July 1st, 2022
Hello neighbors and happy Independence Day. I hope this newsletter finds you and your families happy and well. The Board of Directors for Summit Estates at Fischer (SEF) has been very busy. We are still very active in trying to navigate our community in its journey from a developer managed Property Owners Association to a member managed Association. Our predecessors did a lot of good work, and Steve, Nancy, and I are dedicating ourselves to finish this journey. Here are some highlights of our work.
We are beginning work to recruit a new Secretary for the Board and Summit Estates. As you may have seen previously, Aaron Brown asked to step down after circumstances limited his ability to continue with the Board of Directors. Thank you, Aaron, for helping your community.
The Board is seeking candidates to fill the currently vacant Secretary position.
The Secretary’s role is as follows:
1) Attend Regular Board meetings
2) Attend Special meetings (if called)
3) Take Minutes at Quarterly and any Special meetings
4) Attend any Neighborhood functions/gatherings
5) Assist in any general administrative duties like posting Meeting Notices, Agendas etc.
The Board estimates this commitment is approximately 70-80 hours of time per year.
If you are interested in serving on the Board to assist in the preservation and enhancement of the subdivision, please email Michael with SMTX Property Management at firstname.lastname@example.org.
We are seeking volunteers until this position is filled. If you have any questions about the position, please also reach out to Steve, Nancy, Michael, or me through contact options on the Community’s website. If you would like to speak to any of us personally, please let Michael know through the Management Company and he will have one of us get in touch with you.
In March the Board developed an operating budget for 2022. Our initial budget was based upon an expected $26,665 in revenue for 2022 from dues and a few small income items. This does not include any budget income from road fees from approvals for home construction. We are considering establishing a separate Capital Improvement Budget based upon these fees. This would ensure that these fees are used solely for our community’s infrastructure, as required by our Declarations.
In March, the Board budgeted $19,734.40 for operations. Any capitol improvements were included in this budget. As you can see, we have a very challenging budget. Since we adopted this budget, we have already realized some expenses we didn’t plan for. Our property Taxes are going up by $500.
We also had to purchase new mailbox clusters for new residents moving into our community. These new mailboxes cost $8,176.66. We now have an expense for over $170 for each new home in SEF so that they can receive their mail.
We have completed a road inventory for SEF. Some of our roads are in rough shape. Others are beginning to show signs of deterioration. We project that we will need to spend $400,000 for road repairs and maintenance in the next five to ten years.
The Board will hold a budget workshop in July. An agenda for this will be posted on our website, as well as public locations within SEF.
The board and volunteers have been active improving our community. As noted previously we bought new mailbox clusters for our community. Please join me in thanking volunteers Don Farner, Steve Ferrell, Loy Moe, and Carl Ochs for installing these. You did a great job.
We are in the process to building bulletin boards for SEF. Volunteers are building these. A member has donated materials, and has built frames for these bulletin boards. Our plans are to install one near the entrance, and another in the park. These will be used to post information for the community, as well as being available for members to post notes to our community for events, lost pets or property, or other information of interest to our community.
You may have seen information on Facebook that we have hired a new mowing contractor for our roads and facilities. Our previous contractor, Steve and Katherine Dunk closed their business this spring. We hired Lawn Star, owned, and managed by Craig Clark who lives in SEF. His crews completed their first mowing this past week. I’ve seen some concerns expressed on Facebook. Rest assured, Criag is very committed to doing a quality job for us. He and I will meet next week to look at things and work out any needed changes.
We continue to see water discharges into bar ditches on SEF roads from the CLWS wells and treatment plant just inside our gate. These discharges are causing some erosion and other damage to our ditches. Don Farner, SEF’s maintenance committee chair, has been meeting with representatives from CLWS to develop a strategy to manage their discharges differently, and repair damage to SEF property.
Since the current Board took office, one of the primary concerns we have focused upon is public safety. Central Texas is in the throughs of a severe drought. In early June. President Willy Conrad and Vice President Steve Ferrell met with Comal County Precinct Four Commissioner Jen Crownover to discuss concerns about wildfire preparedness and Emergency evacuation Planning.
We asked the Commissioner to help SEF prepare its Community Wildfire Protection Plan (CWPP) so that we might become a certified Firewise Community.
With the Commissioner’s assistance and support we are initiating a process with the help of Canyon Lake Fire/EMS to prepare a CWPP specific to our community. We will use the nationally recognized CWPP process to seek input from our community about concerns about wildfires here. We plan to use our new Neighborhood/Block Captains Committee to do this. Then we will work with fire professionals from Canyon Lake Fire/EMS to identify and define wildfire risks and mitigation strategies for our homes.
Then with support from Canyon Lake Fire/EMS we will conduct community outreach with our Block Captains to share information and coordinate actions with our members.
Your Board has also been working to improve how we can communicate more effectively with our members. We have been working with our property manager, Michael Nolen, to update and improve our website. We have updated the website to make it easier to navigate. We have also taken actions to improve the process to facilitate online payments. Today, you can also go to our website and find agendas and minutes from SEF Board of Directors meetings.
It’s no surprise to any of us that SEF is growing rapidly. Our Architectural Review Authority reports to us that as of June 21 SEF is approximately fifty-six percent built out. We currently have twenty two homes under construction. There are also thirteen lots and three new homes for sale.
As we move forward, the Board is recognizing challenges we face. It’s becoming clear that our budget will continue to be more challenging. Expenses are growing. The cost for everything we do is climbing because of inflation. We have a tremendous challenge ahead as we act to ensure our roads are stable and meet the needs of our community.
Yet, our revenues are limited. We are seeking outside resources such as grants. We are looking for reasonable ways to limit our expenses. You can also expect the Board to reach out to our members in the near future to have a dialog about your ideas on how we can better meet the financial needs of our community.
Thank you for the opportunity to serve you, our members. As we move forward, we will continue to try and keep you informed about what we are doing, and seek your input on critical issues for SEF. Our Board meetings are always open to our members. We typically post our agendas a week in advance for regular meetings and three days before called meetings.
Willy Conrad, President