ALERT • Bears in Lost River!

Bears have gotten into the garbage shed, and we also received report of a bear sighting in lower Lost River — a bear was trying to get into a bird feeder.

According to the Bear Smart, WA Facebook page, this is a time of year when black bears can become aggressive in search of food. So this is a reminder to be BearWise in your practices around your property.

Additionally, please make sure to close the garbage shed doors when you leave. We may have to investigate putting bear-proof latches on those doors if we continue to have problems.

• Summer 2019 Newsletter

Thanks to everyone who braved the rain and came to the community meeting Memorial Day weekend. For the first time that anyone can remember we had to meet inside the Firehouse.

With some well-placed canopies to extend the protection from the rain, and some modifications to the speaker placement, everyone was mostly able to stay dry and hear the presenters. The minutes from the meeting are posted on the website, along with the other relevant documents.

There are a few important highlights from the meeting that I would like to explain. The big issue the board has had to address this past year relates to the LRAA governance status. As a result of a court case filed by an LRAA member, the board realized that we needed to modify our finance policy to reflect the judge’s ruling in this case. Read more

• LRAA Annual Member Meeting was Sunday, May 26, 2019

In case you missed the Annual Meeting, a DRAFT of the 2019 Annual Member Meeting Minutes is now available.

LRAA Homeowner Association Governance

As was mentioned in the Annual Meeting reminder (blue) card you received, the ability of LRAA as a “homeowner association” to lien and foreclose on delinquent properties has been questioned.

The Court Case
An Okanogan County court decision in 2018 called into question the ability of LRAA to file liens against and foreclose on a member’s property in the event that member failed to pay dues, fees, and assessments on time.

At the Annual Membership Meeting this May, the board will lead a discussion on this topic and make recommendations on how to respond to that decision. This discussion will include a proposed amendment to the LRAA Finance Policy [PDF] and two longer-term options for governing our Association. There will be several formal votes.

It is important that every member review the LRAA Governance Q&A before the Annual Meeting.

Learn more about LRAA Governance Status
Washington Uniform Common Interest Ownership Act (WUCIOA)
In addition, in July 2018 the Washington State Legislature put into place a new set of laws (WUCIOA) governing the operation of homeowner associations. Part of the discussion will also include whether to move forward as a homeowner association under this act.

Learn more about WUCIOA RCW 64.90.095 (external site) →

• 2019 Budget, Dues and Fees

View 2019 LRAA Approved Budget

Annual Association Dues: $619/year
Annual Water Fees: $297/year

• LRAA Winter Newsletter

This Newsletter went out via email. If you didn’t receive it, check your email’s spam/junk box. If it’s not there, please use our Contact Form to let us know and we’ll add you to the list.

Read our Winter Update

• LRAA Rules

The speed limit on Association roads is 15mph maximum. This is for both safety and dust control. The Board has received numerous complaints of speeding lately. This 15pmh speed limit applies to all users of Association roads, including visitors and contractors. Any Lost River member should feel comfortable educating our road users of the speed limit.

Please be aware that the LRAA dumpsters are for household waste only. Materials such as yard waste and construction debris should not be put in the dumpsters. Appliances and large items are not allowed in the dumpsters or dumpster area. Lately, inappropriate items – including but not limited to tires, old BBQs, doors, and bikes – have been left in or outside the dumpster area. These and all similar items should be legally disposed of in Twisp by their owners. The Association incurs extra labor and disposal charges when these types of items are dumped on Association property.

More information here:

When outdoor fires are allowed, unattended outdoors fires are not allowed anywhere within the Association. Unattended fires are not allowed on lands under DNR jurisdiction, which includes LRAA. Outside fires should not be left actively burning, smoldering, or smoking. Individuals within the Association are responsible for knowing and practicing safe fire management practices. Please do NOT burn outside if you are not able to actively supervise your fire and put it out correctly.

More information here:

Fireworks are NOT ALLOWED within LRAA at any time. The use of fireworks is prohibited by county statute in unincorporated Okanogan county, and therefore prohibited in Lost River.

Check the LRAA website or the Okanogan county website for updates as June 30th approaches. The Association follows both the county ban and the DNR/Forest Service ban on fires – whichever one occurs first. The Association will put out signs at both entrances to the Association as soon as is possible after the burn ban is announced. However, everyone within the Association is expected to follow the county and /or Forest Service rules on open fires whether or not the LRAA signs are posted.

• Garbage & Recycling

LRAA community garbage & recycling are paid for through LRAA membership dues and intended solely for LRAA members and their guests. Community dumpsters are for household trash ONLY. Glass should also go into the dumpsters or be taken to Methow Recycles in Twisp. The rest of your clean recyclables, except glass, go into the co-mingled recycle bin:

  • All kinds of paper & cardboard (except dairy cartons, juice box-type containers, and waxed boxes)
  • Aluminum & tin cans
  • All plastics from food & household products
  • Plastic film, aluminum foil and aluminum pie tins

We appreciate everyone’s continued efforts in keeping the Waste/Recycling Shed tidy, especially during busy times.

• Updated Finance Policies

Finance Policy

Updated November 2017
Each year, a considerable number of Members fail to pay their dues and fees by the March 31st due date. As a result, the Association incurs additional administrative burden and costs calculating interest, sending reminder invoices and encouraging those Members to pay.

In an attempt to reduce those costs, the Association is instituting a new late fee, and shortening the timing of both lien filings and instituting foreclosure.

Delinquent Dues and Fees: Any disputes or billing discrepancies must be brought to the attention of the board as promptly as possible. In the event a dispute arises, only the part of your account in dispute may be withheld from payment. The balance not in dispute must be paid according to the standard terms. Past due invoices will be mailed each quarter. The board may take additional action to collect past due amounts as it deems necessary.

As per LRAA By-laws the delinquent member is responsible for paying not only the past due amounts plus lawful interest, but all fees associated with collecting the delinquent balance including attorney, lien and foreclosure fees.

Late Payment Fee: Members who have not fully paid their LRAA dues and fees by the last day of March will be charged a late payment fee of $50. The fee will recur quarterly until payment in full is made.

Lien Filing:  A lien will be filed against the property of a Member with an unpaid balance on October 1st of $1000 or more. A lien also may be filed against the property of a Member with an unpaid balance for 24 months. All costs and fees associated with the lien will be added to the amount due from the Member.

Foreclosure: Foreclosure action will be initiated against the property of any Member whose unpaid balance reaches $2000. Foreclosure action may also be initiated against the property of any Member who has an unpaid balance of any amount for 24 months. Association costs and fees incurred during the foreclosure process will be added to the amount due from the Member.

Interest on unpaid amounts: Interest shall be charged on all unpaid amounts, including fees and outstanding interest, at a rate of 12% per annum, compounded monthly beginning April 1st, until the account balance is paid in full.

On behalf of the Board and LRAA membership, we thank you in advance for your understanding and support of these new finance policies.

Please visit the LRAA Finance Policy page for information regarding other related policies.

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Spring in the Methow Valley

Lost River Airport Association is a group of intrepid individuals
enjoying our little niche at the end of the road.