|Blakely Island Maintenance Commission, Inc.|
MINUTES OF THE BIMC ANNUAL MEETING
JULY 5, 2003
BIMC President Cheryl Burkhart called the meeting to order at 9:34 a.m. A quorum of members was present or represented by proxy. Board members present were John Howieson, Brian Kincaid, Martha Mills, and Scoff Shanks. Chris Owings was not present.
Cheryl Burkhart requested a moment of silence to recognize the passing of the following members of our community:
Jean Reents, long time member
George Warden, long time member
Margaret Merges, long time member
Bob Davis, father of Jim Davis
The following new members were introduced to the community:
John and Laurie Davidson Lot 140
Dan Roach and Ellen Roth Lot 49
Approval of 2002 Annual Meeting Minutes
Peter Galli moved that the Annual Meeting Minutes of July 6, 2002 be approved as written. Ben Dole seconded the motion. The motion passed by voice vote with Lance Douglas opposed.
Cheryl Burkhart expressed the thanks of the community to the following members for their contributions to the community in the past year:
John Madden for his time and the materials to publish the free BIMC directory.
Russ Keyes for organizing the Annual Picnic that we all enjoy. The proposal to save money by having members bring their own meat this year was dropped, so BIMC is providing hamburgers and hot dogs.
Deborah Davey, Jan Bridge, and Meredith Keyes for overseeing the sign-in process for this year's meeting.
Donovan Burkhart and Dick and Eve Shanaman, and all the other unsung helpers, for services at the lake, including cleaning the raft, mowing the grass, and weed-eating the area.
Donovan Burkhart for work on the BIMC web site.
Peter Galli for the use of his hangar for this year's annual meeting.
Jim Davis announced that the Post Office is back to six-day service but we need to keep the pressure on in order to keep our mail service
Cheryl Burkhart stated that the Facility Manager is increasingly called on to interfere in private matters between members. The Facility Manager is not a police officer. If you want law enforcement, you need to call the county sheriffs office. Otherwise, please contact your neighbor yourself
Detailed commissioner's reports are contained in the annual meeting packets sent to each member. Each commissioner was invited to add any additional comments.
Brian Kincaid, Property Manager. Brian expressed his thanks for the good job that Jim and Margo Davis do for the whole community. A round of applause followed for Jim and Margo.
Scott Shanks, Roads and Airport. A seal coat for the runway is planned for 2005. Thanks to everyone for not crossing the runway, that behavior is greatly reduced. A road improvement project is planned for this fall as a capital item. Lakeside will do the paving and can also do driveway paving at the same time for members at your own expense if you arrange it with them. Scoff mentioned that speed humps were suggested for the south side road but the idea was discarded after discussion among the board. Wally Weller pointed out that vehicles cuffing corners are degrading the shoulder of the road; he recommended that rocks or something similar be placed at the corners to prevent the problem.
John Howieson, Water. The Facility Manager's report details the water situation. In July and August 2002, we used 2.9 million gallons of water, which divided by 60 days is 68,000 gallons per day. Our capacity is 80,000 gallons per day. In 2002, we used 20% more water than in 2001. We are nearing the limit of our system and will have to curtail use if the present rate of increase continues.
One thing each member can to do prevent leaks is to turn off the main connection at the road when you are not on the island to prevent damage to your house. The most common cause of leaks is at the washing machine; insurance companies recommend replacing the hoses every 5 years. We have had mild winters lately but a freeze can still happen. There is a handout on the table prepared by Jim Davis that explains how to winterize your house.
There followed a discussion about the water system that included these points:
- Five systems are using treated water for irrigation.
- Some irrigation systems can easily be converted to the irrigation system, some cannot. There is no means to force a conversion.
- Irrigators have used more than half of our domestic water supply in a day.
- If treated water were not used for irrigation, our domestic system would have more than enough water to serve the entire plat
- If we reach the capacity of the system, then it's bad and very expensive to solve. - 50,000 gallons per day should be enough for a community of this size.
- Once disinfectant is in the water tank, it has to stay there for 17 hours to do the job of killing bacteria, etc.
- To maintain quality, we like to keep the tank 50% fill. The pump comes on every time the tank drops 25%, the pump produces 62 gallons per minute.
- If we have two 120% days, we are out of water.
- If we need to increase capacity, it will cost $350,000 to $500,000.
