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Minutes


March 07, 2013
Minutes of Meeting of the Membership
LAKE HARDING LEASEHOLDERS ASSOCIATION, INC.

 

            A meeting of the membership of Lake Harding Leaseholders Association, Inc. was held on Thursday, March 07, 2013, at 7:00 PM at the Georgia Power Company Land Office Warehouse.

            President, Melanie Humphreys called the meeting to order.

            Prior to the business meeting, Georgia Power's Land Department provided a great cookout for the membership. Mrs. Humphreys expressed appreciation to the Land Department on behalf of the membership for providing a meeting location and the cookout for the group. She then asked for all those interested to please stand and pledge allegiance to the Flag.

            Keith Hill welcomed everyone and then started the meeting by asking Arnold Lindsey, Safety Manager of the Chattahoochee Hydro Group, to review some of the basic safety information. Arnold stated he always keeps a fire extinguisher in his truck, along with a First Aid Kit. He informed us if we were to have a fire start while in the GP Warehouse building tonight, he had already assigned someone to call for emergency assistance and for us all to exit through the main double front doors. He also noted that in the event of any bad weather, like tornados, he has keys to a Safe Room. He then asked all those trained in CPR for a show of hands to identify people located all over the building with special training.

            He also introduced Chief Richard McKinney from the Antioch Volunteer Fire Department, along with Sgt Lynn Chambers, her daughter Lizzie and sister, Leslie Witherspoon, and Susan Snider, the AVFD Treasurer.

            The Beulah Fire Department was represented by Chief Jacob Geiger and Brent Bennett.

            The Alabama Game and Fisheries representatives were Rick Smith and Brian Grice.

            Keith also noted we had a special guest with us, Lee County Commissioner Robert Hamm and his wife, Elizabeth.

            Keith then introduced Robin Gibson and Sara Jenkins from their support staff; Ricky Stearns and Bill Glisson who handle Shoreline Management; Mike Barnett, Parks Manager; Kym Partridge, their Forrester; and Richard Willis of the Land Management team; Wayne Hardy, supervisor of the Hydro Services group and Herbie Johnson.

            He stated they had free tree seedlings at the door and asked everyone to please take some to plant along the shore line.

            Keith noted that Blanton Creek Park had opened on March 1, and would be open through Labor Day. There have been many improvements made since last Labor Day and he encouraged everyone to check them out by visiting the location or their new web site at: www.georgiapowerlakes.com

            Other noteworthy items are Georgia Power has scheduled a drawdown for fall 2013. Good rainfall has been projected from now through-out summer, so if you have plans to build or repair, it is never too early to contact Bill Glisson for the Georgia side or Ricky Stearns for the Alabama side.

            Keith introduced George Martin, Georgia Power's Relicensing Manager. This process started in 2008, and in December 2012, they filed the new Bartlett's Ferry project License application with the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC), in Washington, D.C. They assessed needed improvements and presented items they suggested regarding water quality, recreation areas, and launch sites; and in fact they are about to open a new fishing pier near the Longbridge. Up to date information regarding the relicensing schedule can be found at www.GeorgiaPowerLakes.com. He thanked the Lake Harding Association for being so supportive by having such big turn-outs at the four meetings held last year to discuss FERC.

            He then introduced Georgia Power's Environmental Field Services Team; Jim Candler, Tony Dodd and Tom Broadwell. He mentioned Joey Slaughter, who was unable to be there, but is one of their biologists who has been working closely with Tony, another biologist, to whom he turned the meeting over to discuss the aquatic growth which was first brought up at last fall's BBQ.

            Tony began by explaining what hydrilla looks like by comparing it to plants you would put in your aquarium. He brought up the fact we were just coming off a five year period of low rainfall and high temperatures setting the perfect stage for this exotic, invasive, aquatic plant to take hold and spread. Hydrilla adapts to all habitats and left unchecked it can take over and destroy lake use. The drawdown scheduled for this fall will help control weed growth. This past summer they were treating for bushy pond weed when the contractor discovered hydrilla in Lake Oliver. Hydrilla has since been discovered elsewhere. Georgia Power surveyed other GPC lakes in the Chattahoochee system and mapped 6,300 acres in our area. About 10% of Lake Harding has hydrilla. Internally, Georgia Power has formed a weed committee to develop strategy to specifically address concerns about nuisance weed growth. GPC's integrated hydrilla management plan is designed to monitor and help manage hydrilla and other invasive plants that can interfere with our lake.

            Last year Georgia Power reached the limits of their budget for treating these weeds. They plan a more proactive approach to monitoring the lake for weeds and they plan to start earlier in the year using the herbicide. And then the drawdown will be a big help in killing these weeds. They are working with Tom Broadwell who has 30 years of experience in this field. Through the FERC relicensing process for Bartlett's Ferry, GPS has committed to controlling hydrilla with similar actions there. And they plan on doing more to get the word out to more people on what we can do to help.

            Be on the look-out for hydrilla. Never introduce any aquatic plant in to Lake Harding. Do not dump your aquariums in to the lake. Clean your boats, PWCs, trailers, vests, and any other boating equipment before putting them in the lake. Do not dump your grass clippings in to the lake. If you have a Koi pond on your property and you notice any unusual plant growth call your state Extension Office to determine what it is and find out how to get rid of it.

            Keith then introduced Adam Goins from the Alabama Marine Patrol and Sgt Jim Bradfield, Ranger Russell Epps, and Cpl Jeremy Bolen of the Georgia DNR.

            Cpl Bolen took the stand to say that there is proposed legislation under review for Georgia that will possibly cause some changes to take place. Last year over the state of Georgia there were many boating accidents. Fortunately there were none on Lake Harding, but several on Lake Lanier. Part of the proposal includes lowering the blood alcohol level from .10 to .08. He noted they already have the authority to make a judgment call on whether to arrest someone with a .08. They are pushing to have the boating under the influence law to mirror the driving under the influence law.

            Someone asked about the law in Alabama regarding alcohol. Currently in Alabama the limit is .08 and if you receive a BUI it only affects your boating license and not your driving license.

