Blakely Island Maintenance Commission, Inc.

Minutes of July 7, 2007 BIMC Annual Membership Meeting

A meeting of the general membership of the Blakely Island Maintenance Commission was held on July 7, 2007 in the Weller’s hanger.

John Madden President & Fire
Jane Loura Treasurer
Ben Dole Water
Ellen Roth BCF and Vice President
Anne Malmo Secretary
Jeff Fegert Roads
Jim Davis Facilities Manager

Meeting called to order at 9:30 AM.

The meeting was called to order by President John Madden. There was a moment of silence to remember our members who have passed away in the last year. Ida Beebe, Doug Moreton and Joan Johnson.

New members Glen and Louise Tompkins (lot 71) and Ned and Lora McCall (lot 99) were introduced and welcomed.

A huge thank you was given to the volunteers who produce our annual meeting. Deb Davey, Cindy Zech, Cheryl Burkhart and Jan Bridge. Kerry Demers made name tags for our membership. Jim and Margo Davis (and family) did all of the set up work, provided coffee, food and organizational skills. Another thank you to Deb Davey who will hold a “brush up” AED and CPR class on Sunday morning following the fire truck training provided by Jim Davis. Thank you to Wally and Joanne Weller for the use of their hanger.

Don Burkhart maintains our web-site. Laurie Davidson has a developed a new Blakely communication arena at Thank you too to John Madden and AAA Printing for once again donating the Membership Directory. Next year John may sell advertising to help defray the cost of the directory.

Secretary: 9:35 AM
Minutes of the 2006 Annual meeting were approved. Len Warden made the motion, Ed O’Neil seconded the motion. Motion approved unanimously.

Roads: 9:36 AM
Jeff Fegert reported previously approved road maintenance has been completed. A large broom was brought in to clear away accumulated dirt and vegetation from our roads. The tree canopy overhanging our roads is depositing debris on the roads. A load of gravel was placed at the turn around at Driftwood Beach. Our roads’ poor quality sub-base is deteriorating. Rotted stumps under the surface have produced sink holes. Jeff also asked

that we not drive on and off the shoulders of the road. Please e-mail Jeff with questions and comments on the roads.

Fire and Waste: 9:43 AM

Water: 9:53 AM
Water Commissioner Ben Dole has submitted the water report to the State of Washington. The equivalent of 200 users has been applied for. The state will want us to complete the remaining required items before they grant the additional hook ups. Jim Davis is implementing the water system changes required. The water meters have been very instrumental in finding leaks in our aging system. Monitoring and maintaining the water system is easier with the new reservoir and the water meters.

Treasurer: 9:57 AM
Jane Loura reported that the transfer of the books to our book keeper Cheryl Burkhart went very well. We have new systems in place and the budget is easy to read. Jane referred us to the budget presented in the annual meeting packet. Don Burkhart made a motion that the budget be accepted as presented. Karl Leaverton seconded the motion. The motion passed unanimously. Jane also noted that assessments are due by September 15, 2007. This year there will be no rebilling. Late notices, including fees will be sent after the September 15th date. If a member needs to work out a financing program call (206 860 3606 home) or e-mail Jane.

Facilities Manager: 10:03 AM
Jim Davis has researched our insurance changes following the purchase of the fire truck. We are now ensuring our truck as mobile equipment. The full facilities report is in the annual meeting packet.

Donna Linn wanted clarification regarding the width of the roads on either side of the corridor. A brief discussion followed.

Upper Island Report: 10:08 AM

BC Crowley reported that the upper island and the roads are a mess. Damage from the series of winter storms caused significant blow downs and debris. BC reminds us that the upper island will turn to fire tinder very soon. Please, absolutely no smoking on the upper island. No speeding on the upper island. BC thanked all of the people who worked on clearing the upper island roads. It was a huge project.

Leroy Hubbert from Seattle Pacific University introduced a new faculty member.

