2007 Gate Combo Change
The Gate Combo will change on Monday, March 05, 2007.
The new combination
Front Gate: **** Big Iron Gate: **** Please make a note and notify any co-owners. .
2006 Owners Meeting Overview
Belated thanks to all who attended the 2006 Owners Meeting held July 15. Thanks also to all who helped prepare for the meeting and especially for all the great food and drink.
A special thanks to Heinz and Agnes Moser for the use of their camp for the meeting.
We will not try to report all details of the meeting here but there are several bullet points worth noting.
In general, we will continue to make basic surface improvements to the road such that the road drains properly for durability and to reduce siltation of adjacent waterways. The current strategy will result in completion of these tasks by 2008 for the most severe sections of road.
The Committee will continue to focus on long term maintenance as a means to reduce short term maintenance, while addressing critical needs as they arise.
Additionally, the Committee will utilize supplemental dues to cover emergencies and one time events so that regular dues will continue to be used for the long term strategy.
Owners asked numerous questions about the particular approaches we
have taken and raised some concerns about strategies, but the general
consensus appeared to be positive with regard to the methods and, in particular,
to the actual condition of the road at this point in time.
New neighbor David Katz spoke briefly about various alternate funding mechanisms for road and watershed improvements. David facilitates such efforts on a professional basis and expressed an interest in assisting the Road Association in pursuing funding should we choose to do so.
Dave Fowler of Water Quality also spoke about his department's goals and priorities. This was a very informative discussion of great interests to all of the Owners present.
Of particular interest were Dave's comments on our Road Associations work on the road and our approach to future planning. David indicated that we are the kind of group his department loves because we are actually working proactively on the road. He stated that he was very pleased to review our master plan. He drove the road with members of the Committee to observe the quality of work, and concluded that we should feel very little fear about ever getting in trouble with Water Quality.
Specific questions were asked about liability issues and the qualifications of vendors for performing road work in rural situations. Dave stated that most roadwork in the woods was performed by unlicensed vendors or vendors who may be licensed for timber operations only. He stated that most of the training efforts were aimed at these people because, like it or not, they are the ones doing most of this work.
Most Owners seemed satisfied that our current choices for vendors were satisfactory as long as we continued to monitor insurance certifications.
Doug Porter addressed the group stating his concerns regarding individual liability for work done by the Association and his reasons for withholding dues.
After a sometimes lively discussion, most present agreed that there was very little exposure on the part of the Owners with regard to vendors and road maintenance methods that would be alleviated by requiring either inappropriate licenses or excessive insurance for vendors. Most who have had direct experience with litigation know that neither insurance policies nor licenses protect anyone from involvement in a lawsuit.
The discussion was ultimately positive and Doug stated that he had heard new information that might allow him to reconsider his position. It was our hope that all Owners would go away confident that the Road Committee is equally concerned about liability and risk to the Owners.
It should be noted that Doug has paid his current dues (but not past dues) based on subsequent dialogues with the Committee and the current vendor. We all appreciate this and hope that confidence will remain high with regard to the overall intentions of the Association.
Again thanks to all who participated.
We have certainly missed some important details here. If anyone has comments that they would like to share with the Association, please forward them to us for inclusion in the next newsletter. Anyone who was not present and would like additional details should contact the Road Committee and we will be happy to fill you in.
Some of these areas were addressed with immediate repairs by Lawrence Boyd. Additional problems were corrected in the context of our regular roadwork.
Several items remained that required correction prior to the winter weather. These tasks were initiated on an emergency basis last fall to make sure that work was completed before the rains set in.
Replacement culverts were 24" plastic designed to handle peak flows at these locations. New culverts were set deeper to follow the natural stream bed and heavily armored at catch basin and outfall.
Three of these culverts were critical and one was marginal but required replacement to accommodate surface changes planned for next this season's regular work.
An additional culvert was replaced on Snot Hill for the same reasons. This addresses several of our worst culverts; however we should plan on a long-term culvert replacement cycle starting in 2008 - 2009 after surface corrections to the road have been completed.
There was a small slide of material from a previous slide in the cut bank above the slip. This represents material that had already slid years ago. It appears that some cleaning of this material will prevent future slippage onto the road and this item is being considered for 2007. Additionally the ditch along the slip area needs to be widened to ensure that water flows off the hill and road above the slip will bypass the slip area so as not to over charge the road base above the slip.
Improvements After Logging
This damage was minor but required grading to prevent deeper rutting by trapped water once the rains initiated. The work has proven valuable in most locations.
