This letter is an update on developments and issues discussed at our first two meetings of the year, one a regular Committee meeting and one a meeting with our new(ish) Municipal Manager, Kam Chetty, and Ward 9 Councillor, Mark Willemse.
Of course, the biggest issue of the year - LIRA's High Court hearing in Cape Town on February 27 seeking a Declaratory Order on sea wall maintenance - awaits. We will update you immediately on what transpires there.
We eventually received an answering affidavit from the Knysna Municipality's (KM) legal dept in late 2017, and we must accept that this matter may drag on beyond one or more days in court.
Derek Mitchell, SC, who has undertaken this large legal challenge pro bono for LIRA, will be representing us in court. We cannot thank him enough for his efforts.
Your sincerely, Keith Hollis Chairman
AGM Minutes: For those of you who were not able to attend the 2017 AGM in December, the minutes are available on the LIRA website, click here...
Reportback from LIRA Committee Meeting, January 23, 2018.
Outgoing vice-chairman, Ricky Maskew, was presented with a gift as a token of gratitude for his six years of outstanding contribution to LIRA. Ricky has, however, undertaken continued involvement with the sea wall issue and specifically the pledges from members to cover legal costs, if required.
We are delighted that Dave Stromberg, a new Committee member who has brought some exciting energy and ideas to LIRA, has agreed to move into the vice-chairman's role.
We welcomed Mary-Anne Beviss-Challinor as a new member, co-opted to assist and be back-up to treasurer, James Botha, in the Finance Portfolio.
We welcomed Declan Nurse, GM of Allsound, who has taken over the Security Portfolio from Johan de Bruyn who did a great job in this portfolio for eight years. Johan was also presented with a gift as a token of gratitude.
Security, including review of holiday period:
The Committee agreed that the Festive Season had gone very smoothly, without incident, largely as a result of Allsound’s management plus visibility and support of KM’s law enforcement personnel, lifeguards, cleaning staff and traffic management.The bush clearing at the Green Hole had also helped.
Declan Nurse was congratulated on an excellent season; a letter of appreciation to be sent to those responsible at KM.
There have been several complaints of fishermen overnighting at Fisherman's Creek, and of debris and litter that is often left behind. Overnighting is not permitted on LI. Allsound guards will up their vigilance in this regard, and KM asked to give attention to cleaning in the area.
Gum tree reports and follow-up action:
Dave Stromberg tabled a proposal for the trimming of the gum trees in three phases, essentially to remove any dangerous branches at the outset in Phase 1, and later to further beautify these stately trees, ensuring their good health and form.
It was agreed that LIRA would fund the first phase, and KM be approached to fund the remaining phases.
We also felt it important that LIRA obtains indemnity from KM in respect of any damage or injury to persons or property both during the trimming and thereafter.
Subsequent to this meeting, a detailed and appropriate quote to begin Phase 1 has been received, and this work is likely to commence soon.
CCTV installation at Green Hole:
This project is near completion and activation: electrical work is complete; revised costing for the four infrared cameras (R69K) was agreed; cables will be installed inside the steel poles to minimise potential vandalism; and the cameras are insured.
The cameras will communicate with the Allsound control room via wifi.
LIRA registration as a Public Benefit Organsiation:
Disappointingly, SARS has just declined this - but James Botha, treasurer, will continue to lobby it with a new motivation. The benefit of LIRA being a PBO is that levies would be tax deductible.
Bus shelter refurbishment and tree pruning:
The tree trimming and upgrade of the bus shelter has resulted in a great improvement to this area.
We now await some promised Ward Allocation for funds for the paved walkway from Leisure Gardens.
Committee member, Arjen Meter, is working on a comprehensive Disaster Management Strategy to cover all types of emergencies such as fire, flood and water cut-off.
Membership and outstanding levies:
Membership as at December 15, 2017, was 72,0%.
Focus in February and March will be given to outstanding debtors and new property owners.This will be done by continued and persistent phone calls, visits and e-mails.
If you have not paid your 2018 levy, or have somehow not received your invoice/statements, please let us know! Invoices can get lost in junk mail folders... contact Mary-Anne Beviss-Challinor here
With water now a top-of-mind issue in SA, it was agreed that LIRA should commission/involve a university in a study on the sustainability and health of the aquifer that keeps the island so green and magnificently gardened.
Leisure Isle Centenary:
Leisure Isle’s centenary is coming up in seven years’ time. LIRA will look to motivate the collation, research and publishing of a commemorative book.
Reportback from LIRA Committee Meeting with Knysna's Municipal Manager, January 30, 2018.
The chairman welcomed Kam Chetty (MM) - (pic right) - and Cllr Mark Willemse and thanked them for the opportunity to meet with them on Leisure Isle.
Feedback on festive season
The Committee complimented and thanked KM for the well managed Festive Season.
Relationships / Public-Private Partnerships (PPP)
Principles of PPPs were discussed, for which there was unanimous support.
As a first step, the MM agreed to set up a meeting of departmental heads (Law Enforcement, Community and Technical Department) that our infrastructure portfolio members will attend.
It was agreed that Dave Stromberg would replace Ricky Maskew on the Ward 9 Committee and attend its next meeting on March 7, 2018.
Relationship with SANParks
Dave Stromberg proposed setting up an informal working group with LIRA, KM and SANParks with the aim of discussing short-term repairs of the sea walls. The MM undertook to get back to us on this proposal.
LIRA's protection services
The chairman outlined the excellent protection services which Allsound provides on Leisure Isle at an annual cost of R1,3 million, funded by LIRA members. Another example of PPP in action.
Several areas needing attention were discussed. It was agreedthat regular meetings would help to highlight and prioritise the issues.
Paul Kotze will contact the MM to set up meetings in this regard.
The chairman outlined the proposed PPP to trim and beautify the gum trees, in three phases, with LIRA funding the first phase and KM the next two.
As the trees stand on KM property, LIRA needs KM’s approval to proceed. Also required is indemnity against risk to person and property, both during and after the trimming.
The MM agreedthat LIRA may proceed with Phase 1 on the above basis. He undertook to speak to KM’s lawyers on indemnity and revert soonest.
Green Hole improvements
Dave Stromberg explained the bush clearing here last year after the Great Fire, the main purpose of which had been to reduce the fuel load/fire risk as well as improve aesthetics.
Further improvements such as upgrading the toilet block, planting more trees and providing more braai facilities are proposed, once again in a PPP.
The MM welcomed these initiatives and requested that they be raised and prioritised at the Ward Committee meeting on March 7, 2018.
Island waterfront improvements
The Island’s waterfront along Bollard Beach needs urgent attention to preserve the dunes and prevent further damage. Agreed that a task team should be put together to come up with proposals.
Keith Hollis and Arjen Meter described the emergency procedures which had taken place during the Great Fire and what steps have subsequently been taken to ensure that we are as prepared as possible for any eventuality.
Volunteer patrol teams can be called upon at short notice
A map of all the known fire hydrants on the Island has been obtained from KM’s Fire Chief
There is good liaison between LIRA, Allsound and KM’s emergency services
Extension of the boardwalk
The MM reported that the plan for the boardwalk extension should be approved by the end of February, and that this wooden structure will likely be built and in place by mid year. SANParks is funding the extension.
WHAT LIRA DOES: * Provides 24/7 proactive security * Sponsors Steenbok Nature Reserve * Champions peak season law enforcement * Liaison/lobbying Knysna Municipality * Liaison Nature Conservation/SANParks * Beautification of LI * Employment of gardeners * Host sLeisure Isle Festival * Maintains property values and unequalled lifestyle * Professional and dedicated volunteer committee serving your interests
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