Lake Cushman Firewise Council

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Lake Cushman Firewise Council
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Firewise Annual Meeting Minutes
Nov 1, 2016

Meeting began at 1:30 p.m. At Fire Dist 18 community room.

Attending were: Jim Crawford, Betty Widing, Joe Cochran, Bob Berger, Ken Weaver, Donna Hellyer, Carl Parker, Deanie Sostrich, George Fisher, Eileen Fisher, Patsy Schulz and R. Tucker.

Treasurer reported an ending corrected balance for September of $6256.94.

Bill distributed a copy of article submitted for LCMC Fall Newsletter outlining our projects and events for 2016.

First topic discussed was propsed Emergency Preparedness Fair for next year. What needs to be emphasized? Was decided we still need to focus on “shelter in place” and neighborhood communication.

Ken talked about the events during the Oso Slide that illustrated how even first responders to disasters have trouble communicating correct information and how response times will never be instantaneous. In fact, we need in our area to count on being “on our own” for any amount of days up to several weeks; depending on the disaster. If there were and evacuation order we would be instructed by the agency in charge and would probably be in stages.

Patsy discussed the CERT training held in October and how important it is for us to be very proactive in educating our residents. Lake Cushman because of its location is vulnerable. The good news is as Ken pointed out, that there has been agreement with the military that with a declared emergency helicopters and medical teams could be dispatched to us quickly.

It was brought up that Block Watch would be the best “vehicle” to reach out to new residents. At least provide basic information and then we could follow up with special attention to attracting newcomers to our Fair. We agreed that May of 2017 should be time of next Emergency Fair. We could again have representatives from Fire Dept. DNR, Mason Co. and other agencies to present.

Second topic discussed was how to use devices like two-way radios, cbs, ham radios, satellite phones to aid communications. Patsy said DNR would provide Ham radio training if we found someone to set up in Div 1,2,3,4. It is an expense for radio and licensing so it would be a commitment for an individual. We have Ham operators in a couple of areas and also there is a Ham Radio installed at the Fire Station.

Third topic was the possibility of a $15,000 DNR grant which must be submitted by end of November. Bill passed out some details on requirements. Our biggest concern is how to qualify for the $15,000. We have a very viable project in mind and would involve limbing and clearing a large greenbelt area. Randy is on board with this site in Division 9. We don't know at this point if our time sheets qualify as “money in kind” Bill is waiting for a response from DNR to his phone call and email. Project would need to be completed by 5/15/2017.

Officers for 2017 to remain same: Bill Sostrich, President Joe Cochran, Vice President Donna Hellyer, Treasurer Deanie Sostrich, Secretary (with Betty Widing, as substitute)

We decided to keep our meeting for first Tuesday of the month at 1:30 p.m. At Fire Station. Except for July when we would move to the first Wednesday. As in the past, we will not hold meetings December, January and February.

It has been decided that the Emergency Preparedness Committee will merge with Firewise and it was approved by all interested parties. That group will be under the Firewise umbrella as is in the Firewise by-laws.

Betty mentioned the upcoming Veterans Barbecue on November 12th. She asked to borrow Firewise projector for the Lions Club event. That was approved.

Meeting adjourned 3:10 p.m.
Respectfully submitted, Deanie Sostrich, Secretary

Firewise Meeting Minutes
Sept 13, 2016

Attending: Lois Casto, Betty Widing, Joe Cochran, Jim Craword, Donna Hellyer, Deanie Sostrich and Bill Sostrich

Meeting opened at 1:30 p.m. at the Fire Dist Community Rm.

Bill reported we received $750 check from DNR awarded for our brochure creation . Also received approximately $400 in chipping donations and some additional from Stump Dump.

Treaurer's report by Donna: End of August balance of $5240.94. Chipping expenses and donations will be in September report.

