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Why I am Voting No on the Pavilion Proposal

As treasurer of the LLCOA, I want to start by addressing our current financial situation. The monies in our Lakeland checking account are almost entirely for our operating budget and a 15% contingency. That is $76,652 for the operating budget and another $11,500 for contingency. That equals $88,000. Currently, our checking account balance is $97,000. (This includes any savings we saw as a result of cancelling the picnic and the dinner dance..those monies are in that account.) To date, over one third of our members have yet to pay their 2020 dues. Although I expect most to pay by Nov 1, I think we need to consider that during this crazy time of quarantines and unemployment, there may be a large number of members who are unable to pay. Assuming most members do pay, no more than 10-15000$ of the money in the Lakeland checking account can be counted towards actual savings. That means we actually have only $200,000 in unencumbered funds. We can not consider the monies in the Provident Money Market account and the Live Oak CD as available for any improvements or emergencies. They are earmarked solely for the dam. As stated in the proposal, we may have some financial responsibility towards dam improvements. It is highly unlikely that the $310,000 saved so far will be enough and we may very well have to use other savings as well.

I am also concerned that the $66,000 figure in the proposal is too low. Although we have not gone out for bid as of yet, the committee did solicit two other estimates. Both were over $90,000. That is nearly half again as much as the lowest estimate, and none of them include expanding the concrete slab. According to the proposal, that expansion is estimated to be another $4000-$5000. We must consider that expense in this vote because the enlargement of the concrete slab will be a necessity. Once a pavilion is constructed the grass beneath it will die from lack of rain and sun and will be just dusty dirt or mud. So this is really, at the very least, a $70,000 project..but could be as high as $105,000. Even if we were to feel comfortable spending some of our $200,000 savings, and even at the lowest cost of $70,000, we are looking at spending 35% of our savings. As treasurer, I can not recommend spending that much of our savings on anything that is not an absolute necessity.

Liability and Fire insurance for the pavilion, (at $66,000) will cost just under $500 a year. Not needing to rent a tent for the picnic each year or holding our annual meeting there will net us very little savings. The tent cost $1340 and the cost of the church for the annual meeting is $100. Considering the $500 for insurance, our savings would only be $950 per year. At that rate it would take us over 70 years to pay for the pavilion. We wouldn’t save on any other rentals for events because we don’t do any other rentals for events. The dinner dance is not held at a rental space. It is held at a restaurant. We wouldn’t have the dinner dance in the field whether we have a pavilion or not. In addition to the insurance there will certainly be further costs for maintenance. and all the potential future modifications. We might even need additional portable toilets.

As a cabin owner I am wondering what kinds of community events and activities we want to add. (We definitely do not need more to be IRS compliant.) Isn’t the lake a place to get away from all the schedules and organized sports and classes and activities? For my family it is a time to be together as a family. It is a place where my kids used their imagination to entertain themselves. It is a respite from our “other world”. We do not need to be a summer camp to attract buyers to our small community. That is not what they are looking for and that is not what they expect. Maybe before proposing such a massive project we should have taken the time to survey the membership to see how we all feel. We could ask everyone if they want more activities and what kinds. We could even attempt to schedule some for next season and see if there is sufficient interest to continue with them and if a shelter is actually desired. Unless there’s inclement weather, none of the activities described in the proposal actually need a pavilion or concrete slab. And unless it is just a little light rain, the pavilion will not protect against getting wet. Yoga, for example, will certainly not happen on concrete.

Let’s picture what this would actually look like. This proposed structure would be huge…much larger than most cabins. At 40’ X 60’ it would be literally 3 times larger than the concrete slab that is there now. Nothing in the proposal speaks to the materials to be used or the finish that will be applied. Is it all wood, is there a metal roof, will it be painted or stained? How high is the roof? How imposing will this structure actually be?

My final concern is for the neighbors of Freddie’s Field and the cabins in the cove There is no room for parking at the field as this proposal suggests. The noise and traffic would be intolerable even if there are events or activities only every other weekend. The noise from the field is particularly loud in the cove. Adding a generator and lights would be even worse. We already have issues about too much noise and too much light pollution. I, for one, am not in favor of adding more. We would have to control use by individual members who might want to host private parties there. Our liability insurance would not cover that. It would be just one more thing to regulate.

This is, without a doubt, the worst time for us to even consider this. There is too much uncertainty about even being able to get together in large crowds and socialize by next season. There is too much financial uncertainty with high unemployment and possible additional shutdowns. I do not believe we should spend more than 1/3 of our savings for a project that will potentially cost us more down the road, is clearly not a necessity, will generate more noise and light pollution, and may be utilized more by individual members than as a community. I think we can all agree that, especially in this precarious time, it is unwise to spend that much on something we do not need.

