Minutes of the Annual Meeting of the

Deer Creek Homeowners Association of Livonia

April 24, 2013

Reviewed by the Board of Directors on May 22, 2013

APPROVED at the 2014 Annual Meeting held 4-30-2014


President Behrendsen convened the meeting at 7:30 p.m. in meeting rooms A & B

of the Livonia Civic Center Library, with 40 homeowners in attendance.


Board Members Present:  Denny Behrendsen, Bob Moore, Dave Wood, Diane Tsaprazis, Walt Gerstner, Bob Ellis and Marsha McLean.  Pres. Behrendsen explained that Sylvia Leski, our Welcome Committee chairperson, has resigned so the Board will appoint someone to fill the remaining year of her term.  Sylvia has helped our neighborhood for twenty five years in many ways; especially welcoming new neighbors and rejuvenating the Board when there were many vacancies. 


Introduction of New Neighbors:  Mahmoud and Manal Abedrabbo of 34581 Bretton and Tom McLeod of 20084 Gary Lane were welcomed.


Minutes of April 26, 2012:  The Secretary read the minutes aloud.  A motion was made to accept the minutes as written and seconded.  Finding no discussion, the minutes were approved by acclamation.


Treasurer’s Reports:  Presented by Dave Wood

A.     2012 Financial Report:  We received dues of $12,375 plus donations of $350, thus exceeding our $12,000 budget. Operating expenses totaled $10,892 compared to $10,501 budgeted.  Water costs were $249 over budget despite the fact that we reduced our usage 13% in 2012, our 3rd straight year of reductions.  For total island & entrance maintenance, we exceeded our budget by $148.  Our project costs totaled $2,529 versus $5,200 budgeted because: 1) we spent less on the tree replacement project when the adjacent homeowner decided to contribute less; 2) we were able to replace the 5 stolen brass backflow valves with plastic parts and we used metal stakes to secure them rather than enclosures and 3) Board members repaired the Gill Road retaining walls. Thus, expenses exceeded revenues by only $696, versus the $3,701 reduction budgeted.  Our ending checkbook balance was $5,442, well above our targeted minimum of $1,200.  Pres. Behrendsen further explained the revised water bills that now include a fixed charge of $65.42 for each of our 9 island meters.  We have contacted City Council President Laura Toy requesting that a multiple meter discount be considered for homeowner associations.  We received a reply from Coline R. Coleman, Chief Accountant for the City stating that they are determining rates for the coming year (we assume for 2014) and will “consider the optimal balance of fixed and per-unit fees.”  In response to a homeowner, Dave Wood explained that Deer Creek used 246 cubic feet of water, which divided by the 9 meters is much less than the average household (he used 110 cu. ft.).  We do not pay a sewage rate, but we do pay $52 per meter each year to have them installed in the spring and removed in the fall; each meter is read separately and located only 1 foot underground so they would freeze if left in the ground.  A motion was made to accept the report, seconded, and finding no further discussion, approved by acclamation.


B.    2013 Budget:  We are increasing our dues forecast to $12,225 based on 163 households; we have received $11,275 to date.  We forecast a 4% increase in water expenses; this includes an allocation for backflow certification if required; we will spend less if the fixed fee is reduced.  For island & entrance maintenance, our contract is at the same rate as last year and we consolidated fertilizing services so these savings should offset the cost of repairing the graffiti damage to the north Gill Road sign.  We will improve our holiday wreaths.  For projects, we will replace 3 sprinkler timers costing $500 and spend $1,000 replacing trees.  We expect expenses to exceed revenues by $758 resulting in an ending checkbook balance of $4,684.  A motion was made to approve the report and seconded.  In response to a homeowner’s question, Pres. Behrendsen clarified that homes may be required to pay for backflow certification; we pay a plumber $90 per meter. The budget was approved by acclamation.


C.    Directional Plan for 2014 and 2015:  All figures carry forward with a 4% inflation adjustment and $1,100 and $1,200 allocated in 2014 and 2015 respectively for island and entrance tree removal and replacement.  Dave Wood pointed out that in 2015, operating expenses of $12,420 will exceed revenues of $12,225.  Our dues have been $75 per year since 2004.  We can save $650 per year if volunteers do the fall clean-up at 8 Mile Road.  Many homeowners in attendance advocated an increase in the requested dues because the attractive appearance of the islands benefits everyone in the neighborhood.  Some homeowners contribute more than the requested amount.  Despite a lot of labor from the Board, organized clean-up from a professional company has worked out better than volunteers.  It is difficult to request help for clean-up when a date cannot be selected far in advance due to inclement weather.  No one in attendance voiced any objection to an increase in dues.  Pres. Behrendsen explained that according to our Bylaws, an official increase in dues must be voted on at a meeting where that proposal is communicated in advance.  The President summarized that hearing no objections to raising dues, we will consider all suggestions. 


Old Business:  President Behrendsen read the list of our accomplishments given on our agenda.  He thanked the Board members for their work, especially Dave Wood and Bob Ellis for repairing the vandalized sprinkler valves & installing steel supports and Marsha McLean for contacting homeowners with maintenance problems.  Denny Behrendsen is a member of Laura Toy’s City Council President’s Cabinet consisting of about twenty people from the community. 


New Business: 

A.    We will try to remove the graffiti on the north Gill Road sign ourselves.  If we cannot do it, the original sign company can repair it although they were unable to give us a quote without taking the sign to their shop.


B.    Volunteers needed:

1.     Pauline Kehoe needs help to continue the neighborhood Garage Sale.  Marsha McLean offered to distribute flyers, and Keri Young offered to help with placing signs.   

2.     Webmaster:  Laura Thompson offered to help.

3.     Planting flowers, spring and fall clean-up at entrances.  Five residents signed up to help.


C.    Caution about placing checks in mailboxes; at least one homeowner had mail stolen.


D.    Reminders from City Ordinances and our Covenants as listed on the agenda.


E.    A homeowner said residents can sign up on the City’s website to be reminded when trash collection is delayed.


F.    A homeowner asked about a Neighborhood Watch program.  Pres. Behrendsen said we can all look out for each other and report potential problems; another person echoed that the police have responded to his concerns.


G.    Discussion occurred regarding sunken sidewalks.  A homeowner reported his neighbor is getting a repair quote.  Walt Gerstner explained that repairs involve drilling a hole and injecting a substance to raise the concrete.  Pres. Behrendsen explained our area is built on clay which results in the concrete settling when the clay is wet. A homeowner said most of the problems occur in areas where the water and gas mains are located.   A homeowner reported that she called the City about ten years ago and they repaired it saying it was the fault of the utility company.   Some wondered if a repair company could offer a neighborhood discount.  Pres. Behrendsen confirmed it is the responsibility of homeowners to maintain the sidewalks.


H.    In response to a question about Street Repairs, Pres. Behrendsen said we are not in this year’s repair plan.  Work is scheduled in order of severity.  Citizens passed a millage for a 10 year plan to repair streets.  The City knows us because we meet with them annually.


I.      A homeowner suggested we use high school students needing volunteer hours for neighborhood projects.  We offered to call Stevenson High School to discuss obtaining assistance.


J.     A homeowner pointed out that area students must be picked up and dropped off on major roads and that Livonia buses use red lights and stop signs along 8 Mile to signal drivers on both sides of the road to stop, but Farmington buses do not, so many drivers do not stop.


K.    A homeowner thanked us for our Holiday lights.


Adjournment:  A motion was made to adjourn the annual meeting of April 24, 2013.  By acclamation, President Behrendsen adjourned the meeting at 8:52 p.m.



Minutes prepared by Diane Tsaprazis, Secretary.