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Smallwood-Mongaup Valley 6/11/2021

We must pay for our lunch

Posted 6/11/21

This past rainy Memorial Day weekend, the Smallwood Civic Association (SWCA) held the first of three planned General Meetings for 2021. The informative Zoom session—a recording of which is …

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Smallwood-Mongaup Valley 6/11/2021

We must pay for our lunch

Posted

This past rainy Memorial Day weekend, the Smallwood Civic Association (SWCA) held the first of three planned General Meetings for 2021. The informative Zoom session—a recording of which is still available to Association members via an email link sent out by SWCA Membership Director, Bill Moss, on May 30th—lasted nearly 2.5 hours. Around 125 households logged on, representing approximately 200 people among 458 active Association memberships. Interest was high in this first report from the Board since it was the first opportunity for members to assess the vision and achievements of the board after a hotly-contested election last September. Current Association President Jonathan Hyman opened the session with an overview of the challenges the new Board saw itself confronting back then. The most important issue, Hyman noted, is the condition of Smallwood in 15 years. All of the Association’s most important assets (Mountain Lake, tennis courts, playground, dam) show significant signs of wear and tear and income must increase to cover predictable costs in the future. Work has begun on all fronts on these assets. Hyman also listed other areas where the Board would like to better serve the community as a governing body, stressing fiduciary transparency, good communication (frequent emails, website), and constitutional reform (implementation of new voting procedures, annual filing of conflict-of-interest statements by board members, auditing of Association financials). Hyman intends to call a meeting later in the year to allow the Membership to publicly discuss the skein of issues surrounding short and long-term rentals in Smallwood. Individual Directors, Board Members and select employees of the Association also made reports, most of which I cannot summarize due to space limitations. Mary Scofield (Parks & Recreation, Youth, PR) talked about renovations to the Association Lodge (wifi, security) and upcoming pilates and yoga classes there. George Glantzis, Beach Manager, Lifeguard and Swim Instructor, reported that half-hour swimming lessons would begin on June 28th and probably run five days a week through August 20th. William Figueroa (Lake Committee) reported that Mountain Lake may at some point in the future become eutrophic, choked of its oxygen by green algae, having been fed too much nitrogen and phosphorus by wildfowl, defective septic systems, and phosphorus-based lawn fertilizers. Figueroa recommends no feeding of wildfowl around the lake, the use of phosphorus-free fertilizer in Smallwood yards, and septic tanks servicing every three to five years. All these actions will help preserve our most valuable asset! One final important topic discussed was the issue of membership fees. As in past years, members must be current with their membership dues in order to enjoy membership privileges, though there is a grace period for payment. The Annual Membership fee for 2021 remains $150. Until June 30th, 2021, the Membership Initiation Fee (for households joining the Association) is $500; after July 1st, 2021, the Initiation Fee, whose proceeds go exclusively toward the preservation and upkeep of Mountain Lake will be $750. Members interested in more information about the SWCA and its activities should visit its website at www.smallwoodcivicassociation.org.

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