April 18, 2017

These great looking 100% cotton T-Shirts won’t last long! They will make amazing Mother’s Day gifts… The perfect attire for dinner on Thursday night at the Legion…………. You will be the talk of the town at the sandbar wearing a DIA 2017 shirt! You can place your orders by responding to this email with quantity, color and shirt sizes. Or stop over at Lisa & Bill Marley cottage 32!. Cash/Checks ( Payable to DIA )

Adult $15
Sizes Small thru 3 XL
Children $ 12
Sizes Small, Med, Large
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March 16, 2017          Diamond Island Association

Notice of SPECIAL MEETING (pursuant to Article III Sections 2,3 &8 of the By-laws)

As you all know from the discussion during the August Annual Meeting, a Request for Quotation was being prepared to be sent to prospective barge builders. The RFQ was sent to 7 bidders in October, however, the response has been disappointing as no one has been willing to submit a bid. Several builders were strictly in the business of building barges and did not offer any type of propulsion, much less docking systems and the like. Others withdrew because there were too many unspecified design components making it difficult for the bidder to quote a fixed price or because the missing design specs and complexity of the electrical and docking systems required them to find a partner with the requisite expertise, which was just not worth the time or effort.
Fortunately, we have been working on a parallel track to try to find an engineering design firm that would provide all the missing design components, including propulsion alternatives and the electrical and docking systems. In other words, provide a complete, specific bid package.
Seacraft Design, a Naval architectural and Marine engineering firm based in Sturgeon Bay, Wisconsin has submitted a proposal which looks very promising. The committee is in the process of working through various alternatives with Seacraft and negotiating the price. It may take another 3 or 4 weeks before we have the details worked out to our satisfaction, at which time we would be looking to sign a contract. Before we can commit the Association, however, we need owner approval. There is a 14-day notice period required before we can ask for a vote. If we proceed in this order it could be mid-May before design begins. We believe, and Seacraft concurs, that we still have enough time to design, bid and build the new ferry for delivery in March 2018, but there is not much time to spare.
To help accelerate the process we are seeking owner approval to engage Seacraft "NOW".
Seacraft's original proposal was for $51,000. A significant portion of this was due to all the unspecified variables that are in the RFQ. For example, the propulsion system was totally open ended. We would have considered paddle wheels, thrusters, or other systems that the bidder recommended. Same with the docking system: floating dock, ramps on the ferry, ramps on land, etc. were all in play. To reduce the scope and thus the price, we are going to go back to Seacraft with specific systems and/or components for them to design; such as paddlewheels for propulsion, as it is the least costly but most efficient of the alternatives.  As a result, we believe the revised price will be under $35,000 but are seeking authorization for $40,000 to have some flexibility. There is $54,500 in the barge replacement fund. Despite this added design cost, we are more confident than ever that the overall price will still be well with the range we projected in August.

If approved, we would proceed with the design phase and then begin work on a second RFQ to send out to boat builders. Ultimately, we will need to have another Special Meeting of the homeowners to review and approve the costs and financing of the new ferry. This probably will not happen prior to the next Annual meeting but we will know a lot more by then.

If you have questions about any of this please contact one of the committee members.

Given the 14-day notice requirement, the meeting will commence on March 30, 2017 and conclude at 12 pm March 31, 2017. You may cast your ballot during this time or earlier, if you wish.

The Board of Directors

Phi Bottger       630/404-7895    pbottger@enengineering.com
Kevin Douglas     815/263-7737    douglask@bimba.com
Ed Koranda                        korandae@bimba.com
Dave Benhart      630/341-0767    dave@georgeallenconstruction.com
Gary Gries        847/687-4148    ggries&9@gmail.com


2/8/17 — It is with great sadness that we share the passing of Buford “Bud” Chandonia (Cottage #53). We are sharing an announcement that Ron Chandonia posted on Facebook on February 2: 

BUFORD “Bud” CHANDONIA (1918-2017)
My father died late this afternoon. Mom and I, and Chris and her husband Ed, were with him throughout his short but difficult final struggle with congestive heart failure. As I spent the night with him at the hospital yesterday, he spoke repeatedly of his desire to move on to “see what the answer really is.” Presumably, he now knows for sure. Dad was part of the Greatest Generation. Last night we were talking of the many people who benefited from his long and caring life. “But I didn’t do enough,” he insisted. “I should have done more.” The Greatest Generation. RIP.

1-31-17  —  We have sad new.   Sandor Jankovich (Cottage # 79) passed away on January 20, 2017.   The funeral mass will be held at St. Stephen King of Hungary Church located at 2015 W Augusta Blvd., Chicago, IL 60622 at 11:00 AM (Central time) on February 4, 2017 to be followed by a luncheon in the church basement.


8-17-16: Cass County Office of Emergency Management is recommending watercraft be operated at a no-wake speed until 8/23 because of the high water due to the abundance of rain!

8-10-16:   Homeowners!  Your annual Island meeting is set for August 27 @10:00 a.m. Please join us at Koranda / Manning lot. Plan on bringing a lawn chair to sit in. We have 3 open board positions so an election will be held at the end of the meeting.

