Blakely Island Maintenance Commission, Inc.

Minutes of August 29, 2009 BIMC Board Meeting

A meeting of the Board of Governors of the Blakely Island Maintenance Commission was held on August 29th, 2009 at Deborah Davey’s Blakely home.

Sally Elliman President
Barbara Sullivan Roads and Vice-President
Jim Fergus Treasurer (by conference call)
Dick Demers Secretary
Scott Burkhart Water (by conference call)
Deborah Davey Fire and Waste
Gail Light BCF Liason
Jim Davis Facilities Manager
Pam Roats
Anne Malmo
Ellen Roth
D.L. Fitzpatrick
Glen Tompkins
Phyllis Chennault
Cheryl Burkhart Bookkeeper

Before the meeting, guests were allotted 10 minutes to express opinions, concerns, and to ask questions.  One member had some questions concerning the BIMC water policies and Scott Burkhart, the Water Commissioner, will contact this member to address these questions.  Sally called the meeting to order at 9:15 am.  Sally called for a motion to adopt the agenda for the meeting.  Deborah Davey moved adopt the agenda; it was seconded, and passed unanimously.  Gail Light moved to approve the minutes of the July 4th Board meeting.  The motion was seconded and passed unanimously.
President’s Report. Sally thanked Barbara Sullivan for filling the position of President while Sally recuperated from her accident. The Board then addressed two legal issues: the Tompkins’ request for an easement for their south Blakely property, and the facility managers’ contracts.  Barbara Sullivan made a motion to authorize a letter of engagement to seek legal advice on these two issues. Gail Light moved to limit the amount of legal expenditures to $2,000.  The motion was seconded and passed.  The motion to sign the letter of engagement for legal council was then voted on and passed.

Discussion of establishing goals for the upcoming year culminated with the decision to request every Board member review the By Laws set forth in the 2004 Homeowner’s manual for possible updating and revisions.  Members of the BIMC community are asked to send any suggestions regarding the By Laws to Dick Demers (or any other Board member) for consideration at the next Board meeting.  Any proposed changes will be voted on at the next annual meeting.

Sally proposed that the Board write a Strategic Plan this year to guide the Board’s activities.  Deborah Davey moved to establish such a plan.  The motion was seconded, and  passed unanimously. This plan will be formulated at the next Board meeting.

Jim Davis’s research for a unidirectional, high quality speaker phone to be used for conference calls at the Facility Manager’s residence produced the Polycom brand, a market standard, selling new for $350.00. Jim found and purchased a used and reconditioned one for $127.  Dick Demers moved to reimburse Jim for the phone. The motion was seconded, and passed unanimously.  The Facility Manager’s residence on Blakely Island is the designated physical location for conference calls.  The legal term “Rule of Reason” supports this location.  Most of the off-season Board meetings have been scheduled for Thursday evening because most Board members can be available for conference calls evenings during the week, Jim and Margot are off island Monday and Tuesday evenings, and potential weather problems for Davis’ return may make Wednesday evenings questionable.  

Deborah Davey moved and a second was made to subscribe to a conference call service that will allow all members to dial in and participate in all future board meetings.  The motion passed.  When the service is determined, a dial- in number will be provided to all members.  Dates of the future meetings were published in the last minutes, and they are repeated as part of these August 29th minutes.  Separate call-in access codes will be provided for Board members when they need to carry out meetings in executive session. It was moved and seconded to designate the Facility Manager’s Blakely residence as the official designated site for Board meetings.  After discussion, the motion passed.  Changes in meeting location and times will be announced with sufficient time of notification.

Dick Demers moved to purchase six lockable and fireproof file cabinets for the San Juan Aviation and Yachting Estates archives.   After discussion, it was decided that this subject need further consideration.   The motion was voted on and failed.  A revised motion was made by Dick to have someone research the best options for the storage of archival material, and to research the cost of scanning all of the documents for digital archiving in the future.  Dick Demers volunteered to do this job; the revised motion was seconded and passed.