Emergency Equipment 10:15 AM

Community Projects: 10:19 AM
Lakes: John Madden thanked the members who repaired the swim dock at the first lake. DL Fitzpatrick, Paul Malmo, Jim Davis, Dan Roach and John Madden raised the dock platform about 18 inches. The dock was drying by April this year. Remember, no dogs at the swim beach, no boats at the swim beach. Be responsible owners of your pet. Do not let the dogs chase the horse or deer.
Boats: Ed O’Neill repaired all of the boats last year, and built a rack for paddles and oars. We are currently missing one oar. One paddle boat needs some repair work on a “clunking” noise. We also have a new Walker Bay boat.

Tent Policy: 10:25 AM
John Madden opened the discussion on the proposed tent policy. Anne Malmo reported that there was near total apathy on the subject. After a brief discussion Dan O’ Brien moved, and Ed O’Neill seconded that the word “must” be substituted for “should” in the last line. Tents must have BIMC board approval prior to installation. Almost all in favor, one no. Ron Griffin motioned that tents be in place for one year only. Stephanie Warden seconded the motion. Almost all in favor, 2 no. The revised tent policy will be attached to these minutes.

Capital Plan: 10:30 AM
General discussion on roads followed. Dan O’Brien suggested that the roads be returned to the San Juan County. Judy Tompkins reminded members that the county would then be able to control our roads, licensing etc. Jim Davis reminded the membership that in the past BIMC had turned the roads to the county, and then re-acquired them. The subject was dropped.

Recess: 11:05 AM
During the break the Blakely Community Facility held a meeting.
Reconvene: 11:48 AM
Thank you to Mark Droppert for chairing the BCF meeting.

Discussion of the total assessment followed. The budget as approved brings the base assessment for 2007-2008 to $1592. With capital assessments added the total we are spending will add another $893.00 bringing the total to $2485. If we follow our long range capital plan the charge only needs to be $750.00 leaving an assessment of $2342. Discussion followed with Donovan Burkhart pointing out that we should not be taking from our reserves but that we should pay as we go. Don Burkhart moved that we include the $893.00 capital assessment in our annual assessment bringing the total to $2485. Nancy Chapman seconded the motion. A voice vote was indeterminate. A show of ballots and proxy votes showed 16 opposed votes. The motion passed.

Roads: 11:55 AM
Jeff Fegert, our Road Commissioner, looked for guidance from the community on road repair to be completed during the winter of 2008-2009. Bids need to be obtained prior to next year’s annual meeting and budget establishment. Last year a community poll showed the clear majority believed we should repair and maintain our roads as part of a multi-year plan. Jeff proposes that we obtain bids for properly resurfacing the roads. He suggests that the road work be done over three years with a substantial section of road work being completed each year, starting with the South road leading past the recycle center. After his presentation a long discussion occurred regarding quality, life of the roads, less expensive alternatives. Our existing chip sealed surfaces are degrading badly. We are losing the South road, and will have to dig it up, replace the edges and then repave. It is useless to chip seal over a bad sub-surface. The general consensus is to go forward with the South road resurfacing and then address the other sections next year. Discussion followed regarding water run off and drainage issues. A motion was made to go forward with obtaining final bids. Don Burkhart moved that we authorize and commit $170,000 for the first third from the maintenance reserve. Motion seconded by Len Warden. Cindy Zech commented that we have $214,000 in the maintenance reserve at this time. The motion passed 54 to 36 via a show of votes and proxies.

Nominating Committee: 12:28 PM
Karl Leaverton, chair of the nominating committee gave a thank you to his committee members, Jane Loura, Nancy Chapman and Martha Mills. The proposed new members to the BIMC board are Scott Burkhart (3 years,) Gail Light (3 years) and Dick Demers (1 year). The community approved the slate of nominees unanimously. Jane Loura reminded the community that these are volunteer positions and that members may have to serve on the board for more than one term. Please consider volunteering if you have not been a board member in years.

Jeff Fegert thanked outgoing Board President for his guidance, patience and expertise. Jane Loura thanked Ben Dole for his willingness to serve in several positions (most recently as water commissioner) during his second 3 year term as a board member.

Donna Linn reminds us to drive carefully and to watch for children and pets. Be careful.

Mary Ellen Hogle moved and Stephanie Warden seconded a motion to adjourn. Motion passed unanimously.