Nancy Chapman asked if it is possible for the Board to come up with possible solutions in the next year. Cheryl Burkhart said the Board is proposing a moratorium on new irrigation systems on domestic water.
Cheryl Burkhart, Treasurer. The budget is included in the meeting packet. The carryover this year is $14,600. Next year we will have a compacter expense of $7500 for a complete rebuild. This is a significant saving over the cost of a new compacter. The maintenance reserve is $101,232 this year, next year it will be $128,306.
Facility Manager's Report
Jim Davis's fill report is included in the meeting packet. In addition, Jim commented on the following areas:
Pump house dock. Fishing lines are tangled up under the dock. Please do not use the dock for fishing because we don't want fish guts in the water intake. Also, the dock is slippery. Jim will be posting a sign to stay off the dock. Donovan Burkhart said that in 1965 the BIMC membership passed a resolution that members stay off the pump house dock.
Water and Fire. In June, water use was up 33%. The lake level is low this year; it is now almost as low as it was at the end of last summer. Logging may shut down for the summer because the upper island is so dry. The burn ban will soon go into effect. Beach fires must be no larger than 2 feet across. A recent beach fire did get out of control.
Water use. John Howieson said that the national domestic water use per household is 350 gallons per day. Jim Davis has a portable water meter you can hook up to your faucet to find out how much you are actually using. Sprinklers use 200 - 400 gallons per hour. Sprinkling is more efficient in the morning; you can lose up to SOOo of the water from evaporation during the heat of the day. Leroy Hubbard said that SPU uses 100 gallons per day per person. Jim Davis said that the BIMC water system was designed for this development and even if all the lots were developed, the system would be adequate. The problem is the increase of water use for irrigation.
Jim Davis reported that this is the first year that there have been no leaks in the BIMC part of the water system. There was discussion about requiring members to turn off their water at the street when they leave. On Center Island, there is a $500 fine if water is not turned off in the winter. John Howieson reports that one development on Orcas requires water meters just to locate leaks, installing a water meter at your home would cost $350, and he plans to install one at his house. Jim Davis says that a water line can leak 40 gallons per minute and there are 1440 minutes in a day.
Water Turn-off Handles. Wally Weller has a friend on Orcas who makes re-bar T-handles to turn off water at the street. The cost is $15 for an order of 30 or more, $20 for less than 30. See Wally if you are interested.
Paving. This summer, 3 inches of crushed rock was added on the road from the O'Neils to the Strucks. The additional layer will make a tighter surface and will be coated to hold dust down.
Post Office. Last week the Anacortes Postmaster told Jim that there would be no reduction in service, various elected officials have been calling him, and no bids have been received yet to deliver the mail by boat. The Marina is concerned about more traffic and no revenue. Jim is hoping that whatever happens, BIMC will still be taking the mail to the present boxes. BC Crowley reported that he has talked to the Postmaster who expected to put metal mailboxes at the end of the dock and have the captain of the boat sort the mail. (Laughter) BC says the Marina will cooperate whether delivery is by plane or boat, but he expects BIMC to handle the mail once it arrives.
Jim Davis explained that since 1984, there has been no increase in BIMC's charge to the Post Office to sort and handle the mail. Last year, BIMC asked for a100% increase, the P.O. said 30%, we agreed to 60%, and then the P.O. reneged in June one day after the local Anacortes postmaster told Jim the contract had been signed. The P.O. pays $75,000/year to Methow Air to deliver mail to the non-ferry islands. Decatur is also writing letters. Decatur has several homeowner's associations and each one does not want the others using their dock, so they have told the P.O. a mail boat would have to make four stops instead of one at the airport. Since 1984, BIMC has been receiving $6240 per year from the P.O. The new contract was for $11,030 per year until the P.O. backed out. One major problem of the change in mail service is that the Anacortes P.O. would handle all mail forwarding, and there have been many problems with their performance in the past. If we handle the mail on Blakely, BIMC can do a better job for members. Also, under a changed system, no packages could be sent from Blakely that weigh more than 16 oz.
It was decided to continue to keep everyone informed and to work with BC on the P.O. issue. BIMC will continue to press for increased pay for the work provided for the P.O. It takes about 2.5 hours/day to sort and prepare the mail and the contract provides $20/day. The Board will decide the issue as it evolves. The budget will remain at the old amount of payment.
