the meeting was the capitalization (versus expensing) of purchases.  The Finance committee member used the example of the purchase of $50,000 of exercise equipment.  Proper accounting will have us capitalize this purchase, and put an asset on the books of $50,000.  We all know as soon as the equipment is used, it does not have a value anywhere close to $50,000 (in fact probably closer to $10,000).  We will follow proper accounting rules, and put it on the books as a $50,000 asset, though it is not always “proper”.                                Your second question concerns Escrow, we have set aside funds in what we have called Escrow for more than 15 years. We plan to continue doing so as soon as we have funds to set aside.  And like the Emergency fund, Escrow funds will be put in a separate bank account and will be used for capital items such as road repaving. Each month our treasurer will report on all three accounts. The general fund, emergency funds, and escrowed funds.

Fitness Center

Our accounting does have the numbers split out. These numbers are reported to the Finance Committee and to the Board in the monthly report. However, it is not totally separate from the overall budget, on the advice of our accountants. To do so would have required a totally separate organization with its own EIN, which would have incurred more of an expense.

Golf Club

Hello John, for this year the cost of membership increased by 15% and we have 251 members. At this time we expect for the Golf Course to be somewhat profitable and any profits will be used to improve the Golf Course infrastructure. I hope this answers your question.

Hello Mike, The estimate that we have to finish the paths is from last year. It is approximately $93,000.  The Sprinkler system is a bit of an unknown until we would get an updated quote but the last number discussed was around $850,000. There is currently no timeline for installing the sprinkler system due to the cost.

For tax purposes the subsidy comes from 2005 Investment HVLGC on the balance sheet.  On the mortgage payments, at audit these payments get moved to 4031 Golf Course Mortgage on the balance sheet …. Showing a lower long term liability.

This category is a set number monthly … the amount billed for the GC in Jan or July …. Divided by six months…  this is an accounting need in order not to exaggerate the income in Jan and July …same for dues and assessments income. This spreads it out consistently month over month.  Audit suggested some time ago and was handed to me by Moe to handle in this manner. 

All amenities were increased in 2022.  1st increase in 7 years, what we could find documented.  Golf Cart went from $25 to $50.

This is the income generated by the Golf Course assessment to the residents for the purchase of the GC.  $90 a year.  These funds are utilized to pay the Golf Course mortgage.

The Golf Course food and beverage is operated exclusively by Willies, and we get 50% of the alcohol sales receipts.

Thank you, Al, for asking this question and giving us the opportunity to clarify this for the community.

 

We were advised that many golf foodservice operations do not generate enough sales to cover payroll expenses and the cost of goods, and the foodservice existed for the convenience of golfers.  Even knowing that, our goal was to generate a profit.  After taking over the golf course, the POA worked diligently with a succession of individuals to operate the food and beverage business.  These individuals were paid with golf course funds.  They determined staffing needs,  and ordered and inventoried all the required food and beverages.  Again, all staff, food, and beverages were paid with golf course funds.

 

The POA Board was dissatisfied with these operators and believed we should pursue an alternative that could increase our profits while minimizing the challenges of staffing and maintaining inventories.  To that end, we asked Steve Van Wassenhove, the owner of Willie’s, to take over the foodservice operation.  Our arrangement with Steve is that he is responsible for all aspects of food and beverage service at the golf course.  He hires and manages the staff as well as orders and maintains inventories of all needed food and beverage products.  In return, the golf course receives 50% of liquor sales.  This has increased our income from the foodservice operation.

Insurance

An explanation for all health insurance increases:  As a small business we saw a 60% increase that was caused by a large medical occurrence with an individual.  This could have been anyone, but this did require us to do extensive research and provide a solution.  A Benefits task force was created with a few volunteers and a board representative.  At a minimum 10+ options were looked at.  From not providing insurance but only compensation, conglomerate joining, to standard insurance as examples.  The task force provided a solution of traditional insurance that is backed by the government for small business to the BOD and was approved in July.  This insurance will not allow for changes in rates due to a major medical occurrence.  Any increases seen will be only due to health care overall increasing.  This will go into effect on 11/1/23. 

