SANDYCOVE ACRES HOMEOWNERS’ ASSOCIATION
MINUTES OF THE
ANNUAL GENERAL MEETING - JUNE 24, 2012
Present: John Bicknell, Adele Boulding, Ted Gemmell, Sharon Raycraft, Cliff Ashdown, Tim Tyler and Melle Van Strien.
Absent – Dave Cooper, Ralph Heuvingh and Lynne O’Leary
Call to Order
President John Bicknell called the meeting to order at 1:36 p.m. and introduced the current Officers and Directors and then asked members to observe a minute of silence in memory of members of our community who had passed since the 2011Annual General Meeting.
Minutes of the 2011 Annual General Meeting
The minutes having been posted as required by the Constitution, the meeting was asked to accept them as so posted. A motion to accept was proposed by Shirley Draves, seconded by Leslie Cloake and carried without objection.
Adele Boulding presented the audited Financial Report (see Appendix to the Minutes) for the 2011/2012 fiscal year. The meeting was asked to accept the report. A motion to accept was proposed by Don Richmond and seconded by Andy LaPlante and carried without objection.
Reports were presented by Directors as follows:
Membership – Ted Gemmell
At this time last year, we had a membership of 393. This year to date there are 455 plus to-day’s renewals of 23 for a total of 478. This increase is primarily due to the membership drive we held last fall. This summer, the new board will be reviewing its options on how to continue to increase our membership in the ensuing year.
We are extremely grateful to the Transportation Committee for their assistance in collecting membership fees at the phone desk on Monday, Wednesday and Friday.
Health Care in Innisfil – Dave Cooper
In 1997 The NORTH INNISFIL HEALTH SERVICES (NIHS) advisory group was originally created and was instrumental in bringing medical services to Sandycove. The NIHS is operational today and as members includes Sandycove Acres Ltd. Rod Rice and the Sandycove Home Owners Association Dave Cooper along with Sandycove Acres residents Pat Dryden and Eric Fellows. This group is fully supported by the Home Owners, Sandycove Pharmacy, Innisfil District Association (IDA) and the Alcona Business Association (ABA).
On June 30th, 2011 the Barrie Community Health Centre (BCHC) offices located in the Sandycove Plaza on Lockhart Rd. closed their doors and continued to service their patients in downtown Barrie. Shortly thereafter, and largely due to community concerns, the Innisfil Community Health Committee (ICHC) was formed in August 2011. This Committee is an Innisfil-wide group tasked with the challenge of bringing Primary Healthcare services to the Town of Innisfil. It is chaired by our local Councillor Maria Baier and representing the Sandycove Acres community on the committee are Dave Cooper, Pat Dryden and Rod Rice.
The ICHC meets regularly at Town hall and its minutes are regularly submitted to Council as a matter of record. A number of events have been sponsored and/or initiated by this group such as the Family Physician Residents in training at Toronto East General attended a one day retreat (February) in Innisfil to learn about winter challenges and to speak to the Committee regarding the benefits and needs of locating in Innisfil. A number of Physician recruiting meetings and processes have also been attended in addition to which Sandycove Acres is making the space available in Sandycove for future clinic offices. The ICHC initiated an in-depth study of the general health of the community in January and that has resulted in some focus groups meeting Sandycove residents to determine our needs. This report will be finalized and presented to Council in Fall 2012. All this is being done to shape a direction with which the Committee can speak further to Ministry of Health officials for funding and placements. It is a slow process and having to start over again has taken time.
To wrap up, the whole issue of Community Healthcare is a vital concern in Sandycove. The Home Owners Association has made a commitment to support the on-going efforts to bring Primary Healthcare back into the North Innisfil community. If you have any further questions or would like to volunteer to work on this effort please contact me following the meeting or e-mail me through the web site. (The report was read by Sharon Raycraft in Mr. Cooper’s absence.)
Web Site – Dave Cooper
The Sandycove Acres Home Owners Association Web Site www.scahomeowners.com was introduced in March 2008 and has continued to develop and expand reporting on the many activities of Sandycove Acres. This site is managed and maintained by the Sandycove Acres Home Owners Association for the residents of Sandycove. Space on our web site is also provided to the Sandycove Computer Club and the Barrie Chapter of CARP for an annual fee. We regularly report on:
Current and Special Events which are highlighted monthly
Who we are and our accomplishments
Newsletters and Seminars
Healthcare in Innisfil reports from Town & North Innisfil Committees
Activities – schedules of HUB, SPOKE, WHEEL and the VET’S Club are updated monthly – events of each club are highlighted
Home Owner tips – Tenancies Act, Home Repairs and Selling your House
Archives – Home Fair, Health Fair, Alternative Living Fair, Social Events, Seminars completed and the Annual Christmas lights show.
