Feb 2, 2023 | Local

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Budget and fee increases approved

The 2023 budget process for the Arrowhead Lake Association began last October when General Manager Bob Mattison brought forward a budget with a 25-percent increase in fees for boat registration, dock fees, beach club fees and general membership fees.
After the board reviewed that proposal, the increase was reduced to 9 percent.
Director Denise Loxton recommended the board hold a member workshop to discuss the budget. Following that workshop, a revised budget with increases in the 4-percent range was brought forward.
At the Jan. 28 board meeting, this iteration of the budget was approved by a vote of 5-2, with Directors Eran Heissler and Denise Loxton voting no.
The new fees are: dock membership, $880, up from $840; beach club membership, $350, up from $335; general membership, $125, up from $120; boat registration, $330, up from $315; day use boat, $880, up from $840; kayak storage, $250, up from $240; and ALA dock rental, $8,000, up from $6,500.
The budget summary states, “We realize that an increase in fees is difficult in the current economic situation for many of our members. However, to support an inflation rate of approximately 9 percent, while also providing improved service levels in the ALA operating plan, fee increases are required to maintain the solid financial position of the ALA.”
The operating plan for 2023 includes responses to four major requests from ALA members:
1. Reduce the amount of lake weed to reduce drowning danger for swimmers, kayakers and paddle boarders, as well as to reduce boating navigational hazards.
2. Improve the condition of ALA trails to reduce tripping and falling hazards by adding three additional maintenance staff, who will also harvest lake weed. In addition, funds will be allocated to hire contractors to repair and improve trails.
3. Improve erosion control to reduce tripping and falling hazards on shorelines, walkways and dock areas.
4. Improve boating navigational safety through applying for new governmental permits to expand allowed dredging areas and allow year-round dredging. Establish a board-designated fund to accumulate funds each year to be used for future dredging.
While the maintenance staff will be increased by three, there will be a 10-percent decrease in Lake Safety Department staffing hours with a focus on reducing ramp/gas dock staffing and shore patrol staffing. There will also be a 5-percent decrease in administration department staffing hours.
The total operating expense budget has increased from $6,626,142 in 2022 to $7,068,055 in 2023.
The 2023 capital budget includes 11 high-priority projects totaling $510,00. They range from the marina retaining wall to three urgent erosion control projects and repairs to the ALA office building.
Lake Safety Chair Denise Loxton presented a revision to the boating and swimming rules that would allow water ski starts inside the buoy line and the no-wake zone.
Vice President Jim Hannon explained that current rules state that dock starts are permitted from either sitting on one’s dock or standing on one’s dock. However, if a skier is already in the water, not touching their dock, they cannot start there.
The Lake Safety committee recommended this change to improve the safety of children who are more protected in a water start in the 5 mph zone rather than being forced to start in the main channel of the lake where boats may be traveling up to 35 mph.
Five directors approved the changes. Secretary/Treasurer Alan Kaitz abstained, saying he wanted more information. Director Heissler voted no, saying he agreed with the Lake Safety staff who are opposed to the changes for safety reasons.
Several other boating and swimming rules revisions were unanimously approved by the board, such as standing while a boat is in motion to include that the boat operator may stand while the boat is transitioning for better visibility, while fishing or trolling at idle speeds and while inside the no-wake zones.
A children’s zipline will be installed along with the new playground at Grass Valley Lake park. An ALA member anonymously donated the entire $65,000 for the purchase and installation of the zipline.
The board approved revisions to the association’s code of conduct agreement; in addition to board members signing the agreement, the revisions would also require committee members to sign the document. Additionally, ALA staff and members would be protected from any bullying or harassment during meetings, functions or events.
Editor’s note: Thank you to ALA member Roberta Rindenow who took the notes this article is based on.


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