LQ Saddle Club looks to the Future

A preliminary concept sketch of the proposed Nature Center
A preliminary concept sketch of the proposed Nature Center

By Lake and Residential Committee, John Nelson, Chairman;
Photos by Ernie Block

By Ernie Block
By Ernie Block

Today, Lake Quivira’s boundaries encompass almost 1,200 acres. As we are all aware, within those boundaries exists one of the most distinctive communities in the Kansas City area. Other than the obvious; a beautiful lake, professional golf course and 394 unique home sites, there exists parks and greenspace second to none for a community of this size. Of these, the 126 acres located on the Southeast corner of our community offers our members one of the most natural and protected greenspace and watersheds in the local area. Home to the Saddle Club, the Equestrian Center located on this property provides a place for the boarding of horses, open pastures for grazing, and areas to ride for all experience levels. Additionally, this area is the primary hub for our extensive Nature Trail system which now encompasses over 13 miles of hiking, mountain biking, and riding paths. Participation in these combined activities is now approaching almost 150 members.

By Ernie Block
By Ernie Block

Founded over 40 years ago, the Saddle Club, operating out of the Lake Quivira Equestrian Center has grown the past couple years to the point that at any one time, up to 15 horses are boarded on the property. Current facilities include a series of fenced and open pastures, a 21 stall horse barn, a riding corral, a barn for hay storage and a 30+ year old barn used for the integration of new horses to the facility, medical treatment and short term over flow.

By Ernie Block
By Ernie Block

Established less than two years ago, the Lake Quivira Nature Trail system, overseen by the Natural Resources Committee, is made up of 12 active trails. Due to the natural uninhibited setting available in this greenspace, eight (8) of these trails originate or pass through the Equestrian Center area. Additionally, located immediately adjacent to this property is the LQ Campground which has been utilized in the past by our local scout groups and family events including the annual Father-Children campout held every Labor Day weekend.
In order to provide an improved member experience and greater access to these amenities through education; the Saddle Club in conjunction with the Natural Resources Committee, with support of the Lake and Residential Committee, has been evaluating various opportunities for the future. It was determined after much discussion; that the construction of a Nature Center building to replace, due to its present condition, the front barn at the Equestrian Center would meet these goals. Funding for the project would be obtained through a community wide fund raising effort directed by the Saddle Club and the Natural Resources Committee, with no capital money being required from Quivira Inc. Specifically, no dues increase or assessment would be required of our members for this amenity.

By Ernie Block
By Ernie Block

After construction, the Nature Center would provide stall space for the proper medical treatment and integration of our horses. The center would be further complemented by an all-purpose room, much needed storage space for trail and Saddle Club equipment, and an open air porch. The new facility would establish a focal point for our trail system, by providing a gathering location, educational displays and maps, and a place to sit and relax after a long hike. Other opportunities would be available for the Photography Club, our local scout troops, and the Summer Rec Discovery Program. In all cases, the facility would allow these groups to have a meeting location in the environment they experience through their normal activities. Lake Quivira members would also be afforded the opportunity to establish a community outreach program for nature education through our local school systems by allowing the science teachers access for group field and study trips furthering our “Tree City” status and other environmental initiatives.

By Ernie Block
By Ernie Block

As required under the Quivira Inc. By-laws, a majority membership vote is required for the replacement of any existing building located on common grounds, even when project funding would not be provided by Quivira Inc. or its membership through dues and/or capital project funds. For this reason, at the August Board of Directors meeting a motion was approved for the placement of a ballot item on the November General Meeting Agenda allowing for the removal of the current front barn at the Equestrian Center (Saddle Club) and replacing it with a new Nature Center building funded 100% through 3rd party fund raising efforts. All design and construction parameters would be reviewed and approved by the Restrictions Committee prior to construction. Once completed, the building would become a Quivira Inc. asset and be available to all members.
A Lake Quivira community Nature Center would be a true amenity, provided at no direct cost to the membership, and further establish ourselves as a one-of-a-kind, family friendly community that continuously promotes our core values of Commitment to Environmental Stewardship, providing Quality Amenities and Services, and Preserving the Lake and its Natural Assets.