Meeting adjourned at 12:35 PM

Respectfully submitted,

Anne Malmo

Blakely Community Facility (BCF) Annual Meeting Minutes

July 7, 2007

  1. Marc Droppert opened the annual meeting for Charlie Mills (President)
  2. Reviewed the set-up of the BCF Board
  3. Announced members of the BCF Board
    a. Charlie Mills – Chairman
    b. Paul Malmo – Treasurer
    c. Chris Bridge – liaison with the Ken/store manager
    d. Ellen Roth – BIMC Board representative
    e. Marc Droppert – liaison with BC/Blakely Island Trust (BIT)
  4. Reviewed occurrences over the past year
    f. 25 year lease from BIT
    g. Sub-lease to Ken Parker
  5. Financial discussion
    h. Revenues vs. costs for 2006 year
    i. Actual costs for 2006 ~ $22,000
    j. Change in sub-lease finances
    k. Estimated costs to operate for next year $30-35,000
    l. BCF has ~ $48,000 currently in account
  6. Options
    m. Additional assessment cost over time to continue store/marina area operation
    n. Fuel only operation
    o. Reopen the process and start over
    p. Use as access only
  7. Discussion/suggestions from members Dan O’Brien, Phil Bridge, Ralph Zech, Donovan Burkhart, Donna Linn, Mike Brustkern, Paul Malmo, Jeff Fegert
  8. Presentation from Ken Parker
  9. Vote for approval of current 3 year sub-lease:
    q. Jeff Fegert - motion
    r. Karl Leaverton - seconded
    s. Approved
  10. Vote for approval of John Davidson nomination as new board member for 4 year term
    t. John Madden – motion
    u. Ed O’Neill – seconded
    v. Approved
  11. Ellen Roth presented thank you to Marc Droppert for his year of service on the BCF Board and his legal advice/expertise
  12. Meeting adjourned

Tent Policy

The Blakely Island Covenants place a strict prohibition on tents within the plat. Changing the BICS is not to be taken lightly.

A one year trial period of a tent structures policy is proposed.

The purpose of the “tent policy” is that equipment, vehicles etc. stored in a secure and tidy tent area is preferable to a blue/brown tarp array in the platted area.

  1. Under no circumstances are any tent structures be used for domestic or living purposes except as outlined in the BICS.
  2. Tent placement should be discussed and approved with, and by, neighbors on all sides of the proposed tent owner’s lot.
  3. Tents should be located towards the least visible portion of the lot.
  4. Tents should be neutral in color.
  5. Tents should be used for a specific purpose and be removed within one year.
  6. Tents must have BIMC board approval prior to installation.

Jim Davis

BIMC Facilities Manager’s Annual Report ’06/’07

Water Systems

Pump house and intakes
Our pumps and building up at the lake are in good condition. The diesel powered pump is aging and the manufacturer is no longer able to provide parts for the motor. The motor still runs but we have not needed to use it for water supply in recent years. Despite several power outages, OPALCO has always responded quickly and Power has been restored before reservoir levels dropped below 50%. While the diesel back-up is still serviceable, we will keep it available. However, it is probably not feasible to keep it going long term. With more reliable power and additional storage capacity, we could probably get along fine without it.

The water intake float is in very bad condition. The plywood decking is delaminating and very soft. During the winter storms, flying branches punched holes in the plywood and the shore-side mooring post has broken away. This float is scheduled to be replaced in the ‘07/’08 budget year. As such, we will be making only minimal repairs this spring to allow another year of use. For your own safety and to avoid further damage, please do not use or walk out on this float for any reason.

Water Treatment Plant/Water Quality
Water samples from Horseshoe Lake and our treated water are analyzed at least once each month. Once gathered, the samples have a 24-hour shelf life. Our lab was in Redmond and we had to rely on the US Mail to get them to their destination in time. This worked reasonably well in years past. Beginning last fall, we started to get calls from the lab notifying us that our samples were taking two days to reach them. Each time this happened, we had to take a repeat sample and mail it again. To save on postage and avoid delays in transit, we recently switched to a lab in Bellingham. Since we generally visit the mainland nearly every week, we hand carry the samples to the lab. This new arrangement is working very well. Our lab fees have actually gone down and we’re no longer at the mercy of the Post Office. All of our monthly bacteriological samples for treated water have tested negative for coliforms (bacteria).