Please vote no on the pavilion proposal.

Gail Slockett

Pavilion Comments by Jim Morgan

Gentlemen;
Thank you for forging ahead to propose that a Pavilion will greatly increase recreation options at the Lake.

One of the justifications was that the structure will replace the need of a tent at our annual picnic.

My observation is that the tent never was able to accommodate all the members. In fact, with the use of “picnic tables”, there will be a significant increase in Pavilion size to cover everyone.

You may recall that I was the volunteer to prepare a proposal for the “storage” building. Note that I also prepared a proposal for a pavilion that included an association office, storage for LLCOA equipment (currently scattered at various cabins),an area for the “movie crew” plus a large area for the picnic event with an area for dancing, etc.

The cost would have been approximately $100,000 to $115,000. Obviously, we could eliminate some of the amenities and bring the cost down. BTW, these costs were in 2010 +/- dollars.

Note that the committee did not allow for the dance floor (if you have attended this event [the Picnic]you know how important dancing seems to be). I suggest that the program be reconsidered to allow the construction of a structure that meets our needs now and into the future.

Also, there was a suggestion that a generator would be used when lights were needed. I suggest that the committee pursue the possibility of installing solar on the roof of the pavilion with battery storage. This could be a future expense, with generators for immediate use. This would allow evening activities with the flick of a switch!.

I am not aware when the project would start the actual construction. Early Spring would be best as there will be lots of large dump trucks and materials delivery kicking up dust.

I want to assure the committee that I am all for a Pavilion; just as long as it provides cover for all our current needs. My motivation is based on the observation of the use of the current “storage” building: it was originally designed to allow LLCOA committee meetings and sets for our ‘Movie Crew”; some scheduling has caused conflicts. None-the-less, it is a well used asset for the LLCOA.

Thank you for this opportunity to comment on the Pavilion Project.

Thank you,
Jim Morgan
192 Blue Road.

Pavilion Project

The Pavilion committee, consisting of Board Members Bill Klein, Feliks Kiselyuk, Frank Parillo have prepared a proposal to build a large pavilion in Freddie’s Field to encourage and entice greater involvement and interaction within the Longwood Lake community. There will be a Power Point Presentation (and pdf version) available on our website for review by all members. In addition, we will be presenting the information at our virtual Annual Meeting on October 3.

We invite and encourage all members to review the presentation prior to the meeting and to submit questions and comments regarding the information contained in the proposal. Our goal is to have all comments and questions posted on our website (anonymously if requested). “The committee will post answers to questions or comments on the website to keep members informed and to be as transparent as possible to both support any concerns regarding the Pavilion Proposal.

Comments and questions can be submitted to:

Bill Klein kyff9916@gmail.com 

Feliks Kiselyuk feliks.kiselyuk@gmail.com

Frank Parillo llcoa.frank@gmail.com

When responding to the Pavilion Committee please copy the LLCOA at longwoodlakecabinowners@gmail.com

We are doing this to ensure members have as much information as possible prior to the meeting to keep it both focused and concise. After the presentation and all discussion has been concluded, there will be a vote to determine if the project is approved.

The committee asks for members to review the information and hopefully support the project.

The Pavilion Proposal documents dated 9-17-20 have been removed at the request of the authors.

Film Production is Underway at Longwood Lake!

It’s that time of year again, and just as sure as acorns will fall on our cabin roofs, filming of the next Longwood Lake Cabin Owners movie is happening now! Produced by Pat Pagano and directed by Gary Chestaro, this year the film will be a series of short vignettes from the Jackie Gleason Variety Hour. The cast includes Gary Garrison, Lisa Correa, Elena Zavracky, Rob Hynes, Joan Centrella, David Zavracky, Helen Keskinen, Pat Pagano, Alison Garrison, Judy Habbart, David Spitzfaden, and Bob Klein.

The cast and crew are so excited to bring you this production! We look forward to the premiere in 2021! – Lisa Correa

Open letter to the person who spent last night throwing fireworks at the lake

We have two dogs. They love coming to the lake with us every weekend. However, last night was the fourth time that our restful evening was abruptly interrupted by fireworks. See? Canine ears react in a very different way to gunpowder detonation, as they are greatly magnified, causing them to go into panic mode and trying to run away in any way possible. Some dogs shiver for hours after the fireworks are done, others go into such levels of fear and distress that they release themselves, and in some cases, they even go into cardiac arrest and die. Because of your stupid, childish and selfish act, and to avoid getting our dog killed, we had to pack in the middle of the night and go home. Again.

