Minutes - Stables Committee



Time and place. The September 2019 meeting of the Eldorado Stable Committee (“the ESC”) was held on September 17 at the ECIA Community Center, and was called to order at 7:03 pm by the Chair of the ESC. Copies of the Agenda, prior ESC Business Meeting minutes, Chair Report, and the Annual ESC Calendar were provided.

Quorum, Attendees, Agenda. A quorum of ESC members was present, specifically Amelia Adair, Mike Ault, Gretel Underwood, Deena Joseph, and Karla Lauritsen. In addition to ESC Members, ECIA Director and acting Treasurer Todd Handy, ECIA staff-member Anna Hanson, and the following barn owners and sharers were present: Carol Loewy, Dina Siegel, Alice Griffin, Frances Aull, Janet Horton, and Luci Wienczkowski. Amelia presided as chair of the meeting and Mike Ault served as Secretary. The agenda was approved as drafted. The meeting was recorded.

Minutes. The Minutes of the May 2019 ESC Business Meeting were previously approved with no corrections.

Stable Story. Amelia thanked the other members of the ESC for covering while she was chasing her runaway horses in the Gila. Karla thanked Carol Lowey, Maureen Maloney, and Mike Ault for exploring riding opportunities in the greenbelts and coordinating with the Conservation Committee. Karla also thanked Jacqueline Garcia and Lisa Bessone for all their historical perspective and input on the water project. Dina Seigel reiterated her thanks to the ESC maintenance crew for filling (and cleaning as needed) everyone’s water tanks.

Chair’s Report. Submitted in writing.

Open Forum.

Water billing rates: Alice Griffin asked whether any new information is available regarding the Stables’ water rates, whether we can be charged as an agricultural user, or whether the EAWSD might take over operation, reading and billing of the individual barn meters; and if not the EAWSD, then who will be reading the meters? Amelia and Anna explained some history about meetings with Steve King, EAWSD director. Until now, stopping leaks and replacing the system has been the priority. Now that work is complete, billing tiers and rates are again an action item. Several ESC members and barn owners expressed concerns that so many open issues around meters, billing, etc. were not resolved before the project began.

Other water project issues: Janet Horton attended the meeting because the ECIA contractor replaced her hydrant and billed her for it without her approval. Another barn-owner has reported a similar experience to Amelia. Frances Aull described a similar experience and noted that someone entered her barn (to leave a bill) without permission. She was billed $1075 even though she provided her own hydrant. Overall barn owners

expressed dissatisfaction with project management and communication throughout this project.

ECIA Issues.

New board liaisons:

 The ESC introduced Todd Handy as the new Board liaison. New alternate Board liaison Nancy Sulzberg was away this month.

HOAMCO payments

 ESC members described instances where payments for Stable fees were misapplied to homeowner accounts, and the designated HOAMCO contact for billing did not respond to questions. Todd and Anna committed to work on this with HOAMCO, and Anna will continue manually checking barn owner accounts.

Water Project:

 Amelia reported that the water project is in the final stages of testing. Per Amelia, Mike Rogers should be back on Monday and the final walk-thru should happen after that. Questions were asked about meter operation, shut-off valves, etc. that can’t be answered until final walk-through.

 Joe Lowey provided data from the EASWD showing a small leak somewhere that the plumbers need to find and repair. All barn-owners are encouraged to use their water to ensure the meters are working and gather usage pattern data to ID leaks.

 According to Todd, the Finance Committee recently discussed and approved charging barn owners $400 as reimbursement for the cost of the meters, which is only a portion of the total meter installation costs. Barn owners questioned whether it is fair for the ECIA to charge barn owners again, when they paid approximately 40% of the cost of the previous water system which failed after just 8 years. Gretel provided a history of the cost sharing from the old system, including a promise that it would last 30 years, and summarized the multiple implementation failures of the prior project.

 Todd agreed to confirm the actual warranty terms for all parts of the system. He also confirmed that a reserve consultant will provide a replacement cost estimate for the water system, and it will become part of the ECIA’s replacement reserve for the future.

 Several barn-owners asked whether Steve King from the EAWSD ever reviewed the scope of work as requested. It’s not clear what that review entailed or if or when it occurred.

 Todd committed to share details of barn owners concerns regarding meter costs with the Finance Committee and Board. He requested that 3 ESC members attend the October 8 Finance Committee meeting.