Our water treatment plant keeps right on chugging along. It recently celebrated its 23rd birthday. Not bad when we consider that it was designed for a 20 year service life! There have been only minor problems with the plant this year. The control system includes about sixty switches and relays. Occasionally, one of these sticks or fails to make contact. In most cases, the cost of the replacement part is less than $40. However, with all this circuitry, figuring out which part to replace is a bit of an art. After 15 years, I feel that I have an almost empathic relationship with these controls.

At the request of the Department of Health (DOH), we will soon be switching our primary disinfectant from calcium hypochlorite (dry powder) to sodium hypochlorite (liquid). The reason for the change is to avoid injector pump clogging that can occur from built up calcium in the pumps. Due to this change, there will be a slight cost increase for our water treatment chemicals.

Each time our filter plant is started, a small amount of material that is trapped in the filter media can break loose and travel into our storage reservoirs. We have previously monitored this process with borrowed DOH instrumentation. Their equipment (a particle counter) is able to count various sized particles in the water. Our filter performs vary well and the breakthrough particles decrease rapidly after the first five to ten minuets of operation. Even with this proven performance, the DOH has asked that we install a filter-to-waste system at our water plant. This is a requirement of all new plants and we will be making this upgrade next fall. Their rational seems to be that letting even a very small turbidity breakthrough into our system is avoidable so why should

they allow it? Hard to argue! I have designed an automatic system that will switch a valve to divert the filtered water into the backwash pond every time the plant is started. After a predetermined time delay and when the turbidity (cloudiness) of the filter effluent reaches a satisfactory level, the valve will switch back and the filtered water will flow to the reservoirs. The cost for this system is included as a line item in the capital budget.

Cross Connection Control Program (CCCP)
In addition to the above, the State DOH requested that we comply with State statute and implement a CCCP. A concern for any water system is the possibility of contamination from within the distribution system. These types of incidents usually result from backflow at the service connection. This can occur when there is reduced pressure, within the distribution system or when a contaminate enters from another source under equal or greater pressure. Backflow is a much more common event than one might think. The pressure in our distribution system is dynamic and nearly constantly changing. As flows increase or reservoir levels drop, pressure decreases. When fire hydrants are flushed or grid valves are opened or closed, pressure changes. A small amount of water ebbs and flows through every service connection, with each change. In the vast majority of cases, safe treated water is the only thing that backflows into the distribution system. However, certain plumbing and or home accessories can increase the likelihood that something other than safe treated water may backflow. Once contaminates enter the distribution system, they may flow freely to other service connections and widespread illness could result. The job of the CCCP is to evaluate each connection and determine which connections pose an increased risk factor for backflow contamination. Depending on the risk involved, the program may require some connections to be isolated from backflow, with the installation of an appropriate backflow prevention assembly. Our CCCP has been approved by the DOH. To begin implementation of the program, we will shortly be sending out water use questionnaires to each homeowner.

Additional Water Connections
The focus of the water system projects over the last few years has been to receive State approval for the additional connections necessary to serve our undeveloped lots. The Water committee set the goal of 200 total connections. Even with the likelihood that the Marina and a few other properties could be counted as more than one connection, this number should serve us for the foreseeable future. As a prerequisite to granting our request, the DOH has asked us to complete the upgrades described above (switch chemicals, filter to waste and CCCP). Along with these changes, our engineer is completing a “capacity determination” to show that our system infrastructure and water usage are compatible with the additional connections we have requested. The State has agreed to approve the additional connections as soon as these projects are complete.

Continuing Education
Our system requires a licensed operator to be on site at all times. BIMC employs three licensed operators (Terry Pence, Margo and I). Last December, all three of us had met the State required 30 hours of continued education units (CEUs) for the period ’03 to ’06. Classes are not always convenient so this can be a challenge for us Blakelyites. January ’07 started a new cycle and we are on the outlook for interesting new classes that may be offered in NW Washington.

Water Distribution System/Reservoirs
All three domestic reservoirs are online. With the addition of the new reservoir last year, we have a total storage capacity of 149,000 gallons.

Domestic Water Usage
Water usage last summer (May through September) increased by a little over 15%. This could be related to increased population over the warm/dry ’06 summer. We will watch individual use closely again this summer. Please try to limit average use to our set goal of 250 gallons per day.