            When asked who to contact regarding not changing the law, we were told to contact our local representatives.

            He was asked about the legality of hunting and shooting of ducks on Lake Harding. Jeremy stated it was legal. The hunters are responsible for their shots so unless their shots are hitting your docks, decks, or property they have the right to be there and shoot as early as safe light and as much as they want. When questioned about the home owner's right to peace and quiet, he stated then the homeowner should call their Sheriff's department and file a complaint.

            Jeremy was asked if air boats are allowed on Lake Harding and he said they are. And when questioned about the noise, he stated it would be the same as the noise with the duck shooters; you need to call your local Sheriff's office.

            At this point, Melanie Humphreys took back the floor. She stated everyone had been emailed a copy of last year's Annual Membership Meeting minutes and a copy of the Treasurer's Report. She asked for a motion to accept the minutes. One was given, seconded and approved.

            Treasurer, Mary Lynn Webb had sent out a report showing a balance of $ 11,809.04 as of December 31, 2012. She noted 57 new memberships had brought in $ 4,262.60 and Annual Membership Renewals of 395 had brought in another $ 9,662.60. Melanie asked for a motion to approve the Treasurer's Report. One was given, seconded and approved.

            Melanie then mentioned we had two board members step down, Janylle Koren from Alabama, and Robert Archer from Georgia. The two replacements nominated were Dave Jacob and David Hawkins, respectively.

            Mrs. Humphreys presented the nominees for Board Members commencing for the year 2013:

ALABAMA GEORGIA
Connie Stinson Mary Lynn Webb
Don Neal Melanie Humphreys
Dave Jacob David Hawkins
Jim Duncan Susan Tompkins
Joel Donovan Tommy McKenzie

            Melanie then presented the slate of officers to serve for 2013:

Melanie Humphreys, President
Susan Tompkins, Secretary
Mary Lynn Webb, Treasurer

            A motion was made, seconded and unanimously approved that the slate of nominees proposed by the Board be accepted.

            She then thanked the entire board for their hard work and gave special thanks to Don Neal and Joel Donovan for all their work on FERC.

            Melanie then asked if there was any old business and there being none, she proceeded with the meeting by introducing Roger Martin with the Chattahoochee RiverWarden.

            Roger began his presentation by explaining his use of a walking cane. On January 16, he fell and broke his hip. Luckily, Arnold Lindsay, Manager of Georgia Power's Chattahoochee Hydro Group was there and immediately went to Roger's aid. Roger thanked Arnold for probably saving his life, as he examined Roger and instructed him to lie still because he could tell Roger had such a serious break that the slightest movement might puncture a main artery.

            Roger then proceeded to say he was extremely pleased with the FERC license request filed by Georgia Power on December 4, 2012. He stated it was an excellent plan that calls for the lake levels to be at the 518 - 521 mark 99% of the time and from the 517 to 521, 100% of the time. He stated "the people from up north seemed to have disappeared", and he credited part of that to the fact we had all shown such a great turn out at the four meetings held last year. He also stated that the letters written by business owners and our representatives had helped.

            He reminded everyone about last summer when the Corp of Engineers announced they were closing the three locks below us on the Chattahoochee and how a lot of people, including representatives from the Chattahoochee RiverWarden had gotten involved and got them to reverse their decision. He stressed the importance of "Use it or Lose it". And so far, we have not been using the locks. Recently at the Lake Eufaula Home Owner's Association they were asked how many had been through their lock. Only two people out of a 150 raised their hand.

            Even now, the locks are only open on certain days and times. Whereas, in the past, two of the locks operated 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Now, if you want to plan a down river trip through the locks, you should call The Corps of Engineers in Eufaula or email Roger for their operating schedule.

            The Georgia Lake Society is coming out in early May with an Adopt-A-Lake program and they need volunteers.

            The Hydrilla that showed up in Lake Harding last summer is a big concern. Lake Seminole is 80% covered with it and it has very negatively impacted the people who live on the lake, the businesses, and those wanting to travel through the area.

            Roger's office and Georgia Power have been working together to try to head it off on Lake Harding. However, this past summer created a perfect storm with the record temperatures and low amount of rain causing water flows to cease that helped foster its growth. Georgia Power and Chattahoochee RiverWarden drafted a letter about the problem and sent to all Lake Harding Leaseholders.

            Roger stressed the importance of everyone practicing Shoreline Management. Be very careful about using fertilizer anywhere near the lake. Be conscious of the fact that even fertilizer used away from the shoreline runs into the lake when it rains. This causes the Hydrilla to grow like wild.

            Chattahoochee RiverWarden is a non-profit organization and they need all the support they can get. He encouraged everyone to see Jenn Collins to join and also to receive a quarterly email keeping you informed about things on which the RiverWarden group has been working.

            Someone asked about adding Grass Carp to eat the Hydrilla. The Grass Carp is an invasive fish. The Corp of Engineers put them in some of their lakes in an attempt to kill their Hydrilla and they managed the aquatic plant life and destroyed the fisheries.

            So, the Georgia DNR, AL Department of Conservation and Natural Resources, Auburn University, University of Georgia, have all agreed this is not a viable solution. Georgia does allow Grass Carp be used in closed system lakes and ponds.

            They can repeatedly treat the Hydrilla until they think it is gone, but it has tubers that run under the sediment 6 - 15" deep, and when the conditions get right, they jump right back up.

            In 1997, on Georgia Power's Lake Juliett they treated the Hydrilla, and have not located any since then. It is just hard to tell if and when it will re-appear plus how severe it will be.

            Mike Jones asked how this eradication is being funded and could home owners help finance this effort.

            Georgia Power and GA DNR are working up a draft to outline a way to issue permits to home owners to allow them to go to a state certified herbicide distributor and pay them to treat if the Georgia Power team can't get to your dock area in a timely manner.

            This summer Georgia Power paid for enough herbicide that sprayed 60 acres and killed it back.

            Landy Thompson mentioned how you can see the hydrilla as you are driving on I-185 at West Point and asked why it hasn't been treated since it is up-stream from us. Roger stated it was because West Point Lake is owned by the Corp and they have not been treating their lake.

