PRESIDENT’S MESSAGE – Bill McLaughlin
At our Annual Meeting, Mike Rucker and Barb Farley were elected to our Board. They replaced Ed Bangsund and Jim Schack, who deserve special thanks for their dedicated work and commitment to our community.
We have had a couple of burglaries recently in our neighborhood and for this reason we have scheduled a “Safety Fair” for Thursday, May 12, 2011 at 6:30 pm. Please see the flyer in this newsletter and plan on attending.
I am hoping that soon the weather will have changed to allow more outdoor activities.
Much time has been spent cleaning various debris from wind storms over the winter months including raking flowerbeds both inside and outside the guardhouse area and along 132nd Ave. There was a good deal of debris along the perimeter fence that needed to be removed. The landscaping lighting in the flowerbeds at the main entry was repaired. At the north gate the beds surrounding the entrance were cleaned. The moss and sludge from around the gates which had been preventing water from draining properly were removed and the ornamental grasses inside that gate were trimmed. At the south gate the Arbor Vitae along 256th across from the ball fields was trimmed in an effort to make them more presentable. A large portion of time has been spent cutting the overgrowth on 144th in an effort to make both sides of the street easily accessible to pedestrians and vehicles. The Photinias along this stretch of road are heavily diseased with Leaf Spot to the point that they may not come back this Spring. They will be sprayed with a fungicide and be monitored for improvement. In the coming weeks there will be continued cleaning of debris from various beds, mowing at the North gate and spraying where manual removal of weeds is difficult
FACILITIES – Janet Lewis
winter has been wet and cold, we were fortunate this year to have fewer
snow-related challenges than in past years.
PSE has replaced burned-out street light bulbs. Maintenance and minor repairs have been made
to the gates. Storm drain grates have
been repaired and the perimeter fence was repaired following a break-in (chain
link fence cut). An emergency run-off
drain was installed, per City of
Thanks to our neighbors who have brought maintenance concerns to my attention. Working together we can retain our community and our property values.
ARCHITECTURAL COMMITTEE – Frank Wisdom
The Architectural Committee meets the first Wednesday of each month to consider requests for all exterior changes or additions to homes, including but not limited to: exterior house painting, roof replacement (partial or complete) and satellite dish installation, as well as all landscaping projects, updates or renovations. Kindly submit your request in writing to the committee via e-mail or drop it off at the MVCC Clubhouse. Request forms can be found on the MVMA website: http://www.meridianvalleycc.com/mvma/ as well as other helpful information. Please include pictures, drawings, blueprints, color paint samples, etc., allowing the committee to understand the enhancements and improvements you desire to make.
Even though the weather doesn’t seem to be Spring-like this year, the weed growth has not been deterred. Thanks go out to many of you who are already being proactive in maintaining your landscaping. We all benefit and appreciate our collective and continued commitment to the quality and excellence of our community. But some residents need to look around and take action on correcting areas needing improvement. If you have a tree or trees that you'd like to remove, typically a site visit by a committee member is needed to confirm the tree(s) are located on your property. Also, all tree stumps must be either ground or removed.
The DORs specifically forbid overnight parking of vehicles on the street or yard; all vehicles must be parked in a garage or approved parking area. Repeat offenders risk being fined. Also, all dogs are to be on a leash when off the owner’s lot and all pet owners are responsible for picking up waste and disposing in their own trash receptacles.
The Committee continues to refine the policy for approved roofing materials, specifically with respect to architectural composite asphalt material and the manufacturers seem to revise their materials annually. A number of homes are now replacing the traditional wood shake roofs with other materials. Our goal is to preserve the look (depth, shadow, and relief) as near as possible with these replacement materials. All roofing submittals will require a color brochure attached and asphalt materials will require a color brochure and a sample board for review. Please refer to the website for our latest policy and list of approved architectural composite asphalt roofing materials or call me for additional guidance on approved materials.
SECURITY – Dale Mjelde
There will be a “Safety Fair” held at MVCC on Thursday, May 12th from 6:30 – 8:30 pm. Display booths will be set up to assist you with information regarding how to keep your home and family safe. This will be a very pertinent event since the crimes of opportunity seems to be on the rise in the surrounding neighborhoods. Please remember to:
1. Keep your doors and windows locked at home.
2. Keep all valuables out of view and the windows shut and locked in your vehicles.
3. If you have guests or repair services coming to your home, PLEASE inform the Security Personnel of their time of arrival. We need to assist them in keeping our community safe.