May through September domestic water production:
Summer 2001 2002 2003 2004 2005 2006
Production 4,540,000 5,184,000 5,775,000 4,105,280 2,295,720 2,652,110 Gallons

Water use data will be posted monthly in the post office. The sheets list only meter numbers, not lot numbers or member’s names. Please record your meter number and check up on yourself. If you don’t know your meter number or need help finding your meter please contact me or the water commissioner.

The individual water meters continue to be a huge asset in tracking down leaks within member’s lots/homes. We have recently found leaks in several underground service lines on member’s lots. Many of these lines are reaching their service life expectancy. We expect to see more failures in the near future. The service line, after it leaves the meter, is your responsibility. If your line is more than thirty years old, you may want to consider replacing it before it fails. At a minimum, if you have an older service line, please shut off your service at the road when you leave the island for extended periods.

Low flow toilets continue to prove their worth in water savings. Older toilets can use 4 ½ gallons or more per flush. The new toilets work very well, are virtually clog-free and operate on only 1.6 gallons per flush. If you have more than one member in your household, you will see very significant water savings by switching to a modern, low flow, toilet.

Raw Water Irrigation System
Six additional, untreated water connections were added last year. This system now serves 29 connections. Use during the 2006 season increased by 40% over the previous year. We estimate that the peak summer use is now at 70% of the system capacity. As you can see below, the amount of untreated water pumped has doubled in just two years. The increase is so significant, that we had to adjust our budget to cover the increased power usage at the pump house. Again, you can track your own usage on the meter sheets posted in the Post Office.

Raw water production flows by year:
Yearly   2001 2002 2003 2004 2005 2006
Flows 1,506,100  1,427,100  1,925,600  2,968,500  4,261,600  5,965,300  (gallons)


Our runway is in great shape. The reseal project completed in 2005 looks good and should last at least another three years. The striping that was done at that time did not hold up as well. We will try to repaint the thresholds and arrows this summer. More pilots have been leaving tie-down ropes attached to the tie-downs when they leave. This creates a hazard for mowing and makes it very difficult to do a thorough job. Please remover your tie-down ropes when you leave the island.

Our roads have taken a real beating this year. The heavy rains, snow, and subsurface freezing all took a toll. The South road in particular is simply crumbling from the edges inward. Some areas that were ten or twelve feet wide have shrunk to less than nine. As the roads get narrower, more cars are driven on the fraying edges and the damage accelerates. The same thing is happening at many of the heavily traveled corners in the plat. A few potholes have developed and I’ll be patching these with cold mix. The breakdown of the road edges is much more difficult problem. Only proper preparation, ballasting and hot asphalt can properly repair this damage. I am concerned that we continue to put off major road work. Each year, the scope of the needed work increases as we lose stable road area. With the cost of asphalt being tied to oil prices, we have seen the price of paving double in just the last four years.

Storm Watch

The big news on Blakely this year has been STORMS! One after another! We had our first significant windstorm in October. More wind the first week of November with many trees down and branches everywhere. Heavy rains overwhelmed Blakely’s normally absorbent nature. One of the wettest Novembers on record in NW Washington! Runoff flooded yards and damaged/undermined road edges. The first snow hit on Sunday November 26th. The next day we had 15 degrees and no power! The very heavy 12” snowfall brought down trees all over the island including hundreds of trees and thousands of branches in the plat. December brought more snow and two more windstorms. We weren’t through yet. More wind and more snow after the first of the year. Quite an exciting winter on the rock. A lot of work has been done. But, just a few feet from nearly every road edge, piles of branches, broken tree tops and whole trees are still down. The amount of combustible material loading is nearly unprecedented. Unfortunately, this increases both the possibility of wild fire and the intensity should one occur. Please use extra caution when you recreate on Blakely this summer. If your Blakely vehicle includes a catalytic converter, do not drive where the grass is high or where there are branches in the road that could contact the cars exhaust system.