            Don Neal asked how much per gallon and how much area will a gallon treat. George Martin said they had used Floradorm this past summer and it cost $1,500 per gallon and covered about 5 or 6 acres. There is a cheaper brand that runs about $190 - $230 per gallon, but it is much less effective. What you should do if you notice a weed problem around your property is to call the Georgia Power Land office and they will try to come out as soon as possible to treat the area. When the better quality herbicide is used, you can usually start seeing the weeds begin to look sick within a few hours.

            When asked how toxic these herbicides are to swimmers and fish, we were told they only use EPA approved products and apply only as directed. They sometimes use a type that requires you to stay out of the water for 24 hours after it is applied. When this is done, they notify all the homeowners in advance and post warning signs.

            Eric Reutebuch from Alabama Water Watch mentioned that hydrilla can grow from 20' up to 30 feet deep.

            Mike Jones asked why 1 or 2% of our lease fees not be applied to purchasing enough herbicide to kill the hydrilla.

            Roger also wanted everyone to know the locks at the Woodruff Dam are broken. They are still working on getting them repaired, but should be re-opened in a few weeks. Roger can be reached at criverwarden@gmail.com or 706-649-6326.

            Melanie thanked Roger and introduced Eric Reutebuch (Read-A-Boo) with Alabama Water Watch (AWW).

            Eric thanked us for inviting them to join us and stated how impressed he was with the size of our group. He remarked that it says a lot about our commitment to the lake.

            AWW provides training to volunteer citizens to teach them how to monitor water quality. They teach people how to do water chemistry testing, bacteriological (E. coli) monitoring and stream bio-monitoring. This educational/outreach organization started in 1992, and held its first training in 1993.

            Once you have completed your training you can load your data into the AWW online database via your PC at home or you can mail in your written data. AWW currently has 72,000 records in their online water quality database. Their methods are EPA approved. And the reason you should consider monitoring water quality in Lake Harding is to insure we maintain a healthy fish population, healthy aquatic life, and our own human health. It takes about three hours to get trained as a bacteriological monitor and about six hours to be trained as a water chemistry monitor.

            Eric then asked who knew how many square miles of watershed Lake Harding has. The guesses ranged from 696 to 75,000 square miles. Robert Gnann won the cigar for closest guess of 696. The answer was about 800 square miles. Eric emphasized that lake stewards need to be vigilant of potential threats to the lake throughout its 800 square mile watershed.

            Eric pointed out Carl Badger who he referred to as the "Friend of Halawakee Creek" for the water monitoring he has been doing for the last five years. Eric stated Carl has also been monitoring Osanippa Creek, and pointed out the water quality is not as good there as in Halawakee based on Osanippa's recurring low dissolved oxygen (DO) readings (that occur in the summertime). When examining the water quality data for these streams, DO readings above 5 parts per million (ppm) will support a healthy fish population, while readings less than 5 ppm will not.

            AWW is sponsoring a Rain Water Harvest Workshop on April 4, at the Auburn University Davis Arboretum, and a Bacteriological Monitoring Workshop on April 5, and a Water Chemistry Monitoring Workshop on April 6. For more information and how to register you can contact AWW at: 888-844-4785. You may also find this information on their web site at: www.alabamawaterwatch.org and also on the Lake Harding Association web site at: www.lakehardingassociation.com.

            Lastly, Alabama Governor Bentley has established a Governor's Task Force to develop a statewide water management plan by this December. If you are an Alabama resident and want to have input into the plan and how our water is managed, you should attend the Alabama Water Policy Symposium on May 10th at the Auburn University Campus at Comer Hall (for more info, go to: www.alabamarivers.org/current-work and click on Water Policy). Eric said that he would love to see you there!

            Melanie thanked Eric and then told everyone we had been given three t-shirts from Kimberly Lewis, the owner of the Chattahoochee River Trading Company for door prizes. The three winners were picked from the sign in sheets and were; Linda and Hugh Dicks, Stella and Allen Daugherty, and Elizabeth and Robert Hamm. Melanie then introduced Chief Richard McKinney.

            Chief Richard McKinney of the Antioch Volunteer Fire Department (AVFD) started off by sharing some good news with us. Effective March 1, 2013, the Insurance Safety Office (ISO) changed the AVFD's ISO rating from a 6 to a 4.

            The ISO has a rating scale of 1 - 10, with 10 being the worse score. Classes 1 - 8 represent a fire suppression system that includes a Fire Suppression Rating System (FSRS), a credible dispatch center, a fire department and a water supply.

            The Insurance Safety Office collects and evaluates data from fire departments and the community on the last three year's operation to rate the department's structural fire suppression delivery system. They rate the department's structural fire suppression by evaluating the following categories: (1) Receiving and handling alarms; (2) Department Operations, and (3) Having sufficient water supply.

            In the United States, ISO rated 47,242 fire departments. Of those, 1,038 were rated in Georgia. In the US, only 61 fire departments received a class 1 rating; 592 received a 2; 1,998 received a 3; and 613 received a 4. In Georgia, none received a class 1; 20 received a class 2; 56 received a class 3; and 126 received a class 4. Country-wide only 9% of fire departments have an ISO rating of 4. In Georgia, only 12% have an ISO rating of 4.

            To retain this rating, they need more people to volunteer, either in the office or to go through the training to learn to be a fire firefighter. Since it can take several months for the ISO to get all this information updated and relayed to all the different insurance companies, Chief McKinney recommended we each contact our individual insurance company who we have our homeowner's policy with and ask them to please contact the ISO in order to have your insurance premium reduced now, rather than later. Chief McKinney can be reached at: 706-576-5559.

            We owe a big round of thanks to Chief McKinney and his staff, who includes Sgt Lynn Chambers, who was also present at the meeting and assisting with the sale of weather alarms which members had asked for last year. Sharing her duties were her daughter, Lizzie, and sister, Leslie Witherspoon. The alarms are $35.00 for a stationary model and $40.00 for the mobile ones which can be taken with you when boating, or wherever.

            Remember, this new and better ISO rating is only beneficial to those with property on the Harris County side. Those with properties on the Lee County side should contact the Beulah Fire Department if you have any questions regarding their ISO rating. Their number is 334.742.0090.

