SURFSIDE - Ken Karch, out-going president of Surfside Homeowners Association, reported at the annual meeting, "I am happy to report that SHOA remains a healthy and viable organization."

SHOA is also an organization that is growing. During the past year 40 new single-family residences, 35 fences, 27 septic tanks, 26 storage buildings, 13 decks, and 13 garages were among the many additions to the community at the north end of the Peninsula.

Karch's report indicated that insurance rates increased 8 percent during the year, but a committee has been formed to look into getting some financial relief. Karch and the board have encouraged members to get involved with the various projects SHOA has undertaken during the year.

"We continue to have a reliable and excellent source of water, compactors for solid waste disposal and recycling, a sheriff's patrol, an RV storage lot, and lakes and cabanas for members to enjoy," Karch stated.

The water-treatment project to reduce iron and manganese which can cause discoloration was passed by a super-majority of 82 percent.

The annual fishing derby was enjoyed by 200 participants and had 50 volunteers help with the event. Over 600 hot dogs were consumed, as well, during the popular derby. Access to the ocean beaches and an efficient office and meeting area were maintained during the year with continued increase in the usage of automation a priority.

A budget for 2004 was passed by a 328-98 margin (77 percent in favor) to assess the lots at $303, which is from 55 to 70 percent of what the four nearby communities pay for water and trash collection alone, according to Karch's figures.

A welcoming committee was formed during the past year, the lending library has grown, a basketball stand and hoop was donated, and a truck was replaced. The roof of the office was redone and the SHOA sign repainted. A permit to stock 300 carp to help with weed control in the canal was also obtained.

There were 70 RV storage complaints and 91 tree height, brush, or noxious weed complaints filed from October to June according to the report and the Board continues to pursue enforcement actions on those and on delinquent assessments. SHOA is a defendant in three lawsuits, none of which pose any risk to the viability of the association according to Karch.

A tripling of donations to the Foster Kids Christmas fund was reported and a favorable court judgment was obtained on tree height limitations. Emphasis on data-based management strategies has increased and the office has been opened from 10-2 p.m. Sundays to better serve the membership.

Karch, who has served 2 one-year terms as president, the maximum allowed in succession by SHOA covenants, will continue to serve on the board after a new president is elected. Manager Joe Calderone made a "smooth transition" when Phil Richardson retired from that post, according to Karch.

"I believe the new Board should initiate a mission statement of values and strategies with a vision that involves committee members and staff. I am hopeful that a written set of measurable goals and outcomes for the years ahead will come from that," Karch stated.

"I would like us (SHOA) to apply for the Washington State Quality Award (for homeowner associations) within the next five years," he concluded.

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