HI commissioners get outline of district's goals and objectives

Monday, January 23, 2006

HOLIDAY ISLAND -- At its work session Jan. 16, the Holiday Island Suburban Improvement District (HISID) Board of Commissioners heard District Manager Kevin Crosson present the 2006 Goals and Objectives, with several new objectives added.

The six over-arching goals remain the same as in previous years, Crosson told the board.

Under Goal #1 of improving the district's infrastructure, an added objective is to expand water meter replacement to include meters that can be read from the street by transmission signal. Water/Wastewater Superintendent Roger Mullis said meters are from 30 to 50 percent replaced already.

Under Goal #2, to ensure district revenue, Crosson will bring a proposal to implement a commercial water rate for high-end users.

"It would encourage and retain high water volume customers," he said. "If they're at the same rate, they're paying a disproportionate share of the utility."

He said between two and six customers fall into this category now, "depending on where you put the break."

Goal #3, ensuring the district's operations are legal and minimize liability, has several new objectives: addressing golf cart traffic on district roads, expanding the road damage permit, restricting the use of ATVs on district roads and property, mandating removal of brush and timber piles and punishing/enforcing district rules and regulations.

Technically, Crosson said, it is illegal to drive golf carts on Holiday Island's roads.

"We need to have a backup game plan if the sheriff decides to enforce it," he said. "It's been threatened that day will come."

Commissioners discussed removing it from the goals because including it, said Commissioner Dick Lytle, "raises it as an issue."

Regarding an expanded road damage permit, Crosson said the permit currently only covers the frontage of a lot under construction. The district may want to look at a general, non-refundable impact fee on new construction.

Crosson said the issue of ATVs will have to be researched as to their legality.

"Even if it is legal, do you want to allow unrestricted access to parcels and roads?" he asked. He said there have been several complaints from property owners about ATVs.

On the brush/timber pile objective, he said he has not had a chance to run it by the fire chief yet, but with fire danger so high because of drought conditions, the objective's aim is to protect the community from wildland fire danger.

Punishing or enforcing district rules and regulations under the statute governing suburban improvement districts is a "legal research question," Crosson said.

Under Goal #4, two new objectives are to look into mandating solid waste services and to enclose the new golf course well piping in fencing and landscaping, with Homeowners Association help.

There has been significant property-owner resistance to the idea of mandatory solid waste hauling since the issue surfaced in 2003 with a presentation by Roger Miner of the Carroll County Solid Waste Authority.

"Let's find out how other planned communities handle it. We may be able to effect a lower rate for people," said Chairman Ken Mills. "We went into it far enough that we know some of the major obstacles."

Under Goal #5, maintaining district amenities, there are three new objectives: to generate a long-range plan for neighborhood parks and nature trails, to evaluate the feasibility of a driving range and to develop a multi-year plan of Recreation Center activities.

Under Goal #6, hiring and retaining good staffing, there are no new objectives, but Crosson said the district's health insurance premiums have increased dramatically, and he wants to research an alternative.

In other discussions, the commissioners:

* Heard a proposal from the Holiday Island Men's Golf Association (see story above).

* Heard Crosson say the contract with Mathis, Carter & Associates for engineering services is up for renewal, and the only change is a mileage rate increase of 4 cents per mile.

* Reviewed a draft letter to the Bank of Eureka Springs requesting they either cancel their plans for an entrance on Highway 23 North or make it an entrance-only access because of accident danger.

* Discussed changes to Regulation 26 on amenities. The major discussion is about a revision that restricts fivesomes on the golf course unless approved by the Golf Pro, and limits golf carts for such groups to no more than three. Some commissioners favor restricting golf carts to two per foursome or less.

The board's voting meeting will be held Monday at 9 a.m. at the district office. The above issues may be voted on.

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