            The following donation amounts were proposed, approved and seconded:

               $ 2,000 - Antioch Volunteer Fire Department
               $ 2,000 - Beulah Volunteer Fire Department
               $ 2,000 - Fireworks
               $ 1,000 - Chattahoochee RiverWarden
               $ 1,000 - The Cross Committee

            Joel Slocumb, representing The Cross Committee, stood and thanked everyone for the donation that helps keep this historical landmark going.

            Melanie let everyone know they will be receiving a new member directory soon and to be sure to review their information to insure everything is correct, and if not, contact Susan Tompkins. Also, a Blood Drive is scheduled for Saturday April 13 from 10:00 AM - 3:00 PM EST in the parking lot of Shoreline Grill. Contact Joel Donovan for more information. We have new boat flags with a new design. The annual Bar-B-Q will be held in September and the date and location will be announced at a later time, but will most likely be held at the Condo Point on the Georgia side. She reminded everyone the $25 Annual Membership Fees are due April 1 of each year and asked they please send them in a timely manner to help cut down on the amount of administrative time and effort required to handle this.

            Melanie let everyone know they will be receiving a new member directory soon and to be sure to review their information to insure everything is correct, and if not, contact Susan Tompkins. Also, a Blood Drive is scheduled for Saturday April 13 from 10:00 AM - 3:00 PM EST in the parking lot of Shoreline Grill. Contact Joel Donovan for more information. We have new boat flags with a new design. The annual Bar-B-Q will be held in September and the date and location will be announced at a later time, but will most likely be held at the Condo Point on the Georgia side. She reminded everyone the $25 Annual Membership Fees are due April 1 of each year and asked they please send them in a timely manner to help cut down on the amount of administrative time and effort required to handle this.

            There being no further business to come before the meeting, the same was adjourned.

Respectfully submitted,


Susan Tompkins, Secretary



March 01, 2012
Minutes of Meeting of the Membership
LAKE HARDING LEASEHOLDERS ASSOCIATION, INC.

 

             A meeting of the membership of Lake Harding Leaseholders Association, Inc. was held on Thursday, March 01, 2012, at 7:00 PM at the Georgia Power Company Land Office Warehouse.

             President, Don Neal called the meeting to order.

             Prior to the business meeting, Georgia Power's Land Department provided a great cookout for the membership. Mr. Neal expressed appreciation to the Land Department on behalf of the membership for providing a meeting location and the cookout for the group.

             Keith Hill welcomed everyone and stated we had approximately 200 in attendance including local Georgia Power personnel and some from Atlanta.

             Keith started the meeting by asking Arnold Lindsey, Manager of the Chattahoochee Hydro Group, to review some of the basic safety information. Arnold stated he always keeps a fire extinguisher in his truck, along with a First Aid Kit. He informed us if we were to have a fire start while in the GP Warehouse building tonight, we should dial 706-317-6026 for emergency assistance and exit through the main double front doors. He also noted that in the event of any bad weather, like tornados, he has keys to a Safe Room.

             For home protection, Mr. Lindsey suggested we ask the Fire Department to send someone to our houses for a home inspection. We should always make sure we have current fire extinguishers easily available in our homes. As a family we should identify fire exits and place inexpensive plug in lights in hallways to aid in escape when it's dark.

             Keith Hill introduced Robin Gibson, Sara Jenkins, Ricky Stearns, Bill Glisson, Mike Barnett, Kym Partridge, and Richard Willis of the Land Management team. He also introduced Joey Slaughter, Georgia Power's fisheries biologist and the Hydro Services group out of Atlanta; Fred Cox, Courtenay O'Mara, and Herbie Johnson.

             He mentioned that Blanton Creek Park, on the Georgia side would be open on March 15 through Labor Day and encouraged everyone to visit. He also noted they had boxes of free tree seedlings available in boxes near the exit door. The fall draw down is tentatively scheduled for October 1 - November 16.

             You may learn more by visiting their new website at: Georgia Power Lakes.com/Bartlett's Ferry.

             Keith introduced Richard McKinney representing the Antioch Volunteer Fire Department and Brent Bennett of the Beulah Fire Department.

             He also introduced Lt. Mitt Fontaine with the Alabama Marine Patrol and Jeremy Bollen and Jim Bradfield from the Georgia Department of Natural Resources (DNR). Jeremy spoke up and stated he had received several questions about alligators. He confirmed that alligators have been seen on both sides of the lake. Mostly they are found in the northern areas of the lake, above Blanton Creek. If you see one that appears to be acting aggressive, you should call the DNR. The law prohibits anyone from feeding or harming alligators.

             Copies of the Minutes of the Annual Membership meeting held March 10, 2011, had been distributed prior to the meeting. A motion was made to accept the minutes. It was seconded and approved.

             Treasurer, Melanie Humphreys made available a financial report which showed a balance of $ 7,982.01 as of December 31, 2011. She noted that 28 new memberships had brought in $2,100.00 and Annual Membership Renewals of 258 people brought in another $6,460.00. A motion to accept the Treasurer's Report was made, seconded and approved.

             Mr. Neal presented the nominees for Board Members commencing for the year 2012:

ALABAMA GEORGIA
Connie Stinson Mary Lynn Webb
Don Neal Melanie Humphreys
Janylle Koren Robert Archer
Jim Duncan Susan Tompkins
Joel Donovan Tommy McKenzie

             Don Neal then presented the slate of officers to serve for 2012:

Melanie Humphreys, President
Susan Tompkins, Secretary
Mary Lynn Webb, Treasurer

             A motion was made, seconded and unanimously approved that the slate of nominees proposed by the Board be accepted.

             Melanie thanked Don for his services as president for the last two years. She then introduced Bill Morkes, owner of Morkes Land Surveying.

