Much of this month's board meeting was spent talking about landscaping. As you all may have noticed, the trees above the sidewalks in common areas have been trimmed. A meeting was recently held with our landscaping company (Brightview) to put them on notice due to nonperformance. Since then they have rectified the issues that were brought up including trimming trees above sidewalks and clearing along the trail. Our contract is up in Q1 of 2020 and we are currently drafting an RFP (Request for Proposal) to be sent out. We'll be sending it out to various landscape companies so if you have a recommendation please let CAM know.
In addition, if you see anything in the neighborhood that needs attention also report that to CAM (our association management company). As part of their management duties they hold our vendors accountable, but we need to make sure they are aware when the duties aren't being performed.
Due to legal advice from the HOA law firm, past due assessments can no longer be charged a "late fee" of $25, but can be charged a "collection fee". The amount of the collection fee will likewise be $25.
During the owner requested topics Ryan Steans updated the board on the work he's been doing regarding parking. Ryan has put together some great information on parking in the neighborhood as it pertains to both the CCRs (Covenants, Conditions & Restrictions) as well as city regulations. Look for more info on parking to go out as it is finalized.
The dead tree on Sweet Clover (just East of Empress) will be removed as soon as the tree removal service can schedule it. We expect it will be removed within a couple of weeks.
The annual meeting is coming up on November 14. To prepare for the meeting a few things will happen in the coming months. First, everyone will receive a postcard in the mail with the date of the meeting and details on what to do if you're interested in running for one of the three open board positions. Second, the existing board will be working on finalizing the 2020 budget for presentation during the annual meeting. Lastly, the board will finalize the agenda ahead of the "packet" that gets mailed to the owners in mid-October.
New Director Joins the Board
Please join me in thanking Brian Everett in accepting the appointment to the Board of Directors. With Doug Matthews resigning the board is responsible for appointing a replacement until the next election. During our last meeting we unanimously selected Brian to be his successor. That means at this years annual meeting we will have three seats up for vote: Brian Everett's interim position, Russel Hackworth's position, and Jocelyn Depatie's position.
The board has also began the nomination process for these three positions. Rusty Ulrich has agreed to head up the process for finding potential members (homeowners) to fill the positions. If you're interested in either helping Rusty with the nomination committee or running for one of the positions please reach out to CAM using the Contact form.
Parking Lot Resurface
By now you've likely noticed the parking lot at the park has been resurfaced. This is part of the ongoing upkeep of Grand Oaks using our reserve funds. Be on the looking for more information on both the state of our reserves and our reserve funding/spending plan later this year.
Please accept this as notice that the Grand Oaks Owners Association Board of Directors will meet on Thursday, July 25th, at 7:00 p.m.
Austin Community College – Stassney Campus, Room 1202
1820 W. Stassney Lane, Austin, TX 78745.
Topics may include general association business, including unfinished business and new business, covenant enforcement, budgeting, and assessment collection. Executive session matters may include personnel matters, litigation, contract negotiations, enforcement actions, confidential attorney communications, matters involving the invasion of owners’ privacy, or matters involving parties who have requested confidentiality and the Board has agreed to honor that request.
From Monday, July 15 – Tuesday, July 16 the playground parking lot will be closed for repaving. A sign will be posted on July 10 as a reminder. During this time no cars will be allowed to park at the playground. The chunk of missing pavement will be fixed, the car stops will be replaced, and the whole lot will be repaved.
We're having a truck load of playground mulch delivered and need your help spreading it. It will be delivered the day before and ready to go Saturday morning. We need wheelbarrows, shovels, and people! If you can't make it but can lend some tools get in touch with Bryan Phillips.
Board of Directors
Doug Matthews has moved out of Grand Oaks and stepped down as president of the HOA. Doug was an asset to the Board and to Grand Oaks. We appreciate his service and wish he and his family well as they join a new community in Michigan. At our next Board meeting on July 25 we will be electing a new president. In the meantime, our VP Morgan Witthoft will serve as the acting president. This also means that there is an open position on the board. If you are interested or know someone who is please have them reach out to firstname.lastname@example.org. You can also reach out to Bryan Phillips via the Facebook group or Nextdoor.com.
As previously reported there are pavers being installed on the trail. A total of about 200 linear feet (6 feet wide) has been installed. This project was undertaken using the full trail budget for 2019 along with some funds from the reserves. Additionally, it was pointed out that a weed (Queen Annes Lace) are encroaching on portions of the trail. We are contacting the landscaping company for options to help. Queen Annes Lace is not toxic to dogs, but can be an irritant.
A few weeks back the grills at the park were replaced. The old ones were rusted through on the bottom. We hope the new grills see as much friendship, community building, and fun as the old ones.
Thanks to our association management company, CAM, we were able to actually work with the bank to increase our interest rate on our savings account at BB&T to 1.73%. Now is a good time to remind you that if you love finances there is an opening on the Board of Directors.
