DHA Annual Meeting Recap

Our 2023 Discovery Homeowners Association Annual Meeting was held on Thursday, October 5, 2023. We would like to thank those neighbors who came out to participate in determining the future of Discovery!

As a quorum was present, Gary Morrell (President) called the meeting to order.

Gary introduced the 2023 Board and identified each person's function.

Corey Farkas, COS Operations & Maintenance Division Manager, presented an interesting insight into the challenges of maintaining the streets and drainage tor the largest muicipalit in Colorado. He detailed the incremental approach of Proposition 2C: 2C1 addressed arterial roads such as Union, Academy and in our area, Delmonico); 2C2 was slowed by supply issues associated with COVID limitations and is still in progress, mostly dealing curbs and sidewalks on neighborhood feeder byways; and 2C3 - if approved by voters in November - will address less traveled areas (like our cul-de-sacs). He explained that the "freeze/thaw" cycle associated with our weather is very hard on our roads and they only last 10-13 years without upkeep, depending on the type and amount of traffic.

Betsy Cook (Treasurer) explained that the Colorado Springs Police Department no longer offers patrol services from their off-duty officers. Instead, they "out-sourced" that function to an out-of-state company that we found to be extremely unreliable. We checked with other local HOAs to see how they were handling this challenge and received strong recommendations for one company (Baker & King Security Services) which we used voluntary contributions to hire on a trial basis over the past several months. They sent their General Manager as well as the two officers who normally patrol Discovery to explain their role and answer questions. They act as a visible deterrent to potential mischief makers and criminals, but are not armed and cannot make arrests. They are formally trained in conflict resolution. They stressed that if we see something suspicious, we should call 911 immediately.

The membership voted and approved the 2022 Annual Meeting Minutes. 

Betsy Cook announced the results of the Covenants change ballot...it passed by a 15% margin. Therefore, our annual dues will increase to $90 starting in 2024 and Betsy presented a 2024 Budget proposal based on that level of revenue generation. She proposed modest increases totaling $2100 in the Operational Expenses area (generally to offset inflationary costs) and she added $6500 to the Neighborhood Expenses category to account for an additional dumpster, more security services and additional snow removal, as well as to deal with the expected reduction in voluntary contributions that is likely with the dues increase. The largest item was an addition of $11,500 to our Reserve for contingencies. Betsy explained that it has been significantly reduced over the past few years to the point of being improbable for any large expense, such as a legal action. The proposed 2024 budget was discussed and adopted by unanimous vote.  The 2024 budget, along with the 2023 Budget and 2023 actual expenditures, is available here

Several topics were reviewed as Old Business:

- The first item was the on-going effort to raise consciousness regarding property maintenance. Gary explained that while the vast majority of our members maintain their lots and homes in compliance with our Covenants, some properties have been neglected and fallen into disrepair. A subcommittee of the Board recently toured Discovery to identify those properties and bring them to the attention of their owners. Gary indicated that the Board will send letters to those property owners in the near future to identify deficiencies and request corrective action.

- Kate Doyle explained our Neighbor-2-Neighbor program and encouraged more participation. She asked anyone present who could volunteer services or support to sign up for a potential call.

- Rick Midtbo reviewed the locking mailbox program. We currently have eight boxes available at a reduced rate ($75 vs $143) and an installer who will mount them into our mailbox structures for $75. He stressed that the Board is not inclined to extend this program once the current inventory is exhausted. 

- Craig Clark reviewed the Weeds in Curbs program approved at the 2022 Annual Meeting. We purchased a sprayer and organic materials, but a trial run with the recommended strength solution proved ineffective and we determined that the necessary supplies would far exceed our approved funding. The Board intends to investigate other approaches for 2024.

- Finally, Jan Doran recapped the snow removal program that we have funded for the past three years, largely with voluntary contributions. We expended our budget by January last year and appealed for additional contributions to deal with what we expected would be a continuation of the cold, snowy weather and associated icy conditions. We received a terrific response! Jan reiterated that we are exploring the need to add one or two additional intersections for safety, given that the membership in attendance voted an increase for this effort in the approved 2024 budget.

The only scheduled item under New Business was a proposal to explore the installation of flashing Pedestrian Crossing signals on either side of the intersection of Delmonico Drive and Pebble Way. This is a heavily used crossing - particularly prior to and immediately after school hours - and it is hard to see pedestrians waiting to cross. Added to that, many motorists drive well above the 25 MPH limit. Jan Doran reported that the Board is working with the City and Rockrimmon Elementary School to determine the feasibility, funding and timeline for this safety upgrade.

Gary announced that two of our Board members would be leaving at the end of 2023. Two neighbors in the audience volunteered to join the Board in 2024 and both were approved by the members in attendance. Sandi Watkins volunteered to act as our Welcome Person and Tom Gallegos volunteered to join the Architectural Review Committee. The remaining Board members all agreed to remain in office, subject to approval by the members attending the Annual Meeting. The membership voted to retain those current directors for 2024. 

There being no further New Business from the floor, Gary Morrell thanked everyone for their participation and adjourned the meeting.

Draft minutes of the meeting will be posted shortly.  Check back in for further details.