             Mr. Morkes stated he had been in business since 1977. In light of the fact that so many Lee county residents with property on Lake Harding had recently been recipients of letters from their mortgage lenders stating they now required them to purchase flood insurance, he had just met with the Lee County Engineer. He had told Bill that when the maps had originally been made, Lee County did not have the funds to properly survey all the lake properties and had made a blanket decision to categorize these lots as being in a flood zone, even though most of them were not. However, if the property owner was willing to pay for a survey and topography map, the licensed surveyor could apply to the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) to have the property exempted from needing flood insurance. Bill stated he and his team use equipment with a Global Positioning System (GPS) in order to get the most accurate and detailed measurements to fulfill FEMA requirements. He has been very successful in working with FEMA and having leaseholders and land owners flood insurance requirements rescinded. Bill can be reached at 334-642-5320 or bill@morkessurvey.com.

             Melanie then introduced Roger Martin, the Chattahoochee River Warden. Mr. Martin stated he and several others including Warren Church, Leslie Hatcher, Joel Donovan and Don Neal had volunteered to work on a committee to spearhead efforts against other groups who are currently trying to force Georgia Power to agree to lowering the Lake Harding water levels. He stated there would be two meetings on March 6th and another two on March 7th. All four meetings will cover the same issues and will be held at different locations to make it more convenient to afford the opportunity for more participants. He stressed the great importance of having as many attendees as possible. Georgia Power is not in a position to take a stand on this, but the Lake Harding Association can. The river warden is a non-profit organization and gets no federal funding. Roger stated there would be a letter writing campaign between July and October. Don Neal confirmed that the Lake Harding Association would be assisting with this and donating the postage in an effort to encourage more support. Roger can be reached at 706-649-2326 or criverwarden@gmail.com.

             Melanie thanked Bill and Roger for their time and participation. She then turned her attention to donations.

             Richard Young raised his hand and spoke concerning our Treasurer's report. He noted our ending balance was much lower than in prior years and he felt we should be more conservative with our donation amounts this year. Melanie stated the board had already discussed the same thing at our last meeting and arrived at the same decision. With that being said, Melanie proposed the following donation amounts:

$1,000-Antioch Volunteer Fire Department
$1,000-Beulah Volunteer Fire Department
$2,000-Fireworks
$500-The Cross Committee
$500-Two Tree Island

             Joel Slocumb, representing The Cross Committee, stood and thanked everyone for the donation that helps keep this historical landmark going.

             Scott Pinckard, representing Two Tree Island, spoke and stated he was preparing to file a 5013C so that Two Tree Island could become a non-profit organization. He thanked us for the donation, and then declined the offer. He reminded everyone that services are held every Sunday from June - August.

             Melanie noted the September date and location for the Annual BBQ would be announced at a later date.

             Susan Tompkins stated she would begin working on a new membership directory in a few months and reminded everyone to send her any changes she should make. She also noted there would be more color ads available this year and you can start letting her know of any changes or interest in placing an ad.

             Keith Hill stated that Georgia Power will be doing an annual clean-up in September and they would like to begin co-sponsoring clean-ups with the LHA.

             Responding to a question about large floating logs and debris in the lake, Keith Hill noted that Georgia Power was not equipped for this type of cleaning. He stated they usually float on down toward the dam and get caught there. As needed, they will bring in a large crane to remove debris that has accumulated at the dam. Usually, in September, Georgia Power holds a "Renew Our Rivers/Rivers Alive" clean-up with employees from Plant Franklin, Chattahoochee Hydro, Georgia Power Environmental Affairs Department, and the Land Department. Georgia Power has also sponsored large debris clean-up efforts to remove large items from the lake, i.e., docks and sunken boats.

             Tommy Wages asked Keith what was going to be done about all the downed trees caused by the tornado. Keith said many had already been cleaned up and asked if Tommy had some specific areas where the trees were still down. Tommy talked about some areas near his home. Keith said they could get together and see if the trees were on Georgia Power property. He reminded everyone they could do something about Georgia power leased lots. However, Georgia Power has no control over deeded lots or other types of leased lots.

             A question was asked concerning why we can't get an early weather warning system for the lake. Keith Hill stated that there is one operated by Lee County on the Alabama side. Tommy McKenzie spoke up and stated Harris County does not have the funds necessary to purchase such a system. However, he agreed to get with the AVFD Fire Chief, Richard McKinney, and they would check into them trying to get a good deal on home weather alarm systems.

             There being no further business to come before the meeting, the same was adjourned.

Respectfully submitted,


Susan Tompkins, Secretary



March 10, 2011
Minutes of Meeting of the Membership
LAKE HARDING LEASEHOLDERS ASSOCIATION, INC.

 

             A meeting of the membership of Lake Harding Leaseholders Association, Inc. was held on Thursday, March 10, 2011, at 7:00 PM at the Georgia Power Company Land Office Warehouse. There were approximately 150 in attendance.

             President, Don Neal called the meeting to order.

             Prior to the business meeting, Georgia Power's Land Department provided a great cookout for the membership. Mr. Neal expressed appreciation to the Land Department on behalf of the membership for providing a meeting location and the cookout for the group.

             Keith Hill introduced Robin Gibson, Sara Jenkins, Ricky Stearns, Bill Glisson, Mike Barnett, Kym Partridge, Arnold Lindsey, Joey Slaughter and Richard Willis of the Land Department team. Mr. Hill noted that their Licensing expires in 2014. In 2009, their team began working on the re-licensing process. Tours were held of the Hydro Plant. Last year Georgia Power conducted studies on land use. You may learn more by visiting their website or speaking with one of the Georgia Power team. He mentioned that Blanton Creek Park, on the Georgia side would open on March 17 through Labor Day and encouraged everyone to visit. He also noted they had boxes of free tree seedlings available in boxes near the exit door.

             David Hawkins has been doing studies on taxes with Harris County due to decreased property values.

             Keith Hill pointed out that taxes are a direct pass through item for them. Georgia Power does not add any increase to the tax bills they send out. Georgia DOR bills Georgia Power for the taxes since they own the land and, in turn, Georgia Power passes along the appropriate tax bill to the Lease Holders. Alabama taxes come from the State of Alabama based on values set by the Lee County Chief Appraiser. The Georgia Department of Revenue (DOR) sets Georgia property values on the lake.