Scott Burkhart thanked Jim for his well written report and moved to accept the report. Ed O'Neill seconded the motion, which passed by acclamation. Deb Davey requested that Jim be allowed to finish his report.
Insurance. Jim added to his written report that Swanburg & Judkins Insurance has done a really goodjob. This year we have better coverage with higher-rated companies for less money. Although some of our coverage is with U.S. Specialty, which is not admitted in Washington, the company has a AAA rating.
Seattle Pacific University Report - Leroy Hubbard
SPU has an oceanography course this summer, as well as the astronomy course, which set up at the Marina last night. Dr. Tim Nelson, the new Blakely Island director, first came to Blakely as a student. He is also a certified rescue diver.
The San Juan Preservation Trust recently had a walking tour of Blakely; Blakely is their largest conservation easement.
Upper Island and Marina - B.C. Crowley
The Marina and the USPS issue. The Marina will work with BIMC to resolve our current
negotiations with the USPS.
DSL. Contributions were requested by e-mail for this service. It turns out that we do not need to pay for it, and the checks will be destroyed. Call CenturyTel or Rock Island to get connected, the latter is probably faster.
Smoking. There is very high fire danger on the upper island right now, do not let anyone you see smoking up there continue to smoke. A fire extinguisher in your car is a good safety precaution.
Trees. Three thousand more trees were planted this year.
Proposed change to By-laws regarding building permit fees. The proposal is to require that "Members shall observe all state and local building regulations pertaining to new constructions and to modifications of existing structures. Any construction requiring a San Juan County Building Permit must be approved by the Board of Governors in accordance with the BICs. The purpose of this proposal is to eliminate a flawed fee system and find road repair as part of our infrastructure expense. A request was made for a motion to adopt the proposed change to the by-laws. Nancy Chapman so moved and Ben Dole seconded. There was no discussion. The motion passed without dissent.
Plane stop phone. This costs $500-550 per year because it is a commercial use phone rather than residential. Wally Weller asked if the line could be connected to the hangars to get the
cheaper rate but then there would be a problem of access for use. There was discussion about the amount of use of the phone: several members use it, as well as contractors and others who come to the island. It was the general consensus to keep the phone for community use.
No additional irrigation hookups to the domestic treated water system. Cheryl Burkhart reported that the treated domestic use water system was not developed with the capacity to handle the amount of irrigation use that is now present on Blakely; the latter can use up to half of the treated water supply. It is proposed to have a moratorium on new irrigation hookups to the treated domestic water system. Mary Ellen Hogle so moved, Dick Shanaman seconded. Discussion followed.
Harold Bartram stated that the water supply is more important than the roads. If we need to plan to overhaul the water system to make it fit our present needs, we need to plan for that in the budget, so we should postpone the road project until the water situation is resolved, including whether to provide irrigation water for everyone on the plat. Also, we need fire protection on the upper island. Surplus 4x4 fire trucks from the Forest Service are $6,000-l0,000 each and we should have three: one on the plat, one at the first lake, and one at Thatcher.
Cheryl Burkhart noted that Ken Parker had passed out fliers with ideas for improved firefighting response. Also, we have no professional fire fighters on the island.
Charlie Mills called the question, which passed with many ayes and one opposed. The motion called was to permit no additional hookups to the domestic treated water system for irrigation. The motion passed with all ayes and no nays.
Karl Leaverton moved that all built-in irrigation systems be required to be off the treated water system within 36 months. Dick Sutton seconded. Discussion followed. Harold Bartram said that now is a good time to discuss the entire system and consider alternative solutions. Pam Roats stated that it costs $5,000-l0,000 to connect to the irrigation system. Mark Droppert opposed an incremental approach and proposed that we find a comprehensive solution. Russ Keyes said a previous board set aside the finds to switch Taggares Northpoint from the BIMC treated water system to the Taggares irrigation system but it didn't happen. The motion was voted on and the opposed votes were the majority.
Pete Galli moved that BIMC form a committee to study, plan, and report within one year on a comprehensive plan for all the water system needs on the island, including irrigation and fire. Beth Droppert seconded the motion. Jim Davis pointed out that we all pay for the irrigation system regardless of whether we use it. Ben Dole requested that the committee develop proposed solutions and present the information to members for their opinions so that the membership can make a final decision at the next annual meeting.
Nancy Chapman called the question. By voice vote, there were many ayes and no nays on the motion, so the motion to form a committee carried.