The storm story wouldn’t be complete without giving extra credit to OPALCO and particularly to their excellent line crews. The storm damage in the islands was horrendous. One lineman told me that in some cases, crews were working entire days just to clear the fallen trees from a one block area. This had to be done before they could replace poles and lines. We suffered only two extended outages on Blakely. Both times, the crews found time to come over and restore our power within about twenty-four hours. Meanwhile, many cities on the mainland had outages that lasted more than a week. Last week we had a partial outage that began at about 7:00 PM. I called, expecting to be told that they would come over the next morning. Instead, even though their boat was in for maintenance, the line crew borrowed a boat and came to Blakely. They quickly found an underground fault, dug it up by hand and had our power restored by a little past midnight. Margo and I held the flashlights and marveled at the dedication these guys give to their customers.

Post Office

Our Blakely mail service is still arriving by water. The contractor upgraded his boat this year and now has the benefit of radar. Mail service is still weather dependant and there are still the occasional mechanical issues that interrupt the schedule. All things considered, our service remains good and the carrier’s newer boat seems to be more dependable. Even at 41 cents, sending a letter from Blakely is probably still a good deal.

Enhanced security protocols on our outgoing mail remain in effect. No mail weighing 16 oz or more can be sent from Blakely without first being canceled on-island. Margo has been entrusted with the cancel stamp so you will need to make arrangements with her prior to sending heavier items. Also, not all USPS services are available from Blakely. Express Mail or return receipt must be set up with a full service office on the mainland or Friday Harbor/Eastsound.

Fire System

Fire Drills
Fortunately, we did not have to respond to any actual fires this year. We did have several fire drills and had opportunities to exercise and learn more about our equipment. As most of you know, we now have a new truck. This new apparatus is equipped with a Compressed Air Foam System. This technology departs radically from our old equipment so the learning curve is going to be straight up for all of us. We will be having a training session on Saturday May 26th and at 10:00 AM on July 8th. More drills will be scheduled and posted as the summer progresses.

New Truck
The new BIMC fire truck arrived on the island in February. The truck is a 2006 Ford F-550 Diesel with four-wheel-drive and automatic transmission. This is definitely a truck but with power everything, as easy to drive as a large passenger car. The truck has a flat-bed with 400 gallon water tank and several aluminum storage boxes bolted on. The fire pump is equipped with a Compressed Air Foam System (CAFS) and is driven by a 66-horsepower diesel engine. The system has three outlets of which two are currently able to produce CAFS. I am in the process of obtaining costs to upgrade the third (1”) outlet to CAFS. The system is rated at 200 gallons of water and 100 cubic feet of air per minute. Without the air compressor operating, it will pump 250 GPM at 150 PSI. With these specifications the truck meets the qualifications of a “mini-pumper”. We have purchased two 1 ½” CAFS smooth bore nozzles and will be purchasing another nozzle for the 1” hose after I convert that line to CAFS. I’m having a fabricator build some hose dividers to help keep the hose storage area organized. We plan to carry 400’ of 2 ½” hydrant supply line and 900’ of 1 ½” fire hose. There is also 200’ of 1’ hose permanently mounted on the hose reel. We have already had a couple of learning seasons with the truck but we’ve got a long way to go. Eventually, we hope to have an easy to follow laminated instruction sheet attached to the pump control panel. As soon as the truck is ready for full service, we will transfer the medical equipment and some tools from the old truck.

Old Truck
After the new truck is ready to go, I plan to take the old truck out of service and install a new exhaust system and perform some other maintenance. After that, the future of our faithful old truck is up in the air. There is some enthusiasm to keep the old truck as a back-up. I am concerned that it will confuse our training sessions to try to stay current on two, radically different, trucks. When we add the fire trailer/forestry pump into the mix, we may all be confused. The old truck is also a very tight squeeze in the middle bay of the fire hall. It is likely that we will keep both trucks at least through this fire season. After our volunteers are familiarized with our new equipment, we can make a relaxed decision on the future of the old Ford.