A Summary of the September 26 Board Meeting

President Sestak opened the meeting and invited attending members to share comments and questions. No comments or questions were made.
President’s Report
President Sestak updated everyone that the 2018 budget process is underway with an initial focus on the Capital Budgets. The objective for tonight’s meeting is to review the latest versions and obtain approval. Another Special Board Meeting is scheduled for October 6 at 8 a.m. in the Clubhouse to discuss the first draft of the Operating Budget. The last focus area will be the Strategic Projects. As each budget is completed, it will be sent to the membership for advanced review.
General Manager’s Report
Mr. Goss stated we have sixteen weddings booked for 2018 compared to seven weddings booked at this same time last year. Advertising with The Knot and the successful weddings we have had thus far this year have paid off.
Mr. Goss informed everyone he has spoken with Steve Graves, Creative Golf Marketing, and he is continuing to work on Phase I of the program. Mr. Graves should have something to report to the Marketing and Membership Committee by mid October.
Mr. Goss stated they are working on several things in the HR area; standardizing forms and reviewing the employee manual for a potential amendment in 2018.
New Business
President Sestak stated the main topic on tonight’s agenda is the Capital Budget. The presentation started with Mr. Wilson presenting the latest version of the 2018 Capital Equipment plan. The primary source of funding for Capital Equipment is member dues, which generate roughly $300,000 annually. Next year, the first principal payment on the equipment loan is due. Mr. Wilson stated the total budget for capital equipment for 2018 is $219,646, excluding debt service. Ms. Boling asked what happens to the money earmarked for an item which has not been purchased in 2017. Mr. Wilson said in 2018, the department may choose to use that money towards a more urgent equipment need. Motion was made to approve the 2018 Capital Equipment Budget, including a 3-percent increase in Capital Equipment Dues effective January 1, 2018. Motion approved.
Mr. Wilson continued by presenting the 2018 Capital Projects plan. Transfer and Initiation Fees for 2017 are projected to be significantly less than the $400,000 budget due to lower home closings. As a result, Mr. Wilson stated the 2018 budget for Transfer and Initiation Fees has been reduced to $300,000 to be more conservative. Mr. Braun mentioned the new Construction Impact Fee that starts January 1, 2018, will contribute to the revenue side. Mr. Nelson brought up his concern about the amount of money allocated for roads, culverts and some infrastructure projects being put off into future years. President Sestak said we can’t do everything at one time and items need to be prioritized. Mr. Nelson expressed it is more important to allocate money to deal with flooding issues than other departments. Mr. Markley commented all departments have had to defer projects which need to be done. President Sestak expressed the importance of retaining a reasonable balance in the Corporate Reserve. Motion was made to table the Capital Projects discussion until the next Board meeting. Motion failed. Another Motion was made to approve the 2018 Capital Projects Budget, including a 3 percent increase in Capital Reserve Dues effective January 1, 2018. Motion passed.
A presentation was made by Mr. Braun on our IT network infrastructure. He started by saying many hours have been spent by a group of people walking through various buildings, rooms and offices, reviewing wiring, fiber optic, power supply and UPS systems. Mr. Braun informed those who may not know that we are continually having a lot of computer and network failures. Mr. Braun’s presentation included pictures of the layout and location of the equipment showing the many issues and obsolete items which affect the Quivira, Inc. facilities.
Mr. Tim Tierney with HCI was asked to present a proposal to solve the many problems. Mr. Tierney proposed a phased strategy with Phase I to fix our network infrastructure before anything else is done. He emphasized everything else is a secondary until Phase I is done. Mr. Sestak commented we need to make sure sufficient dollars are set aside for infrastructure next year, which includes IT systems. Discussion ensued on what would need to be done to have a dedicated server room in the Quivira, Inc. office. Another issue brought into the discussion is the outdated software and computers being currently used. Mr. Tierney reiterated to first take care of the network system before attempting to make any other changes.
President Sestak asked each committee chair to keep their reports short and focus on action items only. No action items were reported by the Marketing Committee, Finance Committee, Golf Committee, Restrictions Committee, House Committee and Tennis Committee.
Lake and Residential Committee
Mr. Nelson spoke on last month’s approval on a rule change concerning the building and renovation of dock sites. The proposed rule change was posted in The Quiviran last month with no feedback received. Motion was made and unanimously approved for the rule change.
Mr. Nelson stated Leona Young has resigned from the committee and made a motion to approve Bob Thomas to the committee. Motion passed.
Mr. Nelson spoke on last month’s Board discussion on the Saddle Club. The plan entails Quivira, Inc. taking over the maintenance of this area. The Saddle Club would continue to operate as any other club. Any member who boards a horse would be charged a $200 monthly fee, which would be covered under a boarding contract. They would also be responsible for the care and feeding of their horse and stalls. The breakeven point to cover the additional cost of maintenance would be ten horses. Motion was made and unanimously approved for Quivira Inc. to assume responsibility for maintenance of the Saddle Club facility effective January 1, 2018.
Safety and Security Committee
Ms. Walker and Mr. Nelson spoke on guest sticker and access eligibility and suggested a need for a policy change. This matter will be reviewed in greater depth at the next meeting.
Strategic Planning Committee
President Sestak began by stating not one single item discussed this evening, such as new culverts, better roads or better IT systems, will increase our membership. Only through Strategic Projects do we have a chance to increase membership, which is the best way to drive more revenue. He said there are three upcoming Member Meetings scheduled in October to present each of these proposed projects.
Member Comments
Landy Boling commented on the use of the Corporate Reserve and suggested a Special Assessment may be needed to accomplish more of the urgent infrastructure projects.

