The Patterson Lake Association of Lanark Highlands
Minutes of the April 3, 2017 Meeting
at 1980 Saunderson Drive, Ottawa
Present: Ted Manning, Howard Stanley, Judy Young, Joy Bowerman and Lesley Scharf
Regrets: Rhodena Bell
- Ted opened the meeting at 7:40 pm.
- Judy moved that we accept the agenda. Seconded by Joy. Carried.
- Howard will send the minutes from the November 23rd meeting by e-mail for approval by Ted and Judy. Seconded by Judy. Carried.
- Ted reported that we have a low snow pack, which may impact the lake level in the spring. The culvert is blocked with debris with the grate being removed. The township will remove debris in front of the culvert but will not enter the culvert.
- Ted reported that the Mississippi Valley Conservation Authority would be checking Patterson Lake for invasive species during this summer. Joy will act as lake contact.
- Ted presented his results on the Patterson Lake Website. See appendix A for details. Ted moved the following:
- Change website host from Canaca to Siteground
- Rebel.ca remains the administrator of our domain name
- Use WordPress as the interface. Seconded by Howard. Carried.
- Ted moved to hire Crystal O’Connell for her initial review and upgrade of our website. Additional funding over the estimated $500.00 may be required. Seconded by Howard. Carried.
- Joy volunteered to be our website manager and to assist Ted in transferring the existing files to the new website.
- Howard will distribute his list of property owners to the various board members by e-mail to assist them in collecting the $20.00 membership fee and updating the contact list. Membership receipts will be given to the board members for distribution.
- The May newsletter will be sent by e-mail to the various road representatives for distribution to all property owners on Patterson Lake.
- Howard reported a bank balance of $2,658.36 as of March 30, 2017 with four members . Our membership level has been dropping since 2013 from 47 to 24 in 2016.
- Ted suggested that we have a contest where the winner will receive a picture of their cottage from the lake. The road representatives will also collect e-mail addresses to improve communication between the Board and the cottage owners. Final details will appear in the May newsletter.
- Howard will send the Financial Statements for 2016 for Board approval by e-mail before sending them to our auditor for his review prior to the AGM meeting in June.
- Next meeting to be held at Judy’s cottage on May 27, 2017 at 10:00 am. Address is 284 Parsons Way.
- At 9:35 pm, Ted moved that the meeting be adjourned. Seconded by Lesley. Carried.
Patterson Lake Website
Our current website is hosted by Canaca with the domain name administered by rebel.ca. This was renewed in the fall, I believe – I am not sure for how long. It is written entirely in html with no user interface.
The website was made when websites were new innovations and shows its age. A number of advancements have been made since then. One advancement that makes administering a website more accessible for the average person is the development of a user interface such as WordPress which will create the html code for you. Sometimes people learn to do this themselves, at other times, a consultant is hired with the follow on maintenance done by the company themselves. While there are other user interfaces out there, WordPress is one of the most established and well known.
After consultation with Crystal O’Connell, it was discovered that Canaca does not support WordPress and would require additional upgrade to allow it to support WordPress. After personal experience with Canaca, I can tell you they are not the easiest company to deal with. Some of their cpanel manipulations are a little flaky and for email (not a concern here), there are limitations and frequent down time. We are with them because they have been around for a long time (as these things go) and they were inexpensive which is very important for charitable and non-profit organizations. Crystal’s recommendation is to change our hosting to a company called SiteGround. She has had very good experience with them and has a good relationship with their support staff.
Currently we are paying $3.95/month (US) for our service. The upgrade to allow WordPress would bring it to $7.95/month. Given the limitations of Canaca, I do not see it being worth our while to stay there. I have research hosting companies, Siteground has a good reputation. Its costs are comparable to most of the other low end hosting companies. There is an initial discount which would take it to $3.95/month (US) for whatever period you choose (up to 3 yrs). After that, it goes to $9.95/month. This is for their lowest end service which allows you 1 website and will handle about 10,000 hits per month. I think that is quite sufficient for us. The domain name I would leave at rebel.ca because it is already paid there. I would not want to pay a transfer fee. All .ca domain names have a cost associated with them.
Here is what it would look like to bring the website up to speed.
Web Hosting – 3 yrs (most economical) $3.95 US * 36 = $142.20 US = ~$189.13 Cdn
I think this is a reasonable way to proceed. I would put on the caveat that the website has to be able to be maintained by us. I am prepared to undertake that job since I am fairly technologically savvy and already work in a administrative support role in other organizations. After the 3 year period, we would be looking at about $120 US per year, although who knows where the technology will be at that point.