             Mike Jones asked if there is an appeal process if leaseholders disagree with the tax value established for their property. Keith Hill stated that Georgia Power doesn't have this process, but annually review tax values. An independent appraiser came in this past year to reevaluate the lake properties and found the DOR values were not high.

             Ronnie Harris of the Alabama DNR was introduced. He came forward and spoke concerning the fact that he would be officially retiring and there would be no replacement for him this summer. Alabama currently has a freeze in hiring, so if you need any assistance on the Alabama side you should call the Alabama State Trooper's office at 334-745-4651. When asked about rowdy campers on islands, he stated the Opelika Trooper's Post would need to be contacted for assistance.

             Jeremy Bollen and Sgt. Bradford of the Georgia DNR were introduced. Jeremy noted that Randy Hackley had retired and their crew will also be short staffed this summer. Sgt. Bradford, who works the West Point Lake will be helping out when possible. Jeremy also noted there is a potential law in the works to change the BUI rating from .10 to .08 to match the DUI law. Alligators are still living on the lake mostly at the northern end of the lake like in Mountain Oak Creek. It is against the law to kill them. You should leave them alone or call the DNR office if you have a problem with them. He noted they have two vacant slots they hope to fill soon to give them wider coverage on the lake.

             Responding to a question about large floating logs and debris in the lake, Keith Hill noted that Georgia Power was not equipped for this type of cleaning. He stated they usually float on down toward the dam and get caught there. Usually in September they will bring in a large crane to lift out large items from the lake, i.e., logs, docks and sunken boats.

             Sgt Bradford addressed the issue of a member's complaint regarding the dumping of raw sewage in the lake. He noted that State laws address this, but they had only received one complaint which had not given them enough information with which to follow up. In Georgia it is illegal to operate a boat with a galley, sleeping quarters or marine toilet. This includes sail boats, although the DNR doesn't generally enforce this restriction. Alabama laws are a little different. Porta Potties are legal to have on your boats, but it is not legal to dump the contents into the lake. Anyone seeing any violators should note the vessel's identification number and contact the DNR office. When asked where the Alabama and Georgia jurisdictions meet, he suggested we Google 'Earth' to identify Georgia jurisdiction.

             When asked about the things that cause the DNR to stop a boater and what they would be looking for during a stop, he offered some of the more common things. He stated they would pull someone over for running at night without turning on their running lights. They also give tickets for excessive lights and for running your boat with the docking lights turned on. Georgia does not require a boating license, but they do require you to have your Driver's License or a government issued photo ID. It can be a copy. You must have your boat registration, a wearable, and in good condition, life jacket for each person on board, a throwable seat cushion, and a fire extinguisher. Jeremy noted the DNR has booklets available listing the Georgia Boating laws and he will drop off a supply at the Georgia Power Land Office. You can also go to Georgia DNR.com.

             Copies of the Minutes of the Annual Membership meeting held March 4, 2010, had been distributed prior to the meeting. A motion was made to accept the minutes. It was seconded and approved.

             Treasurer, Melanie Humphreys made available a financial report which showed a balance of $16,265.45 as of December 31, 2010. She noted that 33 new memberships had brought in $2,475.00 and Annual Membership Renewals of 157 people brought in another $3,925.00. A motion to accept the Treasurer's Report was made, seconded and approved.

             Don Neal noted that Boyd Giles was retiring from the Board and thanked him for his ten years of service. He asked for nominations from the floor. Joel Donovan was nominated to replace Boyd. Motion was seconded and approved.

             Mr. Neal presented the nominees for new Board members commencing for the year 2011:

ALABAMA GEORGIA
Connie Stinson Mary Lynn Webb
Don Neal Melanie Humphreys
Janylle Koren Robert Archer
Jim Duncan Susan Tompkins
Joel Donovan Tommy McKenzie

             Don Neal then presented the slate of officers to serve for 2011:

Don Neal, President
Susan Tompkins, Secretary
Melanie Humphreys, Treasurer

             A motion was made, seconded and unanimously approved that the slate of nominees proposed by the Board be accepted.

             Don Neal thanked Jim Duncan and Susan Tompkins for their work on the new directory and updated website.

             Jay Syfrett requested donations for the Rumble on the River fireworks display. It was decided to be held on Sunday July 3 this year. Donations to fund the event should be payable to "Rumble on the River". Melanie Humphreys noted that last year's show cost $15,000.00. A motion was made for $5,000 to be donated for the fireworks. Motion was seconded and approved.

             Joel Slocumb mentioned lights are out on the 'Cross'. Each year repairs cost approximately $1,000 and it costs about $1,000 per year to keep the Cross lit. A motion was made, seconded and unanimously adopted to donate $2,000 for the Cross for 2011.

             Tommy McKenzie stated that Two Tree Island needs shoring up each year from the wash. He noted that Scott Pinckard pays for church services on Sundays all summer. A motion was made to donate up to $1,000 for supplies. Motion was seconded and approved.

             Richard McKinney and Robert Johnson represented the Antioch Volunteer Fire Department (AVFD). They noted that our insurance ratings are based on Fire Department ratings. They are currently working on getting their rating level up to a 5, which will help decrease Home Owner's insurance premiums. They have been having first responders ride with DNR personnel to provide emergency assistance. They reminded everyone to check the fire extinguishers on their boats to insure they are still in working order and not out of date. Expired equipment can not be used. The AVFD currently has 15 bottles of self-contained breathing apparatus and they are about to expire. The cost for these is $800 each. Harris County gives them $24,000 each year. This is about 1/3 of their operating budget. Most funds come from FD fund raisers. A motion was made to give the AFVD $2,400 to purchase three new bottles. Motion was seconded and approved.

             Don Neal brought up the Beulah Volunteer Fire Department Company (BVFD) 11 Station. He stated that the BVFD receives more funding. He also reminded everyone that the VFD has a pump truck available for use in putting out fires around the lake. A motion was made to give the BVFD $1,500. The motion was seconded and approved.

             Kay McCall asked about our policy regarding emails. Don assured everyone we would only use our email database for notifying members of non-profit occasions and for reporting on things that have value to the lake and its residents. Anyone wanting to advertise 'for profit' information should contact Jim Duncan who owns and manages the 'www.lakeharding.com' website.

