Blakely Island Maintenance Commission, Inc.

AUGUST 31,2003

Commissioners Present: Cheryl Burkhart, Mark Droppert, John Howieson, Brian Kincaid, Martha Mills, Chris Owings, and Cindy Zech.
Guests: Jim Davis, Facility Manager, and Phyllis Chennault.

President Cheryl Burkhart called the meeting to order at 10:03 A.M. at her Blakely home.

Approval of Minutes
The minutes of the June 28, 2003 Board meeting were approved. The minutes of the July 5, 2003 Board meeting were approved with the addition that Len Warden was present.

Treasurer. Cindy Zech reported that based on the approved 2003 budget, the assessment per lot is $1364. To date, 42 assessments have been received for a checking account balance of $42,259.70 and a maintenance reserve of $128,306.00 in a money market account. The cany over from the 2002 budget was $14,600.00. The July and August receipts and debits were as expected, except for the AED/CPR class, which at 43 participants was larger than expected, resulting in a higher cost. Dick and Beverly Sampson have a new address at P.O. Box 820, Prosser, WA 98335.

Property. Brian Kincaid, no report.
Fire and Waste. Chris Owings, no report.
Roads and Airport. Mark Droppert, no report.

Water. John Howieson reported that the water situation is described in Jim Davis' report (attached). The water committee has had two meetings, and Russ Keyes is chairman. The committee is studying various possible solutions and their cost for water use on Blakely, and presently is trying to establish relevant facts and gather information on costs. There is a difference of opinion about what the state permits to be taken from the lake, which is a critical fact. Harold Bartram provided a 1989 study of water on Blakely Island prepared by Environmental Resources in Bellingham that has information about state law on water use. The lake water belongs to the State of Washington, and it may not matter whether the level of the lake can be raised because the amount of water available under the state permit may not increase.

There was discussion about providing $1000 in the budget for a water consultant if needed. It was moved and seconded to do so

Facility Manager. See the attached Facility Manager's Report for full  details. Jim Davis reported that the control panel at the water treatment plant recently needed repair. Also, one of the chemical feed pumps has failed and the cost of a new one is $700. Jim is researching the market for a good quality pump, possibly with computer controls and other features that would upgrade the system.

Post Office. Jim Davis reported he is still in talks with the USPS, which is not giving out any information on the bids received for mail delivery by boat, and has not made a decision about what to do yet. Calls and letters to USPS and elected officials by BIMC members has improved the situation with the USPS. Please keep contacting until the situation is resolved.

Old Business
Chris Owings reported the 911 protocol sheets are nearly ready. There was discussion about distribution on the island and to emergency personnel.

New Business
Fire Committee. Chris Owings will be the Board liaison for the fire committee and will communicate with John Howieson on the issues that are common to the water and the fire committees. Input will be requested from South Blakely and Seattle Pacific University because they will have the same concerns about fire. The question was asked what South Blakely does to prevent smoking by its members and guests on the upper island. There was discussion about listing all the possible fire issues to be considered by the committee. The fire committee will develop several proposals for the membership to consider.

Planning for Facility Manager Contract for 2005. It is a two-year process to negotiate the facility manager's contract. Cheryl Burkhart requested that Mark Droppert and Brian Kincaid begin a dialogue with Jim Davis about the contract.

Smoke alarms. Members are reminded to check the batteries in their smoke alarms.

Upper island trails. Dirt bikes and 4-wheeled vehicles are damaging the trails off the main roads on the upper island, in particular the power line and water plant roads. Please do not use vehicles on the water plant road unless necessary and please drive vehicles on the upper island roads in a manner that will prevent damage to the roads. Parents, please discuss this problem with your children and guests.

Fire. There have been two uncontrolled and potentially dangerous fires on the plat during the burn ban this summer, as well as an unattended fire in May. We were fortunate that all the fires were found in time to be put out before spreading but each fire could have been a serious problem. Members need to take extra precautions with fires and ashes throughout the year and especially when it is as dry as Blakely has been this summer.

Service valves. Jim Davis reported that several water service valves need replacement and it is a good time to put in a meter setter while the line is already excavated. John Howieson moved that when service valves are replaced, it be done in such a way as to perform flow tests to detect leaks. Mark Droppert seconded. The motion passed with Cheryl Burkhart opposed.