Our workman’s comp expense is based on an annual audit that is outsourced by our insurance provider.  They look at wages, hours, job descriptions, etc.  We have had one case in 2023 and one in 2021.  Security has a formal safety program and maintenance has an informal program

Our plan is a Simple IRA … we are not large enough for a traditional 401k.  They can elect to participate at their 90 days or annual enrollment/changes.

Maintenance

Hello Bradley.  The currennt system is being reevaluated.  We are hoping to replace the current system with on that is more effective for home owners and also less costly.  Hopefully there will be more news about this soon.  

It is still on the list. As I noted after our Annual Meeting, this is our busiest time of the year in maintenance, so it may be a bit still.

This is all the culvert work and expenses that go with fixing and maintaining.

The board will need to negotiate and hopefully find a cheaper vendor or sustain the current contract….there is no way I can estimate the future of this expense 

The new pool liner for 2022 would show on the balance sheet in 2080 Fixed Asset for Swimming Pool & Beach … as we capitalize and depreciate the expense.  Now part of the major expense for maintenance last year was the leak and drain issue upon putting in the liner. 

Our vendor is Laughery Valley Ag.  Invoices are showing steady, however we do also buy diesel.  In 2022 fuel seems to be bought about once a month, seems to be needed more in 2023 with about two purchases a month.

We only lease two pieces of equipment:  A mini excavator & A skid steer (like a Bobcat)   We use both when we replace culvert pipes, clear ditches, and many other projects. The skid steer is also used to load trucks with salt, sand, rock, etc.                                                                                      Lease vs. purchase…We had an opportunity to lease these two pieces of equipment 4 years ago. We had a backhoe that totally fell apart during snow season and a Bobcat-type unit that was in poor shape. After studying our needs and discussing with our maintenance team, we felt these two pieces of equipment fit our situation. We went through a process of comparison, both lease and purchase, and the lease made the most sense at the time. At the time, used equipment was very high and good used equipment was hard to find. At the end of the lease, we may purchase the equipment for a predetermined amount. This gives us a way to see how the equipment works and work out any bugs in the equipment if we decide to buy it used. A much better way than buying something we know nothing about. I have mixed feelings on purchasing the skid steer since it spends a lot of time in salt during snow season. So far, it does not seem to affect the equipment much.  We rent equipment as needed for larger projects.

Large expenses:  main drain valve replacement; portable vacuum replacement; ladder step replacements; guard chair platforms; sewer line replacement; electric/lighting repairs

There is an Aqua Vista Dock.  Some refer to it as the Raylyn dock.  It has been in the rental inventory for a long time. It was rented by a resident whose property bordered  the green space.  It was in disrepair and we did repair the dock.  Since the repair, the resident who rented it sold his boat and no longer needed the dock.  We have not decided as of yet if we plan to put it in the rental inventory.

This is under review at this time.  Moeller Docks have provided an income of $875.00 per year.  The previous Board made a decision to stop renting the docks due to the potential liability considering the pathway from Longview down to the docks.  That decision is under review at this time.  The construction and repairs to the docks have a 20 year life.  If the decision is to make them available again, they are considered worthy.

Hello Angela.  We are very sorry that you are experiencing this issue. Unfortunately this is a private property, civil issue and we do not have enforcement power in cases such as this unless the leaves are being blown into a lake or onto POA property.  

Rumpke

This is a contract that encompasses regular trash, recycle, and large items.  It is up for renegotiation in 2024 and will look for other vendors to bid.  We did receive a bid from Best way during the previous contract negotiation.  Currently for all services, one home is $13.64/month.  For reference, Dave Wismann, in an Echoes article referred to the Aurora area residents paying about $34/month with no recycle or large item.

We can certainly ask what the savings would be and it would be helpfull to have less of their trucks on our roads. Another, but not very popular idea is to have a central collection point, (drive thru), where everyone takes their trash.