Recap of Ice Cream Social. We received $406 in donations and had $369.93 in expeses. Estimated over 100 people attended. Every bit of food and ice cream was consumed. Everyone enjoyed band and Firewise and Emergency Preparedness information seemed to be appreciated.

Chipper Day was busy and long. Workers were Cochran, Berger, Mott, Parker, Weaver, Crawford, and Martinsen.

Day of Stump Dump Bill and Lloyd Mott went to Bonnie Barden's property and did some clean up and picked up a load to take to Stump Dump.  The Stump Dump attendance was a bit smaller than in the Spring.

Bill reported that the LCMC B.O.D. Declined to sign a letter of engagement with Forest Mgt. Solutions. We need to make sure our need for green belt maintenance not be forgotten. Betty suggested we meet with Keith (board president) to put forth our project priorities.

Joe talked about ways to increase communication between Fire Dept and Firewise. He suggested a joint project and maybe a barbecue. We could include other groups like Fire Auxiliary and Emergency Preparedness committee. Bill suggested maybe using Lloyd Mott's tractor with his new Scotch Broom removal attachment. There is a lot of this stuff growing behind the station.

Community involvement is low at Lake Cushman possible because of so many part time people and the tendency of so many others to live just in their “own space”. We should explore more ways to reach residents; especially newcomers. Lake Cushman Realty passes out Welcome Bags to buyers. Betty will check with LCMC what they currently hand out.

Lois proposed we investigate community alarms and brought a sheet showing an available type. Two could probably be enough. We would have to explore with all concerned entities including Tacoma, Fire Dept and LCMC.

October 14th is the deadline for LCMC newsletter. Picked 3 tickets for unclaimed raffle prize from Ice Cream Social. Bob Grandow won. (other two drawn were invalid phone numbers).

No meeting in October. Annual meeting will be in November. We will discuss changing the annual meeting to summer this next year.

Adjourned at 2:20 p.m. Deanie Sostrich, Secretary

Firewise Meeting Minutes
Aug 2, 2016

Firewise Minutes for August 2,2016 Meeting Meeting opened at 1:30 pm in the "board" room at LCMC

Attending: Betty Widing, Ken Weaver, Bert Downs, Sonja Cousin s, Lois Jerden, Bob Berger, Joe Cochran, Donna Hellyer, Bill Sostrich, George Fisher, Deanie Sostrich and Eugenia Keefer (visitor)

Treasurer's Report: 7/31 ending balance of $6000.37 (check for $225.00 paid in July for Forest Management Solutions).

Betty picked up new Firewise brochures. They are outstanding! We will use in many different setting during coming months. Bill will submit a request for $750.00 reimbursement to DNR.

Old Business: Discussion of access to Potlatch Cushman gate (Lower Lake Rd) during an emergency evacuation. Tacoma Power has not given permission for entry, but Ken pointed out Fire Dist. 18 has legal authority to open in an emergency (even without a key). Also it is assumed that any agency in charge at that time (Mason County Sheriff, DNR, etc.) would also have authority. That said Bill has asked Ken (as the Fire District 18 Commissioner to talk with Tacoma and explain our needs and concerns. It is very important that we are all on the same page when it comes to evacuations.

George is working a list of vendors that do work for homeowners in Lake Cushman. He will have that list for us to pass out beginning August 13th. Question raised about a disclaimer statement that states residents must do their own research with businesses before contracting with someone to do work. George will include that on flyer.

Final needs and information concerning the upcoming Ice Cream Social on August 13th Flyers have been in all the info boxes for two weeks and also messages on LED sign. Those will continue until day of event. It is really important that we invite everyone we talk to so we have a big turn-out. Remember for residents of Lake Cushman only. We will be at Div 9 Lake Kokanee Park. Parking is available in our lot (with stickers of course) and in Tacoma's lot across the road. Our group should arrive no later than 11 am to set up. Social starts at noon and runs until 2 pm. Betty arranged with Tacoma a tour of the Fish Hatchery at 2:30.