We had an amazing fireworks display on the Fourth of July, which was quite enjoyable. We were expecting it (and looking forward to it), so we left our dogs safe at home, so we could all enjoy the evening at the lake. This was Independence Day, so a big display of fireworks was a must, along barbecues, hot dogs, drinks and lake fun.

In a community filled with pets, senior citizens and young children it is as simple as COMMON COURTESY for your fellow neighbors. In Yellow Road alone, there are 10 dogs, besides families with little children and even a couple of babies and toddlers, which are also affected by the noise. A few days ago, I got true words of wisdom (and humanity) from one of my neighbors who’s big on fireworks: “I love fireworks, but I love my dog more.” Could not be simpler.

How is it possible that our community can be so adamant (the word I am actually thinking is “petty”) about bonfires and fire pits, while turning a blind eye to unsupervised use of fireworks? I understand and appreciate the concern about open flames. However-and call me crazy- it seems to me that having amateur pyrotechnicians shooting rockets in a forest, filled with houses basically made out of tinder might be even more concerning.

If there’s not a rule about this, LLCOA should consider creating one restricting solely it to national holidays, and following strict safety parameters (fireworks are banned and illegal in many states for a reason). If there’s one, start enforcing it for a change.
Thanks,

Paco Correa

132 Yellow Road


Dear Paco-
I am sorry to hear about the distress suffered by your dog, which caused you to have to leave your cabin the middle of the night.
Regarding your comment about LLCOA rules, it turns out that while we do not have a rule specifically about fireworks, we do have a rule on loud noises in general that was written with fireworks (as well as loud music and other disturbing high volume noise) in mind. It says:
“Loud noises are prohibited after 10 p.m. except on Memorial Day, the 4th of July and Labor Day when they are prohibited after midnight.“
We will post this letter on the website, along with yours, in order to remind all cabin owners that these are the guidelines we have democratically established to promote neighborliness and community. Thank you for writing your letter and posting it. It may help to raise awareness of this issue.
I hope this never happens again, but if it does, might be helpful if you could identify the party creating the disturbance. And if you are willing, it would be a good idea if you spoke directly to that party. The reality is that most rules are effective because we have a high degree of voluntary compliance in lake community. Sometimes all it takes is a conversation. But if that fails, next steps would include ADR and possible intervention by the board.
Sincerely,
Richard Heitler.

Breakfast for Seven Eagles

By Bill Garrison

Friday, January 25 a deer got caught in the thin ice across from Cabin 144 and froze. She was breakfast for seven eagles by morning. They took turns feeding. There were never more than two at a time eating but you could see the others in the trees waiting their turn.

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The birds with darker heads are juveniles.

 

Snapping Turtles by Dave Z.

Snapping Turtles Mating by Dave Zavracky
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Being a cabin owner allows for some truly fascinating encounters with the outdoor world. The real and natural, yet seldom seen lives of well-known creatures offer us some truly unique discoveries and experiences. When you spend time in the natural environment, chances are, sooner or later, you’ll run into something that will demand your attention. It happened to me while out fishing on Longwood Lake one morning in mid-May. I came upon a rather unusual looking floating object. Upon closer inspection I noticed the shell of a snapping turtle. As I came right up upon it, I determined that it was two snapping turtles locked together. The two turtles drifted with the current down into lower Longwood lake.

Snapping turtles mate between April and November, influenced by the gradually warming water in the spring and become most active breeding during the warmer months. They begin courtship by facing one another and moving their heads from side to side. Mating begins, in the water, with the male mounting the female and adjusting his tail beneath the female’s to allow the cloacal openings to touch. The female can store the male’s semen within herself for months, delaying fertilization until the optimum time. Delayed fertilization helps snapping turtle populations spread. A female can travel overland to a new lake, pond, or marsh, before initiating fertilization in the new habitat. She excavates a cavity on dry land with her hind feet, buries up to 60 eggs and then leaves. The young turtles find their own way back to the water. Raccoons, foxes, coyotes, and minks raid the nests and prey on hatchlings. Once they reach the water, the young are vulnerable to fish, snakes and wading birds.

Winter 2017/2018

Winter at Longwood Lake:  Photos thanks to Lisa Correa, Aaron Lewit, Vince Reyda, Gail Slockett (and one painting by Gail!), Dave and Patty Spitzfaden, Anthony Tesoriero

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The Annual Ice Fishing Contest – 2018:  Photos thanks to Al and Nancy Saccente and Dave Zavracky

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