We have the best volunteers in Wilderness Rim! Take a look at these before and after pictures of our Cascade Park Merry-Go-Round. Thank you to our members!
If you would like to help out on projects like this, please reach out to firstname.lastname@example.org.
The fishing guidelines for WRA’s private Brewster Lake are in accordance with the WA Department of Fish and Wildlife regulations (03/12/03 resolution). There will be a fishing derby on July 12th and the community is encouraged to let the fish acclimate until that time.
Wilderness Rim Fire Station 88 needs volunteers! Eastside Fire and Rescue is taking applications for the fall training class. You can find information on how to apply and the scope of the commitment here: http://www.eastsidefire-rescue.org/Volunteers/Default.htm.
From Dan Covey, Wilderness Rim member and Volunteer Firefighter:
“Station 88 is the best place in the department for volunteers because you have the opportunity to go on a lot of calls, we’ve got good equipment, and we work well with the career station in town. I call volunteering the best hobby in the world. Once you’re out of the initial training and get assigned to Station 88, the other volunteers are really helpful in getting you up to speed and responding to calls.
If you’re thinking you’re too old, think again! A woman in my basic volunteer fire fighter class was in her early 60s and completed the same training as the youngest in the class who was 19. Finally, applicants who live close to Station 88 will get priority selection for joining, so if you’re at all interested in this opportunity, follow the URL above and apply today!”
Music filled the air and the liquid sunshine held off as Rim residents gathered at Cascade Park for the First Annual Rim Run. Over 50 runners registered to participate in the 1k and 5k races.
Runners began arriving around 9:45 AM, stretching and signing in. Volunteers from all around the neighborhood and beyond lent their skills for assisting with registration, setting up the water station, making signs, directing traffic, timing the 5k runners, and giving out awards among other duties.
Excitement began to build as participants pinned on their numbers. At the starting siren, the runners were off! Five minutes ticked by. Six. The crowd began cheering as two kids rounded the corner. One lap around the lake loop and these kids turned on the gas for the last stretch.
The 5k race had some serious runners. Brian Johnson earned First Place honors with a 20:12 finish. Brendan Hyland came in second at 22:44, while Julene McDonald was the first female to cross the finish line.
All in all it was a great day! Please check back here for more pictures as they come in and let us know what you enjoyed or would like to be different next year. If you would like to be a part of more fun like this, email email@example.com.
US Army Special Operation Forces will be conducting night time military training at the Washington State Fire Training Academy east of North Bend on May 15.
There will be three military helicopters flying at low altitude in and around the Washington State Fire Training Academy while soldiers train on the academy grounds. The academy is located off I-90 near exit 38.
There is potential for noise from helicopter and on-ground small weapons firing blank ammunition from approximately 11 p.m. on May 15 to 5:00 a.m. on May 16.
As part of the training, military helicopters will be landing and departing from Bandera State Airport, located near exit 45, throughout the duration of the exercise.
There is no concern for public safety.
At the Water/Budget & Finance Committee meeting on April 23, 2014, Chris Gonzalez from FCS Group presented his “Water Rate and Reserve Study” to members. The study will be used by the WRA Board to evaluate decisions on future water rate increases, capital management, and reserve funding. The presentation contains proprietary information owned by FCS Group and WRA. This should not be publicly distributed and is for members only. To access this post, you must be a registered website user. For details about how to register, please see How to Access Members-Only Posts.
Some key points from the presentation:
– Reserves for operations and future shortfalls in revenue are strongly encouraged and the concepts were well-accepted by the members present.
– WRA is encouraged to maintain the current capital funding surcharge at $8 per billing cycle and to impose a 9% rate increase across all tiers at the beginning of the fiscal year.
– Chris noted that WRA’s base tier ($15/month) is one of the lowest that he has seen in the region.
– The study’s results generally endorsed WRA water operations policies and gave confidence that WRA is being managed appropriately.
To see the final version of the presentation, please follow this link: Water Rate and Reserve Study
If you have questions or comments, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
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In January 2014 members were informed on their WRA water bills that payments are to go to the WRA office or Post Office box. Sallal is no longer performing the billing or accepting payments. This has also been posted on the WRA website, covered in the newsletter and discussed on the Wilderness Rim Facebook page.
The practice for sending shut-off notices for the last few years has been to allow members who reside in their WRA homes to receive a full six months of water service without payment before their accounts were provided with a shut-off notice. Since the WRA office has recently resumed the billing duties for the WRA Water System, WRA followed this same process for the late notices provided to members in March (2014).
Notices posted in the fourth week of March were for accounts unpaid since the November 30, 2013 billing. The billing for January 31, 2014 had also not been paid on time, and late notices were sent out on March 16 with instructions to pay by March 25 to the WRA office to avoid service interruption. These accounts had not paid for four months of billed water service and we were just a week away from billing for an additional two months. Members received water service for six months with no payments on the account.
It is the responsibility of each member to pay their water charges when due. Any member who is in need of consideration for special circumstances in regard to their bill is regularly encouraged in newsletters and on the WRA website to contact the office to make arrangements to ensure that their service is uninterrupted. When members do not respond to such notices and billings, WRA’s only option is to remind them that the water is not free and will be shut-off for non-payment.
