Hillcrest Park Condominiums
July 15, 2015
Summer is finally here and everyone is enjoying the warmth but not the humidity.
There have been several projects completed in the complex this summer. This newsletter is to let you know what has been accomplished to keep the complex looking good.
Notices have been sent to all the dog owners to pick up after their pets when walking the complex but residents have still been reporting that remains are not picked up. If you are not a dog owner yourself but have a visitor who does have a dog, remind them to pick up after their pet if they walk them outside. If you are a dog owner, please be respectful and pick up remains. It’s no fun stepping in it.
Twenty of the boxwood bushes that were severely damaged this past winter have been replaced. The new bushes were placed between the steps of the units. Other boxwoods, although they are showing bare branches, will be addressed next year. According to Tarnow Nursery, it sometimes takes a year or two for the bushes to come back. Several years ago we had many of the Rose of Sharon not produce leaves or flowers and this year many of them are healthy and showing buds.
The bushes in front of the building as well as the bushes along the decks and patios will be trimmed this fall.
Tree removal has been completed in front of Building 10 (Units 37 thru 40). All of the branches overhanging our parking lot have been removed and the corner on the right as you pull into the complex has been cleaned up. The branches overhanging the fence have been trimmed back to prevent damage to the fence in upcoming storms.
The Trustees have attended several Conservation Committee Meetings and have finally been issued a General Maintenance Order of Conditions. Before receiving this letter by certified mail we have only been able to mow the lawns. It was requested that no other work be done in the complex until the letter was received. Now with receipt of the letter, Aquatic Control has been contacted to treat the pond. There is a lot of growth brought out with the humidity. Champion Lawn Care can resume fertilizing the lawns. The five foot no-mow zone has grown higher than we like but again, we had to wait for the letter from the Conservation Commission. The no-mow zone exists so we can fertilize the lawns. The no-mow zone prevents chemicals going into the pond. It will be trimmed back in within the next week or two.
The Trustees will again attend meetings with the Conservation Commission to discuss repairs to the dam. We need their approval and possibly an Order of Conditions to make these repairs. The inspection of the dam was completed in May 2015. Tighe & Bond issued its report and has several areas they are requesting be repaired before the next inspection in 2017.
Power washing of the complex was completed in June and the gutters will be cleaned in the fall.
The window wells in the complex are being cleaned out. Some were filled with trash which could been seen from several of the laundry rooms. Stone has been placed in the bottom of the window wells to help with drainage.
There has been a bear sighting in South Hadley off North Main Street. Please be mindful of what you leave on your deck that may attract bears and please don’t put your trash out the night before pick up.
One sidewalk has been replaced but because of unexpected expenses we will not be replacing any more sidewalks this year.
Our first unexpected expense was the removal of the large dead tree on the center lawn. A root grew around the base of the tree over the winter and strangled it. The tree was removed and two Cleveland Pears have been planted, one on each of the large lawns. The Cleveland Pears are the same trees planted in front of the townhouses and produce a white flower.
A more costly unexpected expense will be completed within the next month. The South Hadley Fire Department inspected a unit that was being sold and noticed that although the unit was in compliance with battery operated smoke detectors, the common area basements did not have any smoke detectors. The Fire Department will not allow battery operated smoke detectors in the basements. All basements in the complex will need to have hard-wired smoke detectors. They have requested two detectors between each of the fire doors along with hard-wired smoke detectors in the laundry rooms. The Garden Units do have hard-wired smoke detectors in the stairwells. The basement common areas in the gardens units also need to have hard-wired detectors that tie into the garden stairwells which do have hard-wired detectors. This will bring us up to code.
Hopefully the unexpected expenses are over for the year, although it is only July. The Trustees are still focusing on saving as much as possible for the roof replacements.
The Trustees appreciate your cooperation in following the Rules and Regulations set by the Board. As we continue to maintain the complex we would like to remind you that you can help with the overall look of the complex by keeping your decks and patios clean of debris. Many people walk the complex and unsightly decks are a distraction. Doing a clean up of your deck now will maintain it until winter.
The Trustees are aware that some of the sprinkler zones are not coming on during the night. Again, we have been unable to have them checked as we were waiting on the General Maintenance Order of conditions. Aquatic Control informed us when they turned the sprinklers on that there was a leak in the pipe that draws water from the pond. Chris Campbell, The Water Doctor, has been contacted to replace the pipe. Hydro-Pro can now be contacted to meet with Gail and have them run all 22 zones to ensure that each comes on during the appropriate time.
Have a Great Summer!
The Board of Trustees