Bob, Bert, George and Deanie are bringing coolers (with ice).  We will need 3 ice cream scoops (email Deanie if you can bring).  Donna is bringing plastic table cloths. Deanie and Bill will be bringing all other needed supplies, ice cream and cones. If you think of something we should have had last year bring that too. Bill will put up directional signs. Please save receipts for reimbursement of ice or other items.

We are hoping to have the Fire Dept., DNR and Olympic National Forest representatives present with equipment. There will be a table to give away "Go Buckets" for donation. Also Firewise info table, Raffle table (baskets provided by Ila's Food, Lois for Scentsy and a bucket of Oly Mtn Ice Cream).

The Crichton and Celwik family band will provide entertainment. We will announce them at 1 pm and make sure donation jars are passed around and one with a sign. Firewise will write a check for up to $200 if we do not collect enough in donations.

New Business: Bill talked about Forest Management Solutions (Jesse) billing. There was no prior agreement for Forest Management Solutions to bill Firewise for his participation in the May7th Preparedness event. Apparently Jesse was confused about the relationship between Firewise and the LCMC. A payment has been sent for the $225. Bill apologized for the misunderstanding and Firewise will deal through Randy at LCMC for all future interactions needed with Forest Management Solutions.

Sonja Cousins reported from the Emergency Management committee that 10 people are signed up so far for CERT Training. Stephanie (Fire Commissioner) may be opening the training up to others. Also apparently Ross McDowell with DEM will send us notifications of disasters and bans in the future.

The Publicity committee in the future will consist of Betty, George and Deanie.

Bill reiterated the need for contacts with in government agencies to include flrewise when they are requesting FEMA grants. An organization such as ours can piggy back on governing agencies requests - per Ken. Examples are Tacoma Power, Fire Dist. 18, Skokomish Tribe, Mason County, Dept. of Emergency Mgt.

Joe noted that WA State workers are removing scotch broom at the entrance to Mt. Rose Village.

Future Firewise demonstration projects (as in green belts) we should work with LCMC and Randy. Perhaps inviting Randy to our meeting would facilitate communications. We need to remember there are marketable trees in our green belts that could help defray costs.

Meeting adjourned at 2:50 p.m.
Deanie Sostrich, Secretary

Firewise Meeting Minutes
July 5, 2016

Firewise Meeting Minutes July 5, 2016 Meeting held at LCMC board room and called to order by Bill Sostrich, President at 1:30 p.m.

Attending: Betty Widing, Anita Floyd, Sonja Cousins, Carl Parker, Joe Cochran, Jim Crawford, Donna Hellyer, Lois Casto, George Fisher, Lois Jerden, Bill and Deanie Sostrich

 Treasurer, Donna Hellyer reported a balance on June 30th was $6200.37, which included $138.94 in LED sign account and $5.00 in savings. Donna sent a thank you note to George Fisher for performing the yearly audit.

Old Business: Bill reported he had sent a thank you email to Cathy Prudhomme for the $500 grant we received. State Farm provided that grant and we held the Community Wildfire Preparedness Day and paid for the chipper rental in May with that money.

Bill also reported we applied for and received a $750 award from DNR. The purpose for that award was to create a Firewise brochure customized for Lake Cushman. The award includes matching funds.

We discussed the importance of creating a Lake Cushman relevant education piece, including local pictures and fire prevention zones peculiar to our small lots. The time spent by Betty Widing, Jim Crawford and Bill in preparing the piece will provide the offsetting amount of $375 in hours. Brochure will go to printer the week of July 11th. We will have 2500 pieces to begin distribution before the August Ice Cream Social.

Ice Cream Social update. There was a discussion of entertainment, Fire Auxiliary participation, and tour of fish hatchery. Not only is the flyer we distribute important in getting out word of our event, but also word of mouth, LED sign presence and more. We will hopefully have several agencies present including DNR and Fire Dist 18. Emergency Preparedness Committee will also have a table to forward their message.

