Proposed Speeding Fines for North & South Sides

Seven Lakes North & South held a Board Meeting on Wednesday, January 24th at 6:30 PM.

The agenda included one motion to begin using a radar gun within the gates with speeding fines and a second motion to have speed bumps installed on the Lake Echo dam.

One resident expressed his belief that those speeding within the gates are mainly residents themselves.

Another resident on the Finance Committee claimed that the proposed fee increase (listed on the meeting’s agenda) was not presented to the committee.

Board Member Kim Doolittle explained that the proposed fee increase was simply a proposal to bring discussion and was to be brought to the committee after the meeting.  He explained that Seven Lakes North & South has certain fees that have not been adjusted in years.

According to Doolittle, a boat sticker fee is only $10 rather than $25, a late fee is $25 rather than $40, and mailbox rentals are only $10 versus $70 which is charged by Pack, Ship & Party supply in Seven Lakes.

Doolittle then made a proposal for the 2018-2019 Budget.  The Board plans to vote on the budget at the next meeting.

“Right now with the current budget, we are not proposing increase in rates,” Doolittle said.

Doolittle explained that while there are additional funds for road repair, there are not enough funds for a significant road paving project.  Doolittle has been working with Board Member Jared Fravel to come up with a long term plan with the roads.

Board Member Steve Hudson made a motion, “To set up and start using a radar gun for speed control and having associated fines for speeding.”

The Board is considering charging $50 for the first speeding offense and $100 for every additional speeding offense.  If people such as contractors refuse to pay the fine, the Board will consider turning off bar codes and denying access into the community.

Hudson explained that security guards will be hired to monitor speed with the radar gun.  However, their shifts would be less than four hours each – less than the agreed time period in the contract.

Doolittle explained that the idea of shorter shifts was proposed by the contracted company, but nothing was set in writing.

One resident noted that since nothing was officially agreed upon with the company that the motion should not be made.

Another resident asked who would get the bill if a guest were to be fined for speeding.

“[The resident is] responsible for the guest,” Hudson said.  “Somebody’s going to get the bill.”

A suggestion to bring the Sheriff’s department back into the community was also discussed since it has reduced speeding in the past.

One resident asked Board Member Bob Racine about preventing a company from having access into the community due to speeding.

“We have a right technically to our roads,” Racine said.  “We can set rules and regulations, but when you stop to fine somebody, [we] have no right to fine a guest.”

Hudson explained that the motion would be changing a by-law which supersedes rules and regulations.

“The by-law supersedes the rules, but [should we] put in a by-law that changes the rules?” Racine responded.  “The question I raise is of the legality of this change.  Residents were not notified of this change.”

The Board passed Racine’s motion to postpone the discussion until the February 8th meeting.

Hudson then made his second motion to have the speed bumps installed on Lake Echo.  The speed bumps would be 1.5 inches high and 21 inches wide.  The cost would be from $1,100 to $3,000.

“Speed bumps are 24/7.  Radar can’t be there all the time,” Hudson said.

A couple residents raised concerns regarding the inconvenience of speed bumps to emergency vehicles.  The Board spoke with two firefighters who said the speed bumps would not pose an issue.

One man said that the speed bumps were not supposed to be installed unless an engineering study or application of engineering study had been done.  He explained that some cities did not allow speed bumps on emergency routes.

“We have not done anything like [an engineering study,]” he said.  “Firetree is an emergency route.  If someone has a child choking, seconds count.”

“I don’t think speed bumps are the answer.  I think the test bumps diverted traffic,” Fravel said.

The motion to put in speed bumps was defeated, and the Board encouraged Hudson to continue to put together a plan to reduce speeding.

Doolittle announced that the snow plowing had cost $5,700 for every snow fall.  Several residents agreed that it was worth it.

Community Manager Jeanette Mendence announced that community cameras are up and running and currently being reviewed in the guard house.  Evergreen removed broken limbs from the road ways in the community.  A new receptionist, Amber Rogers, has been hired to work in the office on Tuesdays and Wednesdays.

The next Seven Lakes North & South Board Meeting will take place on February 8th.