Blog

LLCOA Picnic – 2021

I have loved photography since I was a child. I enjoy taking pictures of faces and bodies and people just people being themselves. However, unless it’s a modeling photoshoot, which I rarely do anymore, I dislike posed pictures, like the stereotypical ones you could find in a wedding album. They look stiff, uncomfortable and fake… kind of forced and dead.

I’d rather be like a fly in the wall, documenting everything, preferably without being noticed, (big lenses are great for this).

At Longwood Lake, I hit the jackpot. It doesn’t matter if they are rich or poor, city slickers or country people, conservative or liberals, social butterflies or curmudgeons, everyone here is a character in their own right and each one of them has a fascinating story to tell, if you care to listen closely. Another thing I noticed is that, once you get to know everyone, you can’t stop smiling and laughing–with the possible exception of the board meetings and the firework culprits, but those are stories for another day. Proof of this was the bingo, the trivia night, the docktail hour and most recently, the annual picnic.

Sometimes you just want to go where everybody knows your name. That’s Longwood Lake. Enjoy the pictures and… Cheers!

– Paco Correa

Bingo Night, June 12, 2021

34 LLCOA members gathered for Bingo night at Freddie’s Field. Playing 6 rounds of Bingo mixed with trivia in between, a fun time was has by all.

Prizes for Bingo winners included Rafts, jumbo Yatzee, a remote control boat, lake decor and cabin related books courtesy of LLCOA. Trivia winners were treated to jumbo licorice bags in many flavors provided by Wiley Wallaby Licorice.

THE CONENSUS WAS LETS DO IT AGAIN! – Lisa Correa

Our Furry Neighbors

“Leave my Mom alone. She’s just been tranquilized!”

For several years Wildlife Services Technicians from the NJ Fish and Wildlife Division of the NJDEP have visited us in March to monitor a collared female bear who lives on the northwest side of Berkshire Valley Road. In 2017 the Technicians found the bear and four cubs.
In 2018 she was still raising her one-year-olds. She and her youngsters ran away from the Technicians. When the Technicians came back in 2019 this is what they found — five new cubs.

When the NJ Fish and Wildlife technicians returned in February 2020 they could hear her signal but couldn’t get close enough to look at her. She had yearlings and was very mobile!

In 2021 our collared bear had cubs again and made her den up the hill. This year was a little different, she made her den on the property to the right of the power lines as you go up hill. The Wildlife Services Technicians switched out Mom’s collar and tagged two healthy cubs, a boy and a girl. The bear family is doing well up on that ridge.

Dumpster Area Clean-up

We were able to thoroughly clean up the dumpster area this past weekend. Thanks to a few volunteers we made a few trips to the recycling center with full pick-up truck loads of tires, metal debris and an old refrigerator.

The clean-up wouldn’t have been possible without the help of Stephanie Bloomer, Bob Klein, Lucky Abernathy and Sue Abernathy… they were incredibly helpful!
Photos and organization by Feliks Kiselyuk

High Water at Longwood Lake

The water level is high at the lake. My dock is close to being under water. Mike Klein’s dock is under water. All three overflow tubes at the dam are passing water. If we get much more rain we could have some problems with docks. See pictures attached.

Pat Pagano says we might be getting another 2 inches or more of rain over the weekend.

Dave Zavracky

Regarding the Previous Pavilion Proposal:

The Pavilion Committee recently modified its previous proposal.

Members may not be aware that over the past few months, there have been large increases in the cost of dimensional lumber, as well as shortages in supply. As an example, the cost of trusses for our lowest structure quote increased by $5,000 dollars since May. Therefore, the quote was resubmitted with an increased overall cost. All 3 quotes are on the website for review

We have also provided increased clarity in the project scope. Changes from the previous presentation are in Blue or Red font

A very important change in that we will not be asking for your vote to approve funding the building of a pavilion structure.

Instead, at the Oct. 3rd Annual Meeting we would like to propose a non-binding vote to understand if Members would support a pavilion in the future if we could keep the structure cost at or below $65,000 dollars

This vote would NOT allow for appropriating funds for a building structure. It would only keep the committee active in looking to find alternative options for presentation, discussion and MEMBERapproval at a future date.

We ask that you take the time to review the updated information so you are fully aware of the changes.

The committee apologizes for any confusion or inconvenience to members regarding their consideration for the project proposal.

If any member would like the presentation sent to you directly from the committee, please contact or email Bill Klein (973-219-0384) or kyff9916@gmail.com

Sincerely.

The Pavilion Project Committee

Why We Oppose Spending Money on an Expensive Pavilion

Jeff and Paula Galloway, Cabin 197

We agree with the points expressed by Gail Slockett and Sharon Pannucci, and we agree that the questions raised by Dick Leigh are important ones.  To those points we would add or elaborate:

  • Rather than spend a huge sum on a project with speculative benefits, we should hold our savings until we know how much we may need to spend to protect the Lake itself in light of the deteriorating condition of the dam.
    • Significant dam repairs may be necessary to maintain the dam in a condition that can continue to hold Longwood Lake at its current fill level.
  • Besides the picnic and annual meeting, the other proposed uses in the pavilion proposal presentation – board games, card games, trivia or bingo games, nature seminars, etc. – could easily fit in the existing clubhouse.
    • The main clubhouse room is about 500 square feet.  At standard occupancy rates of 15 square feet per person, the clubhouse could comfortably accommodate 33 people for any of these events.  We have photos from the 2017 filming of the LLCOA movie, showing 22 people in a nowhere-near-full clubhouse.
    • In fact, at the 2015 Annual Meeting, when the clubhouse was proposed and approved, those exact same uses were offered as reasons for building the clubhouse.  Since 2015, there has been no demand for any of those types of organized events, and virtually none have been scheduled for the clubhouse. (The clubhouse has been used for filming the annual movie and some LLCOA Board and Committee meetings, but not for any of the additional social events predicted.)
    • We only have 92 cabin units.  On a typical summer weekend, we have at most about 50% occupancy – 46 cabins.  The existing clubhouse could easily hold the number of people out of those 46 cabins likely to be interested in attending extra social events, as opposed to relaxing at their lakeside cabins with family and friends. 
  • The pricing in the pavilion proposal is very soft.  None of the price quotes supplied contain drawings or meaningful project specifications.  The pavilion proposal does not address how cost overruns will be handled.
  • Before we give serious consideration to such an expensive project, we should carefully survey our fellow Members’ actual interest in the types of events contemplated for the pavilion.
    • We could send out an email requesting if anyone is interested in nature seminars, card games or trivia night at the clubhouse, and see how many people express interest.  
    • Spending $70,000 or more for a structure before determining whether there is interest in using the structure is not wise.

Approving the proposed pavilion project is fiscally irresponsible.

• The project costs at least $66,000 for the pavilion and $4,000 for the expanded concrete slab. Total $70,000

• It will cost a minimum of $1000/year just for taxes and insurance

• A structure this big is only necessary for the picnic and the annual meeting

• Picnic tent costs $1340 and church for annual meeting is $100. $1440 total.

• $1440 – $1000(taxes & insurance) = $440/year in savings

• It will take 159 years to pay for itself

• Large events such as the picnic and dinner dance cost at least $9000 each

• Each additional event requiring a structure that size would mean an increase in dues of at least $85/cabin

• Card games, bingo night, nature talks, etc. – could easily be accommodated in the existing clubhouse

• If the funds set aside for the dam are not enough, we will all have to pay an additional assessment.

• $70,000 represents an assessment of $761/cabin

Gail G. Slockett