Emergency Preparedness events and information
Links of interest to Seniors and Residents
The site is regularly visited by/reviewed by
June 2012 (projected)
(This report was not read in its entirety at the meeting but the major items of interest were brought forward by President Bicknell.)
Television – Tim Tyler
As I explained in my Television Report at last year’s Annual General Meeting, Total Cable Service has made significant upgrades to the television network here in Sandy Cove. This has involved significant capital and resource investment by its owner, Dale McEachern. Such upgrades included a new trunk cable and a new power feed, a necessary upgrade as power consumption is increasing. The Digital/High Definition upgrade has been a time-consuming process for two reasons: firstly, the job has to be done properly the first time, and top quality parts and equipment had to be purchased; secondly, the capital required to finance these improvements had to come from the revenues received from the customers who subscribe to Total Cable Service. At the same time Total Cable is fully aware of its responsibility to deliver fairly priced programming and service to Sandy Cove residents, realizing that a number of residents are dealing with quite modest budgets.
The launch of Total Cable’s Digital/High Definition service is finally here with this year’s television subscription renewal. The renewal information that came to our homes included a marked price increase over last year as well as the digital/high definition programming options available to us. Now let me talk about the price increase for the Basic Enhanced TV package as well as the prices established for some of the Digital/High Definition packages.
There are two significant factors behind these increases. First of all, there is the Harmonized Sales Tax (HST). As you know, Total Cable’s programming year runs from June 1 to the following May 31. The HST came into effect on July 1, 2010. But Total Cable had billed us for the year 2010 - 2011 a month earlier and only charged the GST of 5%. Dale McEachern absorbed that tax differential himself for both 2010 – 2011 and 2011 – 2012.
June 1, 2012 is the first year that residents are being asked to pay the full HST. The increase from last year’s $399 to this year’s $474 also includes Dale’s effort to attempt to get caught up financially with the HST hit from the previous two subscription years, which Dale is spreading over a three year period for us. You would never receive such a benefit from any of Rogers, Shaw or Bell.
The second factor is the dramatic increase in programming costs from all three program providers: Rogers, Shaw Communications and, most notably, Bell Media. Bell Media purchased the CTV Network, Astral Media and a large number of specialty channels in June, 2011. At the end of June, 2011, Bell terminated all CTV brand contracts and small, independent distributors like Dale’s Total Cable Service had to sign new contracts under Bell’s terms. This resulted in increases anywhere from 10% to 30%, except in the case of TSN, where the rate was tripled. These new contracts had to be signed by the beginning of September, 2011.
In order to try and provide programming that is affordable for all, Total Cable has joined an organization called the Canadian Cable Standards Alliance (CCSA). It is a united consortium of independent program providers (the old adage – there is strength in numbers) to do battle with the Big Three for fair pricing and flexible television programming packaging options. There is a case coming up before the Canadian Radio and Television Commission involving binding arbitration to settle legal wrangling between Bell Media and Telus/CCSA. The principal issues are fair and equal treatment in the renewal of affiliation agreements and, most importantly, programming flexibility – CCSA is asking for this program packaging flexibility as opposed to being dictated to by Bell Media as to what specific programs each package will contain. The decision binding on both parties will be made on Friday, June 29, 2012.
Dale has nearly 70% of his programming already determined (all contracts with Rogers and Shaw have been signed, sealed and delivered). The other 30% (Bell Media) won’t be known until the CRTC’s decision is handed down on June 29. Once the decision is made, then the programming packages and their pricing will be known. I believe Dale had mentioned in some earlier news release that there will be channel changes from what we currently have (specifically Channels 45 – 51) – you have seen some other channel changes already. Once the total picture is clear, the program channel locations will be determined and then relayed to all Sandy Cove subscribers via Channel 10, Channel 18, the newsletter and the Total Cable website.
I have done some comparisons regarding television packages, prices etc. with Rogers, Shaw Communications and Bell Satellite TV. While it is anything if not a very fine art, I’ve looked at the “standard” digital/high definition package (without including any of the variety of high definition specialty channel packages that each of the providers offers) and not the “unreal” costs attached to those “special introductory offers”. I have found Total Cable’s prices to be very competitive with the entry level packages offered by the Big Three. I found the quality of Total Cable’s program offerings to be somewhere between the entry level offerings (an average of $60 a month) and the advanced level offerings of Rogers, Shaw and Bell (which average out to $80 a month) – and that doesn’t include the “activation fee” or “installation fee” that each of them charges. Of course, on top of all that is what you pay for the various specialty packages that you choose.
