The Hot Springs Village Property Owners’ Association Trails Committee met July 21, 2020 at the Ponce de Leon Center in the Ouachita Room. The meeting was called to order at approximately 1:40 p.m.
Committee members in attendance were: Chairperson, Paul Barnard; Vice-chairperson, Laurie Hartshorn; Secretary, Pam Hartman; Janet Rowe; and Guy Richardson.
Buzz Carpenter was absent.
The Board committee member in attendance was Kirk Denger.
The HSVPOA Staff committee member was Stacy Hoover.
Also present were Lewis Delevan from the Hot Springs Village Voice and Joe and Cheryl Dowden from Hot Springs Village People.
There were no guests in attendance.
The HSVPOA Trails Committee is a workgroup that is advisory in nature. They watch after and do some maintenance work on the Village trails. They make recommendations to the Board of Directors regarding the trails, who make the final decisions on the committee recommendations. These folks are our hardworking neighbors who volunteer countless hours a month to improve the Village.
Joseph Dowden video recorded this meeting but due to the circumstances of the room acoustics, the seating arrangement, no mics, and some masks being worn, the video has extremely poor sound quality. We are very disappointed about this and apologize but decided to upload the video anyway in order to give you a choice to watch.
According to Stacy Hoover, committee members were not required to wear masks during the meeting once they were seated. The press was required to wear masks during the meeting. It was also decided by Hoover that the committee members should distance themselves 12 feet apart, due to the fact that the press attended the meeting. Hoover was following the Arkansas Department of Health Guidelines for Large Indoor Venues.
There were ample chairs set up for guests, but the only guests were the press.
The Agenda was unanimously approved.
The procedure to approve committee meeting minutes has been changed and this now should be done by emails. The approval of the last meeting minutes was not done by email because there was not a committee secretary appointed at the time of last month’s meeting. Instead, Stacy Hoover wrote the minutes and they were approved at this meeting after Chair Barnard gave the members time to read them. Secretary Pam Harman will be doing the minutes going forward.
Committee Chair Comments
Promotion, Programming and Planning Subcommittees Assignments
Barnard said he and Hoover discussed combining the trail subcommittees. The thought was that the membership on the subcommittees was lopsided with only one person being on the Promotion Subcommittee.
Hoover said she felt the Promotion and Programming Subcommittees should be combined. The Planning Subcommittee should not be combined. According to Hoover, it was not necessary to have a formal motion for this because subcommittees are not formal. The Trails Committee Members agree to the consolidation of the Promotion and Programming Subcommittees.
Hoover said that currently Paul, Laurie, Buzz and Jane were on the Planning Subcommittee.
Promotion and Programming Subcommittee is composed of Pam, Janet, and Guy. Janet Rowe has an overlap.
There are openings on the Trails Committee. One candidate has been interviewed but this fell through the cracks. Director Denger agreed it was fine to go ahead and make the recommendation to the Board that this candidate is appointed to the Trails Committee. This still leaves one open spot on the Trails Committee.
Everyone was happy with their subcommittee assignment and the Promotion and Programming Subcommittees were combined.
No comments from Kirk Denger.
Stacy Hoover Comments
Trail work needed by staff will be put on a maintenance list
Items addressed in previous meetings but still not addressed by staff will be included under “maintenance.” Both poison ivy and pin oak tree issues at Cedar Creek are on the maintenance list for staff to address.
Social Media Policy
A policy for how committee members can suggest posts regarding the trails on social media is being developed. If the committee members do not have photos, often a needed photo is available in the HSVPOA photo archive.
The reasons for the social media posts are:
- to promote the trails,
- explain trail etiquette,
- teach trail safety, and
- promote trail workdays.
Kayak Trail Subcommittee
This subcommittee consists of Laurie, Buzz, Stacy, and Brad Meredith. The Kayak Trail Subcommittee has decided to make four kayak trails. These trails consist of:
- Blue Catfish Kayak Trail (Longest Lake DeSoto kayak trail),
- Bluegill Kayak Trail (around Lake DeSoto Island)
- Largemouth Bass Kayak Trail (Lake DeSoto)
- Silverside Kayak Trail (shortest Lake DeSoto trail)
On all four trails, there is an opportunity to leave the kayak and walk on a trail.
There is a new member on the Recreation Committee who will possibly work with Buzz Carpenter or Laurie Hartshorn on the development of the kayak trails.
The trails handouts/maps have not been printed due to changes in the Hernando Trail because part of the trail was on Cooper reserve property which now has been sold to a private party.
The proposed Rec Trail was discussed. According to Hoover, currently, all capital funds have been red-lighted. This does not mean the funds will not be released in the future but this project is on hold for now.
Hartshorn thought that it might be possible to make this a path instead of a trail and call it, “The Rec Path.” Then this path could be included on the map “without it officially being done.”
