September is a time to reflect on 9/11, a day that resulted in my military deployment in support of our country following the loss of innocent Americans to violent extremism. Please remember 9/11 and the sacrifices made by many for our freedom.
This month’s message is long because there is much to cover after the Annual Meeting. Thank you in advance for reading this message to completion.
First, let me start by expressing my gratitude. Thanks to those homeowners who participated in the Annual Meeting by proxy or in person. We need your participation to make this HOA function. Not so long ago, we were perilously close to yielding the management of the HOA to a management company (which would have cost homeowners about $200 per month in HOA assessments), but we are fortunate for the homeowners who have volunteered to manage the HOA.
Now we need full participation in the voting for the Proposed Consolidated Covenants. PLEASE RETURN YOUR BALLOTS AS SOON AS POSSIBLE. We cannot accept ballots received after 5pm on October 28, 2022. If the Proposed Consolidated Covenants do not pass, we will have spent more than $10,000 on attorneys fees to comply with prevailing Colorado law only to fall short at the end. This is a must, my friends!
Creekside HOA Board of Directors Elected for 2022-2023
The Annual Meeting was held on August 27, 2022 at American Legion Post 32 on Bowen Street in Longmont. We had 34 households attend in person with a total of 53 households represented by proxy or in person. After confirming quorum, the first order of business was to elect Officers and fill two Director positions up for vote this year. Your Creekside HOA Board of Directors for the next year is as follows:
Creekside HOA Board of Directors 2022-2023
|President/Director||Matt Menza (2024)|
|Vice President/Director||Robert Krull (2024)|
|Treasurer/Director||Lynn Haila (2025)|
|Director||Kevin O’Brien (2025)|
The term end year for each Director is listed in parentheses.
Cancellation of the Block Party Explained
My opening remarks at the Annual Meeting addressed the proverbial elephant in the room:
WHY DID THE BOARD CANCEL THE BLOCK PARTY?
Simply, we have been operating in the red for more than 4 years.
In late July, our new Treasurer, Lynn Haila, conducted a financial audit, presented the Board a detailed analysis of HOA finances, and proposed a strategy going forward. Her analysis clearly illustrated the increasing deficit. Therefore, our priority was to explain this to the HOA membership and ensure that HOA members understand that to be good stewards of the HOA, we need to take a pause and ensure that all expenditures further the business functions of the HOA. Spending your HOA annual assessment on a block party was not a responsible decision until we could vote on a budget that addressed the financial shortfall while providing a reasonable level of funding for social activities in the future.
Incidentally, a poll of Annual Meeting attendees revealed that, among the households represented, the overwhelming majority prefer a stand-alone Annual Meeting instead of a combination block party/Annual Meeting.
Annual Assessment Increased for 2023
In light of the astronomical increase in utilities, an aging HOA that will require new backflow valves, tree removal, and new landscaping in common areas, and to adequately fund the Reserve, the 2023 budget was approved with annual assessment set at $250 per household. This number, as explained by Lynn during the Annual Meeting, will ensure we are operating with a balanced budget and adequately funding the Reserve. A Reserve Study is budgeted for 2023 to confirm the amount we need to hold in reserve.
An annual assessment of $250 per year is in line with inflation and comparable to similar neighborhoods in Longmont.
It is important to stress that, in an attempt to reduce costs, the Board has planned a series of projects including working with the City of Longmont to understand how we can reduce water and electricity usage. As an example, we are exploring the feasibility of converting the signage at the entrances to solar lighting to eliminate utility expenses.
HOA Maintenance Issues Requiring Your Attention
Vegetation damages HOA maintained fences
If your property abuts Sunset Drive or Plateau Road, some portion of your fence is maintained by the HOA. Please trim vegetation off and back from the fence to prevent damage. During the big fall cleanup (typically in late September, date to be announced) the HOA-contracted landscaper will trim any tree branches resting on HOA fencing at the homeowner’s expense. Why? Replacing the half mile of fencing maintained by the HOA is a significant expense that can be delayed if we take care to prevent damage to the fence.
Yard health at an all time low
This is the worst year I’ve seen yet for yard and lawn health in the neighborhood. It appears that many gave up on the battle against the weeds. Typically, application of a lawn weed-killing fertilizer two to three times from June through August is enough to keep lawns nice and green. Remember, the HOA cannot prohibit you from removing turf, but if you have turf, you have to take care of it. Homes with lawns that have become an eyesore may be subject to enforcement action.
Trailers continue to clog driveways
The Covenants do not provide for the storage of trailers on driveways. If you have a trailer parked on your driveway and you require flexibility and more time to move the trailer into proper storage, pease notify the HOA so that we can work with you. Otherwise, trailers parked on driveways are subject to enforcement action.
Keep the Holiday Luminaria Tradition Alive
The luminarias set out on Christmas Eve are a cherished Creekside holiday tradition. With a budget of $570 for materials, there is a critical need for volunteers to organize this event. We need to identify a coordinator for this event no later than October 1st – the deadline is necessary to ensure adequate planning and communication. With so many new households, the HOA will send out a postcard to each household notifying them of the date of the event, what to expect (who will place the luminarias? who will clean them up?) and how to participate and/or contribute.
It’s been a busy year for the HOA. From a new Design Review Committee, new Articles and Bylaws, new policies and procedures, and the current vote on the Proposed Consolidated Covenants, we accomplished a lot! Going forward, we will be busy rewriting the Design Guidelines (a document separate from and more detailed than the Covenants), implementing at least one Reserve Fund project with the aim of reducing our recurring utility expenses, and generally tightening the belt to reduce operating costs.
Important Dates and Call for Volunteers
- Ballots for the Proposed Consolidated Covenants must be returned by October 28, 2022.
- Invoices for annual assessment will be mailed in December 2022 with a payment deadline at the end of January 2023.
- Holiday Luminarias will happen this year only if volunteers are willing to organize the event. We need to identify a leader for this event no later than October 1, 2022.
- 2023 block party will take place assuming there are volunteers willing to organize this event. We need to hear from you! Should the block party be held in the Ridgeview Drive cul-de-sac or should we consider Lefthand Creek? Are you willing to organize the party? The Board will provide a modest budget for the block party but needs volunteers to organize this event.
If you would like to volunteer to help, please send us an email. Thank you!