Dear Lake Hills Members,
I hope this letter finds you and your loved ones safe and healthy. These past weeks have been ones of learning and adjustment as we deal with the realities of life, work and school in a global pandemic. The LHA board and volunteers have continued to meet regularly (virtually of course) to steer association activities and I am glad to be able to send this update with several pieces of good news.
Our lake, beaches and open spaces are an invaluable resource for members to enjoy the outdoors. The LHA board is acutely aware of our responsibilities both to Lake Hills members and our friends and neighbors in the larger Fairfield community. While many public recreation areas were closed, as a private organization we have the privilege to be able to tailor our response to the specific character of our community. The board has worked hard to strike the correct balance between keeping the community safe and enjoying the recreational opportunities afforded by our open spaces. This was done with the belief that our members would willingly follow commonsense rules intended to keep us all safe. This was affirmed, when barring a few exceptions, the membership acted responsibly in following social distancing norms on our communal spaces. This positive response has been gratifying and given us the confidence to reopen our beaches for the season starting Memorial Day weekend.
When enjoying the beach, we ask that you follow the practices necessary to ensure a safe environment for everyone. The current version of COVID-19 specific beach safety rules is attached. As much of the science around COVID-19 is still being formulated, we will update these as more information becomes available. The latest revision of the rules will always be available on the lake hills website and the 2020 tag has a QR code you can scan that will take you directly to the rules page. Your cooperation in following these guidelines is essential to being able to continue to enjoy our open spaces and to preserve LHA's reputation as a responsible member of the larger Fairfield community.
After public health and safety, the financial health of the association is the biggest responsibility of the board. While LHA dues are shockingly low for the benefits they confer, they are the primary source of revenues needed for community maintenance. The turmoil in the national economy can be expected to have an impact on some members ability to pay even these modest fees. We have been closely tracking dues collection against historical metrics. The trends so far are very encouraging with the majority of the membership able to pay 2020 dues in full. We have made operational adjustments to absorb the impact from reduced collections but expect to have the revenues necessary for the annual upkeep of the dam, lake and staffing the beaches with lifeguards for the season. You may also remember we have multiple long-term projects for dam maintenance underway. These will also continue as planned as they are funded from long term capital reserves which are not immediately impacted by the shortfall in dues collection. These investments represent not only a continued commitment to the future of our community but also Lake Hills contribution to restoring the financial health of the larger economy.
Additionally, given the robust state of the association’s finances, the board has been able to make accommodations for members who have been financially impacted by COVID-19. LHA members previously in good standing, impacted by COVID-19 can have late fees and interest on 2020 dues waived. If you or someone you know is in this situation, please contact the Lake Hills Treasurer to setup a payment plan. More significantly, all LHA members in good standing in 2019 will be given 2020 lake tags regardless of the status of their 2020 dues. We do this in the belief that members who have historically been diligent about paying their dues will do so as soon as this crisis is behind us. This accommodation rests on the trust and financial reserves built up by years of conscientious dues payments by the majority of members. We thank you all for making this possible.And even during these extraordinary times, the LHA spirit endures. District reps and members worked together to ensure that the beaches are ready for the summer while maintaining social distancing norms. The LHA spirit committee continues to find creative ways to have fun as a community despite the constraints on in person contact. Ideas like the Easter Bunny's tour, LHA kindness rocks and the LHA Memorial Day driveby are great examples of silver linings to be found even in these uncertain times. There's even talk of bringing back the Great Race Across The Lake. So, in closing I'd like to express my sincere thanks to the Lake Hills district reps, board members and volunteers that I have the privilege to work with. None of us expected to deal with a global pandemic when starting the year. Seeing the LHA community rally together to solve this, reaffirms my belief in the generous and resilient spirit of Lake Hills.
As the aphorism goes, We can plan to go far, because we’re going together.
Take Good Care of You And Yours,
President, Lake Hills Association