We have a very fine cable television system within the park. We have an excellent selection of programming choices to suit most everyone’s taste. Dale and Jeff are available on site and are quick to try and remedy whatever problems occur. You don’t have to press a dozen or more buttons in order to speak to them or call them half-way round the world and not understand a word they say. They return phone calls usually within a day or two and try to get things back up and running as soon as they can. Remember to check out their information channel (Channel 10) as well as their website (www.totalcableservice.com) for all the information you may need. It is a very good product at a very reasonable price and deserves our support. We are very fortunate to have it here in Sandy Cove.
Emergency Preparedness – Sharon Raycraft
In the year since the 2011 Annual General Meeting, your Emergency Preparedness Committee has been busy in its attempts to provide information to the residents about the need to be prepared in case of a serious emergency. This has been done by a few different methods:
1. The Questionnaire that is published in the Newsletter every couple of months, when completed by the resident, provides information that will be made available to the First Responders about residents in need of assistance, be it due to mobility issues, medical issues and even residents living alone. The information collected by the Emergency Preparedness Committee is kept confidential at all times and only the information needed to assist the resident in time of emergency is passed on to the First Responders. At this time there are over 150 Sandycove households registered for this assistance.
2 The Committee had booths at the Health Fair held in November and the Home Fair which was held in April. Many residents stopped to talk with the Committee members and many had questions about what happens in Sandycove when there is an environmental or other type of emergency that might require evacuation. Brochures provided by the Provincial and Federal governments as well as the County of Simcoe were handed out at both events.
3. CPR and defibrillator training was provided free of charge to 12 residents on January 29, 2012 which brings the total of Sandycovers who have been certified in CPR and defibrillator use up to 26. There is a waiting list for the next training session which would normally cost each person a minimum of $100.00. There will also be a ``refresher`` course in the future for those already certified.
4. In the summer of 2011 there were some extremely hot and humid days and with the co-operation of the Spoke and the Wheel as well as Sandycove Acres Ltd and the Homeowners Association, ``cooling centres`` were made available to those residents that did not have air conditioning. The area in the Wheel used as a ``cooling centre`` was the west entrance area, which includes the laundry room. It was noted that there was no air conditioning in this area and at the request of the Emergency Preparedness Committee; air conditioning has been installed for that part of the Wheel. The cooling centres will be available this summer as well.
5. In October of 2011 a meeting was held at the Hub with Cathy Clark, the 911 Co-ordinator for the County of Simcoe, Kerry Woodward of the Red Cross and Randy Smith, Fire Chief of the Innisfil Fire Department and 6 members of the Emergency Preparedness Committee. This meeting was initiated by the EPC as there were many questions about the responsibilities of each of these First Responders should there be a major emergency situation affecting Sandycove Acres. We also wanted to know what was expected of the EPC and the residents should this happen. A lot of new information was taken away from this meeting as well as some guidelines to help us meet our mandate of helping residents to be prepared and to help themselves. The County, Fire Department and Red Cross all conveyed to us that they felt the Emergency Preparedness Committee was on the right track in its endeavours.
6. An inspection of the First Aid kits available in the 3 recreation centres was done and, with the consent of the Wheel committee, new First Aid kits were installed in 3 locations in the Wheel and will now be maintained by Sandycove Acres Ltd (which also maintains the kits in the Hub and the Spoke).
7. On May 11, 2012 the EPC celebrated Emergency Preparedness Day by having the First Responders available for the residents to speak with as well as exhibits provided by the County of Simcoe Emergency Management Team, the Innisfil Fire Department, South Simcoe Police, Red Cross, St. John’s Ambulance and the Barrie Amateur Radio Club. The EPC also provided literature as well as a sample of what a “72 Hour Emergency Kit” should be. A Café provided coffee, tea and water as well as donuts, muffins and sandwiches. Thanks to ladies of the Helping Hands for running the Café. Donations received at the Café were given to the Innisfil Community Church for the Innisfil Food Bank. Approximately 200 people attended this function and took in the displays. This included Innisfil’s Mayor who dropped in. If you visit the SCA Homeowners’ website, you will find a link to the Emergency Preparedness Committee’s page which highlights a number of pictures taken at this event. Our thanks go out to Sandycove Acres Ltd, the Wheel and the Hub for their co-operation in setting up this event.
