Here’s my notes from the Board of Director’s meeting last Thursday, October 20, 2016. These are not “meeting minutes”… they’re my version of what happened, with some occasional background and discussion notes.
They approved the minutes from the last couple of meetings. The Board has been active since the election, with 2 additional called meetings since then.
The Board receives a packet of information from Trestle, the management company. (That packet is not shared with non-Board members.) One of the items in the packet is a financial statement, and it was noted during discussion that the association has saved around $50K since January of this year, due to less-than-expected expenses in a couple of areas. The Board approved the August and September financial reports, as well as the Manager’s report.
The Board appointed an additional member to the Landscaping Committee, Jim.
Many of the common areas were seeded and watering was re-started. [See pictures here.] The landscaping company is also doing more clean-up than was done in the past. While the areas aren’t quite up to where we want them, there has been a good improvement and we’re headed in the right direction.
The Board voted to create the Architecture Review Committee. Board members are soliciting volunteers.
Since there was not yet an Architecture Review Committee, the Board heard a request from Lot 130 to add a fence to the yard. Some Board members were opposed to allowing fences to be put up in the neighborhood without restriction, but after some discussion, it was agreed that some small fences could be allowed, especially in areas where child safety might be enhanced. The Board approved the Lot 130 request, but stated that this fence and any future fence requests would have to meet a number of criteria:
- Not to exceed 4 feet tall
- Not to exceed 10 feet in length
- Color must be appropriate to the neighborhood, restricted to earth tones or white.
- The fence must be at least 80% obscured by lot landscaping or existing structures.
The Social Committee discussed plans for a public moving showing, as well as scheduling a neighborhood Meet & Greet, initially planned for November 12.
The Board approved the repair of the slide at the playground near Sells Drive, using some of the funds saved over the last several months.
Discussion about the sidewalk repair highlighted some of the recent work done by the city of Avondale, noting that the city had agreed to doing this work only after the HOA had completed the repairs on sidewalks on out own right-of-way. Apparently there is someone new in the position at the city, and discussion that not all repairs seem to have been made. Supposedly there were “white dots” painted at the designated locations. The Board was asked to provide a definitive list of where these “white dots” are located.
There was some discussion of street lights which may be burnt out; one on Glenrosa was mentioned. Everyone was advised to let Vicki from Trestle know if you see any that are out. (Note: there’s a link on the Trestle site here for reporting maintenance issues on HOA maintained areas.)
There was discussion about having a survey to go out to HOA members. It was noted that about one third of the homes in Rio Crossing are occupied by renters, and that the HOA membership is made up of property owners. Several Board members agreed to canvass door-to-door for survey information, and Vicki added that it could be mailed out to the HOA membership when the annual budget was mailed out around the first of the year.
There had been some previous discussion about putting a water spigot out in one or more of the common areas, but due to the potential for vandalism and ongoing maintenance costs, the topic was tabled indefinitely.
It was noted that the night lights on the entrance monuments were not all operational. The landscaping company was going to repair the lights, but apparently there was some electrical issues which would have been costly to repair. The Landscaping Committee indicated they would research alternative lighting approaches, considering solar lights, etc.
The 2017 budget was approved. There will be no change to the current $215 per quarter assessment.
The Board approved allowing the President or Vice President to spend certain amounts for emergency and small repairs without requiring advance approval of the board, subject to reporting the expenditures for ratification at the next Board meeting. The circumstances and limits were agreed to be:
- Emergencies, where not fixing something could cause further damage or expense if not fixed: $1,000 per occurrence.
- Small repairs: where something small like a burned out light bulb or other minor repair would enhance safety or community appearance: $100 per occurrence.
The Board approved a community member to build two sign holders for the community signs (HOA meeting notices, community events, etc.) for not-to-exceed $150.
The Board approved sending Requests for Proposals for landscaping services to a list of landscaping vendors.
The playground sand has been sifted, and the company that did the sifting said that no additional sand was needed. (Sifting tends to “fluff” the sand, though it will pack down again over time.)
There was previous discussion about getting trash cans to put near school bus stops in the neighborhood. More discussion about costs, vandalism, locations, and mounting led to tabling the item. The Board did approve additional research on less expensive options.
Everyone should note the flowers planted in front of the monument at the north entrance (Campbell Ave). The Board approved removing plants in front of the monument at the south entrance (Heatherbrae Dr) and replacing with similar flowers. [See update with pictures here.] In addition, the Landscaping Committee proposed that trees in the median at both locations will be removed, and replace them with Oleanders and Yellow Bells. The Board approved, so long as the cost included reviewing and repairing any irrigation lines in the area. Member discussion included requesting that the Landscaping Committee commit to keeping the trees and foliage at the entrances trimmed such that it does not hang out far enough to scrape vehicles; the committee responded that overgrowth would not be a factor for a number of years, and they would address them at that time.
The replacement of the faded No Soliciting signs was discussed. The Board agreed to table until priced were obtained. Trestle asked for specifications, and they would get prices.
One homeowner had expressed a concern to Board member about trees along El Mirage. The Board voted to table discussion of these items until the next planting season. The Landscaping Committee then asked for a discretionary fund of $1500 to $2000 to allow them to do tree fill-in. Discussion ensued, indicating that the Landscaping Committee itself was not permitted to make planting decisions independent of Board approval. A special meeting was called to occur on October 29 starting in Roma Park to review committee recommendations and then to approve the request, if deemed appropriate.
At this point the Board went into Executive Session and non-Board members were asked to leave; no purpose was given for requiring an Executive Session. They indicated that after the Executive Session, they would discuss sending out Requests for Proposals for HOA Management Services.