CHP HOA Annual Budget Meeting 12/10/2018
Meeting Start: 6:32pm
Board Members in Attendance: O’Neil Gilliam, Larry Newton, Jeremy Catoe, J.J. Gentry, Jan Talkish
Board Members Absent: 0
Attendees: 34 Residents and David Peterson, CEO of CAMS Services
Purpose: To discuss the overall budget for the community and expectations for the coming year. Copies of the final budget were handed out to all in attendance – additional copies may be acquired from the CAMS Office. The Board will discuss the possibility of placing the budget on the CHP Website or on the new CAMS Resident Portal (information about the portal is being mailed out this week).
Board of Directors Introduction: Members of the Board briefly discussed how long they had lived in CHP and their years of involvement on the HOA Board. It was announced that Larry Newton, longtime Board member, will be retiring as a voting member of the Board later this month, but will still make himself available in an advisory capacity.
JJ Gentry, Board President, reminded those in attendance that the HOA Board is made up of residents who volunteer their time and energy, and expressed that the Board is always looking for new members. If you are interested in joining the HOA Board, please email the existing Board members via the CHP website: www.chpsc.org
Introduction of David Peterson: David is the CEO of CAMS Homeowners Association Management, and is in attendance to explain the budget this evening.
Order of Business: Highlights of changes/repairs/improvements over the past year (2018) will be presented, followed by Board plans and expectations for the coming year (2019).
Following the highlights, David and the Board will go over the budget for 2019, as well as discuss the necessity for an HOA dues increase of $30.00 per year – the first increase in 3 years.
A resident question and answer period will round off the evening.
2018: We saw the reestablishment of a couple of older committees, and the creation of a few new ones. Our most active committees are the Social Committee, the Trails Committee, the Tennis Committee, and the Communications Committee.
2019: Plans are in order to establish a Pool Committee, and Playground Committee, and others as seen fit. The Board would also like to see the reestablishment of Subdivision Representatives – residents who represent their respective section of the neighborhood (example: Lakeshore, The Grove, etc.), and speak on behalf of their neighbors at monthly HOA meetings.
2018: The Social Committee had a great year, hosting four events: Nature Day, the Summer Celebration and BBQ (the committee’s first pay event), Movie Night, and the recent Holiday Drop-In and Brunch.
2019: The Social Committee will be holding their first meeting of 2019 soon, to decide on the events to be held in the upcoming year. Already slated to take place are another Movie Night, the annual Holiday Party, and another pay-per-person food based event.
2018: The new Chestnut Hill Plantation website was created, replacing the old website which had not seen activity in many years. The new website is professionally managed by a CHP resident who owns her own computer/marketing company, and is supported by the members of the Communications Committee, who contribute articles, pictures, etc. The website offers information for current residents, and also serves as a marketing tool for people looking to move into the community. The website is accessible via two web addresses: www.chestnuthillplantation.org or www.chpsc.org
2019: The Communications Committee will be meeting shortly after the New Year to discuss additional content and expansion of the website, and to discuss additional forms of communication within the community.
2018: Here in CHP, we are lucky enough to have a number of hiking trails situated within the 60 acres of conservation easement land that rests between the neighborhood and the Broad River. This year, 2 new trails were established, thanks to the hard work of the volunteers on the Trails Committee: the Riverfront Loop, and the new trail near Hawk’s Nest Court.
2019: A new trail is in the works – details to come at a later date. Also, the Trails Committee is always seeking new volunteers to help with projects.
*****Interested in becoming a Volunteer? A sign-up sheet was made available at the meeting for any residents who wished to volunteer for any of the above positions. Interested residents may also inquire by writing the Board via the website: www.chpsc.orgAlso, when upcoming committee meetings are announced on the unofficial Facebook page, all interested residents are welcome to attend.
***Reminder – all Board and Committee members, as well as Representatives, are volunteers, and receive no monetary compensation.
2018: This past year, O’Neill Gilliam, our Landscaping Chair, was able to negotiate better rates for our lawn care services, and also cut the number of landscaping contractors down from 6 to 5, thus saving the HOA money. Both community dams were updated to reflect the DHEC changes made after the 1000 Year Flood, and a new trail is currently being cleared off of Lost Creek Drive, which will allow residents access to the fishing pond on Grove Hall Lane. Lights at all of the subdivision signs were repaired and updated with LED bulbs. Also, all white, CHP community pole lamps on Lost Creek Drive were updated with LED bulbs, which has also saved an impressive amount of money for the HOA (note: black pole lamps within the neighborhood are operated by SCE&G).
