Minutes from May 2016
Dearborn Meadows Landowners Meeting
Saturday, May 28, 2016
Dearborn River Rd.
Jim Beck Called the meeting to order at 10:05 am.
32 Landowners were present.
(Art arrived late and did not have time to have a signup sheet for everyone to sign.)
Jim talked about road work and what has been done to date by Mike Wirth on the lower part from the exit to the fire hall. The issue is it really needs road base brought in. The utilities were literally right under the surface.
Art gave the financial update. Ending balance is $2303.79
Pete Rambo asked who would go talk with the county to get help with roadwork.
Pat Racicot said that we talked with the county commissioners and they really don't want to work with us. They want to control the money and the roads must be made public for public access. That is something that we really are not ready to do. Pete Rambo offered to talk with the O'Neal Ranch and the developers of the work being done there as they are using our roads and see if he can get them to contribute to our road work.
Jim announced that on June 14th, at the County Annex in Great Falls, the County Commissioners Meeting is at 9:30. He asked for a group of volunteers to go to that meeting to represent the association. We need a good showing to let them know we are serious. Cindy Scott (used to work as a commissioner) said that the county has ruled that they will not maintain any additional roads. They do not have the budget for more roads. However in the discussion Jim said that we need to have a good showing and maybe we could ask for some materials for the roadwork. Pat said that we need someone to work with the commissioners to get some help on roadwork based on the amount of taxes paid. We pay taxes and we'd like to have some of that tax money come back.
Joe Scott asked about the discussion in the last meeting about having a sign made. He suggested that we state that these are private roads maintained by private donations by those using the roads. He asked how we are getting the word out to get more landowners involved. A sign would be a good way to communicate to all the landowners that the road is maintained by donations from those that use the roads. The sign should state that these are private roads, our web sight, and ask for donations. We could also use this sign to mention when we have landowners meetings. Nancy suggested that we have a banner at the bottom of the hill. A large permanent banner that we could use over and over and just change the dates. Post it a month in advance.
She stated that we need to better inform everyone out here. The issue of “Private Roads” works against use. No government entity is willing to help us. It is either Private or Public. We can't expect the government to help us maintain our private road. Talk about the idea of collaborating with the Cooper Estates road guys. Was there insurance to work with them? Did that fall through? Pat said we decided not to work with them, that there were problems in working with them. Paul Amos has done the best job, as well as CJ, Dick Frye and all the others who volunteered have done a great job and we have spent less money on the roadwork. It comes down to whether or not people will contribute the fund.
Monica Beck- likes Joe's idea of a sign to road users. Bob Sechina stated that if people can not use parks (owned by the association) without being a member, then the owners who do not pay dues should not have a right to use the parks. Discussion ensued about sign damage and road garbage. Joe offered to put the sign on his land and put a camera on it.
Motion: Monica Beck moved that we have a sign made, put on Joe and Cindy's corner stating: “Attention Dearborn Meadows Land owners and Road users. These are Private Roads and Parks maintained by private funds. Make donations to:....” Pete Rambo 2nd the motion and suggested using the word HELP for donations. No vote was taken.
Nancy said that she will look into making a banner for meetings. Nancy wanted to make a public thank you to Doug Ryan who took his tractor and filled in the huge crevasses after the recent runoff.
Pat Racicot said that another idea has been floated, regarding those owners who do not contribute to the association road maintenance, that a tax lien be imposed against their property. Bob Dannic asked how roads could be designated as Private when people have access to BLM lands? Pat Racicot replied that Siebel has roads access through his property, as he signed access roads to BLM land. Bob said that there used to be an access road at the top of Goff Pass. However, the road has been blocked off and torn up. The O'Neal Ranch has access other than through the Dearborn road. Mike Caldwell asked about finding abandoned properties. Brenda Ivers said that there are a few attorneys in Great Falls who file the day Property Tax Delinquencies are listed. It cost $7.50 a page to file a lien.
A gentleman in the back stated regarding property liens, that we either have to change things or deal with the issue every year. We may not like to change the By Laws but we have to either accept Private roads or Public roads. Jim Beck mentioned sending a letter to all owners about changing the By Laws with wording that everyone has to pay Association Dues. Al Schmidt said that the long-term results of property liens would not be worth it. It would be a very long-term pay out. He likes the idea of a sign.
Nancy Troff: agreed about the lien and suggested that we do the least amount of harm first. Do a sign first, and try the least caustic way, and inform the public. There is not a lot of communication out here. She suggested civility and that we be more conversive. She believes that more communication will bring more cooperation. More rules make it more litigious and more stress. Use the sign idea first. Dan suggested using a thermometer to show amount of money donated.
Lyle Nutter moved up here about two months ago. He never heard of the Association. There was no mention of an association. Someone suggested that we call people and personally invite to meetings. However most we do not have a listing of everyone's phone number.
Mike Caldwell - has done some website development. As our sight would be information only, it would be fairly simple to make and maintain. He will help develop a web sight.
Paul Donovan mentioned the Montana Cadastral sight to get names of all property owners.
Bob Sechina took a stand to make an announcement. He passed out a page “ STATEMENT TO THE DEARBORN COMMUNITY MEETING MAY 28, 2016” (Exhibit A) His brother John owns land on Powerline Road. People kept going over, leaving trash and damaging property. So they put up a gate.
They recently settled with Pat Rambo and Jerry Estlick, who took down their gate. Bob stated that It has been ruled by attorneys that Powerline road is not public access and they will be installing the gate again.
There was a lot of discussion. Al Schmidt said that there must be an association response, that we write a letter to Sechina's regarding their intent to install the gate.
Joe Scott stood and wanted to bring some clarity to Bob's claims. He stated that he has been going “round and round with Sechinas”. They told Joe, “your pockets aren't deep enough to challenge us.” Joe wanted everyone to know that Bob's letter was regarding a settlement about property damage on the gate NOT legal road access of PowerLine road. Bob Sechina walked out of the meeting as discussion heated up.
Rambo - what happened to the road grater?
Donations received during the meeting:
$2,758 in checks,
Lyle and Christel Nutter donated $100 cash.
The meeting adjourned at 11:40 am.