Island Woods Property Manager’s report for July 2017
Hello all, this is Joe Longpre and this is my first monthly report wearing my new hat as Property Manager of Island Woods. First of all, I just want to say what a privilege and honor it has been to be the head landscaper and irrigation guy here for the last almost 11 years! I have enjoyed getting know many of you as I have worked hard to make Island Woods a better place, and I look forward to doing the more of the same only with new responsibilities. I also want to say thank you to Dave Munroe, the previous property manager. He has been my “boss” and my friend for the last almost 12 years, and he will be missed. He has graciously offered to help me through all the transitions over the next couple weeks and months, which I greatly appreciate! Thank you also to Debi, the board president, who has taken a lot of phone calls for me to help ease my transition. I have only been on the job now for two and a half weeks, but we have covered many issues during that time.
Since before I took over Debi and I have been working hard to reorganize the office, including setting up a more organized and secure way of storing supplies, equipment, and files. This has also included setting up a desk area for me to have as my home base during working hours (usually 8:00-4:00 M-F, +some Saturdays), and finalizing many parts of the new website (islandwoodseagle.com). I should also note that the board decided to rekey all the club house doors. Over the last 12+ years many different people have received keys to the different doors in the club house and not all of those have been accounted for. Because of our desire to keep all homeowners records safe and secure, we decided to rekey and give keys to only current board members, the property manager, the head landscaper (Jose), and a pool room key to the Pool maintenance company.
Multiple tree issues have come up over the last couple weeks and months. These have included several dead and half dead trees, and several trees which are damaging homeowner’s properties. Some are brand new issues, and others have been ongoing which the board wants to resolve. An arborist from Lawn Co. came out and met with Debi and myself. He went and examined all the problem trees and gave his recommendations:
- A dead honey locust behind the United Water Park on Island Woods Dr., behind 325 E. Woodlander Ct. needs to be removed.
- A large half dead (dying) willow tree in the North-West corner of pond 6 was examined. This is behind 1615 S. River Grove and 371/349 Trailside. This tree has been under dispute for many years now, but finally both parties agree it would be best to remove it. The arborist said that not only is this tree sickly and dying, but it is also a hazard tree which has a high likely hood of failure in certain weather conditions.
- At the end of the “deer trail” next to the South fork of the Boise River, a large cottonwood fell while the water was high but was only partially removed because of the high water. Removal of the remaining portion of the tree is needed because it is still laying across a piece of common area. Now that the water level as dropped, workers can finally get in there and remove the rest of the tree.
- 3 large cotton woods on the back side of pond 4 behind 1309 S. Willow Wood Way have caused root damage and are continuing to cause damage to the homeowner’s property. It was suggested to dig out the roots, but the Lawn Co arborist said that this would be a temporary solution which could undermine the trees making them unstable. This would create a dangerous situation and/or a situation where a tree falling in the pond would be much more expensive to remove. The best option is to remove the cottonwoods (which are near the end of their life expectancy) and grind the roots in the Homeowner’s yard.
- Near the pond 10 bridge (East side of bridge) there is a half dead Deadorah tree. This is another tree which was damaged by the extreme winter we had (we lost several this winter). The Lawn Co arborist said it is not coming back and recommended removal.
- In the Lakemoor park (between Lakemoor and River Quarry) there is one more dying Deadorah which is not coming back and the arborist once again recommended removal.
- By the pond 1 bridge there is a half dead cotton wood that was previously topped because of die-off. It gets worse every year and is right near the Island Woods dr. entrance. The arborist said it is inevitable that it will need to come out, and that it is not coming back.
- There is a large half dead cotton wood on the path by the creek behind the Middle Berm. The arborist said it is half dead and dying and needs to be removed eventually.
We have had several mailboxes hit over the last couple months. Well, it was actually the same mailbox that was hit twice! Thankfully the last time it was only slightly bent, which was an easy fix (no charge!). I should also add that it is important for all homeowners to watch out for any damage which may occur to mailboxes. If it is a hit and run than the HOA is stuck paying for the entire replacement bill. If the stand and mailboxes are damaged this can be very expensive. If you witness a stand being hit, try and get a license number if possible, and it’s even better if you can snap a picture.