The Board is required to have one Board member serve on a liaison committee with SBMA.   Sally Elliman volunteered to serve on this joint board; Barbara Sullivan will be the backup. 

In order to speed up Board meetings, Sally Elliman proposed that all Commissioners submit written reports ahead of meetings.  Other Board members could then ask for questions of clarification on these reports at the meetings.  A motion for this proposal was made by Gail Light; it was seconded and passed.

Secretary’s report.  Dick Demers reported that he has come across some blank “Certificates” in the secretary files that have been given to owners in the past when they became members.  He will try to determine the legal status of these certificates.  Since the BIMC Secretary is the Board Member who receives the documentation regarding building permits for Blakely, Dick has observed that the steps involved in the permitting process are overly bureaucratic.  The community may wish to change the By Laws at some future meeting to simplify the permitting process.  He is now in possession of the file containing the 2004 Owner’s Manual and will update it with the changes that have been made at subsequent annual meetings.  At some future point, the revised manual will be made available to all members.

Water Commissioner’s Report.  Scott Burkhart reported that there are still three domestic sites that need to complete the installation of the Cross Control Connections (CCC).  Bills for the second half of the installation of the CCC devices and the installation of the expansion tanks on water heaters in homes receiving untreated water have been sent out.

Fire and Waste Commissioner’s Report.  Deborah Davey reported on the results of the visit with the Washington Survey Ratings Bureau representative.  It is highly unlikely that under the current rating system that we can receive a rating lower than 9.  To comply for a lower number we would have to have (among other criteria) monthly training sessions lasting 4 hours, have a plan for entering a burning structure, and so forth.  The pump and tank on the 40 year old fire truck need replacing, and Deborah made a motion for a capital expense for this repair to be presented to the membership for approval at the next annual meeting. The motion was seconded and passed.  A “Fire Administration Committee” is being assembled to update a Fire Response Manual that was begun by Ben Dole and Jim Davis.  It has evolved that the Fire and Waste Commissioner also deals with issues involving the buffer strip.  A serious case of wildcat dumping of yard waste has occurred in the buffer strip near north end power line.  Dozens of cubic yards of material have been dumped, and Deborah will ask residents in that part of the island if they are responsible.  The general issue of yard waste disposal for owners is a topic that the Board will consider in the future.  The issue of dead and dying trees in the buffer strip that may provide a hazard to homeowners’ property was brought up.  If a homeowner gives notice that a tree on BIMC land poses a hazard to their property, then Washington State Law will hold BIMC responsible for all damages.  Scott Burkhart moved that the Board will give permission for homeowners to remove trees at the homeowners’ expense on a case by case basis.  The motion was seconded, and then this motion was amended by Scott to allow for the sharing of the expense between the homeowner and BIMC on a case by case basis.  Both the amendment and the motion failed.  A motion was next made that BIMC will contract with a licensed and insured professional to remove three trees that threaten the residential property on lot 95, and that the homeowner (who was present at the Board meeting) will reimburse BIMC for 50% of the expenses.  Gail Light moved that the motion be amended that the cost of removal will not exceed $600.  Both the amendment and the original motion were seconded and subsequently passed.  The installation of the siren at the Recycle Center is nearing completion.  Deborah recommended that homeowners consider becoming members of the AirCare service.  This company provides airlift service for island medical emergencies.  She also discussed options for providing CPR classes. Deborah Davey is qualified to teach the class, but she is not certified in the State of Washington.  She is willing to give the class unofficially. She also announced that a first aid box for burn injuries was in preparation and when completed will be  available on her porch, and that she would be looking into finding funding for a burn kit for serious injuries.