Rule Change: Dock Site Building or Renovation – Approved at September 26th Board Meeting

III. Building or Renovation

No docksite may be established, built or renovated until location; plans and specifications (including trees, shrubs, materials, as included in Article IV) are submitted in writing to and approved by the Lake and Residential Committee. Upon approval of the Lake and Residential Committee, a docksite improvement permit will be issued. The permit shall be posted in a location visible from the road prior to and during construction. Under no circumstances may construction or site preparation be initiated without a posted permit. Also, Quivira, Inc. management may approve a permit for replacement or installation of a floating dock provided the dock conforms with the Lakeshore Rules and Regulations.

President’s Report – October 2017

By Steve Sestak, President, Quivira, Inc. Board of Directors

The 2018 budget process is now underway. At Lake Quivira, the budget consists of two essential components; the Operating Budget and the Capital Budget. The Capital Budget includes Capital Equipment and Capital Projects. Capital Projects include near-term and long-range initiatives to improve, replace and enhance our facilities, grounds and other assets. Together, these budgets determine the level of dues we pay; the primary funding source for each of these budgets.
As is common at this stage in the process, a long list of budget requests has been submitted by the committees, the members and the staff. I do not question the importance of each of these requests, but to develop realistic budgets and maintain dues at a responsible level, a clear set of priorities must be established, and each request should meet one or more of them.
Member Experience. One priority must be to ensure proper resources are provided to deliver the member experience we expect. As members, we all have certain expectations of the level of service at Lake Quivira. From proper staffing to the required funding of routine operating and maintenance activities, each dollar contributes to the member experience that is delivered.
Infrastructure Renewal. Lake Quivira has a significant amount of infrastructure issues needing to be addressed. From failing culverts to ineffective retention ponds to aging roads and outdated IT systems, many of these projects will require a concerted effort and deliberate investment over multiple years to resolve. Another priority must be to begin addressing the highest-priority areas.
Membership Growth. The final priority must be placed on those projects likely to contribute to membership growth and retention. The continued deficits in Associate Member levels limits the amount of available funding to do all the things we would like to do. We all must recognize membership growth will come only if the necessary investments are made to attract new members.
Each year, the Board is tasked with deciding which requests to include in the budgets. These decisions must balance the urgency of each request, the impact on the community and the ability to pay for it. If a request fails to meet any of these priorities, it should not be included. When it comes to making the tough decisions of how much can be done in a single year, the emphasis should be placed on those requests which meet several of the priorities.
As we develop the 2018 plans and budgets, I am sure some will feel we are not doing enough in the areas important to them. Others will feel we are doing too much in areas which don’t matter to them. Ultimately, there is only one set of budgets, and they are shared and funded by all of us.

