The SVDC Board of Directors has worked for over a year to try to get answers and to get help putting an end to the mud and silt coming into the lake from the fingers area. The Board is now asking for our help in this endeavor. It is felt that if our community makes phone calls en masse in the next week and files complaints, someone from one of the government agencies may finally listen and look further into what is going on and where the influx of mud and silt is coming from which turns the water brown after a rain.
When calling, some questions you could ask are: 1.) What is the source of the mud and silt coming into the lake from the fingers along Route 160? 2.) What is being done to mitigate and end the mud and silt laden water from entering Lake Stonycreek? 3.) Ask to file a formal complaint about the poor water quality and dirty water being discharged into the lake after it rains.
It is felt that one source of the muddy water is coming from the surface mining being done along Route 160 by Heritage Mining. The dirty water enters Boone Run which feeds into Lake Stonycreek. Another big source is The New Baltimore Sportsman Club. They clear cut their hillside 2 years ago for timber and there is considerable ongoing erosion on their property since the hillside was never stabilized after being clear cut. This mud filled water heads right down to the water that feeds into the lake.
The Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) is responsible for these issues. Please call DEP Erosion Control Officer Mr. Keith Largent at 814-289-4250 to file a complaint and ask questions. Keith Largent’s superior is Frank Calderone. Frank can be reached at 412-442-4318.
DEP Mining Complaints can be made to Dave Thomas at 814-472-1900 – or – Daniel Weaver at 814-472-1900.
You may also call the PA Fish Commission – Pat Ferko at 814-445-8974 to file a complaint about water quality with the PA Fish Commission.
Another contact person would be the PA Department of the Environment Secretary, Mr. Patrick McDonnell. There is an online complaint form that you can fill out at this web address http://www.depgreenport.state.pa.us/EnvironmentalComplaintForm/
Please take the time to make some phone calls and file a complaint so we can hopefully get an end to the silt entering our lake. The health of our lake needs you. Thanks!
It is the hope of the SVDC that shareholders will give some consideration to donating their shares back to the lake community. The Board of Directors is offering a tax donation letter to those who generously invest in the community with their donation. If this is your plan, you may email the SVDC secretary Lynette Fleegle – firstname.lastname@example.org or call to request that the tax donation letter be sent to you at 814-442-4456. Let Lynette know how many shares you own, which she will verify, so that the letter can reflect the amount of your donation in dollars to satisfy the IRS requirements. You may also send a request in writing to SVDC.
For those who would like to exercise the buyback option, the board will work on establishing a timeline and procedure to handle those requests at the next regular board meeting in June. The buyback request must be sent in writing and mailed to Stonycreek Valley Development Corp., P.O. Box 237, Shanksville, PA 15560
The following are the results of the motions that came before the lot owners at the Annual Lot Owner Meeting as well as the results of the election to the Board of Directors.
A big thank you to all who were willing to run for a position to the board. It was really great to have such a large slate of nominees this year.
Report of Judges of Election – Stonycreek Valley Development Corporation
Shareholder’s Meeting, May 24, 2019
1) Blackburn’s motion of Enclosure A.
Voted by shares.
4878 shares were voted of a total of 7897 outstanding shares, or 61.77%.
“YES” – 3404 shares, or 70% of shares voted.
“NO” – 1474 shares, or 30% of shares voted.
Blackburn’s motion passes. Therefore other votes will be by lots, not by shares.
2) Meneilly’s motion of Enclosure B.
Voted by lots.
128 ballots were cast.
“YES” – 109 ballots, or 85% of ballots cast.
“NO” – 19 ballots, or 15% of ballots cast.
Meneilly’s motion passes, so a “Special Shareholders Committee” will be formed to undertake a comprehensive review of the SVDC’s current bylaws, etc.
3) Election of Board of Directors.
Voted by lots, with each lot allowed to cast a vote for up to 11 candidates.
113 ballots were cast out of a possible 263 lots, or 43%.
Elected to the Board are the top 11 vote-getters:
Nominee Number of votes
St. Clair 79
Nominee Number of votes
K. Lazarowicz 14
D. Lazarowicz 10
A personal note of apology from Rolf deVries, the chair of the election judges. I could have released the results a day earlier if I hadn’t messed up. When we finished counting votes on Saturday morning, we had a few questions of fact that I emailed to the board secretary as I was hurrying out the door to visit my son and his family near Annapolis, MD. I got the answers soon enough, but in my haste forgot to bring with me the ballots I needed to finalize the count so that our report could be accurate. I wrote this report when I returned home and was able to look at the ballots and finalize the count. I apologize for any inconvenience or stress caused by my mistake.
Congratulations to all Lot Owners! It was voted to become a one lot-one vote community at the Annual Lot Owner Meeting this evening.
The votes for the election of the Board of Directors is currently being verified and counted. An email of results will be sent out as soon as the results are available. The results will also be posted here on the website and on the Lake Facebook page.