Siren Improvements
If you have the idea that this project has drug on and on, you’re correct! Our difficulty has been figuring out a wireless way to control multiple sirens from a central location. The siren company manufactures such a system but their equipment requires FCC approval and assignment of an emergency frequency. We tried unsuccessfully to get such approval. We also tried to get San Juan County to “share” one of their frequencies with us. Initially, this looked promising. However, after several delays, the person that we were working with left the department and we were back to square one. I started doing research on long range remote controls and found one that looked promising. We purchased one transmitter/receiver and began experimenting with various locations and reliability of the system. The signal was strong and reliable from the fire hall to the marina and from the fire hall to the hangars. Unfortunately, we couldn’t get the signal through from the fire hall to the recycle center. We contacted the distributor on this issue and they suggested using the same equipment but changing to a long range antenna. These antennas seem to help, providing they are mounted higher to improve the range. Preliminary testing indicates that this system will work if the antennas are mounted twenty feet or more off the ground and clear of buildings or other obstructions. The power company (OPALCO) has agreed to donate a couple of old power poles to provide mounting for the sirens at the hangars and the recycle center. We are in the process of locating/ordering two additional sirens and controllers.

Fire Flow/Meter Upgrade
Because of cost overruns in other areas, only one distribution meter was purchased this year. The second meter will be planned for within the ‘07/’08 budget. Each meter that is replaced/upgraded from 2” to 3” should increase fire flow on that part of the system by up to 50%.

First Aid

The Board decided not to sponsor official AED/CPR training this year. Instead, we are trying to get a current training tape. At about 11:30 on Sunday July 8th we will offer a refresher in one of the hangars following the fire training out front. Deborah Davey and Beth Droppert will be available to update us on the latest techniques and answer all your questions. This is a great opportunity to learn a lot and have some fun with your neighbors. Margo will bring the coffee and goodies.

TV System

I continue to find TV pedestals that have been damaged by vehicles. Do I have to paint these things bright Orange? Somehow, I don’t think this would go over very well. They do blend in with the foliage along the roads. Please, try to avoid running them down. We recently had a system wide outage. It was at a most inopportune time as it was “Dancing with the Stars” night. Sorry ladies! I tracked down the problem to be somewhere between the plat and the antenna on the upper island. Bob Foster located and walked the cable route. We were looking for and located an amplifier that is about half way up to the antenna. I tested the amp and found it to be functional. When it was hooked back up, the system came back online. A little disconcerting, because I didn’t really fix anything. Kind of like unplugging the computer and plugging it back in. In any case, the system is working again and I can’t fix what isn’t broken. We’ll have to wait and see if the problem comes back.


The compactor is working well. Our costs to haul and dump the compactor are increasing. We continue to see cardboard boxes, paper, bottles and aluminum cans in the compactor. These items can all be recycled at the BIRD. Please do not place furniture or appliances in the compactor. Larger household items should be disposed of in the open clean-up dumpsters.

BIRD-Recycling Center
Our recycled material continues to be transported by San Juan Sanitation. The County is paying for trucking and the barge fees to haul our material. This system continues to be a benefit to BIMC as prices for most recycle material continue to be low. The exception to this is the price of aluminum beverage cans. Prices for most metal are on the rise and non-ferrous metal like copper and aluminum are at all-time highs. To take advantage of this situation we are accumulating bales of aluminum cans and will arrange transport of these later in the year. The income from these cans may go a long way in paying for barge fees and other expenses for getting a truck to and back from Blakely. We will haul the last two years accumulation of car batteries at the same time.

We are looking for help at the recycle center again this year. If you are eighteen or older, we need you for a few hours each week this summer. You will learn all about recycling, get to work with fun people and we pay only slightly less than union scale. Interested or think your kid/spouse should be getting out of the house? Give me a call.

Annual Clean-Up
Clean-up dumpsters are scheduled for Memorial Day, the sixth of July and Labor Day weekends. The dumpsters will be open to receive material starting the afternoon of the day before the holiday weekend. Please do not leave any items before that time.


Please remember that this service is provided for all members. If possible, try to disassemble large bulky items so they will take up less space. 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 haul away your old carpet and pad. Please try to burn wooden furniture and other non-toxic wood items. If you have any questions about an item, please contact the BIMC Waste Commissioner or myself.



Facilities Manager’s House
Between surgery (hernia repair) and all the storms and other projects this year, progress on the house remodel has been slow. I am close to having all of the siding installed and I’ll get it painted very soon. The interior of the old breezeway is yet to be completed. It will get finished next fall or Margo will probably throw me out and lock the door! The finished project will keep the house warmer during the winter, give us more enclosed storage area and more living area during the fair weather months.

