Swiss Village East Property Owners Association
Swiss Village East is truly one of Antrim County's best kept secrets. The question is, "Should it stay that way?" Property owners are torn. Do we maintain the sleepy community of approximately 28 homes on 245 lots or do we encourage growth and the increased valuation of our properties? For most of us, the answer lies somewhere in between. The majority of us voted in favor of paving our roads and converting them from private to county roads which was completed in 1999. At the same time, we hope to continue to see deer, wild turkeys, foxes and other wildlife at our doorsteps. We hope to continue to walk up the seasonal road portion of Cedar River and cast our rods for rainbow trout without another soul in site. I suppose most of us recognize that we won't always be able to stand on our decks and not see another person or house for as far as we can see. For some of us that day can't come soon enough; while for others, it will come far too soon.
Hi, I'm Allen Wolf, President of Swiss Village East Property Owners Association (SVEPOA). It sounds so strange writing that. Why?
Swiss Village East has been in existence for 25 years. During all that time-- a quarter of a century -- George Johnson has been the Association's President. During that time, George has worked tirelessly in the interests of the property owners. George represented the Association in countless matters with residents, the townships (Kearney and Custer), and Antrim County. He ensured that the voices of the residents were heard at Annual Meetings and presided over monthly Board meetings. He carefully controlled costs to keep down the dues. He wrote exquisite newsletters. The recent paving of our roads were a direct result of George's tireless efforts.
We owe George a great debt of gratitude. I speak for all residents and property owners when I say "Thank you, George, for a tremendous job."
In addition to me, the new Board members are:
Bill Law-- Vice President
Wayne Koppe -- Treasurer
Howard Benford -- Secretary
Phil Bertolini -- Board Member
Ray Bertolini -- Board Member
Doug Galbraith -- Board Member
Arnie Hurst -- Board Member
Heidi Lang -- Board Member
Jerry Sommer -- Board Member
In addition to George, we thank Shirley Glass, who served as a Board member for the past few years.
The first Board meeting of the new Board occurred on March 22. With that meeting, the SVEPOA moved into the electronic age. The meeting was held by audio conference. Up North Board members were invited to gather at Heidi's home while the Detroit-area Board members gathered at Allen's house. Thanks to a low-cost calling card, the 2 1/2 hour meeting cost less than $5.
The next innovation is the use of e-mail. All but one of the Board members have e-mail accounts. Thus, we will be able to speed up communication while making it far easier.
The greatest step forward though, is the creation of this website which is being informally launched in April 2001. I am quite proud of it since I have never developed a website before and I put it all together in a day without training. Let me know what you think and how we can make it better. I particularly enjoyed creating all the hot links for the area attractions. If you haven't tried it, please do. Even the long-time property owner will discover new information sources. (I liked the camera focused on the Mackinac Bridge).
It is with deep regret, I inform you that Bob Lehman passed away on March 26, 2001. Bob and his wife, Dorothy, have been long-time property owners and have lived year-round in SVE for many years.
Bob was born in 1921 in Credo, West Virginia. He served in the U.S. Army in both World War II and the Korea Conflict.. During WW II, he parachuted into battles and campaigns in Sicily, Naples-Foggia, Normandy on D-Day, Rhineland, Central Europe, and Ardennes. He received three Bronze Stars and three Purple Hearts. After retiring from the Army, he joined Ford Motor Company and worked as a general foreman until his retirement in 1977.
The SVEPOA has made a contribution to the American Heart Association in memory of our beloved neighbor. Our heartfelt sympathy goes out to Dorothy. Your neighbors are here for you.
Please mark your calendar for the June 9 Beautification Day. We will be working on Riverside Park and adding another basketball hoop to our court! It will be an all-day affair including an evening board meeting. We need everyone's involvement.
The Association has never been in better financial shape. At year-end we had assets of $26,807. Additional funds have flowed in since then. The improved financial condition of the Association is primarily due to Antrim County taking over the roads, and the aggressive campaign to collect delinquent dues through liens on delinquent property owners.
With increased construction in SVE, the Architectural Committee has taken on greater importance. The architectural committee consists of Jerry Sommer, Arnie Hurst, Bill Law, Heidi Lang and Doug Gailbraith. Anyone considering construction must contact the Architectural Committee for a detailed review of the plans. Note that modular homes are not consistent with the design intent of Swiss Village East.
Census 2000 Results
The 2000 Census results are in and to no one's surprise, Antrim County's population is on the rise. Antrim County's population increased from 18,185 to 23,110 since the 1990 Census -- a gain of 27.1%. Custer Township population grew by a whopping 56.8%. Kearney's population grew by 18.6% to 1,764.
The Census results are spurring conversation about how to address the growth in population. Bob Ricksgers, Custer Township supervisor, is quoted in the Antrim County News as stating, "Right now, we contract out all of our emergency services. For example, we pay neighboring township fire departments to cover our township. The more people you have to protect, the more it costs." He indicated that the township would soon be taking a closer look at the census numbers to establish how they might further impact the community. Hold on to your wallet!
The meeting schedule is as follows:
June 9 -- Beautification Day
All meetings are at 7:30 PM. Beautification Day work begins at 9 AM.
I appreciate all the support I have received so far and look working with everyone to make SVE the great UpNorth place we want it to be.
Contact me with your comments and questions:
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