New Business Bill introduced the document defining committees in which is part of our CWPP. Those committees are Emergency Response/Evacuation Committee, Education and Public Relations Committee and Fuel Reduction Committee. The importance of the three committees for actions and planning was talked about. Sonja Cousins attended our Firewise meeting as we are proposing that the Emergency Preparedness Committee become part of Firewise. There will be a meeting of that group on Thursday, July 14th to decide if that is the direction they would like to go. The group would continue to pursue their own projects, but would join us in areas that make sense. They would also send one or more representatives to our meetings. Our mutual goal is to mitigate wildfire danger and facilitate preparedness in the event a disaster. Together we can build community awareness and involvement.

Anita Floyd was also in attendance at our meeting as she has an extensive knowledge of the Emergency Operations in other communities.  She is new resident to Lake Cushman and we welcome her expertise.

Lois Catro said local groups, such as Booster, Kiwanis, Lions, Port of Hoodsport , block watch security, and community connections should be made aware of our activities. Betty mentioned the importance of moving forward with fuel reduction in the Green Belts. That effort will be very expensive and it brings us back to looking for large grants and who can do that.

George Fisher will compile a list of local business who can provide services in Lake Cushman. Homeowners need to know who can clean roofs and gutters and lots, etc. He will bring to next meeting. That information can be distributed along with our brochure and flyers relating to upcoming events.

Firewise Meeting Minutes
June 7, 2016

Meeting opened at 1:30 p.m. at the LCMC board room.

Attending: Betty Widing, Bert & Alice Downs, Jim Crawford, Bob Berger, Donna Hellyer, Lois Casto, George Fisher, Lois Jerden, Bill and Deanie Sostrich

Treasurer reported a 5/31/16 ending balance of $ 5850.27. The Chipper Days expenses and donations will be reported at next meeting.

Old Business:

Report on the Chipper event. We chipped on 24 total properties over two days; a long day on 5/31 and a somewhat shorter day on 6/1. Volunteer who helped were Bert Downs, Bob Berger, Ray Turner, Al, Ken Weaver, Joe Cochran, tucker, Carl Parker, Chris Sill and Bill Sostrich We rented the chipper from Lew’s Rents in Olympia at an expense of $341.84. A lot of just yard debris was put out by lot owners. Bill said he would have like to see more evidence that people were actually doing limbing up of their trees. Carl Parker and Tucker did limbing for a owner in Div. 5 as a Firewise Project. Her house also backs up to an overgrown green belt and has a shake roof. We did discuss at our meeting that there is a treatment that can be sprayed on shake to make it fire resistant. Bert Downs said that in California that have a type of shake that comes treated for new and replacement roofs. To end our Chipping Day when the chipper was being returned to Olympia a trailer tire blew out.

Bill also reported he will send a follow-up report and thank you for $500 grant from NFPA/State Farm, to report on the Emergency Day on 5/7 and Chipper Days.

Greenbelt Update Bill and Jesse from Forest Management Associates met to discuss the greenbelts and looked at a 3.4 acre piece in Division 9 that would be a good place to start fuel reduction efforts, if the LCMC agrees with the project. Alice suggested Firewise might hire a crew to do a one-time small demonstration project that we could publicize. It could be a good way to show homeowners how they could protect their own properties from fire.

New Business:

 Possible future Firewise projects: Joe Cochran had suggested that we do a few lots for people with special needs (limbing up, underbrush, etc.)

Grant Opportunity: DNR $500-$1500 coming up this month. It was decided that we would customize a brochure for Lake Cushman Firewise that could be distributed at events throughout the year. NFPA no longer puts out the brochure we used in our mailing a few years back. George made a motion that we request funds to do this brochure, motion seconded by Lois C. Proposal approved by members present. Betty Widing will get print pricing, Bill will work on content and Jim Crawford will help with layout.