 Barn owners also explained to Todd their concerns regarding hydrant replacement costs on top of the meter reimbursement, unauthorized installation of hydrants, faulty installation originally and other issues.

 Barn owners explained the problems with some electrical lines not being buried in conduit, and discussed ways to improve safety and also possibly expand electrical service.


 Amelia summarized some of the communication gaps with the maintenance crew, HOAMCO/ECIA, and New Image that we experienced—in particular things like broken gates, security system functioning, and overall project status. She requested that ECIA consolidate responsibility for barn communications with one HOAMCO staff member.


 See chair report.

 Carol asked about the plan to enforce mucking rules. Amelia will schedule an enforcement strategy meeting with Todd, GM Julie Navarro, and Covenant Compliance Coordinator Mark Young before the next ESC meeting to talk about how to use the new enforcement mechanisms in our new Rules.


 See chair report. Mark Young has agreed to come to the next ESC meeting to describe current status of cameras, etc.

Budget planning:

 See chair report. The current plan is to hold the budget steady in 2020.

Maintenance & Repair Issues:

Maintenance Schedule: Leonard has not been able to keep up with scheduled Stable maintenance due to the time needed for filling Stable water tanks during the water line replacement project. Now that water is available, we’d like the ECIA to work on the backlog of deferred maintenance. Todd explained the problems HOAMCO has been having trying to hire enough maintenance staff.

Arroyo Road: Amelia is meeting with Johnny about road maintenance—in particular the restoration of the Arroyo Road. The scope of work on this road will be constrained by available budget.

Gate Repair. See chair report. The installation company continues to repair the keypads but charging us because electrical wiring issues may not be covered by their warranty. Mike Rogers has been asked to discuss warranty and grounding with the gate contractor when the lower gate sensor is replaced after work on the roads is completed.

Sign plan. Deferred to next meeting.

Old Business:

Emergency calls. Mike A gave a recap of the DialMyCalls alert system, which we have tested and used to good effect. Barn owners thanked Mike and the ESC for this important safety communication improvement.

Amenity upgrades. Gretel summarized the work done by the Amenity Upgrades Team this spring and summer to increase use of our amenities, including working to improve the footing in the arroyo “arena” and planning for the new trail course (final work on the trail course—including weeding and harrowing—awaits completion of the waterline project). She also talked about the jump element added to the upper arena and shared

positive feedback she has heard from people using the jumps, and noted that more people appear to be using the upper arena and having fun with the jumps and poles.

Other attendees present shared their perspective on changes to the upper arena:

 Barn owners Dina Seigel and Luci Wienczkowski expressed concerns about the liability of the jumps in what is a multi-use arena, and requested that the standard of use in the arena return to having people put equipment away when they are done. Both felt the jumps take up more space than was originally promised.

 Frances Aull stated that it is standard for facilities with limited arenas to remove jumps after they have been used.

 Janet reminded folks that there is another arena with no jumps, but Dina stated that the footing is not good there.

 Gretel asked if Dina objected to sharing the arena with someone who was jumping. Dina said no, but that she did object to jumps left in the arena when she was the only rider.

 Todd described how shared use of ECIA’s Pickleball/Tennis/Basketball courts are handled by scheduling.

 Deena J. stated that jumping is an important discipline for many riders, the jumps are contained to no more than 1/3 of the arena, leaving 2/3 of the arena for any other use. She has heard from 9 barn owners who use and value the jumps, and anther 6 who don’t use it but don’t object.

 Dina S. said that for riders who have limited hours when they can ride (e.g., due to work) that taking down jumps is burdensome.

 Janet H. asked if that was more burdensome than requiring jumpers to put jumps up every time.

 Deena J. noted that the plastic jump standards are designed not to be a safety risk and opined that the argument about liability was not accurate, as the fences and other hazards around the barn are at least as much of a risk.

 Amelia shared feedback from Jessica Stewart that she is enjoying the jumps because she can ride after work more easily without having to put up the jumps. Amelia also said that although she doesn’t jump, she likes being able to use the trot poles without having to pull them out of storage.

 Mike opined that the objective of the Amenity Upgrade initiative should be to accommodate the needs of as many different riders as possible, and encouraged consideration of Todd’s suggestion to set different “configuration hours.”