             Ronnie Stahl pointed out that the dilapidated houses and broken down cars on lake lots adversely affects all of our property values. Joel Donovan has been working with Keith Hill on how to move forward with rectifying this issue. Keith pointed out that Georgia Power does not have control over deeded lots.

             Some new 'No Wake' signs are needed around the lake. Jeremy Bollen stated that the DNR and Georgia Power would be having their annual meeting on March 14 and they will discuss possibly adding one for Two Tree Island.

             Don Neal announced that the date for the Association BBQ was tentatively set for Thursday, September 16, 2011.

             There being no further business to come before the meeting, the same was adjourned.

                                                                                                 Respectfully submitted,

 

                                                                                             Susan Tompkins, Secretary




March 4, 2010
Minutes of Meeting of the Membership
LAKE HARDING LEASEHOLDERS ASSOCIATION, INC.

 

             A meeting of the membership of Lake Harding Leaseholders Association, Inc. was held on Thursday, March 4, 2010 at 7:00 PM at the Georgia Power Company Land Office Warehouse.  141 called and reserved a spot.  There were 105 in attendance.

             President, Tommy McKenzie called the meeting to order.

            Prior to the business meeting, Georgia Power’s Land Department provided a wonderful cookout for the membership.   Mr. McKenzie expressed appreciation to the Land Department on behalf of the membership for providing a meeting location and the cookout for the group.

            Keith Hill introduced Robin Gibson and the members of the Land Department cooking team.  Matters were discussed regarding the re-licensing which is currently in the works.  He offered hard copies of updated information and noted it was available on the Georgia Power website.  He also stated eight studies were to begin this March to include geological, soil, fish, botanical, wetland and rare and endangered species.

             Arnold Lindsey, manager of water flows on the lake noted they never get out of the operating range of 519’.  

            Ronnie Harris of the Alabama DNR and Mitch Oliver of the Georgia DNR were introduced and both made themselves available for any questions or assistance. 
               
            The Minutes of the Annual Membership meeting held March 5, 2009, were read and approved.

            Treasurer, Melanie Humphreys made available a financial report which showed a balance of $ 14,387.20, as of December 31, 2009.   A motion to accept the Treasurer’s Report was made, seconded and approved. 

            Tommy McKenzie presented the nominees for new Board members commencing for the year 2010:

                                ALABAMA                                                        GEORGIA           
                                Boyd Giles                                                           Mary Lynn Webb
                                Connie Stinson                                                     Melanie Humphreys
                                Don Neal                                                             Robert Archer
                                Jim Duncan                                                          Susan Tompkins
                                                                                                            Tommy McKenzie
                
            Tommy McKenzie then presented the slate of officers to serve for 2010:
                                Don Neal, President
                                Susan Tompkins, Secretary
                                Melanie Humphreys, Treasurer
            
            A motion was made, seconded and unanimously approved that the slate of nominees proposed by the Board be accepted.

             Don Neal took over the meeting as the new President and asked for nominations to replace outgoing Board Member, Sharon Williams.  Janylle Koren volunteered.  A motion was made, seconded and unanimously approved that the she be accepted.

            Brent Loftin with Diverse Power stated they had recently sent out letters to leaseholders concerning new poles and line re-location.   
 
             Jay Syfrett requested donations for the Rumble on the River fireworks display to be held on July 3 this year.  Donations to fund the event should be payable to “Rumble on the River”.  Tommy McKenzie mentioned he had made arrangements for radio station 95.3 to broadcast patriotic music to be played during the show.  Melanie Humphreys volunteered to take over Patsy McKenzie’s job of collecting and managing the firework’s fund.  This job and these funds are separate from LHA business.  A motion was made for $2,000 to be donated for the fireworks.  Motion was seconded and approved.
 
            Joel Slocumb mentioned there are two panels at the bottom of the ‘Cross’ which had been destroyed.  The cost for these repairs was approximately $1,000.  It costs about $900.00 per year to keep the Cross lit.  A motion was made, seconded and unanimously adopted to donate $500 to the Cross for 2010, and another $500 that had been approved at last year’s meeting but not yet disbursed.

            Scott Pinckard stated that approximately 25 years ago a seawall had been built around part of Two Tree Island.  About 12 years ago the wall was completed.  Muskrats cause damage each year which requires repairs.  A group will be meeting May 15 at 9:00 AM at the Valley Park ramp for clean up and repairs.  He asked for volunteers and pontoon boats for carrying soil, concrete, wood and other supplies.  A motion was made to donate up to $1,000 to this effort.  It was seconded and approved. [Note:  Actual amount spent was $932.78 to Lowe’s for materials]  A request was made for Georgia Power to make a matching contribution.

            Syd Farris from the Antioch Volunteer Fire Department thanked us for last year’s donation and asked for $1,000. for this year.  Don Neal brought up the Beulah Volunteer Fire Department Company 11 Station.  He stated that all tax money collected from Lee County residents only goes to fund the Auburn and Opelika Fire Departments and none goes to fund the VFD on the lake.  He also reminded everyone that the VFD has a pump truck available for use in putting out fires around the lake.  Gary Giordano made a motion to give each fire department $1,000.  The motion was seconded and approved.

            Terri Henry asked Keith Hill if any consideration had been given to lowering the $6,000 lease transfer fee.  While the housing market has continued to plummet with decreasing sales and property values, the transfer fee has risen from $3,000 in 2003 to $6,000 in 2007.  Keith Hill stated the fee had been raised to capture some of the previously increasing land values.  Taxes have gone up and value has gone down.  Mr. Hill stated that Georgia Power tracks sales to be sure taxes don’t get out of line with sales figures.  However, there have not been enough sales in the last two years to really track.  He said Georgia Power works with realtors in market evaluations and had hired a ‘due diligence’ appraiser.  Mr. Hill asked for people to bring their individual lot information to him and he would work with them.  He noted the Georgia Department of Revenue does the tax appraisals.