Committees: In September we will further discuss our efforts to include into our Firewise Council the Emergency Preparedness Committee (headed by Patsy Schulz). Per our Community Wildfire Protection Plan they will greatly enhance out Emergency Response/Evacuation Committee.

Other discussions during our meeting ranged around concern over dangerous conditions on Dow Mountain. There is need for big grants to begin to address the entire area of Lake Cushman. It would be necessary to have Tacoma, the Skokomish tribe, or Mason County as requesting entities.

George Fisher completed and submitted the 2015 Audit.

It was mentioned that our meeting in September would be the second Tuesday to follow the Labor Day Chipper Day.

We will have a meeting next months July 5th. Adjourned at 2:45 p.m.

Respectfully submitted, Deanie Sostrich

Firewise Meeting Minutes
May 3, 2016

The meeting of the Firewise Committee was called into order at 1:30pm May 3, 2016 in the Board room of the Lake Cushman Maintenance Co.

Attending were: Ken Weaver, Bert Downs, Alice Downs, Bob Berger, Joe Cochran, Donna Hellyer, Betty Widing , Deanie Sostrich, Bill Sostrich

Guests attending were David Wagner (of Hood Canal Adventures), Jim Crawford, Harvy & Patsy Schulz (from the Emergency Preparedness Group for Lake Cushman)

Treasurer’s Report: Donna distributed copies and reported we had an ending balance of $5247.16. We received the $500 grant and that will be added.

Old Business:

Bill once again mentioned concern about broken module on LED sign. He now plans to remove the board and send it to a board repair facility. There are a couple such companies in the greater Seattle area.

Bill has reserved chipper for May 31st & June 1st (cost is now $190 per day). Stump dump will be open the following weekend.

We sent checks for $100 to the Sheriff’s K-9 unit in honor of Mike Burgwin. His Celebration of life will be May 21st at the Fire Hall at 1:00 pm.

New Business:

Remainder of meeting involved discussion and planning for Wildfire Emergency Preparedness Day on Saturday, May 7th.

Betty has arranged for radio and newspaper advertising for the event.

Bill distributed a suggested schedule. Patsy Schulz also had a suggested schedule.

Jesse Bloomfield (Forestry Management Services), Ross McDowell (Dept. of Emergency Management), Alex Creech (Personal Preparedness) and Carol Murray (Fire Resistant Landscaping) are prepared to talk to attendees. It was felt we should limit speaker’s times to keep people’s interest and move them to the display tables. Bert Downs will act as moderator for the panel of speakers. We estimated 30- 40 minutes for the speakers.

We will have tables with displays and representatives from a number of our local community groups. Firewise, Emergency Prepardness, Block Watch, Fire Auxiliary, LCMC Security and Fire District 18 will be available. Also our speakers will be answering questions at their tables.

The first 25 people to enter will win a Go-Bucket filled with many items. Others will be able to pick up a buckets with a small donation suggested. Those buckets will have a list with suggested items for filling.

DEM has donated two NOAA Emergency Radios. Firewise providing an emergency lantern set, and Schultz’ have donated 7 First Aid Kits.

Fire Auxiliary is providing Cookies and coffee.

Meeting adjourned at 2:30 pm.

Submitted by Deanie Sostrich, Secretary

Firewise Meeting Minutes
Apr 5, 2016

The meeting of the Firewise Committee was called into order at 1:30pm April 5, 2016 in the Board room of the Lake Cushman Maintenance Co.

In attendance were: Donna Hellyer Ken Weaver Bob Berger Lois Jerden Bert & Alice Downs Betty Widing Joe Cochran As Bill & Deanie Sostrich were on vacation.  Joe Cochran Chaired the meeting.