A review of the WRA Rules and Regulations for the water operation clearly shows that accounts can be shut-off for non-payment after each billing cycle. Effective with the bills due on April 30, 2014 the WRA will begin to apply the rules properly to all accounts. Any account with past due charges (amounts dated prior to March 31) as of April 15, 2014 will receive a shut-off warning. A few days later any account still unpaid will be provided with a last notice of WRA’s intent to shut-off the water for continued non-payment.
Accounts with charges from the March reading still unpaid by the middle of May will receive similar notices. As a general rule, accounts not paid with-in forty-five days will be subject to shut-off.
WRA exercises as much latitude and consideration as possible for members who make a reasonable effort to pay their bills. Those who do not will have their water shut-off and the $100 fee to have the water turned on again will be assessed to their account. To have the water turned on the account balance will need to be paid in full including late fees and the $100 fee.
Further, members who are delinquent in their water account may be required to provide a deposit to be held against future charges in addition to bringing the account current. The account will be required to be kept current for a reasonable period of time before the deposit can be refunded.
Please contact the office at any time that your water bill is going to be paid late. WRA does not want to shut-off any member’s water. Contact information for WRA is in every newsletter and billing that you receive. The office phone (425-888-0087) and email (office@WildernessRim.org) are the best ways to contact WRA when the office is not staffed.
We own this business together, but the business can’t allow members to avoid responsibility for their water bills.
How many eggs did you spot in the park? Over 60 kids and 40 adults came with their baskets and enjoyed hot cocoa and s’mores together.
A HUGE THANK YOU to those who volunteered by stuffing eggs, making signs, inviting friends, stoking the fire, hiding the goodies, cleaning up, and doing so many other details to make this event happen!
Being in a neighborhood with such fun, caring people makes living here truly remarkable.
Q: What does the Annual Meeting budget line item include?
A: The Annual meeting line item for the current budget includes all costs for the annual meeting, printing, mailing, food, sound system, ballots etc. The only thing not included would be an allocation of Suzanne’s wages for the time she will spend on preparing for the meeting.
Q: Why do we have Bank Charges Expense?
A: The bank charges us every time someone bounces a check or for extra services. We recover the cost of bounced fees by charging a typical NSF fee to members.
Q: Depreciation Expense… what is this?
A: Capital purchases (water system, equipment, buildings etc.) are generally listed as an asset on the Balance Sheet rather than expensed in full when purchased. Businesses use the concept of allocating that cost over the useful life of the asset as an expense—which is recorded as Depreciation. This useful life can be as short as three years and as long as forty years or more depending on the kind of asset. It is not a cash expense in the current year.
Q: Legal Fees – Is this from changing the water billing contract?
A: No, there has been no legal expense in regard to removing the water billing from the contract with Sallal. We have an attorney whose job is to help our volunteer Board be sure to make good contracts, guide us in business decisions and to review our Bylaw amendments each year among the other things attorneys do. We have been sued or have had to sue others over the years. Last year we had a mostly new Board and we had a number of things come up. An example is that PSE registered the easement they have on our greenbelt (from 2010 I think) on a member’s lot instead of ours. The attorney was involved in helping us determine how to address that. We had a question about whether trustees can take a leave of absence. So we budget for legal expenses and some years we don’t use it much and other years it is a bigger item. It is a hard one to plan for but we do the best we can.
Q: Communications/Newsletter- is this part of office supplies or is it staff?
A: We are required by the Bylaws to provide the membership with a printed newsletter six times a year. This is the printing cost. I hope we will be able to reduce that by getting a good laser printer in the office soon or going to an electronic newsletter.
Q: Park Maintenance Services—what is this?
A: Our contract for grounds maintenance was set at $1600 (plus $500 a month for extra services) a month in 2011 and 2012 until we changed to a different provider last winter. That entity went out of business this past summer and since then and currently we are not in a contract for grounds maintenance.
Q: As a suggestion, when the Chalet is used for non-board related meetings, why don’t you charge a rental fee that covers cost of cleaning, plus additional money that goes into a reserve to help pay for maintenance of the Chalet.
A: We charge a nominal fee for reserving the chalet. The members own the chalet. The reservation fee covers the administrative costs. We each pay assessment fees to cover the cost/maintenance of the assets. Yes, the reservation fee could be higher and in fact the board did just raise it from $10 a day to $25. If you feel strongly it should be changed come to the park committee meeting and we will listen to what you think or send a member concern form.
Q: Please send all future communications via email rather than USPS. I can see that a lot of money can be saved if everyone switches to this method.
A: You are correct, money can be saved, as well as time (which equates to money) and natural resources (trees, water etc.). With the upgrades to the website we are aware there are many ways we can use it to save on the cost of all of our communications. We need members to provide email addresses and be willing to agree to use electronic methods. Last spring we included a flyer with the newsletter asking members how they wanted to receive information. Over half of those who responded wanted paper. Our members have to support this kind of change by participating.
Should you have other questions, please email email@example.com.