Buffalo Point Cottage Owners Association
Minutes of the Annual General Meeting held May 22, 2016
Lee Delorme welcomed the members and informed them that we would also elect new board members at the meeting.
It was moved by Marion Kwiatkowski and seconded by Gisele Horvath to accept the agenda as circulated.
The motion carried.
Information was provided by our legal counsel, Paul Edwards, regarding the status of the issues remaining with the Buffalo Point First Nation and Buffalo Point Development Corp. He thanked the 6 retiring members of the Board for their incredible work under very trying circumstances as he appreciated their time and effort (all without pay) for the many hours in court or arbitration or meetings on behalf of all Cottage Owners.
We have a consent order that was ratified by us at last years’ AGM was also ratified by the First Nation and the Development Corporation and is in effect. The arbitrator awarded the BPCOA $350,000 part for legal costs and some for overpayment of taxes. This was to come to us in payments over time. So there was a variation on that award. The courts granted us a judgment so we could officially and legally obtain the money the courts say was owed to us. When that money comes in we will be able to pay our legal fees and the outstanding bill from the arbitrator.
Part of the award included a process for control over the level of taxes and it was agreed to by the parties and enforced by the consent order and judgment. This was to help us avoid a jump in taxes and provide taxpayer representation in some format. Although it is not what we first asked for the process allows us to some meaningful input as we have historically we had when we were paying maintenance fees, rather than taxes. Despite the fact that the parties have agreed to the process the First Nation Tax Commission has declined to approve this agreement. This is a challenge we will have to address in the future. The judgment ensures that it will happen. We have agreed to tax increases of 2% in the next 2 years.
Paul Edwards asked us to fill out forms saying we were not going to arbitrate as individuals since this is part of the settlement. Many of these were done before some by email and we have been asked to fill them out in writing and they are being distributed now for our signatures. Please sign them, have them witnessed and get them back to us. We will collect as many as we can today and collect as many of the rest as we can in the next few days.
It was moved by Karen Stang and seconded by Kay Blais to adopt the minutesf the BPCOA 2015 AGM as posted on the website.
The motion carried.
The financial statements were provided to cottage owners.
We started the fiscal year with assets of $1191.35. Our revenues for the year were 31,787.12. Our expenses were $35,291.86 ($29,216.77 in legal fees) leaving us with a deficit of just over $3500.
In brief at April 30, 2016, our legal fees to date are $444,936.96 of which $172,044.00 is still outstanding. The fees raised by cottage owners are $221,697.48 plus a loan of $22,000.00. As stated by the lawyers we have been awarded $350,000.00 over time.
It was moved by Claude LeMay and seconded by Cliff Lebuick to accept the financial statements as circulated.
The motion carried.
Lee Delorme explained about electing new members of the Executive Board. Special thanks for his outstanding support over the year to Doug Struthers. Thanks for all the efforts of the departing Board members who have contributed so much to your association. Veronica Johnson and Mike Millner are remaining on the Board. Other positions need to be replaced at this meeting. Tim Picken read the biographies of the prospective Board members and conducted the elections.
The following people were duly nominated and seconded and accepted their nomination to stand for election;
Len Gaudet, Leilani Kagan, Susan Hart-Kulbaba and Brad Vollrath.
The motions carried.
There are 2 spots still vacant if anyone is interested in joining these folks on the Board. The Board was congratulated and will select officers from amongst themselves at their first meeting.
Miles Briggs thanked Lee Delorme for his leadership on behalf of his Board members and reported on some issues that might require changes to the by-laws and voting would need to take place at the next AGM in 2017. The new Executive needs to consider if they should change the bylaws on the number of Board members.
There was a discussion about increasing the membership contribution for the following year. It was moved by Chris Vollrath and seconded by Janice Nemeth to increase the membership contribution to $20 for 2017.
The motion carried.
Miles Briggs talked about the assessment processes as it reflects this year’s taxes and the appeals process. The assessments may have gone up but the mill rate dropped in order to only increase taxes by 2%. The First Nation Tax Commission was sent a letter protesting the location for any appeals of the assessments in Scanterbury so they moved the appeal hearings to Winnipeg, better but not ideal.
Steve Stang will be heading up the Budgeting Committee. This Committee is the mechanism we are using for the process agreed to (and placed in the Memorandum of Settlement and the subsequent judgment from the courts) that allows us to review the Buffalo Point First Nation budget so as to determine whether we want to invoke the legal process to challenge the taxation rates being applied by the First Nation to the cottagers properties, if it is felt necessary.
Karen Stang reported on the Volunteer Appreciation dinner. The organizers are looking for nominations for the award recipients for the coming year. The Conference Centre has been booked for October 15, 2016 and tickets will be on sale this summer.
Marion Kwiatkowski is retiring from the Membership Committee. She worked for many years greeting new and past members of the cottages here, shared information with them and collected membership fees. She kept meticulous records of names, addresses, phone numbers and emails for the BPCOA and she will be missed. Joan Demetrioff will be taking over this task for us.
There would be a need for some volunteers to coordinate and run the picnic if it is to continue in the future.
Miles Briggs closed the meeting by calling for adjournment.