Funds for this work were utilized from Supplemental Dues paid by Earl Farnsworth as part of his logging operation. Thanks to Ear for voluntarily submitting theses supplemental dues without even a reminder. We appreciate it.
Thanks to Martin Fornage for donation of this rock from his pit. We hope to develop the ability to utilize rock from pits on the front ranches as we shift the road strategy from basic geometric adjustments to more extended rock application in selected areas.
2007 Dues Assessment
2007 Road Dues are now payable. Invoices are included with this newsletter. Annual dues are $500 per parcel.
We are still anticipating assessing Supplemental Dues to offset the extended cost of the winter prep for 2006; however we are awaiting formulation of the detailed strategy for 2007 as well as considering the possibility of a small grant to supplement current work. As we develop these details we will determine the appropriate supplemental assessment (if any) and notify the Owners.
At this time only regular dues are being collected. These will be utilized to pay bills remaining from the 2006 season.
Road Use Reminder
So we request that anyone inviting visitors or workers to their parcels please advise them about the lock policy and the actual functioning of the locks.
Also please recall that the Big Iron Gate serves a property that is not part of the Road Association.
That Owner has requested that that gate remain locked at all times. We have no choice in this matter.
The following is the regular reminder about use of the Road. Please share this with all guests and vendors.
Additionally, many members of the road association prefer to have both the gates locked as a means to further ensure that strangers do not inadvertently (or otherwise) wander back into the ranch. For those who do keep the gate locked, the road clean and always have a smile when passing, thanks from the Committee and from the owners at the front ranches.
In general the harvest caused limited damage to the road. The most significant impact was the generation of dust, particularly at the corners, and some rutting on the portions of the road that had recently been improved by the Road Association.
It appears that the operator did water the road on a regular basis as required under the THP. The water was heavy at times and exacerbated localized rutting.
The Harvest Operator made post-harvest improvements to the road crossing about half of the Silva Ranch. This work occurred from the Big Iron Gate to approx. mile 5.0. Work included some basic grading and crowning, several rolling dips, installation of new culverts and application of rock.
The culvert replacement represents a significant improvement to the road and will educe costs to the Road Association over the long term.
The rock application will also be beneficial to the users; however the rock is course and was not worked heavily so users should drive slowly for the first year or so. The Road Association may want to supplement this rock with fines at some point should it not beat in adequately.
There are several areas that were graded but which still generate substantial in-slopes thus charging ditches with surface water. (The Road Committee typically prefers a more aggressive out slope so that water is shed from the road immediately after it falls.) These areas may generate increased need for ditch maintenance when compared to a properly out sloped road. However, the overall quality of the work will generally reduce the maintenance burden to the Association. The previous road surface was severely damaged, although the Association did perform repair work prior to the Timber Harvest.
None of the current work on this section was performed by the Road Association or defined by the Road Committee. Since the Silva Ranch is not part of the Road Association, no dues are assessed for the timber hauling to supplement any additional repair work that may be necessary.
The hauling operation was performed with less watering than normally required, thus the operation generated significant dust on the road and some rutting.
This Harvest is subject to a supplemental dues assessment of $10 per 1000 board feet. Thanks to Earl and Lenore for submitting supplemental dues without even a request from us. We appreciate their diligence. The amount submitted was utilized to make some of the repairs prior to winter.
2007-2008 Road Committee Elections
Finally, it's election time again. Every two years the Association elects members to the Road Committee. Typically we ask for any nominations ahead of time. Nominations for new members are usually accompanied by signatures of three Owners. Existing members have the option of retaining their name on the ballot. At this time the following members will place their name on the ballot for 2007-2008:
Dave Schaeffer has requested not to include his name on the ballot. We know he has been very busy these last years and appreciate the time he has carved out to serve his neighbors at the Ranch.
Dave has served for 6 years and has offered tremendous insight and effort in service to his neighbors. The Road Committee thanks him for his expertise in construction and project management. I'm sure the rest of the owners feel similarly.
We therefore need nominations for an additional member of the Committee as well as an alternate member. Please submit any nominations by:
March 15, 2007
We will mail election ballots at that time. The dues envelope included in this mailing can be used to submit nominations as well.
Road Maintenance Goals
2008- 2009 Projects:
There are numerous small tasks that have not been listed here. That will either emerge as projects or be included in larger projects where appropriate. We plan to provide an updated Master Plan in the next Newsletter.
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Ranch Website "http://www.wickershamranch.com"
Thanks to Tami Bobb for her efforts in sharing space on her personal ranch site for our benefit.