Water meter. Jim Davis requested permission to install a water meter at the BIMC Facility Manager's residence, offering to do so at his expense. Jim reported that he had discussed the matter with Cheryl Burkhart, who asked him not to put a meter at the house until the BIMC membership had a chance to vote on the water proposals at the annual meeting. There was discussion about the issue. Mark Droppert moved to permit Jim Davis to install a meter at the BIMC residence at his own

expense. The motion was seconded and passed with Cheryl Burkhart opposed. The Board will consider reimbursing the cost in the future.

Correspondence Received
Letter from John Reed Hunter re observance of upper island rules
Application for 30-day waiver from Sig Rogich
Application for membership by Don (DL) and Pam Fitzpatrick

Next Meeting
The next meeting will be at 10:00 AM. on January 10, 2004 at Cindy Zech's house in Kirkland.

The meeting adjourned at 11:30 AM. The Board thanks Mark Owings for the delicious freshly baked scones donated to the meeting.

Respectfully submitted,

Martha Mills
BIMC Secretary

Facility Manager's Report
Jim Davis
August 20th, 2003

Water Treatment Plant

The water plant keeps chugging right along, as it approaches its 20th anniversary. Our treated water quality remains excellent. Because of the high humidity and chlorine, we continue to have corrosion related problems. With the extensive re-work a couple of years ago, the life of the flocculation and filtration tank has been greatly extended. Unfortunately, the control mechanisms and pumps are also suffering due to age and corrosion. Our control panel is made up of off-the-shelf relays, switches and controllers. The difficulty lies with diagnosing and locating the problem when it occurs. In July, a glitch caused the plant to enter a fault cycle; it was continually starting and stopping every few minutes. This was a new one for me and a bit of a challenge. After several hours of studying the schematics, I located the cause. The problem was a stuck contact on a switch and was easily repaired. Recently, one of the chemical feed pumps failed and we are currently using our only spare. These pumps are 20 years old. There are now a wide variety of new pumps available. I am researching which of the new models will best suit our needs. The chemical mixing barrels are also cracking due to age and use. I will be replacing these within the next few weeks.

I recently purchased one thousand pounds of aluminum sulfate for the water plant. I used a new supplier in Bellingham. Our old supplier had a better price but because they are in Seattle, they add shipping to get it either to Bellingham or Anacortes. Our cost out the door from the new company was comparable to the Seattle price with the shipping. However, there is added convenience for me, as I can pickup smaller amounts with my vehicle and fly over a few bags at a time.

Horseshoe Lake

The lake water quality has been very good this summer. We are currently withdrawing water from 14 feet below the surface. There haven't been any significant algae blooms and the water PH has been fairly stable. Our lake water level is a different story. Our current level is the lowest we've seen since 1994. If we experience the same pattern as 94, we could be in for some water quality problems once the rain finally begins to fall.

Water Use

4,164,975 gallons of potable water has been processed since June 1st. This is an increase of about 8% over last year. We've pumped a little over 1.5 million gallons on the raw water system to date this season. This use projects out to more than a 25% increase over last year. Considering the warm, dry summer it could have been worse. Our population was a little off this year. Along with the lower occupancy, several members cut back significantly on their lawn watering to help avoid shortages. Danny and Tracy out at North Point ran hundreds of feet of hoses from their raw water system to lessen their use of treated water. Thanks to these folks, we did not run low on water this summer. However, even with conservation, we ran at 100% capacity on several days.

Water Committee

With more development (new homes) on the horizon it is imperative that we address our domestic water supply issues. Our current plant is capable of supplying 500 gallons of water per day to all 160 lots in our plat. The average use per connection in Seattle is less than 200 gallons per day. We have repeatedly shown that our system is more than capable of meeting our domestic water needs. The problem is and has always been the high demands placed on the system to irrigate a few of our properties. I have been in contact with several of our committee members to provide current and historical data. These folks face a difficult mandate to chart a path for the future of our water system.