Donna Hellyer had passed out copies of the March treasurer's report to everyone and it was gone over. The month started out with a balance of $5724.20, 2 checks of $50.00 each were written to rent the Div 9 Park for the Ice Cream Social in August and the other to put a deposit on it as well. This brought the total of the finances to $5624.20 Led sign balance remains at $138.94 which brought the end of the month Firewise balance to $5485.26. The Treasurers report was accepted as written.

The agenda of the meeting was to cover what had been done and what may need to still be done for the Community Wildfire Awareness Day which will be at the Community Disaster Center of the MCFD 18 FireHall on May 7, 2016 from 1pm until 3pm. Alice Downs had created some very good flyers for this event which she passed around to everyone to see. Alice had brought some up to the LCMC office to be posted and the staff also gave Alice the notice to post at Div. 9 Park which reserves the park for the Ice Cream Social in August. Alice will get help posting the flyers for the Wildfire Awareness event by Betty Widing and Joe Cochran.

Next was the issue of the "Go-Buckets" It was suggested to the Emergency Prep. Group (Patsy Schulz) that Firewise could possibly donate to them a certain amount for 25 buckets which that group wished to pass out to the first 25 families attending the May 7th event. It had been suggested $10 per bucket ( suggested by Bill Sostrich but to be voted on by Firewise) and this was brought up to the committee and voted upon and passed to give the "Go-Bucket" folks (Patsy Schultz) and check for $250....Donna Hellyer will contact Patsy and make the check out to them for this purpose. These funds will come from the grant awarded to Lake Cushman Firewise from NFPA and State Farm Insurance ($500) and as our group has not received this as yet we will bankroll this from our own funds. The other $250.00 from this grant will be used for the Chipper program May31st and June 1st as was agreed upon and voted on during the meeting. Donations will still be asked for from folks wishing the service of this chipping.

It was brought up that perhaps our Firewise Committee should offer a door prize for the May 7th event and it seemed that out of items suggested a good LED combo light would be appropriate and one that should not cost any more the $25. Betty Widing and Bob Berger both had seen one that would fit the description and Betty said she would look into this and get one. Donna Hellyer will make out a check to Betty for the amount which will be no more than $25. This was voted upon and all agreed.

It was brought up that we need to get a little more information out about our event and Lois Jerden as well as Betty Widing said they would try and get this out in the Journal and on KMAS radio. I brought up that maybe we could have some actual reporting during the event of May 7th and get a story in the paper of what went on and how it turned out.....just to get word of Firewise out there to more folks. Lois stepped up and said she would do something about writing up an article after the event and get it to her editor.

The final item brought up was doing something in the memory of Mike Burgwin. It was agreed that perhaps because of Mike's association with the Mason County Sheriff that a donation should be made to them in his name. It was brought up and suggested by Ken Weaver that perhaps the donation should be designated to go to the K9 unit. Everyone agreed that this was a very good idea as Lake Cushman has always had a close relationship with this unit of the Sheriff's Dept. The Amount the group chose to donate $100 to this unit in the memory of Mike Burgwin.

The meeting was adjourned at 2:40pm.

Firewise Meeting Minutes
Mar 1, 2016

Meeting opened at 1:30 PM at the LCMC conference room

Attending: Deanie Sostrich, Betty Widing Donna Hellyer, Alice Downs, Bert Downs, Bill Sostrich, Carl Parker, Jim Crawford, Fran Crawford, and Joe Cochran

Treasurer’s Report (Donna): Beginning Balance 2/1/16 $5629.73 and ending balance of $5724.20 with $94.47 in deposits for dues, One Address Marker (last one) and Amazon Smile.

Old Business:

A discussion of the LED sign with Bill once again reminding everyone that there are no replacement modules available should something go out. Joe suggested we might move messages around and change pattern to conserve. Once again we discussed what could be done about the messages by Lake Cushman Grocery. Seems to many that all people see when driving are those two messages. Joe suggested we ad more of our own messages to rotate with Mike’s.

