Cumberland Woods 2015 Annual Board Meeting
(prepared by Michael Kobylarz)
APRIL 30, 2015
7:00 PM - City of Rochester Hills Auditorium
Richard Edwartoski, John Baran, Ron Konicov, Polly Fernandez, Michael Kobylarz
The President thanked all residents in attendance and welcomed everybody to the meeting. A big thanks to those who put efforts to adhere to the bylaws, noting that the more appealing our homes and landscaping, the better our home will be to potential homebuyers, increasing the value of all owners in the subdivision.
Vice President Report
Miller Landscape - Continues to do all work for snow plowing, landscape and Christmas lights.
Spring Cleanup recently performed per contract schedule.
Snow Plowing - This year seemed to go better. They did note that they use the snow measurement readings from the NOA website using Pontiac as the location for snowfall. Since accumulations vary, if we note that enough snowfall has fallen to trigger a plow (1.5"), we can let them know to request a plow.
Miller contract runs through this summer and next summer, which upcoming winter under contract for lights & snow.
HOA owns holiday lights. Miller will hold them during the off-season. The HOA will purchase additional lights before next season to accomodate extra lighting since trees are growing
Reminder to residents to please register on the website, or send e-mail to email@example.com to receive updates. This e-mail can also be used to request any website updates.
Dues notices will be mailed soon for payment due by June 1st. Dues are slated to remain the same.
Previous board made decision to allocate $15,000 over the course of three years to fund eventual cost of retention pond dredging. This is now fully funded. We will be notified by the city when this activity must take place.
Dues collection is going well. Only one resident was behind and did not work with the Board, whereupon a lien was filed. Payment was received at this time. There is one additional homeowner who has setup and is on schedule with a payment plan.
A reminder to all residents that prompt payment of dues is required so that we can make sure expenses are covered and services are paid for promptly to our contractors and other businesses that we are active with.
There is continued and ongoing enforcement for exposed trash containers, weed control, and lawn signage. Clarification was provided on acceptable lawn signs (political signs endorsing a particular candidate or issue, as per the US Supreme Court), and one For Sale sign. All other signs are prohibited.
Residents are reminded that the common area is not to be used for dumping and that cutting trees, even dead, on the common property is not allowed by residents. The city and state have oversight of these areas and provide strict guidelines and oversight. Failure to abide by these rules could result in fines and penalties not just from the board, but from the city or state.
Mailboxes. The board maintains the integrity and care of the posts, but policy is that residents care for and replace the actual mailboxes if they are no longer functioning properly or have deterioriated in appearance. Additional discussion below in NEW BUSINESS.
Pet waste must be picked up. Residents who fail to pick up after their pet are disrespecting all other owners in the subdivision. Immediate fines of $25 will be imposed upon residents who are spotted leaving their waste. Residents are asked to promptly report violations.
The board asks that lawns be regularly maintained over the growing season, including at least once per month edging. This keeps the sidewalks free of grass and keeps the neighborhood appearance looking positive.
Per city ordinance, garages may not be used for the operation of a business nor the storage of business related material. Not only is it a violation of city code, but it also displaces cars to driveways or streets, reducing overall neighborhood curb appeal.
Residents are reminded that parking in the driveway in a manner which blocks the sidewalk is a violation of city code.
The board is looking into adding irrigation to water the island on Twin Oaks Court. The residents planted the trees, shrubs, and grass years ago, but the rainfall does not keep it looking its best.
Lighting at the subdivision entrance continues to be a concern. It is very difficult for people to see the island at night with the current lighting. City regulations and issues with the M-59 overpass limit certain elements, but improvements will be looked at. Dwight offered to look at potential plans and present ideas to the board for upgrades.
Road Construction - Hamlin will be widened this summer. Work has started on utilities, with full construction expected to be complete in November. No full closures are expected, but we will have to watch for cut-through activity, in which case we can notify the Sheriff Department.
BLOCK PARTY CHAIR - After doing a wonderful job for the last several years, Mala would like to turn over the organization of the block party, so the Board is looking for a volunteer to head this up. Mala has all vendor and contact info that's needed, so it should be a smooth transition. This is a wonderful neighborhood event, so please contact firstname.lastname@example.org if you'd be interested.
Reminder: Christmas lights must be removed by April 15th.
Easter Egg Hunt - Please contact the board at email@example.com if you would be interested in resuming the neighborhood Easter Egg hunt. Lack of interest and several years of bad weather led the board to cancel it over the past few years, but we'd like to make sure that there is not interest.
Newsletter - Those who attended were asked at what frequency they'd prefer newsletters. Quarterly updates will be provided as long as there is news, and e-mail updates will continue to be sent out in between.
Right of way trees - If you do not have a tree on your right of way easement (between the street and sidewalk), contact the city. Typically they offer a 50% cost reduction and will plant it, but this year they are offering to pay 100% of the costs while they last. Check the City of Rochester Hills website for more info.
Speeding - The board is having the sheriff's office do a study on speeds. In the meantime, unsafe speeders should be reported to the board and can also be reported to the Sheriff's Office (please try to get a license number, model number, and address if possible). Speeding on our neighborhood streets is dangerous for all, including children, pets, residents, and the drivers themselves.
Commons pathway - At one point, dead tree clearing in the commons area allowed for a pathway of mulch to be put down. As the mulch naturally deteriorated and as weeds and such took over, the path has largely been washed away. Some residents expressed interest in having this done annually, though we would likely have to bring in outside mulch and/or work very closely with the DNR, who is typically not in favor of cutting down any dead trees unless they present immediate harm. The Board will look into the cost of this, and determine if it's feasible. Some residents expressed an interest in trying to get the common wooded area more cleaned up, but as it has oversight with the DNR, we are very limited in what we are allowed to do.
Commons dumping - It was noted that dumping of grass clippings or branches from trees not originally in the commons area is illegal. Residents are also not allowed to cut any trees down, dead or alive. The topography of the area has changed over the years due to these practices. It is also noted that any building structures, temporary or otherwise, may not be placed in the common area.
Dog Waste Fines-Still seeing dog poop in our sub-will fine them $25 after first notice. If you see any of this happening, please notify the board.
Mailboxes - Discussion took place on the responsibility for mailbox replacement if they are damaged or the paint peels off. The residents can re-paint the mailbox though simple paint or spray paint will not adhere due to the powder coating. Residents can pay for a mailbox but are expected to adhere to the common design. SOme residents expressed concern over this since the initial installation was funded as an overall expense. The Board will look at the possibility of paying for part or all of failed mailboxes. The Board noted that they do have responsibility to keep the posts painted and will repair if they start tipping over.
Dues - Concern was raised by some residents over the fact that the fund balance has increased over the past couple of years. It was noted that the fund balance should be funded for at least one full year of expenses, and any balance over that typically goes through ups and downs as expenses are incurred. Having a fund balance above the full year expenses has also allowed for projects such as the sub entrance, lighting, and other projects to take place without assessment. At this time, dues are expected to remain the same.
Board Elections-Treasurer (2 years), Director (1 year)
Polly Fernandez ran unopposed and will serve as Treasurer.
Greg Wolf ran unopposed and will serve as Director.
The full board is noted below, with the year noted that the position will be open for election.
2015/16 Cumberland Woods Board
Presidentâ€”Rick Edwartoski (2016)
Vice President-John Baran (2106)
Treasurer - Polly Fernandez (2017)
Secretary-Mike Kobylarz (2016)
Director-Greg Wolf (2016)