(001) In this year of 2007, we are coming to a showdown on what is to happen with our establishment.
(002) I do not envy our BOD when it comes to maintaining a financially stable environment with limited funds and their attempt to abide by the covenants.
(003) Adequate funding of this park is just one of the major issue we have been confronted with since the 1990's.
(004) Also, this BOD, and previous BOD's, has made many statements about abiding by our covenants and rules.
(005) Thousands of dollars on legal fees and many hours of time have been spent on seeking the right answers to a changing environment within our park.
(006) Currently, there are three major issues that are usurping the BOD's time and our money.
(007) Without a doubt, these issues are causing hard feelings and pitting property owner against property owner.
(008) First, on several occasions we have attempted to obtain a % vote and raise our maintenance fee from an annual $300.
(009) We spent money and have not succeeded!
(010) Between now and next Spring, let us send out an invoice to all property owners with a membership approved balanced budget, non-revocable, and a five-year plan to cover our prevailing needs.
(011) If it brings our annual fee to $500, so be it!!
(012) No voting, all property owners will pay the new amount or have a lien on their property.
(013) I proposed this approach during my second term on the board, and, it met with deaf ears.
(014) Now, we must spend less time with attorneys and more time on improving our park!
(015) Second, the rental of sites within our park.
(016) The BOD must put forth a statement that NO sites will be rented without approval of the BOD( i.e. guest camping not to exceed 2 weeks annually).
(017) This was a rule in the 1982 "Manual of Covenant & Rules" and doesn't need to be a covenant - just a cast in concrete rule set forth by the BOD.
(018) This rule is vital to keeping entrepreneurs from becoming landlords.
(019) In many markets it is proven that the rental of housing has a tendency to cause lower property values.
(020) Third, starting now, the BOD must ignore the covenant concerning permanent living and allow full timers to reside in a specified dwelling, such as, a park model with an attached room.
(021) It should be stated that the dwelling must be no less than 800 square feet and house no more than two people to qualify for permanent living.
(022) The majority of our fulltime property owners are couples, some in their retirement.
(023) Many of them are members of the "Rockers", and, dedicate many hours and funds towards activities in our park.
(024) The full timer is our eyes and ears during the winter months and the absence of them in our park would be a serious loss.
(025) Why would I recommend solutions to these three problems?
(026) Historically, we have violated our covenants and rules for one reason or another.
(027) Also, there were very few complaints by property owners when the developers and/or the BOD ignored the covenants or rules.
(028) It started with the developers putting roads through the middle of surveyed lots (Art. V Sect. 1 (1).
(029) Previous managers and BOD allowed 12-foot wide trailers to come into our park without a change to our covenants (Art V Sect 4(e).
(030) Then, 12-foot wide units were voted on with a violation of the election process (Art. 1 Sect 1 Def (i).
(031) Full time living began in our park during 1977 and continued with no effort on the part of the developer or BOD to make corrections (Art. V Sect 4(i).
(032) Living quarters have been approved and added to RV trailers and Park models (Art V Sect 4(a).
(033) The storage area is dotted with junk (Art. VI Sect 1 (d).
(034) During all of these violations, there was no reprehension from the township, county or state.
(035) During the Mid 90's, the legislators of the State of Wisconsin, at the direction of the Governor, voted to have counties tax permanent RV's with attached living quarters as a "Residential-Single Family Dwelling".
(036) Over 130 property owners of RRLE protested this tax, and, after six (6) years in the courts, lost the case.
(037) On the average, our taxes went from $400 to $780.
(038) Currently, some property owners have taxes that exceed $1200.
(039) The sad news is we lost the tax case - the good news is that we won a new definition for our property.
(040) Until the court case concluded, all of us were licensing our trailers with a Mobile Home plate at $36 per year.
(041) We lost our RV title at the cost of increased taxes.
(042) Did you ever give thought to why we are only allowed one unit for every 6000 square feet?
(043) The minimum lot size of Residential-Single Family Dwellings is 6000 square feet.
(044) For tax purposes, Rock County does not look at our non-movable R V trailers with attached rooms any different than the cottage lots and the houses on Indian Lane.
(045) It should be noted that Rock County is very pleased with the approximately $550,000 in tax money annually collected from our development.
(046) The county views us as a Planned Unit Development where the planning was completed in the 1970's.
(047) There is no intention on their part to have us put in curb and gutter, streetlights, etc.
(048) The changing or violating of our covenants is up to us.
(049) As a matter of law, we are required to file for permits on selected work in our development so the township and county can set forth taxes on our improvements.
(050) So, here we are in the year 2007, 34 years since the birth of our wonderful and beautiful resort.
(051) The numerous failures by us to abide by the covenants and rules has not turned our park into a dump or lowered the property values.
(052) The proof is in the current sale of properties and the continued rise in property values.
(053) Obviously, the increase in our real estate taxes is indicative of our rising property values!
(054) There comes a time, regardless of age old guidance, when all of us must step into this new century and do what is needed to maintain our park.
(055) Through the years, ownership in our park has changed from people who started camping with tents and trailers to people who are looking for an all-season cottage or a park model with an added room.
(056) The new wave of people is looking for a spacious park model with a second floor and an attached room.
(057) With the advent of the second floor, we now have up to 1200 square feet of living space in many units.
(058) Today, many of our fellow property owners were never into camping and are just seeking a future place to enjoy weekends or retire.
(059) Remember the saying "United we stand, divided we fall."
(060) There is not one of us that can change the direction of our park.
(061) We need everyone, including the BOD and park management, to resolve their indifferences and put their best foot forward.
(062) Hatred, rebellion and retaliation are terrible things.
(063) Let us put aside our childish ways and seek out the best for our park.
(064) Just think - If we did not have all those visits with the attorneys, we would have enough money to repave the entire loop within our park and more!
(065) With Sincere Hope that an improved park is in our future,
(066) P.S. In the future, I see a beautiful new administrative building in what is now a cornfield.
(067) In the same area, there is a huge parking lot with enclosed storage units for rent by the park.
(068) In the far comer, near I-90, is a long term leased cellular tower.
(069) There is another park entrance on Knudson Rd. to eliminate heavy traffic at the front entrance.
(070) Oh! The old office and loft is now a physical fitness building. Wow!! What progress--------