Bill mentioned that Block Watch is still discussing putting up a camera on top of our sign for security purposes. If that happened, a structure could be build over top of sign and we might erect a permanent Lake Cushman Grocery sign, thus eliminating all but the advertising message for Mike. Bill said he would try to add more messages and also talk with Mike again.

We discussed the Wildfire Community Preparedness Day on May 7th. This is a Firewise event and will be held with the Emergency Preparedness group, chaired by Patsy Schulz. We have submitted an application for a $500 award by State Farm Insurance. Nationwide there were 267 projects and 125 grants will be awarded. Online voting for our projects totaled 578. (Note: one project had over 1700). We feel we have a reasonably good chance of receiving an award for our community education day. Speakers will be Jesse Bloomfield a forester who is working on the LCMC greenbelts management plan, Ross McDowell from DEM and Carol Murray, Master Gardener. We will also have representatives from Fire Auxiliary, Block Watch, Community Connections and Firewise available to talk about their respective activities. “Go Buckets” will be given away to the first 25 families arriving at the event.

Also Ross (DEM) will provided 2 emergency radios for the drawing.

Publicity: At Bert Downs suggestion we will begin about April first with all avenues of social media. We will have an article in the LCMC Newsletter due mid-April as suggested by Betty. Alice is providing two types of flyers for our boxes and bulletin boards. She will produce a laminated one for front of boxes and another for stuffing in boxes.

We will begin taking sign-ups for Chipper Days at the May 7th event. Our Chipper Days will be the two days following Memorial Day (May 31 and if needed June 1st).

We have some possible assistance from Ross McDowell (DEM) in getting some Title Three dollars to pay for chipper rental.

One weekend later the Stump Dump will be open.

Our Ice Cream Social will be held August 13th at the Lake Kokanee park. Betty talked with Brett from Tacoma Power and they agreed we could use their park lot. They have also agreed to give a tour of the new fish hatchery at 3 pm. Betty has also talked with Andy, the manager of the hatchery and he is very excited to be having the community tour the hatchery.

Deanie reported talking with Mrs. Crichton to ask if they will perform at the Ice Cream Social. They and one other family have very talented children who play and sing and dance to all types of music. They are very much in demand and really entertaining. They play for donations only. She will let us know in a couple of weeks if they are available. If not, we have other contacts for our day’s music.

Donna suggested we all look at the Firewise website (Notices Page). There are pictures of a propane tank all surrounded by dry grass. With the explosion this week in Port Orchard, we all need to be aware of precautions to be taken when heating with gas.

Joe suggested we might have evacuation signage done by the prison. He thinks the costs are quite reasonable and will check.

Our guests the Crawfords, asked about the Evacuation Maps as they had not received one. Betty went into the office and picked up one for their area. All other lot owners that did not receive one are welcome to come to the office and pick up their map.

New Business:

Bill projected maps of Division 9 & 10 to discuss the Greenbelt Management Plan. He pointed out the topography of the area and also the challenges; including steep slopes, dead trees, roadways with overhanging trees and narrow strips of common area.

The plan is being drawn up by Forest Management Solutions and will provide some much needed assistance to the community. That assistance will include working with geotech personnel, interfacing with Mason Co. on danger tree mitigation and allowing lot owners to deal with view enhancement. Right now much of this is done by each lot owner and is much more expensive and time consuming that being done as part of an overall project.

Because the greenbelts are such a fire danger, it is really important this work begin the sooner the better. Our trees are very old and there is a great deal of underbrush. Last work was done in 2000.

Bill urged our members to attend the LCMC board meeting on March 13th when this issue will be discussed. We need to make sure our board understands this critical issue.

Our next meeting will be April 5th. Vice President, Joe Cochran will conduct that meeting. Hopefully all can attend.