Blakely Community Facility.  Gail Light reported that the store will be open until mid-September, and that the income from the store, fuel sales and transient slip rentals will provide enough income to enable the purchase of sufficient inventory to stock the store next year.  The store is managing to stay minimally profitable because of the large amount of volunteer support from the community.    Glen Tompkins said that the BIMC membership should be put on notice that future developments at the store will require financial support from the community.

Roads Commissioner Report.  Barbara Sullivan announced that the ballast had arrived and has been put in place.   A reserve pile has been established for the contingency of washouts during the winter months.  The street numbers have been assigned and will soon be made available.  For those who purchased notes to fund the road construction, if your name was drawn for redemption, and if you have not returned your notes by the first of September, your note will cease paying interest after this date.   And please inform your guests of the rules pertaining to driving on our roads.  Guests of a homeowner were racing ATVs on the runway, and had to be notified of the extreme danger of this practice.  Over the 4th of July weekend, there were seven known accidents involving small motorized vehicles, three known accidents involving automobiles, and two known injuries from fireworks.  Let’s hope that the Labor Day Weekend will be less eventful.

Facility Manager’s Report.  This report is included after the minutes.  Jim did want to emphasize the problems with the water intake float.  Please inform your family and guests that they are not to use this float for recreational purposes.  Problems relating to the misuse of this float are detailed in the FM report.

Property Manager’s Report.  Sally Elliman has been reviewing job descriptions with Jim and Margaret Davis.  She is planning to create a survey to be sent to all members concerning the FMs’ duties and responsibilities. She will be meeting with Terry Pence next week to begin a discussion of his contract.

Treasurer’s Report.  Jim Fergus reported that the assessment payments are coming in regularly. Only three of the notes for the road construction project have still not been returned.   The checks for the notes that have been returned have been made out and will be sent out on Monday.  Gail Light moved to accept the Treasurer’s financial report; the motion was seconded and passed unanimously. 

Sally introduced Cheryl Burkhart, the BIMC bookkeeper, and asked her to make a few comments.  She announced that the second part billing for the irrigation expenses had been mailed out.  She was happy to report that Jim Fergus had successfully converted our CD into cash for our checking account, thus enabling the community to pay off of all the notes for road construction that had been selected by lottery.  She was hopeful that we would be able to roll over 90 to 100 thousand dollars into another CD.  

New Business.

Members should note that deer hunting season for deer will take place in the San Juan Islands (including Blakely) from September 1st through the 31st of December with bow hunting beginning on September 1st.  Please take precautions if you are on the upper island.  If you shoot or encounter a dead deer with a tag, please notify SPU.  All non-BIMC members are required to have special permission from BC Crowley to use the upper island.

Barbara Sullivan moved to adjourn the meeting.  The motion was seconded and passed; the meeting was adjourned at 12:20.

The Board then went into executive session at 12:25.  Ellen Roth, Anne Malmo, and Jim Davis were invited to participate.  The executive session concluded at 2:04. 


Respectfully submitted,

Dick Demers
BIMC secretary

Jim Davis
Board Meeting Report
August 29th 2009

Water Systems

Water Treatment Plant
Our water plant continues to be run in accordance with the State’s “Optimized” level.  This means we are beating the mandated filtration performance by at least 66%.  This level of performance remains a challenge for our old technology plant.  Meeting this challenge requires evaluation and small adjustments every couple of hours of operation.  In an effort to automate some of these procedures, I have begun to design some changes to the plant control circuitry.  These changes won’t involve major expense but will require rebuilding the control circuitry for the filter to waste, turbidity shut down and telephone paging systems.  I will be working on this project in September.  Several members have commented that our water “tastes” better this year.  The majority comments indicate there seems to be less chlorine taste and odor.  Though we’re still adding chlorine at the same dose and the chemistry of the lake water is very similar, the only change is the lower turbidity due to”Optimized” filtration.  Often, taste and odor concerns are caused by chlorine combining with elements in the water.  It’s likely our increased filter performance has resulted in fewer impurities combining with the chlorine.  While this was not the reason we elected to “Optimize” it appears to be an added benefit. 