Our Policies and DOR’s are clear that commercial vehicles are NOT allowed to be parked here overnight, other than in your garage.
In closing, I again remind everyone that they need to abide by the posted “STOP SIGNS” and “25 MPH” signs. They are there for the safety of our children and residents.
TREASURER’S REPORT – Mike Rucker
As of April 26th twelve lots are not paid in full. Eight of these lots have not paid any dues for 2011 and in some cases for one or two prior years. Of these eight, three are bank-owned or in bankruptcy and we will probably not collect until they are sold. We will review collection options with our lawyer in addition to filing liens and removing gate access privileges. The remaining four properties have made partial payments. Of these we expect to collect the full amount from three while the fourth is bank-owned and we will probably not collect any additional amount until the property is sold.
Last year, the IRS notified MVMA that they would dispute our tax exempt status. This lead to a mediation session in February with the IRS in which MVMA was represented by Jim Schack, Bill McLaughlin, myself and our lawyer. The IRS argued that the association was not a community within the meaning of the (IRS) regulations, that the association did not provide an adequate public benefit, and did not provide sufficient public access to our common properties. They proposed that to satisfy these requirements MVMA must: Open the Main, North and South gates to all vehicle traffic from 6am to 10pm seven days a week. In addition, the guards may not ask non-members what was their business entering MVMA property.
Since we could not accept these conditions, we had two choices, continue the appeals process with a significantly increased cost and uncertain outcome or accept revocation of the exemption. In defense of our tax-exempt status, the association spent $7,340 for accounting and legal services in 2010, $6,519 in 2011 prior to the mediation session and expected to pay an additional $6,000 in legal fees to support the mediation session. Continuing the appeals process would continue to escalate our legal fees. Even if we prevailed on appeal, we would only have preserved our exemption for the years under audit (2007, 2008). The IRS would be free to resume the process when auditing future tax returns. We did not believe that continuing these expenses with such an uncertain outcome would be in the best interests of the association.
In the end, we agreed to the revocation of our tax-exempt status. We believe that exchanging the costs of continuing appeals which would be significant and difficult to control, for a tax liability primarily associated with reserve fund investments for the Long Range Plan which we can manage and budget with a reasonable amount of certainty is in the best interests of the association. In addition, based on data from our accountants, maintaining our tax-exempt status for 2007 – 2010 would relieve the association of a potential tax liability of over $7,000.
The IRS did agree to leave our tax status and tax returns for the years 2007, 2008, 2009 & 2010 as they were filed (tax exempt) and to begin our new status December 1, 2010, if and only if we agreed to the revocation of our 501(c) (4) tax exemption at the mediation session and also if we agreed to not file an appeal.
MVMA WEBSITE – Robert Steiner
The MVMA website and e-mail distribution list remain the most expedient means to efficiently contact the MVCC residents. We use the e-mail list for items of security and for general information which the Board feels will be useful to residents. On occasion residents have objected to e-mails. You have the option to remove your name from the distribution list if you do not wish to receive them. Send your request to be removed from the distribution list to firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com.
If you are not currently on the distribution list and would like to be added or wish to update your e-mail address, please send an e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com. E-mail addresses are not shared.
The MVMA website provides residents with contact information, past minutes, newsletters, forms, policies, and other information that you may find helpful. If you have not yet checked out the site, I encourage you to do so at: www.meridianvalleycc.com/mvma. The December 2010 Annual Meeting minutes, 2011 Budget and 2010 Tax Return are also available on the website.
Bill McLaughlin President 253-854-1055
Janet Lewis Vice President 253-639-1515 or 206-786-3715 cell
Barb Farley Common Grounds 253-638-0931
Mike Rucker Treasurer 253-631-0717
Dale Mjelde Security 253-630-2281
Frank Wisdom Architectural 206-251-4769
Robert Steiner Webmaster 253-630-2619
Cheryl Havener Office Manager 253-630-1553
Homeowner’s Office Hours 253-631-3131 (office)
Monday 9:00 am – 12:00 noon 253-631-9014 (fax)
Security Guardhouse 253-631-2225
Please inform the security guard when you expect visitors
CALL 911 FOR EMERGENCIES
(then call the guardhouse)
Annual Meeting 2nd Tuesday in December
Board Meetings 2nd Wednesday of month
Architectural Meetings 1st Wednesday of month
All meetings are held at the Meridian Valley Country Club unless posted otherwise.
GATE OPERATING HOURS:
MAIN GATE: accessible 24 hours
NORTH & SOUTH GATES: accessible with remotes
Everyday 4:00 am to 10:00 pm