Security

Why do we have 4 patrol cars?  We employ nine people on security, five full-time and four part-time who are sometimes asked to all work simultaneously such as during the fireworks. Each officer may be issued a marked vehicle to use while on duty. In normal operations, we have 1-2 people on duty and having the extra older vehicle allows us to have one in the shop and maintain our security services.                                                                                                                                                  Also whose responsibility is it to pay for fiber optic damage?  The fiber optics organization, SEI/REMC, promised to restore property as they proceed with the work. This normally means yard and landscaping damage. There have been some cases where sewer lateral lines, water lines, cable lines, and telephone lines have been damaged. These are dealt with on a case-by-case basis by the contractor and, ultimately, SEI/REMC.

The wages went up to try to keep pace with the local trends. We were already lagging far behind local police departments and made very little headway in recent years. We have always known we could not directly compete with these local police agencies and, for many years, we were only a training ground. We have a core group of people here who want to be here on a permanent basis. 

For the 2022 budget, we studied local police departments with the following comparisons:   Dearborn County starting $20.80/hr;  Lawrenceburg PD starting $29.12/hr;  Greendale PD starting $20.50/hr;  Ohio County starting $21.58/hr;  Ripley County starting $20.50/hr;  Franklin County starting $23.99; St. Elizabeth security starting $19.00 plus shift differential. All of the police departments have increases built in if the officer achieves academy graduation.  Most departments have seen increases since that time (2 years ago). Dearborn County had a 12% increase across the board in 2023. 

We did increase our number of employees, from 7 full-time to 5 full-time and 4 part-time, which saves on benefits and gives us flexibility.

This question begins with an error. Our officers do have authority as representatives of the owners of property here. Several also have police powers and while they may not use these powers on everyday activities since we have no agreement with their town yet, they still may use them to make an arrest, if necessary. 

Most of what our officers do is security related and always has been

Having police powers was a luxury that benefitted the Sheriff’s Department much more than it did HVL

There are about 5,000 residents here. Many of them were drawn to a community that offers security. 

Purchase of two speed radars for vehicles that needed replaced.  Otherwise, cell phones and internet cost.

We have discussed speed surveys to get data on how bad the problem is in this area and when the best time would be to set up enforcement. Our team can give out POA tickets and has been doing it where warranted. 

We ask residents to try to pin down the best times and days of the week when we can try to be in the area. This helps us conserve resources by placing them at the right times and areas.

Our video cameras are strategically located throughout the Valley to provide not only a deterrent to wrong-doings, but to provide safety and security for our residents round the clock. We have cameras at all of our amenities including the Pool, Shelters, our  Maintenance buildings, Golf club and the POA Community Center. These cameras record events around the clock and have been used multiple times by our Rangers for tracking vandalism, parking issues at the beach and marina, violators who have not just littered but have dumped large amounts of trash. The cameras has also been used to track vehicle damage and more.

Each installation also requires wifi. The cost cited includes the installation, wiring and a wifi router. The presence of video cameras also acts as a deterrent against criminal activities. Knowing that they are being observed and recorded significantly reduces the likelihood of crimes occurring in the first place.  “Protected by Closed Circuit Cameras” sign are a powerful disincentive.

Safety and Security is looking at a totally different application. The Flock system cameras are a license plate reading system includes software that ties into a larger Police network and records vehicles for future identification if needed and also identifies vehicles who the police are trying to find. When Tom Biedenharn was murdered, we had a vehicle description but no way to track the vehicle.  Flock would have told which exit and what time any matching vehicles were recorded …. cameras that lead to not only deterrent value, but apprehension. We had a similar case when a woman was passing counterfeit $100. bills at the recent yard sale. There is more work to be done, but Safety and Security’s role is to research security measures and to report on their research. 

Suggestion

That is an excellent suggestion.  Thank you.  We are planning on adding the pool hours to the HVL website calendar next year, as well as, assuring residents that the phone message will be updated if any changes occur due to storms or inclement weather. 

Answered in an earlier question.  “We understand the confusion.  The verbiage on the sign is identical to the sign it replaced so this message has been out for many years.  The cost to redo the sign is $1,800 and the expense is difficult to justify in the current economic environment.”