Domestic Water Use/leaks
Water use thus far this summer appears to be in line with the last few years.  However, we continue to track high use and have found several instances of high flows, due to leaks on private property.  Most of the leaks and subsequent high use were caused by malfunctioning toilets.  Several of these were at unoccupied homes.  When such leaks are found, it is BIMC policy to shut the water off at the service connection (meter).  We also try to contact the member (on or off island); to inform them of the problem and that their water has been shut off.  This policy prevents continued wasted water and possible flooding of members homes.  To prevent these types of problems, we continue to encourage members to shut their water off each time they leave the island.  This practice can save members from a flooded home and the community the expense of lost water and time to track down leaks.    When a toilet float or flapper valve sticks open the resulting use can easily exceed 5,000 gallons per day

Cross Connection Control Program (CCCP)
We are down to the last few homes that require backflow protection.  These requirements are not optional.  They are State law.  Some members have questioned whether CCC is part of the plumbing code.  While the plumbing code may address backflow from certain types of fixtures/appliances, the requirements we must meet relate to the State of Washington, Department of Health, Division of Drinking Water; “Cross Connection Control” manual for small systems.  This document can be found at:

As we have reported previously, the completion of BIMC CCCP is the last step required before the State will approve additional BIMC water connections.

Pump House
We had a partial power outage at the pump house on August 10th.  It became clear there was a problem when I started the water plant in the morning and noted that no water was coming in.  This situation can be caused by a damaged pump signal wire, faulty pump, damaged water line, loss of pump prime or a power outage.  In some respects, I was glad it was the latter.  However, diagnosing the problem requires investigation with a voltmeter in an open, high voltage panel!  I soon learned that we had power coming into the building but a high-amperage fuse was blown in the supply panel.  I replaced the fuse and the plant was back in business.  What keeps me awake at night?  Why did the fuse blow? We did have a rain storm the previous evening so it’s possible there was a lightning strike.  Hmmm.

Water Intake Float
The new dock is complete.  I also reconditioned the intake support derrick and replaced the lift winches.  I’ll be installing new anchors and cables in the next few weeks.  Members are reminded; this facility is not to be used for recreation.  Over the summer, I have cleared fishing lines from the intakes, found a multitude of suntan oiled teens sunbathing and found abandoned boats tied to the dock.  During mid-July, someone purposely untied and cast off one of the anchor lines and one of the support lines for a water intake.  The anchor and anchor line are permanently lost.  Fortunately, the water intake was not seriously damaged.  I was able to use my dive gear to retrieve the in-take line and re-secure it to the float.  Please encourage your children and guests to recreate elsewhere.  If you’re going to the rope-swing by boat, please tie to the shoreline and access the area from the beach.

Fire Response/Truck/First aid

Siren Improvements
I have installed the support pole and brackets for the new siren at the recycling center.  The siren should be up in a week or so and the electrical supply lines with the radio control circuitry to follow.  This system should be ready for testing at our October fire drill (date to be decided).               

Fire Training
Next week will mark the sixth training session this year.  We have had well attended, monthly training since April.  These drills are an excellent opportunity to exercise our equipment and improve our knowledge and proficiency operating the various apparatus.  I am currently working with the Orcas Fire Chief, with the hope of our group joining Orcas for some professional training.  We are also forming a “Fire Administration Committee”.  Among other responsibilities, this committee will be tasked with completing and updating BIMC’s “Fire Response Manual”.  This will be the guiding document for our fire brigade.  It will establish command and control, safety policies, and fire attack procedures.  If you missed the last few drills and want to be involved in any aspect of fire response, please contact me or Fire Commissioner Deborah Davey.

AED/CPR Training
We had nineteen people attend our AED/CPR training on July fifth.  As you may know, I had my first opportunity to use these skills earlier this year.  Please believe me, when the time comes, you’ll be very glad you’ve had the refresher training.  Plus, the CPR protocols keep changing and there’s always something new to learn.  We hope to see you at next year’s training.

