Notice from Leisure Isle Residents' Association
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NEWSLETTER OCTOBER 2021
14 October 2021

Dear <<First Name>>,

Update from our chair...


We send this newsletter mindful that year end is rapidly approaching. 2021 has been another year blighted with Covid uncertainty and disruption – regular closure of KM departments, delays in contract completion and generally erratic progress with crucial items we had on our 2021 agenda. Financial uncertainty also forced the Committee to consider all expenditure carefully but we are confident that we will end the year in the black.

There are some noteworthy issues to highlight as we approach the 2021 AGM - and ask that you think about these and how they may impact the Island. We're keen for members to engage and share their opinions on these at the meeting – LIRA represents you and it is vital that we know the directions you wish us to follow.

The “commercial hub” in Kings Park vicinity: LIRA believes that there is ample scope for businesses to operate in a well-integrated manner within the boundaries of an essentially residential area. 

Our concerns regarding the park's decay are being addressed, particularly better parking options to accommodate the commercial enterprises. We have spent significant time on a possible renewal project, engaging with the relevant KM depts and must thank Mark Sofianos for pursuing many options that have been combined into a working proposal. 

We will present these plans to our members for comment at the AGM and hope that a good solution can be attained for all parties.

KM Council adopts SRA policy: Special Rating Areas have been successful in many parts of SA. An area can apply for an SRA if agreed by a majority of its ratepayers. Essentially, an additional percentage is levied to municipal rates and these funds are paid over to the municipality and ring-fenced for itemised projects that are jointly managed. Read more here

There are pros and cons to SRAs and we encourage debate on this concept and would appreciate your feedback. We do thank islander, Mike Gammie, for his input here. We will present all the details at the AGM for discussion but it would be useful to familiarise yourself with the concept in the interim.

Security issues: A meeting with KM is confirmed to again plan for “Seasonal Management” on the Island – we will be engaging with all relevant KM depts in a fortnight. The agenda includes security, traffic congestion, noise and parking, signage, alcohol abuse and law enforcement. The implementation of existing by-laws remains a priority and we hope to receive positive KM support in this regard.

There have been several security incidents recently that are not generally associated with Island living ie pranks and nuisance behaviour beyond the realm of 'kids will be kids'. We ask parents to exercise after-hours' control of their youngsters and encourage respect of property, privacy and peace. We are aware of some of the culprits and should this behaviour continue we will encourage affected residents to pursue their rights.

We intend to present additional security options at the AGM and will again be guided by your feedback in determining the needs on the island.  We thank Allsound for keeping us safe and guiding us with current trends, reports and suggestions. 

Water supply and quality: This caused much gip and grief recently for both its brown hue and reduced water pressure. Our thanks to Ward 9 Councillor Sharon Sabbagh who has answered calls, attended meetings and facilitated KM/contractor intervention in assisting us with both information and solutions. 

The water pressure issue is a KM decision and one over which we have no control. The ongoing problems with the quality of our water are experienced by all in Knysna and, again, the DA has been instrumental in forcing action. We trust the problems will improve and attention will be paid to ailing infrastructure and maintenance (see KM press releases here and here). 

Should you experience ongoing problems, we urge you to press your case to Pravir Haripersad, Director Technical Knysna Muncipality (directortechnical@knysna.gov.za).

This Committee needs your support to enable us to carry out our mandate – please read the updates below on the 2022 levy, the importance of voting in the upcoming local elections, and other island projects. We urge all members to attend the AGM.

Lastly, we ask that all outstanding 2021 levies be paid by the end of October. If you don’t hear from us you can accept you have paid. The new financial year begins in November 2021 and we have kept the increase to a minimum. We trust you consider that the time your Committee devotes voluntarily to serving the island translates to money well spent.

Mary-Anne Beviss Challinor
Chairperson


If you have any queries, please contact me privately. Email me here or call C: 082 651 3767
DIARISE THE DATE! LIRA AGM 2021, will be held on Monday 21 December, 2021, at 5.30pm at Leisure Isle Bowling Club.

LIRA levy for 2022


We thank all those members who, through payment of their levy for 2021, enabled LIRA to once again maintain an excellent level of security on the Island.

As in past years, we experienced only a few isolated and opportunistic incidents during the year.

It has been a busy year of multiple property transactions, and our membership manager, Barbara Mills, has been kept busy in recruiting new owners into the LIRA fold. Our membership level is around 70%.

The success of our security operation not only upholds the value of our properties on Leisure Isle, but provides an exceptionally safe and peaceful way of life for all who live here. The LIRA levy cost is small - and the value priceless

We are pleased to advise that levy for 2022 has been increased only marginally, with no increase in 2021 due to Covid disruptions, as follows:

Annual Levy: R4 950 (2021 – R4 830)

Monthly Levy: R440 pm (2021 – R430)

Invoices will follow in due course in early December. Please will members who pay by stop order adjust the levy amount.

The Committee extend sincere thanks to our loyal members who honour their community responsibility. We will continue vigorously to urge all LI property owners to join LIRA.

A thought for all to consider: imagine Leisure Isle without LIRA?

The importance of your vote on Nov 1!


"Are you the moer in with all this malfeasance and outright greed? Don't switch off. Get angry. And, then, on 1 November, take that anger to the polls and vote."
Daily Maverick editorial

 
Our hard-working Ward 9 Councillor, Sharon Sabbagh, has asked LIRA to emphasise the importance of voting in the upcoming local elections even if you are overcome by apathy, disaffection or belief that your vote won't make any difference to the Ward outcome.

WRONG! It will make all the difference! Remember, half the Town Council is made of of party-appointed councillors who get there via proportional representation vote ie the more votes a party gets, the more town councillors it will potentially have. Knysna is in dire straits under the current regime - so please make your vote count on November 1!

