Merifield Acres Landowners’ Association
August 9, 2016
Board of Directors’ Meeting Minutes

The meeting was called to order at 7:00 PM.

Meeting Dates: Our BoD meetings are held at 7PM on the second Tuesdays of even months (currently at the Hensley’s garage). We thank the Hensleys for graciously sharing their facility with us for our meetings.

Attendees: BoD Members: Butch Cheatham, Chris Crouse, Annie Hensley, Cindy Meadows, Kevin Hensley, John Stinson, FJ Hale, Scott Jeffrey, Phil Beck, Mike Compton, Carolyn Ferguson, Susan Warren, Paul Starzynski, David Hammer, Kent Galvin, Alan Weyman, Dewitt Vanarsdale.

Guests: Sambo Lewis, Mike Chandler, Scott Diamond, Kathy Diamond, Andy Ferguson, Ken Catlett, Rick Baldwin, Nola Adler, and Jack Swendrowski.

Minutes: Approval of Minutes from the June 14, 2016 Meeting were presented and were passed without dissent after a motion was made and seconded.

Treasurer’s Report: Chair Annie Hensley reported the Bank of America checking account has $118,203.38, the Merrill Edge investment account has $144,544.04, and also provided the latest P&L statement. A motion was made, seconded and passed without dissent to accept the report. Thanks to Annie for all of her work in managing the MALA budget.

Old Business:

Committee Reports:

Appearance and Beautification – Chip Overton was not present, but reports that litter continues to be a problem. Thanks to all who have helped this summer by picking up litter. We ask our residents to please mention our litter problem to any contractors they hire and let them know that they could be permanently banned from Merifield if they are caught littering our neighborhood.

Architectural Committee – Chair Kevin Hensley reported that there were two requests submitted which were approved by the Committee. They are as follows:
1, An addition of a pergola and a detached workshop on Royster Court
2. An addition on Hazelnut Drive.
No requests for approval are currently under review and no issues or complaints are currently being investigated.

Aviation – Chair FJ Hale reported that the runway is in good condition.

Common Areas and Facilities – Chair Alan Weyman had nothing to report.

Deer Control – Chair Scott Diamond had nothing to report.

Roads and Maintenance – Chair Mike Gupton – Please continue to keep Mike in your prayers. Kent Galvin, who is standing in for Mike, reported the following activity for the months of June and July:

June – Filled in ruts in ditch at the front entrance with topsoil and grass seed and removed several small dead pines along West Point Drive.
July – Donald Wall was authorized to remove dangerous limbs on Lewis Drive. Mike Hite and the Fire Dept. could not unclog the culvert behind Mike Lyon’s house using a high-pressure hose. Mike Hite is looking into a commercial roto-rooter and will try again. The ground upstream was reshaped. Once the culvert is unclogged we will install geotextile rock for erosion control. Rain delayed the process in July but will report on progress at the next Board meeting.

Security – Chair David Hammer had nothing to report.


Welcoming / Email – Chair Cindy Meadows had nothing to report at this time. She continues to do an excellent job keeping our residents informed with the MALA newsletter.

Directory – Chair Susan Warren had nothing to report.

Website – Chair Susan Warren. Thanks to Hal Norman for his work improving the MALA website.

New Business

Land Swap Proposal – Sambo Lewis presented a proposal to swap Lewis land near the front entrance with MALA common area land adjacent to the airstrip. There was a discussion regarding the proposal and it was decided to form the Lewis Land Swap Committee to review his proposal and make their recommendation to the Board. In order to obtain an objective opinion regarding the proposal, Chris Crouse, the only Board member who is also a realtor, was appointed Chair. The Committee members were Paul Staryzinski, Rick Baldwin, FJ Hale, Annie Hensley, and Mike Compton. Three of those members own property adjacent to the airstrip, two of which are pilots. The Committee’s recommendation to the Board was that the proposal was not adequate to make a decision at this time, and to forward a letter outlining conditions that must be met before the proposal could be presented to the Board for a vote. Before the Board could approve the letter, Mr. Lewis withdrew his proposal.

Committee Members Needed: Butch reported that a few of our committees (Roads, Security, Aviation and Common Areas) need volunteers to help in case of emergencies when a Chair might not be available. We need volunteers on the committees who can help remove downed trees that may block our roads. Pilots are needed to be on the Aviation Committee who are familiar with the procedures to follow in case of an emergency at the airstrip. We received several volunteers on some committees, however, Common Areas and Facilities still needs volunteers to help maintain Oak Park, the community dock, the tennis court and other common areas.

Speeding at the Blind Intersection at Merifield and Lakepoint Drives: We had a written complaint of another close call at this intersection: On Tuesday, July 19th at 6:15AM when, after obeying the stop sign, the resident started into the intersection. A red car popped over the hill heading out of Merifield at what the resident estimated to be faster than 60 MPH. Had the resident not slammed on brakes, he felt sure that there would have been a bad accident. Endangering the lives of our residents by speeding through our neighborhood in order to save a few seconds is extremely careless. We discussed this issue at last year’s annual meeting, when our residents were asked to help us identify the few speeders who are making our roads less safe so that we could deal with them individually. We received no feedback. The importance of the issue has now been raised again by two threats of legal action against MALA if nothing is done to slow down traffic, especially at that intersection. At the August meeting, after hearing the latest complaint (and threat), the Board approved installing removable speed humps at that intersection. There were 12 Board members present who voted. A subsequent request for a vote of the full Board was made, and that vote rescinded the speed hump, due to speed humps’ liability issues, maintenance issues, and the unpopularity of speed humps with our residents.

In an effort to address the speeding issue we have done or will plan to do the following:

1. To obtain guidance from law enforcement, one Board member met with the Halifax County Sheriff and asked for his suggestions to help resolve the issue. (The law is the same as in Mecklenburg County). The Sheriff’s suggestion was that, since there have been no accidents at that intersection, the Board notify MALA residents that the speeding issue at that intersection has been raised again and to put MALA residents on notice that, should an accident occur at that intersection as a result of speeding, the speeder will be held accountable for the accident, not the owner of the roads.

2. We are asking our residents to help us by informing any contractors that they hire that if they fail to obey our speed limit, they could be banned from Merifield roads.

3. We are installing a new highly reflective warning sign prior to that blind intersection that instructs drivers to slow down.

4. The traffic island at that intersection may be moved over to allow drivers entering the intersection from Merifield Drive to enter at a right angle, which will improve their visibility of vehicles approaching from the blind hill.

5. If the above options are not successful, the Board may randomly bring in law enforcement to patrol areas where speeding has been reported to give citations for speeding. While this option may be unpopular with our residents, as it is with the Board, we have an obligation to make our roads safe for our residents.

Annual Meeting Date:  The Annual Board Meeting / Picnic will be held on Saturday, October 1, at 1:45 PM at Oak Park.

Adjournment was at 8:50 PM.