Vehicle Accidents
We’ve had several vehicular accidents with multiple injuries this summer.  I’ve personally had several near-misses with young drivers on motorcycles, four wheelers, golf carts and automobiles.  In many instances, young drivers pull out from hidden driveways or side roads without stopping or even looking.  Some young drivers don’t seem to understand the “stay to the right” concept and I’ve watched them meet oncoming vehicles on the wrong side of the road.  I’m concerned that this could lead to a very serious accident.  Please make sure your children understand the “Rules of The Road” before you set them lose.  Many adults have been observed driving far in excess of our twenty-mile per hour limit.  Please slow down.  Remember that you are sharing the road with young, inexperienced drivers and pedestrians.      

Please remember that four-wheelers are not designed to be operated on paved roads.  They may be difficult to steer/control on hard surfaces and are especially dangerous for inexperienced riders.


We continue to have problems with construction debris, appliances, furniture and especially, large quantities of Styrofoam packaging materials in the compactor.  This equipment is simply not capable of handling this type of material.  The result on at least two occasions has been the need to haul and dump the compactor when it was less than half full.  The compactor works great with household garbage added in small quantities.  If what you wish to dispose of is not readily compressible (styrofoam) or too large to fit in a thirty gallon trash bag, it cannot go in the compactor.  Please keep and store the larger items and styrofoam for the thrice yearly open dumpsters.  Members are responsible for hauling their own construction debris.

Blakely Island Recycle Depository (BIRD)
I want to thank Elizabeth and Lisa Enriquez for their hard work at the BIRD this summer.  We couldn’t ask for a harder working employee than Elizabeth and Lisa works just as hard as a volunteer.  Please thank these ladies when you see them.  We recently hauled the recycled material from the BIRD.  This seems to be happening more and more frequently; yet we always fill the thirty-yard boxes completely.  We seem to be handling more material every year.



You may have noticed that I have added gravel to some of the shoulders.  To date I have moved and placed approximate thirty-yards of gravel to build up the shoulders.   If the shoulders are much lower than the pavement edge, the edge is vulnerable to damage when vehicles enter and exit the roadway.  To prevent this type of damage, we will continue to add gravel as needed and replace material washed out by heavy rains.


TV System

I continue to receive calls about TV system problems.  In most cases the problems have been the member’s cable coming from the road.  However, we have also found and corrected problems in the BIMC distribution system.  If you think your signal is less than ideal, don’t hesitate to call.  I’ll be happy to help.


Sincerely, Jim Davis

Meeting Schedule for BIMC 2009 – 2010
All times are Pacific Coast times

Saturday, August 29, 2009
Time: 9 AM
Location:  Deb Davey’s home on Blakely Island

Thursday, November 5, 2009
Time: 7:30 PM
Jim and Margo Davis home
Call in number: 360 375- 6662

Thursday, January 7, 2010
Time: 7:30 PM
Jim and Margo Davis home
Call in number: 360-375-6662

Wednesday, March 10, 2010
Time: 7:30 PM
Jim and Margo Davis home
Call in number: 360-375-6662

Thursday, April 1, 2010
Time: 7:30 PM
Jim and Margo Davis home
Call in number: 360-375-6662

Thursday, May 6, 2010
Time: 7:30 PM
Jim and Margo Davis home
Call in number: 360-375-6662
Note: BCF and Proposed Yearly Budget

Sunday, May 30, 2010
Time: 9:00 AM
Jim and Margo Davis home
Call in number: 360-375-6662

Saturday, June 26, 2010
Time: 9:00 AM
Jim and Margo Davis home
Call in number: 360-375-6662

Saturday, July 3, 2010
Annual Meeting
Time: 9:00 AM Sign in and refreshments
         9:30 AM Annual Meeting Call to Order
Blakely Island Location