Dick Demers asked a point of information about fire protection, as follows: San Juan County will respond to a fire, they have a fireboat, they did put out a fire on Blakely 20 years ago. Jim Davis stated that the county has recently said they won't do that. The county does have designated trained firefighters on the islands. DNR will direct people to a fire and has a
Cheryl Burkhart asked John Howieson to be the Board liaison for the water system committee. Anyone else interested in serving on the committee should contact John.
BC Crowley moved to amend the budgeted income to the amount of our current USPS contract because our negotiated increase has been put on hold. The motion was seconded. Charlie Mills moved to accept the operating budget. Bob Foster seconded the motion. No discussion was offered. The motion passed by voice vote with no nays.
Cheryl Burkhart noted that the capital budget includes $6,000 to improve the Facility Manager's house. Pete Galli moved to accept the capital budget and Nancy Chapman seconded the motion. The motion passed by voice vote with no nays.
Road Improvement Project
This item is budgeted at $85,000. Jim Davis explained the south road from Warden's to Leslie's needs the most improvement. The next area requiring improvement is the east side of the runway, which is coming apart on the edges. After that, the road around the south end of the runway needs to have the shoulders enlarged to protect the edge. The cost would be $40,000-85,000.
Harold Bartram stated the road is not as big a problem as the water system. Discussion followed concerning whether the road can make it for another year. Jim Davis said that depends on the weather. There are no big projects coming up at the end of the south road that he knows about. The road project is scheduled for this year so that we do not have to do all the roads at the same time.
Nancy Chapman moved that discussion of the road improvement be delayed for one year.
Pam Roats seconded the motion. The question was called and passed by voice vote with no nays. The motion was voted on by voice, the outcome was unclear, so the motion was voted by hand and counted, with the ayes carrying the motion.
Len Warden thanked the nominating committee for its work. Cindy Zech and Mark Droppert have agreed to be nominated for membership on the Board. By unanimous voice vote, they were elected to the BIMC Board of Governors.
Scott Shanks was thanked for his three years of service on the Board. A round of applause in appreciation followed for Scoff's many services.
For the Good of the Order
Speeding and kids. Nancy Chapman thanked the Board and Jim and Margo for dealing with this issue in a non-emotional and rational manner this past year. Deb Davey pointed out that it is not just kids but also adults who speed.
Pete Galli moved for a rule that no ATVs be driven after 9:00 p.m. The motion was seconded. Discussion followed. Wally Weller pointed out that any kid problem is an adult/parent problem. John Madden suggested that the parents and kids meet to discuss the problem and solutions. The motion was voted on: ayes - 4 or 5, nays - many. The motion did not pass. Pete Galli - how about 9:30? Big laugh.
Wally Weller suggested that fines and liens would eventually have an effect. Elaine Adams shared her perspective on the sorrow of losing a child in an accident. Cheryl Burkhart asked for a volunteer to organize a parents meeting to discuss the issues and solutions. John Madden agreed to do so.
AED training. Deb Davey urged members to attend the training on the AED machine, which does all the work for you. Kids are also welcome. The machine is on the seat of the fire truck at all times and above the dryer at the Facility Manager's house.
The next Board meeting will be in 15 minutes.
The dumpster is in position for items to be disposed of Please remember NOT to put in construction debris and hazardous waste. It was suggested that the web page include a place for members to list unwanted items that other members might want, i.e. a swap meet or garage sale.
The annual meeting was adjourned at 12:20 p.m.
Attachment: Facility Manager's Report
BIMC Facilities Manager's
Annual Report 2002/2003
Pump house and intakes:
This equipment gets thousands of hours of use each year. Our preventative maintenance program at the pump house is going great. We have not had any problems with our pumps or controls for the past several years. The plumbing and valves are all tight and leak-free. The pump house dock supports our intake lines and screens. The dock itself is showing signs of age and long-term exposure to the elements. It is narrow, slippery and unstable. This is an umportant part of our water system infrastructure. Please do not use this facility for recreational purposes.
Water Treatment Plant:
Our last twelve months of treated water samples have all tested negative for coliforms. Additionally, a recent test was performed for thirty-five inorganic chemicals. This included analysis for things such as: arsenic, barium, mercury, nitrite, nitrate, lead and copper. All 35 items tested, were well within the standards set by the EPA for drinking water. We are very fortunate to have such a pristine watershed.