Post Office, Fire Hall & Shop
This complex had a new roof and rot repair last year. All is well and we will be touching up the paint next fall.

Horseshoe Lake

Fish Program
In April, we planted 3,500 Rainbow Trout in Horseshoe Lake. These trout are sterile or “triploid” fish. Triploids do better in a lake environment where there are no flowing stream areas to spawn. We ordered 8” fish but the supplier (Trout Lodge) was low on 8” fish. Instead, we ended up getting a mix of 8” to 12” fish. It may have been an optical illusion, but I swear I saw some fish even bigger then 12” as they slid out through the clear chute into the lake. This new stock of various size fish should make for an interesting fishery this summer. Please record your fishing experience in the catch book at the Post Office.

Ed O’Neill undertook repairs on several of the boats and canoes last summer. This has greatly improved these assets. Ed also shopped around and chose the paddle boat for a new purchase. This addition has been a big hit. Please be kind to our boats. If you must be rough with them please be extra nice to Ed! We have recently purchased another Walker Bay row boat and it will be coming to the island very soon.


Our primary vehicle is the white 1994 Isuzu Trooper. After getting some problems with the brakes worked out last year, this vehicle is performing well.

With a replacement transmission and some other repairs, we were able to keep the old blue two-wheel drive pickup on the road for another year. The rear canopy door failed a few months ago. Research reveals that the broken window frame is no longer available. This vehicle is slated to be replaced with a newer, four-wheel drive version this year. A four wheel drive pickup would certainly have helped with the storm clean up and getting around in last winters snow.

The old green service truck gets very little use these days. However, it’s a great fire wood hauler and the front winch comes in handy when one of our members needs to be pulled out of the ditch. Depending on the replacement vehicle for the old Toyota, we may be able to replace two trucks with one.


As your Blakely homeowners insurance comes up for renewal, be sure to let your agent know that our fire protection system now includes a CAFS mini-pumper. No guarantee but many underwriters may offer a CAFS discount on fire insurance. Our new truck doesn’t affect our current fire class rating. The rating bureau is

evaluating CAFS equipment and may soon follow other states, in giving better ratings to areas that have CAFS available.

Our primary BIMC insurance has been renewed with Safeco through Swanberg-Judkins Insurance in Friday Harbor. The Directors and Officers liability coverage has been renewed with CNA. The Airport Liability coverage was renewed with ACE USA. Coverage for the marina and the BCF Board was added to our current coverage. This was a considerable cost savings over separate insurance. However, as a result, costs this year have been a little more difficult to sort out. I now have the breakdown from the agent and BCF is being billed for their portion of the insurance. Most BIMC related premiums this year were almost identical to last. Our agent was able to get our new fire truck covered as “mobile equipment” instead of adding it to our commercial auto policy. This was a very significant savings. All of our other coverage and limits remain the same. I have outlined all of them below. Please contact a Board member or myself if you have any questions.

General liability (Safeco package) $1,000,000 (includes boats at the lake, does not cover airport)
Auto liability, under insured motorists and medical payments (Safeco package) 4 vehicles $1,000,000
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 (new fire truck, tractor and compactor) (Safeco package) $41,000 total $500 deductible
Liability umbrella (Safeco) (applies to general and auto liability) $3,000,000
Airport liability (ACE USA) $3,000,000 (renewal through Regal Aviation Insurance)
Directors and Officers liability (CNA) $3,000,000 (renewal through Tim at Swanberg-Judkins Insurance)

Margo & Jim

Well, we survived another year on the island. With all the storms this year, at times, it seemed that we were barely “surviving”. During this mix, I had double hernia surgery that effectively took me out of the game for six weeks. Margo and I had many heated arguments over whether the chainsaw fell within the weight limitations imposed by my doctor. I must have behaved a little because I’m healed and feel much better now that all of my parts are back where they belong. The crazy weather made for some interesting flying this winter. Taking off and landing on snow and ice is a little different. We had a landing in Bellingham with a 51 knot headwind. The landing went well (zero ground speed) but it sure was scary trying to taxi. We hope your winter was more pleasant and we really hope next winter on Blakely will be a little less interesting.


Sincerely, Jim Davis