We will have more information to follow soon, but a reserve study was done and the report is finalized. We mentioned the reserves in relation to the trail maintenance, but as a quick primer, the reserves are a special set aside of our financials to do large maintenance items such as retaining walls, private road maintenance, etc.
Parking Lot at Playground
The board approved maintenance on the parking lot. The maintenance will include replacing the concrete car stops, repairing the approximately 500 sq. ft. of damaged surface, and seal coating. The work is yet to be scheduled, but we will let everyone know when it will occur. The company that will be doing the maintenance is Integrating Paving & Coatings. They estimate that the lot will be unavailable for a day.
Dirt Bikes on the Trail/Easement
A homeowner requested that we discuss a recent issue with a dirt bike rider on the trail and in the easement. We are looking into options for signage that are both affordable and non-obtrusive on the aesthetics of the trail. Unless the rider is a homeowner and we can prove such, the HOA has no standing to enforce anything. As such, there are really only two courses of actions should you see someone on the trail. Assuming you feel comfortable you can approach the person and let them know it’s not allowed. It’s possible they were unaware and will stop. You can also call 311 for the non-emergency police line to report them.
Today (May 15, 2019) started a two-day project to improve three key areas of the trail. We are having LoneStar Ranchscapes install TRUGRID pervious pavers to help with erosion.
The pavers will be installed at the ramp leading from the sidewalk to the playground, just east of the concrete by the pond, and finally on the steep portion of the trail that runs parallel with Manchaca Road. See the map below for the markers the correspond to the locations.
The pavers are meant to help with erosion and make those areas more accessible. The ramp has become eroded to the point of a drop-off, the area near the pond has become so muddy it's not passable after a rain, and the steepest portion of our trail has been plagued by ruts and runoff.
Anyone who has attended a Board meeting recently knows that we would love to invest more money into the trail to create long-term sustainable solutions for erosion, but our reserves and operating budget simply do not allow it at this time. These were defined as the most critical areas that could fit within the budget available to us for this year.
Our hope that this project creates forward momentum that we can build upon. Any and all feedback is welcome. You can either attend a meeting or contact us via the Contact page.
Hello Grand Oaks Owners Association Member,
Please accept this as notice that the Grand Oaks Owners Association Board of Directors will meet on Thursday, May 16th, at 7:00 p.m., at Austin Community College – Stassney Campus, Room 1303, located at 1820 W. Stassney Lane, Austin, TX 78745. Topics may include general association business, including unfinished business and new business, covenant enforcement, budgeting, and assessment collection. Executive session matters may include personnel matters, litigation, contract negotiations, enforcement actions, confidential attorney communications, matters involving the invasion of owners’ privacy, or matters involving parties who have requested confidentiality and the Board has agreed to honor that request. Thank you.
On behalf of the Board of Directors
The next HOA Board meeting of 2019 will be held Thursday, March 14.
Date: Thursday, March 14, 2019
Time: 7:00 P.M to 9:00 P.M.
Where: ACC Campus, 1820 West Stassney, Room 1303
Please accept this as notice that the Grand Oaks Owners Association Board of Directors will meet on Thursday, March 14, 2019, at 7:00 p.m., at Austin Community College – Stassney Campus, Room 1303, located at 1820 W. Stassney Lane, Austin, TX 78745. Topics may include general association business, including unfinished business and new business, covenant enforcement, budgeting, and assessment collection. Executive session matters may include personnel matters, litigation, contract negotiations, enforcement actions, confidential attorney communications, matters involving the invasion of owners’ privacy, or matters involving parties who have requested confidentiality and the Board has agreed to honor that request. Thank you.
Our first Board meeting of 2019 is in the books and it was a productive one. In addition to four board members we had one neighbor in attendance.
Just a heads-up – our landscaper, Greater Texas Landscapes (GTL), has been purchased by BrightView. We could start to see the BrightView marketed vehicles as early as this Wednesday. In regards to landscaping, we've recently had a report from a neighbor that GTL was mowing into their property. GTL quickly dispatched a supervisor and rectified the problem. If anyone has any issues please contact CAM and we'll do everything we can to address the issue quickly and appropriately.
Based on a recent reserves study we've identified multiple areas that are sorely needing attention. The reserves funds are required for the HOA and are limited in what they can be used. Our management company will begin getting bids for repairs to the secondary drives, repairs to the parking lot at the playground, repairs to cracks in the basketball court, and replacements to the rusting grills.
We've also asked CAM to investigate a move to a higher yield savings account so our existing Reserves can make us an impactful amount of money.
The trail is clearly an area that needs some work and we are focusing on a few of the problematic areas that affect safety. One of our board members is investigating irrigation control devices and expects to make a proposal at our March meeting.
Architecture Committee (AC)
We discussed the AC process and how we as a board need to do a better job of making sure that any rules and guidelines the AC use in making their decisions are better communicated to owners. We'll be discussing this in more detail during our next meeting.
News updates from the HOA Board.