Our water treatment plant and support equipment have functioned very well this year. This facility gets a real workout during the summer months. To keep up with demand, we ran twenty-four hours a day during peak usage. The majority of the equipment is now 19 years old. The company that built the system (now out of business) designed it for a twenty-year life expectancy. However, the tank repairs and coating we did two years ago are holding up well. I am able to deal with small problems associated with corroded electrical controls and equipment as they crop up. Our filtered water is meeting all EPA and Department of Health requirements. If we put a stop to increasing demand on this system, I believe we can operate for another five to ten years with our current plant.
Our water treatment building is in good shape. I rebuilt the roof structure and installed a new roof last year. The building was also painted and new gutters were installed
Water Distribution System:
I recently drained and pressure washed both of our domestic reservoirs. Flushing our lines and cleaning and inspecting the reservoir linings are part of our yearly maintenance.
We have had only a few problems with our domestic water distribution lines this year. Only one main break required repair. I rebuilt several fire hydrants, replaced three valve pickings and installed a few new service valves. There have been several leaks in house service lines on undividual lots. These leaks are not the responsibility of BIMC but can cause shortages in our system. I want to stress, again, the importance of members turning their water off at the street when they leave the island!
Nearly 5.2 million gallons of water was processed last summer (May thu September). This was an increase of l40o over 2001 figures. Our usage went up by an alarming 20%, during the critical months of July and August. In those two months, we processed more than 2.9 million gallons. The plant operated right at our system capacity, during much of that time. Unfortunately, we are nearly back to the situation we saw in the late 90s before the construction of the raw water irrigation system. Additional increases will result in community wide shortages, low system pressure, and poor water quality or, in the worst case, no water available for domestic or fire fighting use. The only way to maintain continued viability of our current water plant is to further restrict or eliminate irrigation demands on the domestic system. The Board is working on this issue and it will be discussed at the July meeting. The numbers speak for themselves. We must act now to avoid a crisis.
The issue isn't just our limited ability to process domestic water. We also have a finite source. I noted recently that the Horseshoe Lake is about one inch below the spillway. The norm for this time of year is several inches above the spillway. A dry spring and summer may result in water shortages at the lake. Water quality is significantly affected if the lake level drops more than two feet. I will be monitoring the lake level closely this summer.
Please continue to conserve, particularly on weekends and holidays. Our current irrigation restrictions from our domestic water system remain in fill effect. Please see restrictions enclosed.
Raw Water Irrigation System:
There have been no new connections made to the irrigation system this year. Please contact a Board member or me if you would like to connect to this system. We had one main leak this year. I replaced the faulty section and the system is energized and ready for use. We pumped about 1.5 million gallons of water for the irrigation system last summer.
Terry, Margo and I all attended water system operations classes this year. Margo and I have completed the required class credits necessary to maintain our operators licenses through the end of this year. Teny will be completing his required training in September. The new period begins next January. We will each need 30 hours of training during the next three years.
I attended a four-day fire fighting class in Friday Harbor last June. While I have a good working knowledge of all aspects of our fire fighting equipment, I had never had any actual training on fire fighting. I learned a lot of valuable information and if we have a fire I'll be better prepared.
Our runway continues to be the envy of the San Juans. The pavement and seal coating is holding up very well with no cracks or defects evident. To maintain the surface, we will likely need to have the coating renewed in 2005. The grass parking area is anything but smooth. Please use extreme caution while taxiing in the parking area and to/from the runway.
The South road and South end airport loop road are in bad condition. The road on the east side of the runway is also unraveling in places. It is comprised of several different surfaces and several patches. I contacted Lakeside Industries and have a bid to repave these road surfaces. Their bid is in the amount of $75,190 plus tax for 60,150 square feet of roadway. We will need to purchase gravel to "feather' in the new, thicker, road edge. There are adequate reserves in our maintenance find to pay for the project this summer. I am recommending a budget of $85,000 for this item, all paid from reserves. This will be discussed at the July meeting.
We will be bringing over about 80 yards of gravel for the roads on the South side of the airplane corridor and the road behind lots 6 8-76.
The edges of the runway, taxiway and many of the roads have been sprayed with Round-Up to kill back grass and weeds. I recently patched a pothole starting in the taxiway. We've undertaken a major tree/shrub trimming effort along our platted roads. The growth over the years has effectively blocked the view of oncoming traffic in several areas. Margo and I will continue with this project until the burn ban starts this summer.