View a great graphic here of how this unfolds in Knysna, per kind favour of Sharon Sabbagh. CLICK HERE!



Please support our Benches & Bins Project!


We are launching this project to improve the waterfront aesthetics by replacing the benches and bins on this stretch of road - as pictured, many are in poor shape, or have wonky mounting and of varied materials.

Our aim is to replace these with 20 new benches, and nearby litter bins, to create a neater and uniform look, and have them in place for the summer season. They will be made of durable, grey recycled plastic; and the bins so designed to stop ibis/crow tampering. The ugly green KM swing bins will be removed.

A Committee team is currently surveying all benches, identifying suggested sites of both benches and bins, and communicating with the current sponsors of benches. All existing memorial plaques will be honoured and will be replaced.

BUT, we need to fund raise for this! Calling for sponsors! The sponsored cost is R6,5K and includes the bench, bin and donor plaque – and we hope there will be a positive response to this initiative that will commemorate loved ones, enhance the island and greatly contribute to people’s pleasure and comfort in enjoying our magnificent lagoon front.

We did it for the seawall - let's do it again for the waterfront!


Mark and Gail Sofianos are spearheading his project - if you want to partake, please contact Gail here: gailsofy@icloud.com/ 082 459-3411

Leisure Isle Common Project


LIRA is planning another exciting infrastructure project - an upgrade of Kings Park.

We have commissioned a landscaping company to compile a workable plan for the chaos that is now Kings Park - their draft design is impressive and outlines the creation of the "Leisure Isle Common" – with formalised pole fencing, parking areas, the likes of a chess board, toilets, plinth for events etc – essentially, a master plan that can be executed in phases.

Our next step is to present these plans to members for input and comment - and we will do so at the AGM and in newsletters.

LIRA as a Public Benefit Organisation
 

After many years non-progress on this issue, we were lead to believe that our renewed efforts to achieve it were fait accompli with SARS. Unfortunately, this has not transpired and, in fact, our application was rejected on a technicality!

We have subsequently submitted a new application and are confident it will be approved in due course. This will mean the LIRA levy can be tax deductible.

Introducing Rob Hellings - LIRA finance portfolio


LIRA recently welcomed a new member to the Committee, Rob Hellings (left), who will share his experience and expertise in the vital finance portfolio where he's working with treasurer, James Botha.


Rob is a Chartered Accountant and enjoyed a long career with Sun International, from its inception in October 1983. He undertook various financial roles and was involved in the establishment of its greenfield casinos and resorts.
 
Rob retired in 2009 and became a consultant responsible for the insurance and retirement fund portfolios within the Sun International group.
 
Rob and his family have owned property on Leisure Isle since 1996 and have spent many happy holidays here. Rob has now fully retired from the corporate world and recently relocated permanently to LI with his wife, Lorraine, from Johannesburg.

He's a keen golfer and hopes to contribute to the local community as a key member of the LIRA Committee. Welcome Rob!

James Botha remains our dedicated treasurer, despite no longer involved in the Committee, and we are most grateful for his continued service.

STEENBOK RESERVE NEWS

 
There has been much on the go at Steenbok, with some great work being undertaken by management and volunteers:
 
We're delighted to report that the all important 10-year old management agreement with Knysna Municipality and SANParks has been extended, pending the finalisation of a new long-term agreement.

Visitors to the park will have noticed the placement of new and better dog poo bag dispensers and new waste bins (right). The Steenbok team has secured individual sponsorship for most of them - raising more than R20K - which includes a pic of the sponsors' precious pooch/es. This is a major improvement in terms of aesthetics and efficacy - and Steenbok visitors seem to be far more conscientious in this regard!
 
There has been a swell of people signing up to be a "Friend of Steenbok" which is excellent for its finances; an important alien clearing project has been undertaken on the Kingfisher Creek side of the park, executed by a professional company; another planned project is the removal of the compost slab at the Bowling Club on Roger's Way to foster a more unsullied natural environment; an extension to Roger's Way; and new gratitude gardens.

Farewell to Prof Allanson

 
Leisure Isle 'lost' one of its most illustrious residents earlier this year, with the departure of Prof Brian and Sue Allanson, who lived in Steenbok Crescent, to a new home in Cape Town.

A devoted and eminent marine scientist, Prof Allanson was a significant caretaker of our the estuary and was instrumental in setting up the Knysna Basin Project. His friend, John Kennedy, has penned this tribute, and you can read more about his work in this KP Herald article.

We wish the Allanson's all the best in their new life!

KM AppKnysna Municipal Services

 

Report potholes, broken water mains etc here!

The Knynsa Municipality App (left) is now the go-to place to report these sorts of infrastructure issues - with top KM officials advising us so. You can download the app from iTunes or Google Playstore.
 

Report illegal baiting here!

The all-hours SANParks Rangers' Estuary Duty number is
082 269-5007
. Use this to report illegal activities.

The SANParks Knysna general enquiries number is
044 382-2095.
WHAT LIRA DOES FOR YOU!
* 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
* Hosts Leisure Isle Festival
* Maintains property values and unequalled lifestyle
* Professional and dedicated volunteer committee serving your interests

SPREAD THE LIRA NEWS!
 
LIRA would like as many Islanders as possible to receive these newsletters.

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.
 
We welcome your comments and feedback on this newsletter. And your input, too! Your news, ideas, stories, happenings are welcome.

Correspondence: 
Brenda Neall, website & newsletter

To contact LIRA chairperson, Mary-Anne Beviss-Challinor: 
Email her here, or call 082 651 3767.

LIRA website: www.leisureisleknysna.co.za
Sent to you by Leisure Isle Residents' Association

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