There have been many new families and members to our lake community in the last several years. The Stonycreek Valley Development Corporation (SVDC) realizes that many may not know the history of the SVDC and the significance of the stock/shares. The following is from the book The Lakes by James Mcintyre. Once the idea of building a dam and creating a lake took shape “the Stonycreek Valley Development Corporation was formed as a for-profit corporation.” Initially 5450 shares were issued. “The initial directors of the corporation, fifteen in number, were the original landowners. Various members acted as salesman and sold stock in amounts of 10 shares to their friends and neighbors. The concept of the corporation presumed that an annual service charge against lot owners of $1.50 per front foot for lake front property and $0.01 cent per square foot for non-lakefront property, the corporation could be a money earner.” The dam was built, and the land flooded for the lake in 1959. The stocks were linked to voting power. If you were not a stock owner, you could not participate in the voting at the annual shareholder meeting.
Some time in the 1980’s it became apparent to the lake community that the handful of majority shareholders had their own best interests and money earning potential in mind before the health and maintenance of the lake and the lake community. The majority shareholders were not being good stewards of the lake and its assets. The community began to determine how they could change that. Shares were purchased and bought up until the community, collectively, had enough shares to out vote the previous majority shareholders. In 2005, the SVDC became a not-for-profit corporation, as the lake community wished, and the previous majority shareholders were voted off the Board of Directors. This is when the Board became made up of elected community volunteers. This returned the care and maintenance of the lake to the community rather than to a handful of people with their own vested interest in financial gain. For some reason, the stock/share system was kept in place at that time.
Fast forward to this year. There has been a fair amount of turmoil and animosity since the last shareholder meeting. There is a rift in the community. As happened in the early 2000’s, shares have been bought up. Currently, three people are majority shareholders as was described in the lake history. This means 2 -3 people can affect any vote despite what all other shareholders may want or vote for. The SVDC shares are dinosaurs from the for-profit days and create an inequality in our community. It has become apparent that, as in our democratic society, one vote per lot, is the equitable way for our lake community to be run. No one should have to purchase the right to have a vote and voice in our community at the annual meeting. No one’s vote should hold more weight than their neighbors when decisions need to be made and voted on and Board of Directors are elected. We are all lot owners and we all share the same great lake. We should share the decision making of our great lake equitably, one vote per lot, not by who can purchase the most shares/votes. This is how community Homeowners Associations work.
The mailing you received NOTICE OF ANNUAL SHAREHOLDER MEETING included an ENCLOSURE A, which is a motion to convert to a one lot – one vote system. It will be the first motion to be voted on at the meeting on May 24th. If the motion passes, all lot owners regardless if you own SVDC stock or not, will be able to vote on any other business presented at the meeting and on the election of the Board of Directors at this and all future meetings.
This motion (Enclosure A) includes a buy back of shares for anyone interested beginning June 1 through December 31. This motion, if passed, changes voting to ALL LOT OWNERS and eliminates shares completely.
Shareholders should have received the Notice of Annual Shareholder Meeting in the mail. The meeting will be held Friday, May 24th at 7pm at St. Mark’s Church in Shanksville.
If you are going to attend the meeting please bring all of the paperwork you received with you to the meeting.
If you are unable to attend, please return the following in the PINK ENVELOPE:
Enclosure A (Bill Blackburn, Sr. motion)
Enclosure B (Brad Meneilly motion)
Enclosure C (Election of Board of Directors)
Choose eleven of the names on the Election Enclosure for positions on the 2019/2020 SVDC Board of Directors. If you have any questions on any nominees, please contact any current board member. Their contact information can be found on the website at palakestonycreek.com. Click on the SVDC Board tab. As well, mark your vote on Enclosure A and B underneath the +++++++++++ line.
Be sure to have this mailed in the PINK ENVELOPE in plenty of time for it to be received by SVDC on or before May 23rd. The pink envelopes will not be opened until the meeting. We hope to see everyone there.
If you did not receive this mailing, and should have, please contact Lynette, the SVDC Secretary, who’s contact information can be found on the website under the SVDC Board tab as well.
You should have received mail from SVDC concerning the April 27th Special Shareholder meeting which will be held at 1:00 at St. Mark Lutheran Church in Shanksville.
If you are unable to attend the meeting, and are currently a shareholder, please take a minute to fill out the proxy vote form and mail it to SVDC in the pink envelope. It must be postmarked by or before April 26th. It is important to vote, either in person or by returning your proxy vote, on these important proposed by law changes.
FYI -the colored envelope was sent so that no pink envelopes will be opened prior to the April 27th meeting. The pink envelopes will be handed to the appointed proxy to be opened by the proxy and the proxy committee and tallied.
If you are a shareholder, and did not receive this mailing, please contact the SVDC Secretary.