We continue to have near misses on our roads. Please keep in mind that some of our drivers are young and inexperienced. I saw one youngster last summer go left instead of right when he met oncoming traffic on his four wheeler. There are still many blind corners and most of our roads are only one lane wide. Please slow down. If you have an appointment to catch a ride or a dinner date, leave early and enjoy a leisurely drive. An accident sooner or later is inevitable. Lower velocity equals less injury/damage.
I misspoke (miscounted) when I said 2002 would be the last year for monitoring the Driftwood Beach project. 2003 will, in fact, be the last year. The monitoring continues to show that this project was/is a great success. The material is staying in place and acting as a buffer to maintain our beach and uplands property. The shrubs, trees and grasses that were planted are now well established.
We are still in negotiation with the USPS for a new contract. The old contract was written at the end of 1984. We are operating under that contract, including the 1984 rate. Present negotiations started over a year ago. As of this writing, USPS has recently offered a 45% increase. We have rejected this as it represents only about half the rate of inflation since 1984. I will place a notice in the P.O. when this is finally resolved.
I was saddened to receive a report of items and cash stolen from two homes this year. These thefts are a great loss to us all. Part of the special atmosphere here on Blakely has been the feeling that we (and our stuff) are safe from the hazards we must deal with in the real world. Unfortunately, I must now recommend that all members lock their homes when leaving the island.
Our fire fighting capabilities have been improved this year. We now carry two types of foam on the fire truck. The new material is class A foam for structure and wild land fires. The class A foam can penetrate and smother a fire where water alone might not be effective. We still have the AFFF foam for liquid fueled fires (gas, oil, etc.). I will try to step up our training this summer so we will all become familiar with this equipment.
An AED (Automatic External Defibrillator) Class will be held on July 6~ at about 10:00 AN/I up in one of the hangers. The class only takes a couple of hours. You will learn lifesaving CPR, Heimlich and how to use the AED. Each participant will receive a CPR/AED card after the class. There will be a sign-up sheet in the Post Office.
Our TV system was unchanged this year. All areas of the plat have access to the system. It continues to be a challenge to keep the many amplifiers tuned for maximum performance. Please let me know if you are having problems with the system. The reception is far from perfect but we will continue to work to get the best signal to $$$ ratio possible.
The compactor is now more than ten years old. We are having some wear related problems with the compacting ram. The manufacturer recommends a complete tear down to replace the worn parts and restore new specifications. They can also remove corrosion and epoxy coat the internal parts of the unit. The cost of this should run about $7,500 or about 1/3rd the cost of a new unit. This will show as a line item on our capital improvement budget.
Members are doing a better job sorting their recycle materials. Thank You!! However, a small percentage of materials are still contaminated and/or placed in the wrong bins. If you are unfamiliar with our procedures or just need a refresher, please take one of the instruction sheets at the BIRD and give it a look. We are proud of this facility and would like to see it as cost effective as possible.
One additional person is needed to work with April at the BIRD this summer. The commitment is only a few hours, one day per week. Applicants must be 18 years or older and be capable of lifting up to 70 pounds. Please call me if you are interested.
Clean-up dumpsters are scheduled for the Fourth of July, Labor Day and next Memorial Day weekends. The dumpsters will be open to receive material starting the afternoon of the day before the holiday weekend. PLEASE, DO NOT open the dumpster or bring items before that time. A few people have been abusing this service. Please do not dump any construction debris, paint or hazardous materials in the dumpsters or compactor. Car batteries go to the recycle center. Rolls of carpet and pad are too bulky and take up too much room in the dumpster. When you arrange to replace carpet, please have the installer remove your old
carpet and pad. If you have any questions about an item please contact Chris Owings or myself
Facilities Manager's House:
The old metal storage shed at the top of the driveway was becoming an eyesore. It had rusted through in several locations including the roof The shed had been installed on a concrete slap seven feet by ten feet. We removed the old building and extended the slab to ten by ten. I formed up and poured a concrete wall to retain the bank. A new ten by ten storage building was then built on the site. The new building matches the house and looks great. Some of the materials were left over from previous jobs or dumpster scraps. Margo and I did all the work so the overall cost was minimal.