Hoover said it could be added to the handout/map as long as it was mapped. People are already using this path, especially since the opening of the outdoor swimming pool.
Hartshorn said she would “come up with a one-liner description for the trail handout on path versus trail.”
Barnard said he had software on his phone that will map the path as he walks it.
Bathroom and Trash Placement on Assigned Trails
The committee members were asked to walk the trails and make note where the bathrooms and trash receptacles are located.
Hoover said they do not usually put porta-potties on the trails. We spend $15,000 a year on porta-potties. For an amenity that does not produce revenue, it is too expensive to put porta-potties on the trails. Also, the porta-potties must be easily accessed for servicing by trucks.
Blue is the only color option available for the porta-potties. The porta-potties are not attractive and neighbors do not like them.
Trash cans must also be easily accessible and it takes manpower to empty them which costs money.
Friend of the Trails Vests
Janet Rowe recommended a Conquistador using a walking stick logo for the Friends of Trails Vests. These are vests the Friends will wear while doing work projects on the trails and assisting with guided walks. When members work a certain amount of work hours they will receive a pin or some sort of emblem that can be displayed on their vest. There are different pins for different amounts of work hours put in. Janet was getting a quote on embroidering and silkscreening. Also, Janet is obtaining a quote on the cost of several vest materials.
Laurie Hartshorn wanted to change her trail assignment but Janet wanted to keep her trails. Some of the trails were combined for committee work purposes and trails were also assigned to Hoover and Denger due to the change in the status of staff and board members on committees. Staff and board members are now considered full committee members with voting privileges. This means they must accept the assignment of the work projects, also.
Some property owners on the Herradura Trail do not like people walking on the trail and consider the trail to belong to them. Hoover said she fields these phone calls regarding complaints on Herradura Trail, so she would take the Herradura Trail and leave the Coronado Boat Ramp Trail to Denger.
Monthly and Yearly Surveys on Trails
A monthly report is done on each trail by the assigned committee member. The items the trail committee member takes care of are:
- clipping briars, and
- moving rocks and sticks off the path.
Major maintenance issues should be reported to Hoover, who notifies staff about these issues. These items consist of:
- overhanging limbs,
- erosion problems, and
- fallen trees.
Once a year in March, a report from each committee member is turned in on the condition of the trails they are responsible for with recommendations for improvements.
Tree Tag Update
Chair Barnard tagged the Coronado Boat Ramp Trail (CBT). The CBT has 25 species of trees.
Vests for Staff
Hoover showed the committee a navy blue vest for staff instead of uniforms.
Rowe thought it would be a good idea to keep the HSV lettering on the front and putting the Conquistador on the back. She also thought the color should be a safety color (orange or yellow-green).
Trails Committee Charter Approval
Hoover outlined the Trails Charter Changes in order to make the charter harmonious with HSVPOA Policy and Bylaws. (See 51.52.8 marker on the video.)
The recommended Trails Committee Charter changes were approved to go to the Board for approval.
Part of the Hernando Trail was on Cooper property near Danville Road was sold. Due to the sale of this property, the trail will either have to be divided into two sections or rerouted along DeSoto Road into the road right of way so that the trail can continue without being cut into segments. This is a multi-purpose trail which means it is ten feet wide and used by golf carts in addition to walkers and bikers. They will need approval from public utilities to put the trail on the road right of way.
Hoover said she would contact Jason Temple who would in turn have staff mark the trail and decide what trees need to be moved. A decision will be determined how close they can get to the road and also the property line. Some of the committee members will also walk the trail with the staff.
National Wildlife Day
National Wildlife Day is Friday, September 4, 2020. There is a photo challenge and a basecamp hike on Saturday, September 5, 2020. More details to come.
Full Moon Walk
The Full Moon Walk is Thursday, October 1, 2020. More details to come.
Friends of the Village Trails Workdays
The Friends of the Village Trails Workdays are October 14, 2020, and December 14, 2020. More details to come. These workdays will be conducted in order to stay within physical distancing guidelines due to COVID-19. It still will be possible to serve lunch to the Friends.
Hoover asked the committee members to bring in their notebooks to the POA office so she can update them.
Rowe asked about public input on the rerouting or discontinuation of the Hernando Trail.
Hoover said the public may be given a survey for input.
Hoover said the largest part of the funding for the Hernando project is in materials already purchased. But it also depends on how many culverts are necessary. The cost of the culverts, if any are necessary, might be the bulk of the cost.
Hoover explained that in the past the labor costs have not been allocated to departments. She did not know if this process would change in the future.
Hartshorn suggested that for safety reasons a sign should be posted indicating closure of parts of Hernando Trail due to the new owner clearing trees.
The meeting adjourned at approximately 3:10
The next meeting is scheduled for Tuesday, August 18, 2020 at 1:30 p.m. with the location to be determined.
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HSVPOA Trails Committee Meeting Video – 7-21-20
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By Cheryl Dowden, July 23, 2020