Hello Wendy. I was not aware that this was happening until I was voted to the Board recently.  There are a number of reasons that this happens such as a resident inviting a non-resident to join them for a walk as an example.  I am not speaking for myself but I can tell you from experience that not everyone shares your opinion.  Some residents see this as being neighborly and as good advertisement for HVL which may or may not support home prices?  If you think about it, enforcing non-resident use of the walkways, etc may be extremely difficult?  That said, my personal concern is to assure that we do not have non-residents camping and living on our grounds. This happened years ago at Cincinnati Milacron in Oakley. People would cut the fence and camp near the main lodge which was away from the factory and sometimes went unused for weeks. One of the things that made that inviting was water and electricity available outside the building. HVL may have the same inviting utilities available plus bathrooms. Of course the bathrooms are locked overnight and I am asking our Community Manager David Wisemann to make sure the utilities are disconnected indoors. Our Security does check the building at the 77 acres several times each night. You have approached the right committee. If the Safety and Security Committee recommends a rule change, I would consider voting for it, if it is enforceable.                                                                 Thanks Wendy. I am copying in Dave Buschmiller, SS&E Chairman.

I had not noticed that the sign at the front entrance had been replaced. Apparently the directional sign at the front entrance was replaced sometime over the last six months and now says open to the public.  The words “open to the public” will be removed this coming week.  We plan to leave the rest of the sign as is for directions to these areas.  

Doug I take full responsibility. I read that and glossed over it.  I should have asked you guys. Unfortunately I have accidently said something I should not have and thought that perhaps one of you guys might have made a slip. Please excuse me for assuming but someone nearby may have been heard on the recording?  Rich, if we are sure there is no inappropriate word on the recording, then please post a response denying the use of inappropriate words. Alternatively it may be best to just delete the question?

Technology

The major increase was due to the purchase of Technology for our ID / entrancing system.  We also have had an upgrade in the main server that provided support from our vendor.  And we have had to upgrade several items in order to prepare for Fiber.  E Tech is our vendor on the overall Technology project in the GL.  Otherwise, monthly costs for cell phones, internet, and our resident receivables system.

We are leasing a large piece of scanning equipment in order to scan all of the plot plans and make them available to the resident online.  This is necessary due to the aging of the documents and in case of a natural disaster in the building.  We also lease our main copier, scanner, fax.

The cost of See Click Fix is $5,250 annually.    There is a monthly membership fee for a website that is utilized for MS4 requirements with the state.                                                        

VRUC

This is the water cost for our fire hydrants $1,485/mo… and they are adding 25 new ones in 2025 …. This expense will increase! 

We will be pulling out expenses from Maintenance and Office that are truly Valley expenses in 2024.  Looks like in the original set up this is where it was categorized.  This cost is for nothing but the charges from VRUC.  $1,785 a month water bill.  This will increase in 2025 as VRUC will be installing 22 additional fire hydrants.

Al, the roads committee which I am a member of, has a meeting planned in the near future with the VRUC to discuss this and new water lines to be installed. This is also one of our questions.  We should have more information soon.

We are assuming you are referring to the water line breaks by Fiber contractors.  Over the period of two years, it was expected to have a certain amount of issues with our 50 year old water system.  We believe the water main breaks are  now at a minimum.  WE are fortunate to have such an excellent water company (VRUC) with the ability to restore water quickly … in most cases with little inconvenience.     

Willie's

I am researching the contract now and will need some time to be sure of the status.  I do know that the contracts in the past required for us to get copies of the taxes paid and that is how the rent was determined by a percentage.  Also I do know that prior to Willies it was a money loser to HVL for years.  Either David, Ken or I will get back with you after we get more data.

We are presented with his sales via the IN Sales tax website monthly.  Willie’s is currently in negotiations for a new contract.  Previous was a three year term.

Zoom Meetings

Al, myself and your Board of Directors take full responsibility for this fiasco. As your new HVL Board of directors we immediately stopped any and all discretionary spending. We also temporarily suspended our community manager from any discretionary spending. We anticipate postponed spending of multi thousands of dollars in the technology arena alone. Recently we have invested in bringing Fiber Optics into the HVL POA Office that will save us money and become a  very good investment. To improve the zoom meetings requires a new and expensive computer system to replace a 10 year old one and much improved microphone system, all of which is being investigated but may or may not be approved this year.  Please work with us as we navigate through this difficult period.

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 forms@hvlpoa.net, 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.