Postal Contract

As stated in our June notice, we've negotiated for a new contract for more than a year. During that time an increase was approved and finally a second increase was tentatively approved on June 4 2003. On June 5 the offer was withdrawn. We were told that our contract would be canceled, along with half of the mail service to the non-ferry serviced islands. I wrote several letters of complaint to our local representatives and the Post Office. Several of our members and residents of other affected islands wrote letters as well. This correspondence seems to have had an affect. Congressman Rick Larson's office assures me that the reduction in service is no longer being considered. The Anacortes Postmaster has verbally confirmed this. The issue of how we will receive our mail is still undecided. The USPS was supposed to be soliciting bids for water transportation of the mail. When I spoke with the Postmaster last week, he stated that the change to boat transport was just a consideration and not definite. We have offered to continue our contract for two years with only a 45% increase. As of last week, there has been no response to this offer. We continue to receive monthly payments based on the 1984 rate of $20.00 per day.


We hauled a load of crushed glass from the island in early July. We then loaded 30 yards of paper products in another recycle dumpster mid-July. Our material continues to be given to the county and they are paying for the hauling and the barge fees. Another 30 yards of paper, plastic and aluminum will be hauled next month. Please help us by bringing clean, properly sorted items to the BIRD. Don't assume your kids and your guests know the correct procedures. Take time to see that they are properly informed. Current recycling instructions can be found at the BIRD and in your homeowner's manual. April Reed continues to help us at the recycle center. She and we process every item by hand. All of us have received cuts and punctures from broken glass this summer. Please do your best not to break the glass bottles and jars as they are placed in the totes!


I am following up on plans to have the compactor rebuilt. The dealer, 0 K Industrial Refuse Systems, is finalizing a proposal and specification. We are planning to have the work done in mid-November or early December. I will schedule to avoid Thanksgiving and Christmas weeks. While the compactor is gone, refuse receptacles will be provided

at the site. Please try to minimize your waste stream while the compactor is off-island. The time frame should only be about ten days.


Since the paving project was not approved, we need to be aware of the poor condition of some of our roads. Please try to avoid driving off or on the pavement where the edges are cracked and crumbling. If we have a wet winter or freezing occurs, extra caution should be used to avoid heavy loads on the South road.

We will be grading the gravel roads on the South side of the aircraft corridor and the back road between Struck's and Parker's. After we get the existing material smoothed out, two to three inches of crushed gravel will be added to provide a smooth finished surface. This work will be completed in late fall or early spring.

I have had several members report that they were involved in near miss situations on the upper island and in the plat. All of these incidents involved young drivers and in most cases the parents were contacted. Please remind your children and your guests of the speed limit and the BIMC rules. Many of our young folks still seem to be unaware that they are not to be riding around after 9:00 PM.

Fire Hazard

As mentioned previously, we have had one of the driest summers ever on Blakely. There have been wild-land fires on both Cypress and Waldron. We've been lucky! We have had a couple of instances of people seen smoking on the upper island this summer. In both cases it involved someone that was unfamiliar with the upper-island-rules. I have had several other reports of cigarette butts found at the lake and the peak. Please make sure that your children and your guests are briefed on the few, important rules that apply on Blakely.

If you drive a later model vehicle, (mid 80s & newer) chances are good that it will have a catalytic converter as part of the exhaust system. These systems run very hot and can easily ignite tall grass or other tinder that comes in contact with the converter. Please check your vehicles. If you have a catalytic converter or possibly an exhaust system defect, please do not operate your vehicle off the main roads. All the BIMC vehicles cany a ten-pound fire extinguisher. Do you have one in your car? Costco has these at a good price.


The BIMC Trooper is ready for tires. Otherwise, all vehicles are in good condition.

House Improvements

After finally finishing the remodel we started in 1994, Margo and I tackled the 40-year- old drain-field. We discovered that the existing concrete drain line had turned to sand. With no hope of repairing the system we turned to the new technology of infiltrators. Even though we had an existing system, the County requires a licensed designer to inspect the soil and submit a plan for a permit. We were lucky to find Bruce Wiscomb,

of Orcas Excavators, to do our design and application. Bruce was great to work with and charged a fraction of what others had quoted. With the permit in hand, Margo and I did the digging and installation. It's nice to have this job behind us and know we have a reliable system that will easily out last us!

We are now gearing up to start the next project on the house. This work will involve pushing the dining room out a couple of feet and enclosing what is now a breezeway between the house and the guest suite. The enclosure of this space will add much needed space to the home and should help considerably on winter heat-loss. This work will start in mid September.

Facilities Manager Vacation

We have used 6 days of vacation since March 1st. As of September 1st we will have 12 days of vacation coming. We are planning time off in October and November.

Jim Davis