We are always in need of volunteers. We are always open to hear your concerns and will answer your questions or find answers to your questions whenever we can.
President’s Report – John Bicknell
Once again it’s the time for what has been referred to as “The State of The Union” address but for me it remains the President’s Report.
For the 2011/2012 year, we made one significant change in our organization. That was the assignment of Accessibility Issues as the responsibility of a specific Director, backed up by a sub-committee of interested residents. Ralph Heuvingh agreed to take on this responsibility.
Initial activities have been on two fronts. First, to identify specific needs and then to liaise with Management to see how these items may be able to be integrated into current and future operations and budgets. Secondly, the committee has investigated sources of upgrade grants that may be applicable to Sandycove.
You may wonder why we should be looking at such things – surely Sandycove should pay? There is a very practical reason. If we can get grants, then these costs do NOT get passed along to residents as a rent increase! For both these activities, the initial phase is basically complete and we are starting, in cooperation with Management, to define priorities and look at the implementation steps. If anyone is interested to help out in this area, please contact Ralph.
General Community Issues
We have continued to interact with Sandycove management on both an issue-by-issue basis and in regular formal meetings. In addition to the activities as already reported on by the appropriate Directors, I would like to comment on a few specific issues as follows:
Wheel & Hub Upgrades. Obviously, the upgrade to the Wheel has not progressed as fast as Sandycove had forecast a year ago. Management have advised us that the approval of the Site Plan was not received until the end of April this year. This approval required some minor changes to the detailed design, following which a Building Permit can be applied for. This is being done and as of the end of May was expected to take six to eight weeks. Construction would begin as soon as possible on receipt of the permit. Hopefully this would permit the exterior structure to be finished before the winter months with completion by Spring 2013.
Roads: The following roads are being or will be worked on this year: Recreation Drive, Weeping Willow Court, Hawthorne Drive, Redwood Court, Cherrywood Lane and Main Street. We have also asked for a reconstruction of the traffic island opposite the Wheel so that Weeping Willow at that point would have a more natural and safer curve. This will be considered in the 2013 budget.
Street Lighting: We have carried out a survey of all street lighting in the park and have identified a number of areas that are less than well lit. This has been presented to Sandycove. It includes Mail Box areas. Sandycove are looking into this and will seek to establish some priorities.
Feral Cats: Most of you will be aware of the fact that this is an escalating problem in certain parts of the community and that it is an issue we have been pursuing with Management for some time. You will also be aware that Sandycove have, in the past, been unwilling to take any action due to the numbers of residents who have actively assisted in population growth by feeding and caring for these animals. Because of this they have felt that any action would be thwarted and a waste of time and money. This issue was discussed in depth at our most recent meeting and we indicated that, based on certain incidents during the year, we fear a growing health hazard to both pets and humans. I am pleased to say that management have recently advised us that they are now working with Furry Friends on a plan – including financial support - to deal with the situation. We would continue to urge all residents to stop helping the spread of these animals by feeding etc.
Common Area Weed Control: Again, most of you will be aware that the common areas of the park have been less than weed free since the banning of certain herbicides. This is especially true in respect of dandelions which spread to individual gardens. We are advised that, unfortunately, any effective herbicides for large areas are expensive and require a nearby source of water as they must be watered in. This makes their use impractical. Sandycove drew our attention to the situation in local municipalities where common areas are now dandelion infested for these very reasons. We have suggested that if mowing could start before the seeding stage for dandelions the spread could, at least, be minimized. This will be looked at.
During the year, we have held a number of events:
· The first event of the year was the All-Candidates meeting for the provincial election. This not as well attended as in the past. This may be attributed to the fact that it had to be held on a Saturday afternoon but perhaps a bigger factor is that people were a little “electioned out” by having this after municipal and national elections in a 12 month period.
· In November, we held our Health Fair. We had an excellent set of exhibitors and a great attendance. I think that both residents and exhibitors were happy.
· Next came our annual Christmas Lights competition –prizes donated once again by Sandycove – the standard was again very high. In this context I would like to make special reference to the participation on judging day of the Rotary Candy Express and the Sandycove Singers. The purpose of this, over and above the basic festive occasion, was to gather food donations for needy Innisfil families over the Christmas season. I know that many of you were disappointed that the train did not reach every street as planned. The reason is very simple and is one that reflects extremely highly on the character and spirit of Sandycove Acres. On the North Side alone – which is where the train started – donations were more than twice what had been expected for the whole park! Unfortunately, the physical collection takes time and the clock beat us! My thanks to all who donated and we will try to do better this year if we have the opportunity.