 Todd noted that the “entitlement” for the facilities is to all users, and with limited resources and competition for time you need a system to accommodate all users, which requires sharing.

 Janet asked about whether after we harrow the arena (when jumps are removed) would be a good time to leave jumps down for a while, then put them back up for a period.

 Karla finds the poles in the arena as a valuable training component for her green horse, and likes them being permanently in place due to her limited time for training.

Todd also suggested the ESC propose plans to improve or expand the amenities if there is demand for additional uses. The ESC agreed on an action item for the Amenity Upgrade Team is to look at other alternatives for managing shared uses of the upper arena and get more feedback. Gretel noted that, so far, positive feedback has outweighed negative, which is in line with the goal of bringing more people in to the facilities.

Highway access. Todd shared news that state funding is planned for a bike path down to Eldorado along 285, and committed to asking for a crossing light at the intersection of 285 and Avenida Eldorado, which would also be for equestrian use.

Community Day Planning: Community Day is scheduled for Saturday, October 5, 10:00 am to 1:00 pm. Co-Chairs Amelia and Maureen Maloney have a planning meeting tomorrow. The ECIA is supporting this event.

Dark Skies Task Force: Amelia and Mike recently met with members of this Task Force, who asked for feedback on possibly turning some common area lights off after midnight. Barn owners explained that they feel having common area lights on all night is a safety issue, especially for an amenity right off the highway. Mike proposed that we start with shielding and dimming the lights to see if that addresses both the desire to dim bright lights, minimize impacts on horse health, while addressing security concerns. We will give this feedback to the Task Force.

New Owner Mentoring: Karla explained how the new owner mentoring program has been going, and her plans to include information about the water system, construction guidelines and courtesy use of stable amenities in a new barn owner packet which she is developing. Mike volunteered to help with communications materials.

New Business:

Construction standards for existing barns. Amelia summarized questions that have recently arisen about our lack of standards for barn siding. Frances Aull explained how she attempted to follow the rules when making repairs and upgrades to her barn, but received an enforcement notice from the ECIA (which has been suspended). The ESC plans to work on developing clearer standards for building, remodeling and repairing barns.

Lesson horse opportunities. Amelia explained that a trainer (not an Eldorado resident) inquired about bringing a lesson horse into the Stables to give lessons to Eldorado residents, but now the issue is moot as that trainer will likely lease the red barn north of the Stables. Carol Lowey asked the ESC not to make any decisions on this issue, so we can get more information and feedback. The ESC does not have a specific proposal but will continue to work on bringing lesson horses to the Stables, as an important way to increase overall community use of and engagement with our amenity.

Action Item Summary: The following action items were assigned during the meeting: Action Item

Responsible Person


Connect with Steve King (EAWSD) about water system review, billing rates, meter reading and system responsibility

Karla or Amelia

Next meeting

Complete walk-through of water system, and provide information about water meter operation and water shut off to barn owners

Mike Rogers

October 31

Report on water system warranty and status of R&R

Todd Handy

Next meeting

Confirm who barn owners should contact at New Image Construction regarding bills for their hydrants

Mike Rogers

Sept. 30

Send info on DialMyCalls to Todd Handy

Mike A

Done 9/17

Inventory electrical system—both current issues and potential upgrade opportunities

Janet Horton

Next meeting

Re-evaluate use of jumps in the upper arena and consider alternatives for managing shared uses while increasing utilization


Next meeting

Enforcement summit with Todd, Julie, and Mark Young


October 31

Report on solution to eliminate billing errors and improve HOAMCO billing department responsiveness

Anna Hansen

Next meeting

Draft proposed barn construction/appearance standards


Next meeting

Develop new materials (water system, construction requirements, etc.) for New Barn Owner Welcome Packet

Karla (Mike will help)

Next meeting

Attend upcoming Finance Committee meeting


October 8

Propose potential variance terms for trainers to share barns to bring lesson horses into the Stables



Report on whether common area lights can be shielded and dimmed

Mark Young

Next meeting

Inquire into gate warranty and upgrade grounding

Mike Rogers

October 31

Sign proposal for implementation in 2020

Mike A.

End of 2019

Report on request for ECIA to assign one HOAMCO staff member the responsibility for barn communications

Anna Hansen

Next meeting