Meeting adjourned at 2:40 PM

Respectfully submitted, Deanie Sostrich, Secretary

Annual Firewise Meeting Minutes
Feb 2, 2016

Meeting opened at 1:30 pm at Lake Cushman Maintenance Co. Conference Room

Attending were: Bill and Deanie Sostrich, Bert and Alice Downs, Donna Hellyer, Betty Widing Joe Cochran, Carl Parker, George Fisher, and Bob Berger

Financial Statements presented: 2015 with beginning balance of $4,816.14 and ending balance of $5,599.73.

We received $3197.36 in donation, raffles, yard sale and $120 in member dues.

Expenses of $2533.77 included printing, shipping, p.o. box, and rentals for equipment, room and park.

Donna Hellyer also reported January balance of $5629.73 (included donations). George Fisher was asked to audit the books for 2015, which he will do in February.

Donna reported the member dues for 2016 should be submitted.

A summary of 2015 projects and activities was presented, including:
         Chipper Days May 26th & 27th and Sept 8th
         Stump Dump May 30th & 31st and Sept 12th & 13th.
         Ice Cream Social Aug 8th
         And producing and mailing a total of 1640 Emergency Evacuation Maps.

Bill Sostrich reminded everyone that we still have not been able to find a company to supply us with replacement parts for our LED sign. One module has several LED’s burnt out. Seven years is expected life of our type of sign. There was a question about selling space on sign to raise money. We cannot do that because sign is on a Scenic Hwy and the State of WA doesn’t allow any commercial messages except for the items sold in the Grocery store.

Bill discussed the worth of our volunteer time sheets. Washington rates volunteer work at an average of $27.54 per hour. We have collected time sheets from homeowners over $60,000 equivalent hours. If we are ever able to get a grant for matching funds our time sheets will provide those dollars. We continue to publicize their use with our residents. Those can be turned in at LCMC office, filled out directly on Firewise website or submitted by a member at one of our events.

Re-Cap of the Emergency Evacuation Maps. Several of our volunteers spent the entire day sorting and stamping maps.  The maps were mailed to all full and part-time residents. Renters or anyone who has lost their map can pick up replacements at office.

Wildfire Community Preparedness Day is May 7th at the Fire Dept. A number of participants should make it a very informative afternoon for our community. We will have representatives from Forest Management Solutions, Department of Emergency Management, Master Gardeners and Emergency Preparedness with Go Bucket demos and 25 of those kits given away to raffle winners or first people entering. Block Watch will also be present. A Firewise table will have more information about our Chipper Days and other summer events. If our Lake Cushman group is award $500 for this event we will use it for room rental, refreshments and rental of the chipper.

Crucial to the success of all our activities is lots of publicity; to make sure as many homeowners as possible are involved. We considered combining our Ice Cream Social with this event. But it was decided to keep that as a separate fun day on August 13th with hot dogs, ice cream, entertainment and demonstrations.

We will try to hold the Ice Cream Social at the Division 9 Park.  Betty Widing will speak with Tacoma Power about a possible tour of new fish hatchery.

Chipper days in 2016 will be May 31st, June 1st and Sept 6th. George suggested we have sign-up sheet for May at the upcoming Booster Club Quarterly on March 2nd.

Stump Dump days will be scheduled with Russ Sage.

Bill talked at the proposed Forest Management Plan and the LCMC budgeting of money to work on our green belts this year. Currently the plan is being finalized and a “first project” area is being selected. Work will consist of cutting, thinning and replanting of hillside with trees, not necessarily Douglas Fir types. Harvesting some of the bigger trees will help pay for the work. To see an example of type of thinning look at work done by Forest Management Solutions across from the Skokomish Park at approx road marker 7.5 on Hwy 119.

There was a motion made by George Fisher and seconded by Betty Widing to select the following people for 2016 Officers of the Lake Cushman Firewise Council:

     Bill Sostrich, President
    Joe Cochran, Vice Pres.
    Donna Hellyer, Treasurer
    Deanie Sostrich, Secretary

 Meeting adjourned at 3:15pm