· Our New Year’s Social was well attended as always.
· The annual Home Fair held in April was, as always, a popular and extremely well attended occasion. Although it is not practical to get precise attendance numbers, we feel that this year was likely the highest ever. As always, your ideas to help keep this event fresh and meaningful would be welcome.
· Information Seminars. This year, topics included Crime Stoppers, Funeral Planning, Estate Planning, Gardening and the Canadian Anti-Fraud Centre (Phone Busters). Attendance was somewhat varied – from surprisingly high to unfortunately low. We would welcome your input for the 2012/2013 season starting in the fall we need to know what YOU want to hear.
· TOWN HALL MEETING
For the first time in several years we were able to hold a Town Hall meeting with Mayor Baguley and Councillor Baier as speakers. This was a very informative and interesting meeting. Unfortunately it was not as well attended as we might have hoped but the speakers seemed comfortable and it seems that Sandycove still does better in this respect than Innisfil generally.
· EMERGENCY PREPARDNESS DAY
This has been covered in the Directors Report by Sharon Raycraft but I mention it again here indicative of the thinking of your Executive in bringing you new and relevant events.
· WEB SITE
The Association’s Web Site – www.scahomeowners.com – continues to develop with more information for residents and more links to other sites of interest. Keeping it up to date and relevant requires a considerable effort by our web master Dave Cooper.
Plans for the Coming Year
We are in the initial stages of planning a repeat of this ever-popular event with a date of November 10th. Details will be in the Newsletter and on our web site nearer the time.
In summing up, I would like to take this opportunity to thank all of my fellow Directors for their considerable efforts in planning, organizing and staging these various events. As you may imagine, a tremendous amount of time is required. I would also like to thank those outside the executive who have assisted behind the scenes at the various events; in setting up before the event and cleaning up after, helping with membership registration and working in the kitchen to arrange refreshments. My personal thanks to all concerned.
Election of 2012/2013 Directors
Before temporarily adjourning the meeting for the election, the President thanked outgoing Directors Tim Tyler, Melle Van Strien and Lynne O’Leary for their contributions to the Association.
The Nominating Chairperson – Wayne Whittaker – had prepared a slate of candidates and advised the meeting that he had received a full slate of ten (10) candidates and that it was not therefore necessary to seek nominations from the floor. Wayne pronounced the slate as listed below to be duly elected as Directors.
Cliff Ashdown, John Bicknell, Adele Boulding, Dave Cooper. Ted Gemmell, Ralph Heuvingh, Paul Martel, Pat Norrena, Sharon Raycraft, and Patricia Whittaker.
The meeting then re-convened with the floor being opened to members’ questions which dealt with
(a) Golf Carts – rear-view mirrors, horns, whether operator must be a licensed driver under the Highway Traffic Act;
(b) Feral Cats – involvement of Sandycove Acres Ltd, Furry Friends and follow up by the Homeowners’ Association;
(c) Lack of home and property upkeep by residents in accordance with terms of land lease with Sandycove Acres Ltd.;
(d) A positive comment regarding Total Cable’s services and pricing; and
(e) Lack of doctors in this area and involvement of Sandycove Acres together with Town of Innisfil to actively recruit for SCA.
President Bicknell reminded members that they should put their concerns in writing to Sandycove Acres Ltd with a copy to the Homeowners’ Association.
The President thanked members for attending and the meeting was adjourned at 2:53 p.m.
APPENDIX – FINANCIAL STATEMENT
SANDYCOVE HOMEOWNERS ASSOCIATION
For the period June l, 2011 to May 3l, 2012
Bank (less ck's o/s) $ 1,177.24
Maturity 2015 - $25,000.00
2016 - $ 4,500.00
2017 - $ 4,008.00 $33,508.00
Floats $ 200.00
STATEMENT OF INCOME AND EXPENSES
Memberships $4,740.00 Refreshments $ 859.96
Interest 216.59 Office Supplies 785.99
Wine & Cheese 135.00 Honorariums 300.00
CARP 97.54 P.O. Box Rental 145.77
$5,189.13 Website Net 99.78
Bank Charges 56.10
Income 2011-2012 $5,189.13
STATEMENT OF RETAINED SURPLUS
Retained Surplus May 31, 2011 $31,943.71
Surplus 2011-2012 2,941.53
Retained Surplus May 31, 2012 $34,885.24
“Robert E. Davis”