August 27 Island Agenda

  • Gary Gries: Introduction of new homeowners
  • Mike Andrasco: Financial review
  • Billy Hullinger: Seasonal maintenance update
  • Kevin Douglas / Ed Koranda: Future Barge proposal
  • Gary Gries: New barge financial options
  •  Bob Price: Fall Barge Hours / Operators
  • Gary Gries: By law revisions
  • Kate Crane: Board Election
    • Homeowners running for the 3 open seats are:
      • Ann Spratt
      • Dave  Benhart
      • Jim O’Brien
      • Janet Chutro
      • Laura Ryan

7/18/16: Homeowners:

During our August 27 meeting we will be voting on three open board positions. If you are interested in running or have questions about being on the board, please reach out to a member of the nominating committee:
Kathleen Crane: kathleencrane4@gmail.com
Board Members who’s terms have expired are:
Mike Maloney, he will be seeking re-election
Gary Nolte, he will be seeking re-election
Dan Swinford, Thank-You for several years of service on the board!

06-25-16 DIA info meeting minutes

03/28/16 – A letter from Gary Gries regarding work that has been competed over the winter on the barge, today’s condition and the plans in the future for the barge. Please take the time to read.

3/27/16 – It is with great sadness that we share the news of the death of Maryann Smerekanich, former island resident, cottage 13.

Sep. 28, 1946 – Mar. 18, 2016

SOUTH BEND – Mary Ann Smerekanich, 69, of 52220 Donald Street, passed away peacefully Friday in Hospice House, South Bend. Survivors include her husband, Andre; a daughter, Amy A. of South Bend; and a son, Andrew N. of Anchorage, AK. Memorial services will be at 11 am Tuesday, March 29th in St. Theresa, Little Flower Catholic Church. There will be no visitations. Hoven Funeral Home in Buchanan, MI is handling arrangements. In lieu of flowers, memorial gifts may be made to Center for Hospice Care, Hospice House, 111 Sunnybrook Court, South Bend, IN 46637.

3/3/16 – 2016 Barge calendar added to the Barge info page. and populated with the spring schedule.

2/18/16 – 2016 member letter and letter from DIL mailed to each member.

1/25/16: Hugh Silberman’s obituary and memorial information is published in the South Bend Tribune.

1/20/16: We are sad to report former islander (cottage #63) Hugh Silberman passed away this morning. He is the father of islander Ursula (Barry) Irwin (#81 & #87). When arrangements are known, we’ll pass that along. Our thoughts and sympathies to Bonnie and the Silberman & Irwin families.

1/10/16:  Happy 2016 Homeowners!

The barge repairs are finished. The plan is to place the barge back in the water via 2 cranes on Monday January 11, 2016. All power going to the Island will be shut off temporarily during this process.

Due to the weather conditions it is very unlikely that the barge will be “parked” in the channel this season. We will continue to keep everyone updated.


1/5/16:  Happy New Year Homeowners!

We wanted to provide the latest updates on the barge:

  • The barge was relocated in order to inspect and repair the area that was sitting on the beams.
  • Large reinforcing and repair plates are in place; island and mainland side. 95% of welding on these are complete.
  • Welding & patching continues on the leaks and holes discovered during inspection.
  • Top deck work needs to be finalized: tack down loose plating, install plate across the weak area.


The barge has been removed from the water. We could use help to clean the bottom of the barge. If you are interested, please come to the landing at 9 a.m. tomorrow. We recommend that you wear old clothes, you will need to bring a scrapper.

Thanks!  DIA Board

On December 8, 2015 the electric company will be turning off all power to the island.

This will occur at 9 a.m. with an estimated duration of 5 hours, or the power will be back on at approximately 2 p.m. The power outage is due to the barge being removed from the water. The entire barge landing will now be considered a construction site, with no access for parking.

The company leading this project requires all homeowners to stay at least 500 feet away from their equipment for their safety. We hope to have pictures of this project posted to the website as soon as possible to keep everyone informed.

12/7/15: Sadly, we report that Mary Beth McGrath’s mother, Helen recently passed away. There will be a Memorial Mass celebrated on Thursday, December 10, at 6:00pm at Saint Pius X Catholic Church, 52553 Fir Road, Granger, IN 46530 (corner of  Fir and 23).  You are invited to celebrate her life with her family and friends. For those of you who cannot be there in person, please keep Helen and our family in your prayers.

11/19/15 update: Northern Indiana Construction company estimates the removal and inspection of the barge will start the week of November 30, 2015. Continue to check your email and the island website for updates.

We hope everyone has a great Thanksgiving.
D.I.A. Board

Any interest in a new DIA cookbook? All proceeds to go to the Barge Fund. It was a hugely successful fund raiser about 10 years ago. Shall we try again? Submit your recipes, with your full name and cottage number to diacookbook@gmail.com. Hard copy/ hand written recipes to cottage # 31 any weekend. Please submit before Christmas, 12/25/15.