Pool (New Hours: 7:00 AM-9:00 PM, with a 9:00-10:00 PM quiet adult time)
The pool maintenance company has remained the same and is continuing to do an excellent job of keeping the pool in top shape. We replaced the heater early this spring, which has eliminated many of the maintenance headaches associated with the pool. A new issue that has come up has to do with the wooden deck by the pond. We have had several boards completely break from people walking on them this year. Thankfully no one was hurt and the boards were immediately replaced. That being said, it is quite apparent that the deck needs to be completely replaced. I have seen signs of significant rot in both the floor boards and the support joists. I am monitoring the situation weekly to make sure we don’t have another board break under someone’s weight. Another issue which has come up and gotten out of hand is the use of large inflatables in the pool. This is an issue which is strictly forbidden in the CC and R’s, but has loosely been enforced of late. Because of the loose enforcement and the many new homeowners/renters we have here (homeowners unaware of the rules), the use of large inflatables had become so prevalent that homeowners were turning away because the pool appeared to be so full. Not only does this crowd our small pool, but it also can create a safety hazard. As soon as I came on as property manager we began to enforce this policy and we put up a sign reminding homeowners of the no large inflatable policy. Since than we have had few violators of this policy. The last issue which we have been dealing with is an ongoing issue. This is the issue of broken chairs on the pool deck. Many of our chairs are well over 12 years old and are thus prone to breaking. Jose and I monitor the chairs and repair them as they break, but when the fabric tears it is time to throw the chair out. A homeowner recently came forward and admitted to his son standing on and tearing the fabric on a lounge chair. This gracious confession of wrongdoing is appreciated and rare. We will be addressing chair replacements at the end of this season, but in the meantime please keep your eyes open for people who may damage chairs, intentionally or unintentionally.
Besides the many tree issues we have had, and the usual sprinkler repairs and mainline repairs (and dry spots), the biggest issue Jose and I have run into this year has been wire problems. So far this year we have lost power to 8 different valves in the subdivision! I have been working on these (off and on), but have thus far been unsuccessful at fixing them. I still have a couple more tricks to try, but with all the changes going on have not had time to try yet. I am confident we will be able to resolve most of these by the end of the season. Many wire problems are simply corrosion on wire connectors in underground boxes. To fix them is just a matter of finding where the problem is and replacing the old connectors. On another note, it is Billbug season. If you see signs of damage from these grass loving critters, let me know immediately, in common areas or homeowner’s yards. If we work together we can all minimize the damage that these pests cause every year. A typical sign of Billbug damage is a brown/yellow spot that is not dry. If you find a wet brown spot a good way to test for the bug is to go to the edge of the brown spot, where it is transitioning from brown to green, and then take a handful of grass and try and pull it up. If the grass pulls up easily by the roots it is probably billbug. You may even see the white larva wiggling in the dirt. If you find what you think is billbug damage, contact me immediately and I will help you determine what is going on. Killing the bugs is relatively easy with products that are sold at almost all lawn and garden stores. I am currently in the process of trying to find a more natural approach to controlling billbug, and I will report back as I discover products/techniques that work.
Misc. CC&R violations
Since I have been on the job we have already had to deal with a number of violations of CC&Rs (cars parked on street, trailers in driveway, boxes in driveway for multiple days, non-resident fisherman, etc…). I have been witness to many different violations over the 11 years I have been here, so most of this isn’t new to me. What’s new is that I am the enforcer now. Mine and the board’s philosophy for dealing with rule violations is one of procedure and consistency. We recognize that we are all neighbors and we want to work hard to keep things friendly, even when confrontations are required. We are developing specific protocols and procedures (some of which have already been in place) for dealing with violations, which include verbal and written warnings. So far in the two and a half weeks that I have been on the job these procedures have worked well and several issues have been resolved without serious confrontation. Confrontations are inevitable though (for me) and people won’t always respond to simple warnings. In this, Homeowners need to recognize that sometimes the procedures we follow take time, and some issues cannot be resolved immediately. We will however try and keep you appraised of how issues are turning out.
Once again thank you all for allowing me the opportunity to serve you in this new role as property manager.
Sincerely, Joe Longpre (208-938-0047 or 208-866-9315)