Silver Lake -- Following two lot owner meetings on Aug. 17 during which many people expressed concerns about a $500,000 project slated to start after Labor Day, the Silver Lake Estates Board of Trustees is modifying the plans.
The entire project was set to start after Labor Day, but Richard Lubinski, chairman of the Board of Trustees, told the Falls News-Press on Aug. 25 that the plan is "being revisited" to "address the concerns of some of the lot owners that attended the two public meetings."
The Board's website stated the trustees on Aug. 18 discussed the feedback they received and are breaking the project into phases during the next couple of years "with the highest priority needs first."
The message on the trustees' website stated a water shed or water quality element may be added to the parking lot and/or parking repairs. The trustees noted they have not obtained bids or a loan and added they are planning to have a modified plan prepared by late September.
The next Silver Lake Estates Board of Trustees meeting is scheduled for Sept. 12 at 7 p.m. and is tentatively slated to occur at the Church in Silver Lake.
Mike Walker, a member of the Estates' Board of Trustees, on Aug. 17 said the trustees were planning to replace/repair the parking lot at Silver Lake Estates Park, replace the retaining wall between the boathouse and the swim dock, replace the timber lake seawall at the park's north end with a concrete seawall and replace the timber surrounding all picnic pods with uni-lock type landscape blocks. Two of the pods would be modified to be ADA compliant. An initial plan to create a new ADA accessible picnic pod has now been dropped, according to Lubinski. None of the pods are currently ADA accessible, said Walker.
The project is expected to cost $537, 540, with the parking lot work costing $130,857, the boathouse retaining wall costing $111,210, the north seawall costing $73,432, the picnic pods costing $183,942, and engineering/project management costing $30,120. These projections are based on engineering estimates, according to Walker, who added actual figures will be based on the bids the trustees receive.
The cost of the project would be paid with $100,000 in cash from the Silver Lake Estates' Trust account, and with a $400,000 loan that will be financed during the next five years "via annual average assessment increase" of $188 per year per lot, according to information provided by the trustees.
Walker said the plan is to replace all the timbers in the parking lot with concrete curbing, replace the blacktop and to re-grade the lot. A storm water inlet would be installed over the existing storm sewer pipe. The pavement over the existing storm sewer will be replaced and gaps in the storm sewer pipe will be repaired by the village. Village Council on Aug. 15 approved paying $12,797 to Integrity Excavating II, LLC, to do the work.
Another part of the plan is installation of a sidewalk on the west side of the boathouse to improve access from the park to the fishing area, particularly for children.
Walker said the boathouse retaining wall is falling into the lake and is on a "pretty significant slant." The plan is to remove that wall and put in a new concrete wall.
Meanwhile, the north lakeside retaining wall has "severe rotting timbers, erosion and washout," according to information from the presentation given by Walker Aug. 17. The plan is to replace the timber retaining walls with tiered retaining concrete modular walls. The picnic pods have "rotting" timbers, as well as "severe cracks" in the pads. The project would remove some of the timber walls and some of the concrete curbs and slabs on the pods and replace them with concrete modular walls and concrete slabs. Pads that have cracks would be replaced. A concrete walkway would be installed near the two pods that would be made ADA-accessible.
About 30 people attended each of the two meetings Aug. 17.
At the second meeting, lot owner Marcia Mandala noted her assessments were increasing by about 8 to 10 percent each year and said she would like to be informed about upcoming projects and suggested trustees send out a survey to lot owners to acquire their opinions on what needs to be done.
Lot owner Dan Markowitz said he was concerned about the approach taken to the project. "/[The approach seems to be] 'we can do more, spend more and get more.' People don't want to get more because we're not getting more in our paychecks/"
Markowitz said he felt a few of the project elements were "improvements and therefore need to be paid for by voluntary assessments."
Lot owner Joe May said a court decision in March 2012 from Summit County Common Pleas Court Judge Tammy O'Brien ruled that the Trustees "may make an extraordinary improvement only after the improvement is approved by 'the owners of one hundred of the lots,'" and the trustees "are guaranteed that the money is available for the improvement."
May said he felt certain aspects of the project fell under the court's definition of "extraordinary improvement." Examples he cited included installing a concrete pad for the trash container and putting a concrete pad under the bike storage rack.
May also noted he felt that about "10 feet" of the seawall from the boathouse to the walkway to the swimming docks is crumbling and needs to be replaced.
"That is a repair," said May. "The rest of the wall is an extraordinary expense."
Walker emphasized the trustees were trying to "protect and preserve the asset we have."
When he spoke with the Falls News-Press on Aug. 24, May said, "The concern continues with so many of the lot owners that really don't have a voice in this process." However, May added he felt the trustees appeared to hear the concerns. and said he felt there should be lot owner representatives who regularly speak with the trustees about project plans.
Lubinski told the Falls News-Press Aug. 25 that the Estates' Trust Agreement "requires the [Silver Lake Estates'] trustees to maintain the property."