Notice from Leisure Isle Residents' Association
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LIRA Report-Back -
June 23, 2017

Hello from Leisure Isle...

What a time! Things are slowly returning to ‘normal’ after the firestorm, a shell-shocking event for Knysna and thousands of its residents. No-one has been unaffected, and it has certainly given rise to an extraordinary outpouring of national and community care, concern and aid.

LIRA is confident that the Knysna Municipality is handling the calamity admirably well and that, with tremendous human resolve and will, a better town will emerge from the ashes. Here is is an interesting article in this regard

Several 'refugee' families are now resident on Leisure Isle and we’re sure many other homeowners will consider making their holiday homes available for rental anon, as it’s going to take many months to rebuild the devastated suburbs.

On that awful day/night two weeks ago, Leisure Isle was a logical place of refuge. Its roads were filled with some of the  thousands who had to flee the flames; cars packed with people, pets and grabbed belongings, camping out in their cars and/or put up by generous Islanders who had opened their homes. Cearn Hall, too, acted as temporary casevac for a dozen or so hospital patients.
Here’s feedback from our recent LIRA committee meeting:
Special General Meeting to be held on July 20
Please diarise Thursday 20 July 2017 for a special general meeting that will discuss and debate, and seek members’ blessing, for the following:
Seawall repairs
This issue remains frustratingly moribund, and LIRA believes it's time to move ahead with long-planned litigation ie to secure a court order to determine which governmental entity is responsible for their repairs and maintenance, the KM or SANParks.

Islander, Derek Mitchell SC, who is working pro bono for LIRA on this matter, will be present.

The Eucalyptus problem
The firestorm and accompanying gale force winds again highlighted the potential danger of these massive trees along Links Drive, and elsewhere.

LIRA has received a request, in terms of the Constitution, from ten members for an extraordinary meeting of members to be held to consider their motion for the removal of all the Eucalyptus Trees along Links Drive and at Kingsway Park. This motion will be considered at the meeting.

LIRA believes they need to be removed - but it is not an opinion universally shared. Many believe they are iconic to the island and should stay. This needs to be debated, and if it's agreed they should go, also how to fund their removal.
Emergency fire procedures
LIRA feels a policy needs to be drafted and presented for discussion at the meeting. The policy should cover, for example, fire prevention, fire control and evacuation.
Obviously the meeting will also be an opportunity to discuss other issues. A formal notice of the meeting will be sent out shortly.

Fire patrols
LIRA’s vice chairman, Ricky Maskew, has to be complimented and thanked for his leadership during the fire emergency, where on Saturday June 10, as the firestorm re-erupted, he organised the establishment of fire patrols of the island by volunteer teams for 36 hours or so until the danger had abated.

We now have a group of keen volunteers and an effective communication and shift system that can be activated within minutes. We have also purchased six fire extinguishers which will reside at Ricky’s house or, in his absence, at a suitable alternative venue. 

Our thanks to the many willing volunteers who did duty, and to Ingrid Meter who organised the shift roster.

Security Improvements
Green Hole area:
The KM has finally given us approval to install 24/7 CCTV monitoring of the Green Hole, one of the island’s most vulnerable security points.
We are considering all cost, technology and logistical issues around this, but in principal, believe we must proceed with this as a priority. We have a net provision of R80K funding in place, but we will also request assistance from KM.
New monitoring technology:
The new cell-phone technology for the guard patrols that does away with the manual baton check-in system is now operational. This will permit much more efficient and better monitoring.
New exit camera:
LIRA has approved the purchase of new high-definition camera for improved recording of vehicle number plates as cars exit the island at night.

The cost is of some R16K is within the budget provision. The old camera will be reallocated to the intended new security set up at Green Hole.
Infrastructure issues
  • Traffic calming at Armstrong Drive/security hut: The new raised and bricked intersection is complete. Not only has it upgraded the entrance, but it is also serving its function of better accident prevention. It was installed with minimal disruption and efficiency by the contractor.    
  • Following the last spring tide, a section of the South Sea Wall at Bollard Bay has collapsed and the bank behind is eroding. This has been reported to KM who advises that this matter has been put onto the Storm Damage Priority List.
  • LIRA believes the bus shelter area at the entrance to Steenbok Reserve is very shabby and will give this some attention and clean up. There are also dead trees, a fire hazard, and an old Telkom public phone that need to be removed. 
  • LIRA has asked the Fun-Raising Sub-Committee if they would be prepared to apply the funds raised last year towards new concrete street signs
  • New poo-bag boxes, generously built and donated by Fechters, have been put in place at several spots on the island and Steenbok. 
  • Many broken fence poles at the Green Hole and elsewhere have been repaired by KM.
Membership still on the up!
LIRA is thrilled with the efforts of Team Meter (Ingrid and Arjen) in tackling the membership portfolio. Their efforts mean that membership now stands at 320 or 74,1%, the highest ever.
They have achieved this through systematic and persistent canvassing and communicating to both new and long-standing home-owners. Bravo!
Calling for some financial help!
LIRA’s treasurer, James Botha, has a huge job managing our finances and, as he’s dealing with some health issues, we are keen to get him some help, and groom his successor. It’s a concern that we do not have a back-up on this crucial portfolio. 

PLEASE, if anybody with financial/accounting skills would be ready to assist James and LIRA in this regard, contact Keith Hollis here
: chairman or T 082 442 929.

If no volunteer is forthcoming, we believe that in future we may have to outsource this function to a professional company.
Verge encroachment
LIRA chairman, Keith Hollis, has had positive engagements with homeowners where issues of verge encroachment were a bone of contention for many Islanders. Progress has been made in ameliorating these situations.

LIRA will further be asking Amanzi to remove some of the benches set up outside the guest house.
Steenbok survey
In April, Steenbok Park management undertook a comprehensive market survey on people's use and value of this treasured space. You can read the results and recommendations here.

If you regularly use Steenbok Park, please consider becoming a friend. The price is mere R380 pa, small change for the joy it brings so many of us every day. See more here.
LIRA registration as a Public Benefit Organisation
SARS has given us a registration number, but final approval is awaited.

We welcome communication from members on any of the
issues featured in this update.
LIRA distributes regular newsletters and notices. We would like as many Islanders as possible to receive these.
If you have family members, tenants or friends who would be interested in getting our news, we'd like to add them to our mailing database.

Please send email details to 
Brenda Neall.

You can view past newsletters on the LIRA website here:
Correspondence: Brenda Neall, website & newsletter
To contact our LIRA chairman, Keith Hollis: 
LIRA website:
What LIRA does for you!

* Funds 24/7 proactive security
* Liaison/lobbying Knysna Municipality on a multiplicity of issues
* Liaison/lobbying Ward 9 councillor
* Champions peak season law enforcement

* Sponsors Steenbok Nature Reserve
* Liaison Nature Conservation/SANParks
* Beautification of LI and employment of gardeners
* Hosts Leisure Isle Festival
* Maintains property values and unequalled lifestyle
* Fosters community spirit via social and 'fun-raising' events
* A professional and dedicated volunteer committee serving your interests

If you are not a member - these are 11 good reasons
why you should be!

Download LIRA Membership Form here
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