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Impact Landscaping continued work on Lake Terrace, cleaning and planting the island at the bottom of the hill.
They also removed several overgrown and unruly shrubs in common areas between driveways, replacing them with fresh plantings and a simple borders of cut stone or small boulders.
Project List - Impact Landscaping
As mentioned in a previous post, Impact Landscaping will address several problem areas throughout the association in 2016. With the early break in the weather, we hope to get a jump on the landscape season, and complete this work before summer.
Some of the landscaping work is part of a three year beautification project to clean and re-plant the large islands located on Lake Terrace and the Silver Valley annex. This work began last year.
Impact Landscaping is thorough in their planning, and always presents us with a detailed, illustrated list of tasks. (Those who wish to do so maydownload the project overviewfrom our website.)
In addition to the items listed in the project pdf, Board members and representatives from Impact did a walk-around last autumn, and made a detailed list of many common elements that require cleaning, weeding, and re-planting. Several planting beds will be cleaned and mulched, and a pair of smaller, rotting timber retaining walls will be removed completely, and then replaced with graded landscaping.
This is part of the overall plan to freshen the public face of the association, and brighten our neighborhoods.
Update on 2016 SVCA projects:
This week, John's Tree Service completed all major tree removals scheduled for this year -- and next. Since we got on their schedule early, they threw in several added services, completed all the scheduled work a year early, and gave us a discount, to boot.
Impact Landscaping will begin several clean-up and landscaping jobs as soon as the weather permits, possibly as soon as next week.
Concrete repairs near 183 Lake Terrace will also begin as soon as next week, weather permitting.
Crews are scheduled to begin slab jacking uneven sidewalk sections next Tuesday. This is a follow up to our program to eliminate tripping hazards throughout the community.
Reserve Study Update
The Board has a fiduciary responsibility to request a periodic reserve study that inventories the state of the association's capital assets, and projects costs for their continued maintenance and repair, both short and long-term. The normal interval for updating a reserve study is five years, and we are due.
At last year's annual meeting, a presentation explained cost estimates to fully fund our community's financial needs, based on the most recent reserve study in 2011. At that meeting, we noted that the annual funding requirements seemed to be somewhat high, compared to the far smaller assessment for the recent capital assets program of 2014-15. We also estimated that unit owner failure to approve fully funding was attributable in part to the large financial burden it would add to monthly fees.
At that meeting, we also promised to catalog the capital improvements effected during 2014-15, and include them in a detailed request for a more targeted 2016 reserve study update. The goal: to derive fair estimates for fully funding that are more affordable but equally effective.
To that end, the Board has recently assembled and submitted a proposal to Reserve Advisers, asking them to conduct a reserve study update that better represents our current and long term needs, based on local costs. Since the update is a renewal, the fee for the service is one-half that of the original study, and is already included in the 2016 budget.
Fully funding simply means that we set aside enough money to properly repair, maintain, and replace our capital assets. Fully funding helps maintain property values, makes units more desirable and easier to finance for prospective buyers, and ensures that we can maintain the association as a viable, attractive community, without the need for special assessments, some of which may be quite large and painful.
The choice to fully fund or not to fully fund is, of course, up to the unit owners, and cannot be implemented without their vote. But the Board wants to provide sound actionable information so each of us can make an informed decision.
Those who are interested in the details, can download these pdf documents from our website: (Both links are case sensitive.)
These two documents catalog recent capital asset repairs and replacements, many of which were originally recommended by the 2011 study. It also lists many of the preventive maintenance measures implemented to extend the service life of our assets.
SVCA 2016 Project Alert
Several smaller capital asset repair and maintenance projects are already scheduled for 2016. Far less intrusive than the work completed in 2014-2015, these projects may cause some temporary inconvenience for our residents, so we want to alert you ahead of time.
Two driveway replacements and several miscellaneous concrete repairs are scheduled for Lake Terrace Drive.
John's Tree Service will remove several trees identified as dead or dying, and trim problem areas. Affected streets: Mulberry Lane, Silver Valley, and Olson Spur. NOTE: John's has identified several ash trees that are being attacked by ash borers. These trees may look okay, but the insects are destroying them, as they have virtually all ash trees in Ohio. We regret having to remove these trees, but cannot wait for them to fall onto nearby units, causing personal or property damage. Several other seemingly healthy trees have been marked for removal if they or their root systems are dangerous to adjacent buildings, foundations, or concrete.
Impact Landscaping will work on several areas throughout the community to improve the association's public face, especially on Damon Drive. We will continue the second year of a three-year plan to clean and plant the large treed islands (photo right). A large amount of work will be done on Lake Terrace Drive, our longest street.
In 2015, the Board identified several sidewalks that had heaved or slanted, creating tripping hazards. Kaman & Cusimano was asked to render a decision on Common Area versus Limited Common Area responsibility, and several sections of Common Area sidewalk were removed and re-poured. In 2016, the remaining sections will be slab-jacked to level them, with expenses shared by the association and the owners of affected units.
In 2015, the Board requested a legal opinion regarding responsibility for repair of our 28 staircases, some of which required significant attention. That decision stated that the repairs are the responsibility of the association, as a whole. The worst of the staircases (those with safety hazards) were restored in 2015; a bulk rate estimate has been accepted for the remaining work, to reduce our unit cost. The work will include cleaning and repairs/painting of stairs, stucco, and hand rails and their steel supports. This project is scheduled for completion in 2016. (See our previous post explaining the inspection process.) Many of you are now familiar with trucks from John's Tree Service and Impact Landscaping; you can expect to see trucks and workers from Chimnee Cricket in our neighborhoods this spring and summer.
It has come to the Board's attention that door-to-door sales reps have made dubious claims to SVCA residents, suggesting that their company has a working relationship with the Association, or that they have special approval from your Board of Directors, endorsing their products. These assertions are factually unsupportable.
The Board of Directors of the Silver Valley Condo Association does not endorse home improvement vendors.
We strongly suggest that before signing any contract or letter of intent with any home improvement company, all residents should:
research the contractor and the product through an online search or a Better Business Bureau report. (Any contractor worth his salt will share references.)
demand a detailed proposal from any contractor that describes the exact scope of work, including a detailed product description and warranty.
resist the urge to accept the first price offered.
when appropriate, complete and file the Request for Change form on our web site to the Board for approval.
Many of our garage doors are in bad shape. In fact, lower panels on several units have lost their paint entirely, and are starting to rot. We ask that all unit owners accept responsibility for cleaning and painting their entrance and garage doors, as needed.
Guest parking is for guests. Please do not use the guest parking spaces for personal vehicles.
Children at Play
We have children playing on our streets. Please drive slowly, put down your cell phone, and watch for kids who may run in front of you.
Pets to be Leashed
All pets must be leashed when outside the condo unit. Dogs and cats. This is both a condo regulation and a city ordinance.