2014 Annual Meeting Minutes

Original Date: October 15, 2014

Annual Meeting
July 19, 2014

The meeting opened at 9:00 a.m. at the Lightner Library on the Keuka College campus. President Tom Close affirmed a quorum, 68 members present. The membership approved the minutes of the July 20, 2013 annual meeting. The treasurer reported a balance of $11,265.32. Tom Close, Martha Johnstone, and Lynn Wuytowicz were re-elected to two-year terms on the Board of Directors. Tom Close will continue as President and Martha Johnstone will continue as Secretary. Art Adams, former president of the Association, continues as an ex officio board member. Tom expressed a special thanks to Lynn Wuytowicz for organizing the annual meeting this year. Ray Copson continues to manage the website and Lisa Saether is our contact with the Finger Lakes Land Trust.

Our legal status as a 501(c)(4) corporation is now in effect, “to further the common good and general welfare of the community.” We do not pay taxes on the dues or donations we receive, but dues are not tax-deductible and we cannot contribute to political campaigns. A new IRS policy requires that directors create and adopt a “conflict of interest” policy and sign a statement annually, declaring that they do not benefit financially from activities of the Bluff Point Association.

President Tom Close proposed and the membership authorized a contribution to the Garrett Chapel Trust in the amount of $500 in memory of Jim Barden who died in January, 2014. He served for many years as a liaison between the Association and the Town of Jerusalem and was a principal author of the Town of Jerusalem Comprehensive Plan. Donations may be made in his memory to the Garrett Chapel Trust, c/o John Barden, 60 Indian Spring Lane, Rochester, NY 14618.

Sign Committee: For the last year a committee has been working to produce two interpretive signs to be placed at the Overlook on Route 54A above the west branch of Keuka Lake. Approval of the NY Department of Transportation and the Town of Jerusalem are required. Serving on this committee have been Anne and Kent Salisbury, Christina Trombley, Annette Toaspern, Martha Johnstone, and Tom Close, with the assistance of Bob Evans, historian for the Town of Jerusalem. The committee hopes to have the signs in place in 2015.

Dr. Jorge Diaz-Herrera, President of Keuka College, gave an update of the college’s status and future plans. The unique “field period”, in which students are required to spend 140 hours a year in an internship program, continues to provide students with valuable experiences. The college has campuses throughout the world including five in China and three in Viet Nam. The “Empowering Excellence 2013-2023” program contains extensive plans for campus renovations and expansions, curriculum development, and cultural opportunities. These will enable the college to produce leaders who are prepared for the world of the 21st century. Current enrollment on the Keuka Park campus is 930.

Mike Steppe, a member of the Jerusalem Town Board, presented an update of the Waterfront Revitalization Program. This effort seeks to preserve and maintain the rural culture and scenic beauty of this area. Key areas are Branchport and Kinney’s Corners/Keuka Park, areas adjacent to the village of Penn Yan, and Keuka Lake State Park. Several community workshops have been held to survey the preferences of residents. A list of 38 projects has been created and prioritized. The objective is to “position the Town of Jerusalem to become a premier Finger Lakes destination.”

Howard Dennis, interim superintendent of the Penn Yan Central School District, spoke of the need for repairs to several areas of buildings and grounds following the May, 2014 flooding in addition to the capital expenses to keep school facilities in good repair. New programs include an extended day at Penn Yan Middle School and opportunities for students to receive technical training. The district is sharing or combining some services with the Dundee district or at BOCES. A grant from the Nord Foundation will be used along with money from the technology reserve fund to purchase tablet computers for students. Programs at the elementary and high schools have been recognized for academic excellence and many students participate in programs at Finger Lakes Community College. The entire student body was recognized with the Yates County Distinguished Youth Award for their service in flood recovery efforts. Mr. Dennis stated that he is very grateful for the interest shown in the Penn Yan School District by the Bluff Point Association.

Annette Toaspern, a NY Master Gardener, urged members to become informed about invasive species of plants in our area, in particular hydrilla in water and giant hogweed on land. Cornell Co-Operative Extension and the NY Department of Environmental Conservation have prepared workshops and brochures for instruction on these species. Lynn Wuytowicz discussed correct techniques for tree mulching.
Jim Barre and Joe Hoff addressed the on-going issue of hydrofracking bans in area towns. The State of New York recently upheld the rights of towns to prohibit hydrofracking through zoning ordinances. The Town of Jerusalem has a ban in place, prohibiting high volume hydrofracking in the Keuka Lake watershed and 4000 feet beyond.

Art Adams gave a brief update on the Finger Lakes Museum, stating that the interior of their facility at the former Branchport Elementary School will be opened up to create exhibit areas and other facilities. A new septic system has been installed, underground electric service is in place, and a new entrance road and parking lot are complete. The kayak and canoe center on Sugar Creek has been offering programs led by New York State-licensed guides.

New Business. Tom Close asked for members’ comments on future projects for the Bluff Point Association. Concern was expressed for the condition of the road on West Bluff Drive hill in the park. Tom thanked the meeting’s presenters and Bluff Point Association board members for another year of good work.
The meeting was adjourned at 11:20 a.m.