Edition
May 23, 2014

President's Report


Article

By David Eilers

CLPOA President

This past year I've had the privilege of serving as the Association’s Board President alongside four very dedicated members of the Board of Directors. I’m pleased to report that the Association is in a very healthy financial position due to cost saving strategies initiated by the 2011-12 and 2012-13 Board of Directors, along with a very committed staff and committee members.

These cost saving strategies not only resulted in no increases in the member annual assessments this coming fiscal year (2014-15), but also allowed the Association to direct more funds into its reserve accounts. These reserve accounts are funds set aside to pay for the replacement or repair of the Association's community properties.

With our healthy reserve funds in mind, we were able to embark upon some new projects this past fiscal year:

The Lodge Remodel

Over the years, the design and function of the Lodge has changed as Canyon Lake has flourished and transformed into more of a resort-style community. In the last 40 years, the Lodge has seen substantial renovations, including a complete tear-down and rebuild in 2000.

When the Lodge was rebuilt, the design lacked a certain efficiency that has set limitations on the flow of the facility and bar area seating capacity. In 2007, the Board of Directors began discussing the need to expand or redesign the existing space to make it more functional. However, these plans did not move forward. My fellow Board Members and I felt it was very important that we revisit this project. Enhancing the Lodge would mean the facility could be much more functional, lending itself for more community activities and events, as well as increasing the revenue of the facility.

In March 2014 we broke ground on the remodel of the Lodge to more than double the seating capacity of the lounge area in the Lighthouse Restaurant and Bar along with adding more usable space downstairs. The exciting Grand Re-opening of the facility will be Friday, May 30 starting with a ribbon cutting ceremony at 4 p.m. I invite all residents come down and see the transformation of our Lodge.

Security and Main Gate

Earlier this year, the Board of Directors identified this project as one of the major projects to begin.We hope that we can utilize a RFID technology to provide increased security at our gates. Additionally, we hope to remodel the Main Gate and add an additional lane entering the community in order to handle the increased traffic seen at that gate.

In addition to improving the entrance technology we have also been extensively researching security cameras to help reduce vandalism in the community. We anticipate to be presenting a few options at a future Board Meeting.

Operations Restroom

This past year we were able to add a much needed restroom to the facility that houses our Operations department. This department is extremely dedicated to ensuring the community is beautiful, clean, safe and healthy for the residents of Canyon Lake.

Tennis Facility

Plans for a new tennis building are underway. The Association has submitted initial footprint plans to the City and those plans were approved. At the December Board Meeting we approved to move forward with finding an architect to develop construction plans for the new building. The construction drawings and details are in process now and once plans for the building are approved a Request for Proposal (RFP) will be created and presented at a future Board Meeting.

Dog Park

Another project we are very excited to be moving forward on is the dog park. We are working with the Dog Park Committee on developing the conceptual plans for Sierra Park North. There has been an engineer retained to begin looking at the water runoff issues, and the overall layout of the park. The Sierra Park North site has a lot to offer.

Solar Project

The Association currently, as a whole, uses approximately one million kilowatt-hours of electricity per year and it has been determined that it could reduce this amount significantly by installing photovoltaic systems (solar panels) on several common facilities.

The Association staff released a “Request For Proposal” (RFP) for this project and we are currently working with the vendor that submitted a proposal to determine the needs in our community that will provide the most optimal savings.

Some other projects we have planned for this next fiscal year include:

? Upgrading Happy Camp Campground

? Adding restrooms to Road Runner Park

? Adding playground equipment to Indian Beach

? Remodeling the Country Club

? Replacing the Golf Course Irrigation System

Some other notable accomplishments we've made this past year:

Lawsuit Settlements

At the beginning of fiscal year 2013-14 we had several open litigations. Throughout the year we have worked closely with our attorneys to settle all but one lawsuit, which we hope to settle soon. By settling these litigations we are able to reduce our attorney fees by over 25%, which equates into over $200,000 annually.

Financials and Bad Debt Reduction*

Last year we had a $9 increase in member dues which allowed us to continue improving our financial health. Additionally, we were able to drastically reduce our bad debt (bad debt expense is a normal HOA operating expense that results from members not paying their mandatory assessments and dues). Last fiscal year we budgeted $1,000,000 for this, however, through positive collections by our staff we actually only had an expense of $337,000. (to date estimate, final numbers to be released in the audited annual report).

This has allowed us to pay the remainder of the Association's office building mortgage, a balance of $420,000, which will save us significantly in interest we would have otherwise paid. Further, we still have a positive balance of over $600,000 that we will be discussing how to allocate.

Lake Lease

The lake is one of our most popular amenities and it is owned and managed by the water company, EVMWD. The Association leases the private use of the lake from EVMWD. Myself, General Manager Christopher Mitchell and my fellow Board Members are working with EVMWD and we to work out a long term agreement that will provide a more stable cost increase structure to the Association.

Staff Accomplishments

In July, we hired Bryan Knechtel as the Association's Controller. Bryan is a Certified Public Accountant (CPA) with over 20 years of experience in the public and private sector. In his time with the Association he has really streamlined our accounting processes. I feel we are very fortunate to have not only one but two CPAs at the top of our organization (General Manager Christopher Mitchell is also a CPA).

Last summer we created a new communications position at the Association to help coordinate the timely communication of Association news, projects and events. In August, we hired Tiffany Cribbs as the Communications Specialist, she comes to us with over five years of experience in marketing, public relations and communications.

Long time employee Lynn Jensen left the Association in early July for another opportunity. However, we are happy to announce that she came back to the Association in November. Lynn started with the Association in 2003 and she has worked in several departments. She returns to her most recent role as Director of Activities. Lynn is a great asset to the Association and the community and we are happy to have her back.

In conclusion, I believe fellow Board Member Dawn Haggerty said it best “We are in the best financial state that we have been in within the last 20 years”. I look forward to serving another term as your Board President and I think 2014-15 will be another successful year for the Association.

*Financial numbers printed in this article have yet to be audited and are subject to change.