Wine Notes from the Clubhouse

By Bryan Albers
Bringing a bottle of your own wine to a nice restaurant can be a great way to enhance your dining experience. It can also make you look like a snob, or worse yet, a cheapskate.
1017 wine bottleThis topic has been argued by patrons and restaurant owners since the beginning of time. The general consensus is that when handled properly everyone benefits from a good corkage fee policy. Patron’s get to enjoy special bottles of wine at their favorite establishments and restaurants get more diners.
Most good restaurants allow customers to bring a bottle of their own wine and pay corkage fees that range from zero to $50. In fact, some high-end restaurants, like The French Laundry in Napa Valley, charge up to $150 for the service. One of my favorite amenities at Lake Quivira is that we can bring a bottle of wine to the clubhouse and only pay a $10 corkage fee.
I have come up with the following helpful tips for ensuring your corkage fee experience is a positive one, whether you are dining at Lake Quivira or somewhere else:
Present the bottle to your server upon arrival
To avoid any possible confusion, it is always best to let your server know you have brought a bottle and you are aware of the restaurant’s corkage fee policy. Oftentimes the wait staff will be unfamiliar with the policy, so this helps get things off on the right track.
Bring something special
If the restaurant has a good wine list it is always encouraged to pick wines from their list. Unfortunately, if you frequent a restaurant regularly ,any list can get boring so bringing a unique bottle makes perfect sense. It is also more and more common that all wine lists look the same because local distributors are normally picking the wines. Bringing something different is always appreciated. Another rule of thumb is to only bring bottles that, when combined with the corkage fee, cost more than wines available on the list. Bottles that retail for $25 or more generally meet this criteria.
Order food
Never bring a bottle of wine to a restaurant unless you intend on eating a meal. Restaurants have a lot of overhead and corking fees only work when food sales increase because of them.
Don’t bring wines that are on the restaurants list already
This is the easiest way to show everyone you are just being cheap. If you aren’t sure if the wine you are bringing is on the list, call and ask. Most restaurants also post their menus online.
Offer a taste to the sommelier or wait staff
While not a requirement, this is a great way to show that you brought a wine you are proud of and don’t mind sharing. Don’t be offended if they refuse. It may be against their policies. Justremember, you get credit for asking.
Order additional wine from the menu
The chances of receiving negative treatment for bringing your own bottle decrease exponentially when you buy additional bottles from the restaurant list. You can always take unfinished bottles home with you. Regardless, you should make sure that over time you are buying more bottles from the restaurant than you are bringing.
You should always tip your wait staff based on your bill PLUS the cost of the bottle that you brought. If the corking fee is low, it is recommended to tip a little more than normal to show you appreciate the ability to bring your own wine.
Following these simple guidelines will go a long way in ensuring your dining experience is the best it can be when you choose to bring your own wine. Cheers!

Fireman’s Ball to mark end of 71 years of volunteer fire service at LQ; everyone is invited!

