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From The Board
Spring showers bring May flowers! We hope everyone is starting to enjoy the warm weather.
This letter is going to cover quite a few topics, and we hope you find the information useful.
The Association wants to remind residents, we do not engage in conversations regarding repairs, complaints, issues, hot button topics over social media, it is not how we conduct business.
The only way to reach the association and get a response is via email at [email protected].
We spoke about these challenges at the November 2020 resident meeting when we reviewed finances, but wanted to share them again. Thousand Oaks is a large area covering more land than several surrounding municipalities, because of this our expenses are high. Below is a breakdown of budget expenses.
Grounds/Facilities: 36% – Covers all of the mowing, weeding, chemical sprays, fertilization, sprinkler maintenance, lake algae treatment, pool maintenance, and streetlights.
Reserve Funds: 15% – The developers will not always be here to bail the neighborhood out; it is important we have a reserve fund which will help us with major expenses in the future. We have spoken about this topic at meetings, and we encourage anyone who has questions to attend our next meeting currently scheduled in June.
Utilities: 12% – Electricity, gas, water, internet (to run security), etc.
Salaries: 12% – Community service manager, community foreman, and pool attendants. Salaries for our attendants have gone up over 31% since 2018 due to Missouri Minimum wage laws.
Project/Repairs: 9% – Project and repairs, prioritizing safety first.
Operational: 8% – Bookkeeping, payroll management, enterprise email and other key day to day organizational needs.
Insurance/Taxes: 5% – Self-explanatory.
Social: 3% – It can’t all be work. This budget is to cover Easter, 4th of July Funfest and fireworks, Dive in Movie night, Smokin’ Oaks, Cookies with Santa, etc.
We share all of these numbers, because weekly the association gets emails asking to improve, fix, and address various issues. Some of these emails are great by offering insight, or asking for help understanding process, or how the resident can help us. Some of the emails are angry and frustrated as to why something may be broken, not taking the time to realize the full picture. While it is important for the organization to know what interests our residents, it is also important to know funding is tight, and repairs/projects must be prioritized. The only way the association will be able to address all of the requests and concerns residents have been making is to raise the annual dues. This idea isn’t shared this lightly, but to illustrate a reality. It takes a lot to run this neighborhood. We ask residents to try and understand the many challenges the association faces daily, while trying to keep a balance budget. If there is a need to address issues quicker, we will have to look into the possibility of raising annual dues
A hot topic as of late is streetlights, and while it seemingly seems an easy fix, nothing is easy. Fixing the streetlights has always been a challenge, which has been magnified in the past year. To be clear the association does not have a person on our payroll who can fix a streetlight the moment it is reported. We are dependent on a 3rd party contractor who isn’t dedicated to Thousand Oaks. Every Monday a report is submitted to our contractor alerting them of a particular outage. They put it on their schedule and come out as soon as they can. Since the beginning of the year, they have been out several times a month almost every month. So, while we understand some are frustrated and angry the lights are out, there is nothing we can do to speed up the process.
Another key point is, our neighborhood is aging, and because of that infrastructure is going to begin to have issues. The lights on Nevada are almost 20 years old, and the way they were installed in 2005 are vastly different than how they would be installed today. Years of utility companies, residents, and contractors have frayed and caused splits in the line. Those splices have been fixed by many companies, some who have done a great job, our current contractor as an example, and those who did a poor job and we fired. We could run brand new lines in conduit to help make permanent repairs, and it would be hundreds of thousands of dollars. A special assessment would be required to make this a reality.
Social media is not the place to report light outages. The association will not engage or have a conversation regarding business over social media. We have a process in order to report outages, residents may report a streetlight outage at thousandoaksmo.com under quick links. This does not guarantee a fix, but does allow us better visibility to which lights are out.
There have been some questions regarding areas which do not have lights. These gaps are located in Parkville city limits and must be handled by the city of Parkville. The Association and Developer are working to get those lights up sooner than later, we recently approved using the same Victorian look as to what we have throughout the neighborhood. We will share more information as soon as we have it.
The waterfall is a topic on a lot of people’s minds. Frankly, it hasn’t worked correctly in over a year. We have had multiple problems with the pumps, most covered under warranty. They have been rebuilt, but if one of the two pumps fails again, we will be moving to a new pump/system in order to ensure our best feature is working correctly. This would funding would come out of any existing project budget.
Grate coverings: Many residents may not know the waterfall has a fairly deep pit where the pumps sit. This area in the past had a grate system to keep debris and rocks from falling onto the pumps. We are replacing that grate the week of April 26th. Our hope is to have the waterfall up and running by the first week of May(estimate). We will then make any water flow adjustments to the feature through the course of the month. The feature will run while we make these adjustments, and most likely, those adjustments will not be noticeable
Food Truck Fridays
The Association is excited to bring Food Truck Fridays to the 63rd Street Gazebo. We wanted to use an under-utilized area of the neighborhood, host an event with no cost, and support local business owners. We have the ability to close the road at the lake, and allow for families to enjoy the lake, play games, enjoy great food, and overall spending time with your neighbors for increased community connections. Please try to come out as often as possible and support local businesses who are bringing great food to our neighborhood.
Garbage – We would like to remind everyone, garbage cans and recycle bins must remain out of sight until 4 a.m of the day of pick-up. As of late there has been an influx of residents storing their containers in front of their garage or on the side of their homes. We ask everyone to help us and move your cans into your garage or around the back of your house until the day of pick up. Article VII Section 16 Garbage and Refuse: No Lot shall be used or maintained as a dumping ground for rubbish, trash, garbage, or other waste. No rubbish, trash, garbage or other waste shall be kept on any Lot, except that on the morning of scheduled pick-up in the waste container provided by the Association, on after 4 a.m. of the day of pick-up
Off-street Parking – Warmer weather is upon us we would like to remind residents regarding, off-street overnight parking, boats, recreational vehicles, trailers, etc.
Article VII Section 17 Parking of Motor Vehicles, Boats and Trailers: No trucks or commercial vehicles, boats, or other similar water-borne vehicles, house trailers, boat trailers, trailers of every other description, campers or camping units shall be permitted to be customarily or habitually parked, kept, or stored on any Lot or on the streets or alleys around any of the buildings within the Properties unless they are parked or stored in an enclosed garage or in such other enclosure approved by the Architectural Control Committee, except only during periods of approved construction of the Lot. No automotive repairs shall occur on any of the Lots herby restricted except when performed inside of the garage. This prohibition of parking shall not apply to temporary parking of trucks commercial vehicles, such as for pick-up, delivery, and other commercial services. No automobile may be parked overnight or stored upon any street adjoining any Lot.
While checking trails, we are seeing that the East trail is becoming a hotspot for graffiti. This will not be tolerated. We are working on getting trail cams to monitor our trails. We will be turning all footage over to the Platte County Sheriff department. The Association takes this vandalism seriously, and will prosecute to the fullest extent of the law.
Our Ask: Parents, please talk to your children/teenagers about this. We do not want to have to turn in one of our community members, but these trials are a huge asset to our community, and are used frequently. We must keep them beautiful.
We will be asking for volunteers to help us clean the trail to reduce cost/impact to the community, please look to social media/emails for details.