Our forty-two year old septic system started giving us trouble towards the end of last summer. The drain field wasn't. The existing drain line consisted of about sixty one-foot concrete tiles laid in beach gravel. The old concrete had turned more or less to sand and the actual line was no more. I created a temporary drain field with a short piece of perforated pipe and some gavel. Since this problem was not budgeted, I went looking for a long-term fix at a bargain price. With a lot of shopping, I found a licensed designer that charged only $275 (some were charging $2500). County permit in hand, I utilized our wholesale accounts to purchase the needed materials. In April, Margo and I installed two new sixty-foot "Infiltrator drain fields. The minimum bid for a contractor to do this work was $5,800. We did the job for around $1000 and within the house maintenance budget. The tank will be pumped soon to facilitate the final hookup of the new lines. This system is a permanent fix and will easily last more than fifty years.
We finally finished Margo's kitchen. The cabinets are all repainted and updated with new hardware and shelving.
Our next project at the house will be to enclose the breezeway. This will provide a great deal of additional living space and save on heat loss during the winter months. The project involves removing the existing deck and building a solid floor structure in its place. A new wall will be built at the end of the carport and glass doors will be installed on the front. The interior walls will be covered with wood and the floor will be ceramic tile for long wear and easy maintenance. Margo and I will be doing all the work. This expense will be a line item in the capitol improvement budget.
Post Office, Fire Hail & Shop:
There have been no defects or problems with this building. As preventative maintenance, I applied a new coating of reflective sealer to the roof last summer. Over half of this roof is quite old but since I started applying the sealer, there have been no leaks.
We will be painting the trim on this building this summer. Otherwise, the building and equipment are holding up well.
In November 2002, three thousand triploid (sterile) rainbow trout in the 8 to 9 range were planted. We planted the same number/size in 2000. For the most part, you should see two size ranges of fish this season. I am hopeful that the year 2000 fish will have reached around 16 to 18 . These should be a lot of fin. The fish from the recent plant will be plentiful and probably between 10 and 12 . I haven't had a lot of feedback on fishing this spring but there should be plenty of action. The catch book is still in the Post Office; please report your fishing experience. Remember to use barbless hooks. Good luck!
There will be no fish plant this year. Depending on reports from this summer, the next plant will be in 2004.
The new grass in the boat area is doing well. Unfortunately, one of the canoe rack supports is broken and needs replacement. The newly purchased "Walker Bay boat was well received last summer. We would still like to smooth out the boat launch ramp area. Removing the rocks and creating a smooth launch ramp will help to reduce damage to the boats. I think we will have a little money left for these improvements. We will try to put together a work party in the late summer to do this work.
Our Trooper developed a significant oil leak recently. Though the repair was complicated by poor access (lots of disassembly), I obtained the parts and was able to fix the problem on- island. In addition to our regular maintenance, I replaced batteries in the fire truck, service truck and the tractor. All of our vehicles are in good running order.
Our insurance has been renewed with Swanberg & Judkins Insurance in Friday Harbor. I, again, solicited quotes from three brokers. Only Swanberg was able to place the coverage. All policies are with the same carriers as last year. There was a small increase in premium but well within what we expected. Our current policies are outlined below. If you have any specific question or concern please give me a call. Steve Swanberg has been very professional in our dealings. If you are shopping for insurance or find you are having difficulty finding coverage, I recommend you give Steve a call.
General liability (Safeco package) $1,000,000 (includes boats at the lake, excludes airport)
Auto liability, under insured motorists and medical payments (Safeco package) 4 vehicles
Auto physical damage (Safeco package) (comp. only, no collision) $100 deductible
Property (buildings and contents) (Safeco package) $507,000 total $1,000 deductible
Mobile Equipment (tractor and compactor) (Safeco package) $31,000 total $500 deductible
Liability umbrella (Safeco) (applies to general and auto liability) $3,000,000
Airport liability (US Specialty) $3,000,000 (same company for last several years)
Directors and Officers liability (CNA) $3,000,000
Margo & Jim
This was another tough year for our family. After losing my mother last year in April, my father was diagnosed with cancer last December. We lost him in February. Thankfully, Dad and I had a wonderful, cross-country flying trip to Oshkosh last July. There were nearly ten thousand airplanes attending and dad won an award for his vintage Ercoupe! It was a wonderful father-son experience and has given me many memories to cherish.
Margo and I passed a small milestone in March with the completion often years with BIMC. Our current contract goes through February of 2005. We feel blessed to be living and serving on Blakely. Many thanks to those who have helped us through the trying times this year.