By Becky Johnson
Mayor Olson by Becky Johnson

By Mike Olson, Mayor, City of Lake Quivira

For 71 years, our community has been privileged to have a volunteer fire department. This tradition will come to an end at the end of 2017. To honor our past and current firefighters, the City is hosting a Fireman’s Ball on Sat., Nov. 4. Everyone is invited. The event kicks off at 6:30 p.m. with drinks and a buffet dinner (the cost is $27/pp). Firefighters and their significant others will be guests of the City. Please RSVP by October 25 via email to clerk@lakequivira.ks.gov. If you cannot attend dinner, you are encouraged to join us on the patio at 8:00 for a recognition ceremony, fireworks and an epic party with a live band and cash bar.
Next, I need to ask for your assistance on a few issues. First, PLEASE respect our very liberal dog ordinance by picking up waste–the problem is most evident on Lakeshore and the soccer fields–and do not let your dogs run wild.
Second, while I am inspired by the use of the recycle dumpsters, PLEASE put yard waste only in the yard waste dumpster–no plastic bags, lawn chairs, boxes, construction waste. Gary Anderson, Leanna Walters, Bruce Braun, myself and likely others have had the unpleasant task of fishing out these items. Also, please break down cardboard boxes to allow more room in the recycle materials dumpster. Styrofoam cannot be recycled.
* Large item pickup is November 4.
* The next Council meeting is November 6 at 6:30.
* I look forward to seeing everyone at the Fireman’s Ball!

