February 2011 Community Update
Date Posted: 2/12/2011

2011 Community Update

February 10, 2011

Homeowners; 2010 without a doubt was a difficult year for everyone in the county as well as within the Lakes at Waterstone. While the economy, housing prices, and employment were on everyone’s mind, we here at the LAW had several personal issues to deal with as well.

First and foremost was the extreme cold that resulted in $20,000 taken from our 2010 Budget to replace freeze damaged landscape resulting in a $14,000 shortfall. To cover that expense the Association Board voted to use the MULCH line item of $11,000. The end result, no MULCH was provided in 2010. The next major issue to be dealt with, at the same time, was the constant failure of the irrigation pumps and the irrigation producing system. The severe drought we had to endure during the summer of 2010 made the situation even more difficult. While our irrigation vendor, along with myself and other volunteers, worked to change and replace broken lines, nozzle heads, as well as adjusting spray heads all during the drought, the extreme summer heat and the lack of rain brought on a severe infestation of chinch bugs. While irrigation worked to insure our watering system was efficient, pest control worked to minimize the insect damage as best as possible. We all know the end result was a disastrous year for the entire landscape within the LAW by the end of 2010. We can spend time, effort and energy to find fault, whether it was an act of nature, or human error, or a combination of both. It was decided time, effort and energy would be better spent insuring no matter the cause this would not occur in the future at the LAW.

The dismissal of the Landscape provider in the middle of 2010 made it necessary to hire two new vendors to replace the all in one service provided by the terminated vendor. Having to stay within the boundaries of our budget we only had a certain dollar amount to work with. I cannot stress enough; AN HOA CANNOT FUNCTION WITH DEFICIT SPENDING. The Board did not want to ask for a Special Assessment, plain and simple. It was the dissatisfaction in the area of Fertilization and Pest Control that was the cause of the required change of direction. This deficiency in quality and quantity of performance over the first seven months of 2010 may have contributed to the turf problem. We do not know this for sure, but we do know landscaping issues have been a major disappointment and a sore spot for all residents residing at the LAW including myself. Having said that, the end result of the 2010 landscape problems is all landscape service vendors in 2011 have been asked to provide a service performance guarantee.

The good news, our HOA Board has been very aggressive in the hiring of a top quality landscape company in 2011. LSP Landscape was hired in January and to date has been performing at a high level of performance. In fact, LSP has been providing twice a week trim service at no extra cost to homeowners while its contract only requires one. As for Tru-Green we added $18000 to its budget to provide for spray as well granular monthly service for ornamental as well as sod treatment along with constant monitoring, while Treasure Coast Irrigation continues to provide exceptional service.

Our landscape schedule going into 2011 was to be aggressive, but had to be put on hold because of the cold spell several weeks earlier than one would expect. The first priority in 2011was to attack sod replacement but the sod to be purchased was to come from the Viera DUDA farm which took a severe hit. LSP advised the association to delay until March on sod replacement until a higher quality level of sod can be purchased. The first street scheduled to be addressed on our landscape agenda will be Kalista Court having the most severely damaged sod within the community. As for the shrub and tree replacement we did receive an estimate from LSP but on the professional advice of LSP we were notified to hold off for several weeks with both the sod, shrub and tree replacement. Regarding mulch, we will schedule mulching as soon as possible after the replacements of shrubs have been completed. All of the three major landscape issues will be scheduled to get started the first of March, weather permitting.

We do understand it has been a long wait, but a plan has been put in place since the first of the year. The weather has been the only holdup. I sincerely appreciate your continued patience in this matter and look forward to beginning the schedule in a little over two weeks.

All in all, 2011 has started well with two great parties at the center and more to come during the year. The COMMUNITY CENTER COMMITTEE under Greg Mcfarlane, as well as our SOCIAL COMMITTEE chairlady, Connie Becker, has performed an outstanding job. The community is very pleased with the effort of all volunteers. The excellent SECURITY SAFETY & TECHNOLOGY COMMITTEE under the leadership of homeowner Scott Adair and his team have worked wonders at the front gate. With his effort and endless energy we now have CCTV access within the community. The LANDSCAPE COMMUNITY BEAUTIFICATION COMMITTEE to be led by Mae Revis has been newly organized and busy at work.

We have a great year to look forward to at the LAW in 2011. Our HOA Board has been hard at work to insure the frustrations and disappointments in 2010 have been overcome by successes and achievements. We all should look forward to the continuation of success throughout 2011.

Jack (jp) Pennella  President

Lakes at Waterstone