            Concern was also expressed that taxes on the Georgia side had doubled.  Tommy McKenzie stated criteria for determining tax values had changed to include water frontage, depth of water and improvements.

            Mr. Hill noted only five sales of leased lots were made in Georgia in 2009.  He stated Georgia Power had been working with lenders to get more participation.  He was asked why their leases couldn’t be restructured to match conventional lending terms.  Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac usually buy loans, but their requirements are that your lease must be for a term five years longer than the term of the loan.  Georgia Power’s 15 year lease term makes it very prohibitive for most buyers.  Concern was expressed that Georgia Power is not working with leaseholders as much as they should in these difficult economic times.  Mr. Hill offered to get with lenders and stated anyone wanting to contact him regarding their issues he would work with individually.

            Don Neal announced that a tentative date for the Association BBQ would be on Thursday September 16, 2010 at Kokomo’s.

            Susan Tompkins stated she would be working on a new member directory in 2010 and asked for changes to be sent to her and for anyone interested in placing an AD to contact her.             
                                 
            There being no further business to come before the meeting, the same was adjourned.

                                                                                                 Respectfully submitted,

 

                                                                                                Susan Tompkins, Secretary




March 5, 2009
Minutes of Meeting of the Membership
LAKE HARDING LEASEHOLDERS ASSOCIATION, INC.

 

                A meeting of the membership of Lake Harding Leaseholders Association, Inc. was held on Thursday, March 5, 2009 at 7:00 PM at the Georgia Power Company Land Office Warehouse.

            President, Tommy McKenzie called the meeting to order.

                Prior to the business meeting, Georgia Power’s Land Department provided a delicious cookout for the membership.   President, Tommy McKenzie, expressed appreciation to the Land Department on behalf of the membership for providing a meeting location and the cookout for the group.

                Keith Hill, who is new to the team and has replaced Herbie Johnson, was introduced.  He introduced Robin Gibson and the members of the Land Department cooking team.  Matters were discussed regarding the 2009 revised licensing which expires in 2014, river fluctuations from West Point releases, and annual gate testing being delayed for water conservation.  Arnold Lindsey, Plant Manager offered help for any Georgia Power questions or issues.

                Ronnie Harris of the Alabama DNR was introduced.  He has been at his job for 22 years and is planning to retire in a year.  Mitch Oliver of the Georgia DNR took many questions regarding GA/AL jurisdiction.  He noted that you must be at least 12 years old to drive a boat and 14 years old to drive alone.  Three quarters of all accidents are alcohol related.  Members questioned Ronnie and Mitch concerning reports of alligators on the lake.  They confirmed we do have alligators present since being washed out from up river after the last big flood.  There are two living on Halawaka Creek and one in Blanton Creek.  They are protected animals and should not be shot at or fed.  If they get aggressive you should call the local DNR or Macon office for assistance. 
               
                The Minutes of the Annual Membership meeting held March 1, 2008, were read and approved.

                Treasurer, Patsy McKenzie made available a financial report which showed a balance of $ 6,730.41, as of December 31, 2008.  The largest expense was for the Directories.  A motion to accept the Treasurer’s Report was made and approved. 

            Outgoing Board Members, Ken Abbott, Lynn Thompson, Patsy McKenzie, and Sue Ellen Lanier, were thanked for their service.

                Tommy McKenzie presented the nominees for new Board members commencing for the year 2009:

                                ALABAMA                                                       GEORGIA           
                                Boyd Giles                                                          Kay McCall
                                Connie Stinson                                                    Melanie Humphreys
                                Don Neal                                                            Robert Archer
                                Jim Duncan                                                         Susan Tompkins
                                Sharon Williams                                                  Tommy McKenzie
                          
                A motion was made, seconded and unanimously approved that the slate of nominees proposed by the Board be accepted.

                Tommy McKenzie then presented the new slate of officers to serve for 2009:
                                Tommy McKenzie, President
                                Susan Tompkins, Secretary
                                Melanie Humphreys, Treasurer

               Under new business, it was announced that flags with the new ‘Tree’ design are in and available for purchase for $15.00.

                It was also announced that a tentative date for the Association BBQ would be on Thursday September 24, 2009 at Kokomo’s.  

               Jim Duncan is working on a new website for the Association and asked for any ideas.  It was suggested the name, address and contact information be included on the website just as in the Directory.
 
                Jay Syfrett discussed the Rumble on the River fireworks display to be held on July 3 this year.  Donations to fund the event were needed and should be payable to “Rumble on the River” and given to Patsy McKenzie who is treasurer of Rumble on the River.  Jay informed the group we must have 75% of the total amount due by April 30.  Patsy McKenzie asked for more participation from the Alabama side in collecting funds.  Tommy McKenzie suggested forming a committee to help raise funds.  Kay Thompson volunteered to help in forming a committee for this.  A suggestion was made to include a page in the Directory to list the contributors to the fireworks.
 
                Joel Slocumb mentioned there are two panels at the bottom of the ‘Cross’ which have been destroyed.  The cost for these repairs is approximately $1,000.  The Cross Committee took in $1,270 in 2008.  It cost about $70 per month to keep the Cross lit.

                A motion was made by Gary Giordano, seconded and unanimously adopted to donate $500 to the Antioch Volunteer Fire Department, $500 for the Cross Committee and $500 for Rumble on the River.

                Tommy McKenzie mentioned the importance of being as supportive as possible of our local businesses around the lake.

               Discussions were brought up regarding cleaning up the membership listing.  Robert Archer suggested charging an Annual Membership Fee of up to $35 per year.  After discussion a motion to charge an annual membership fee, the amount of which is to be determined by the Board of Directors, was made, seconded, and unanimously approved. 

                  Boyd Giles asked for discussions regarding taking the old railroad trestle down.  The owners have been spoken with and there is a prohibitive cost involved.

               Charlie Hudson mentioned taking trash bags when going on the lake and picking up anything you see.

                A drawdown is scheduled for this October however the drawdown will depend on the water levels and the status of the drought at that time.

                There being no further business to come before the meeting, the same was adjourned.
 

                                                                                                                Respectfully submitted,

 

                                                                                                                Susan Tompkins, Secretary


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