Board Meeting Summary – August 22, 2017

President Sestak opened the meeting and invited attending members to share comments and questions. Mayor Olson provided an update on the spillway project scheduled for late fall. At that time, the lake will need to be lowered. The City is looking into installing a second water level alarm to provide notification when the spillway gate needs to be opened. He also spoke about the recent increased odors from the landfill and encouraged everyone to download the “Shawnee Connect” app to report any issues. Mayor Olson continued his report by stating Shawnee and Overland Park decided not to pursue the proposed gun range. He wrapped up his report by announcing the Fireman’s Ball will be held on Sat., Nov. 4. The City will also be sponsoring a second, large-item pick up that day.
Mayor Olson expressed his disappointment at not having lifeguards on duty or an open shack bar last Saturday. He continued by saying he doesn’t understand why we don’t have security patrolling the community on Friday and Saturday nights. Furthermore, he said next year we need to have regular lake patrol throughout the summer months to enforce our rules and regulations–these are important services which must be included in the 2018 budget.
President’s Report
President Sestak noted there will be three Special Board Meetings this fall specifically focused on the 2018 budget. The first meeting, scheduled on Fri., Sept. 8, will focus on capital projects. The second meeting, scheduled on Fri., Oct. 6, will focus on the operating budget. The third meeting, scheduled on Fri., Nov. 10, is tentative should an additional meeting be required prior to the Annual Budget Meeting on Mon., Nov. 27. Each of these special meetings will begin at 8 a.m. and are in addition to the Regular Board Meetings each month.
General Manager’s Report
Mr. Goss spoke about the recent storms and the impact they have had on drainage and debris issues. He continued by saying the Monday golf outings will start again on Monday, August 28. He said Chef Michael is working on creating some new fall menu items, and the Club is working on having music on some Friday nights. On September 1, the Club will have an “Around the World” buffet. This Thursday and Friday will be very busy helping to get ready for the upcoming Pontoon Crawl.
New Business
Mr. Nelson introduced Chad Johnson from Olsson & Associates and described the recent project to review our roads and storm water infrastructure. Mr. Johnson spoke about his company’s background and qualifications for this project, then explained the scope of their work. The project included a review of 115 culvert pipes installed under the roads. The focus was on condition rather than capacity and did not include a review of culverts on private residences. The project also included a review of road conditions to determine which ones were in greatest need for repair and replacement.
Mr. Johnson presented an evaluation of the condition of the culvert pipes. Most of the culverts are in fair to good condition. However, six culverts in poor condition and should be replaced over the next several years. He then presented an evaluation of the condition of the roads. He explained the various forms of cracking and which ones indicate the need for immediate attention. Roughly 20 percent of the roads were rated in poor condition. These sections were highlighted as having three plus years of life remaining. Sections highlighted in fair condition have five to ten years of life remaining, and those in good condition have twenty plus years of life remaining. Sections with highest traffic volume should be addressed first, and consideration should be given to completing projects in the same area at the same time and staging the projects so as not to restrict access during periods of construction.
Mr. Nelson explained this report will be used to develop a master plan for the replacement of roads and culvert pipes over the next five years. The goal will be to address the poor condition roads first, then several of the fair condition roads. When addressing each section of roads, there will also be an emphasis on storm water management and safety. Of the six culvert pipes identified in poor condition, several will be addressed this year, while the remainder will be planned for next year.
Mr. Johnson then talked about the Johnson County Stormwater Management Program. He explained a retail sales tax of up to 1/10 of 1 percent is levied by counties in Kansas for purposes of storm water management and flood control improvements. Johnson County has a program which subsidizes up to 75 percent of the costs of qualified projects. Mr. Nelson said there are three projects they are looking at to see if they qualify for this program and encouraged members to investigate others that might qualify.
President Sestak spoke about the importance of developing a planning discipline for roads and stormwater systems to inform the members of planned projects and ensure proper funds are set aside for planned replacements, as well as routine maintenance. While the number in poor condition was lower than expected, each will need to be addressed at some point in the future.
Marketing Committee
Ms. Bowker thanked those who attended the last meeting to listen to the presentation given by Creative Golf Marketing. She spoke on the yearly loss in dues, minimums and other associated fees when our membership isn’t full. The committee recommended hiring Creative Golf Marketing for the Phase I assessment and giving Mr. Goss the option to negotiate the Phase II contract, which would encompass a full-year membership drive. There was concern regarding the timing of this initiative since the approach and marketing materials might change pending the member vote on certain strategic projects. Ms. Bowker concurred the plan would be to move forward with Phase I, then hold off on Phase II until after reviewing the results of the Annual Budget Meeting.
Finance Committee
Mr. Wilson stated there was not a meeting in August; however, he and Mr. French met with Mr. Goss and Ms. Lahey on the progression of the budget process. He said they are looking at setting up some special Finance Committee dates over the next sixty days to make sure they accomplish what is needed. Mr. Goss spoke about the continued computer issues and that our IT company will be putting together a proposal to improve the performance, connectivity and reliability of our computer infrastructure.
Lake and Residential
Mr. Nelson spoke about the construction of a nature center to replace the front barn at the Saddle Club. The project would be 100-percent funded through member donations and private fundraising efforts. Per the Bylaws, in order to demolish an existing structure or erect a new structure on dedicated areas of common grounds, a membership vote is required, even if it is not funded by Quivira, Inc. A motion was made for a ballot item to be included at the Annual Budget Meeting in November to approve the replacement of the front barn with a new nature center. Motion was approved unanimously.
Mr. Nelson said, moving forward, it is recommended that members who want to do anything to their dock sites need to complete a simple application form. This will ensure all work is properly documented in the dock site history. Mr. Nelson asked a sentence be removed from our current rules regarding normal maintenance. A motion was made and approved to accept the proposed rule change. The change will be published in the Quiviran and voted on next month.
Restrictions Committee
Mr. Braun said the Committee approved an application to remove and build a new house at 314 Terrace Trail West. A railroad tie repair project was approved at a different residence. Several other residences were approved to have work done. Mr. French spoke on the tree house topic. The sub-committee has been researching how other HOA communities deal with this matter. He continued by saying some language has been drafted regarding size, height, structure, etc. The Committee will review the content and come back next month to see how they want to proceed.
Safety and Security Committee
Ms. Walker stated the August minutes will be coming to the Board via e-mail. Mr. Braun asked how to get in touch with our Security Manager. Ms. Walker stated he will have a dedicated cell phone. Mr. Braun inquired about the Security Manager’s hours, and Mr. Goss said Mr. Watson rotates his hours.
Tennis Committee
Mr. Goss said they had a meeting last week with the contractor, who will be getting them a price proposal on the revisions to the deck.
Strategic Planning Committee
President Sestak stated concept design work on the Community Center and the Golf Practice Range is in development. Planning work is also underway on the Front Entrance. These initiatives will help further develop these potential strategic projects with preliminary site plans, floor plans, renderings and cost estimates required for formal consideration by the membership. The Committee is also working on the Master Plan with the goal of presenting to the Board next month.