2019: Subdivision signs are slated to be cleaned or repainted. New lights will be installed at the Clubhouse steps, replacing the original lights which seem to be a favorite target for vandals. Once the trail to the Grove Hall Lake is completed, split rail fences will be installed to mark the boundary between public and private property. There will also be new signs posted in that area. Dead grass along the public parkways (thanks to an early frost) will be replaced. Also on the agenda for the coming year: a community garden.
2018: A new contract and payment system was implemented in order to rent the clubhouse. This new plan included the addition of a new lock box to drop off contracts and paperwork, and Jan Talkish (Clubhouse Chair) reports that it has been working very well. Improvements to the interior of the Clubhouse included new, brighter interior lighting, and replacing the well-worn rug.
2019: Jan would like to remind everyone who is thinking about renting the clubhouse in 2019 that all HOA dues must be up to date in order to rent the facilities.
2018: After reports of dissatisfaction from residents regarding relations with our management company, CAMS, a meeting was scheduled to allow residents to speak with David Peterson, the CEO. At the meeting, David announced the creation of a resident Portal on the CAMS website, which would allow residents to pay HOA dues online, as well as access paperwork for home improvements, etc. Further information will arrive in the mail within the week.
2019: CAMS is striving to continue improving relations and assistance to residents.
2018: CHP saw increased police patrols in response to vandalism, especially in the clubhouse areas. The City of Columbia installed a security camera near the clubhouse/Lost Creek Drive entrance, to further identify suspicious vehicles (more have been requested for all entrances). Security cameras have been purchased to be placed at the Clubhouse Complex – currently the internet system will not support their use, so AT&T is looking into the issue.
2019: The City of Columbia is expected to provide additional cameras to assist with community safety. Internet and phone service to the Clubhouse and pool will be improved, and the security cameras will be installed.
2018: The City of Columbia hired a private contractor to re-do a portion of Lost Creek Drive from the Clubhouse entrance to Hollingshed Road, as the original road surface was not constructed correctly. The HOA Board continues to be in touch with the city when necessary to make fixes to the graded surfaces when they are affected by heavy rains. It is expected that – weather permitting – the project will be completed before the end of the year.
2019: In order to maintain the beauty and high standards of CHP, CAMS will start implementing monthly drive-by inspections of properties in the community. These drive-bys will be done by CAMS representatives in a marked vehicle, and if necessary, photographs will be taken from the car (reps will not walk on resident properties). Residents found to be in violation will be sent a letter of compliance, with an allotted amount of time to fix an issue, or face fines. Residents who disagree with a violation will be able to discuss the issue with CAMS reps.
Other improvements to come/being discussed:
– Pool resurfacing and expansion of the pool deck. This is a must do project in order for the pool to meet DHEC requirements for opening in the Spring.
– A new storage shed to hold pool furniture and supplies over the cold months – this will protect furniture from the elements and prevent having to purchase new pieces.
– New pool furniture to replace those that are damaged.
– Plumbing improvements to the pool complex bathrooms.
– A second locking gate within the pool complex – this would allow the pool deck to be locked in the off season, but still allow residents using the tennis courts, playground, etc. access to the bathrooms by using their key fob.
– A designated area (possibly at the Clubhouse Complex) for GUEST car/RV/trailer/over-sized vehicle parking.
– Patching and repainting of the Clubhouse Complex parking lot.
– A fish study of the Lost Creek Drive Lake – the lake is overloaded with crappies (a type of fish), and a study is needed to ascertain the health and viability of the lake for other species.
– New message/announcement boards to promote better communication within the community will be placed at each Lost Creek Drive entrance.
– Reinstallation of the clubhouse courtyard lights, in a manner not subject to vandalism.
– Electrical outlets added to all subdivision signs for holiday lights.
– River over-look area to be beautified after the flooding and heavy rains of the 1000 Year Flood. Plans also include having a structural engineer survey the area and give ideas for a new pavilion.
-Additional benches and swings around the various ponds, to increase resident enjoyment.
– A borrowing library
……And additional projects as the budget allows.
We have reached a point in the neighborhood where the likelihood of new homes being built on the remaining land is very slim (the land in question would need very costly preparation for building). As there is no new construction, and now new homes generating additional HOA dues, the community has reached a plateau. The neighborhood is approximately 25 years old, and repairs have been creeping up on us. The HOA Board finds itself having to use more and more reserve money (meant for emergencies) to make routine as well as unexpected fixes. After much discussion, the Board and CAMS agree that this is not a healthy way to manage the neighborhood, and have reached the conclusion that HOA dues must be raised for the first time in 3 years (and only the third time in the history of the neighborhood).
Per the CHP covenants, the Board and may raise dues no higher than 10%……the Board and CAMS have agreed that a 6.3% raise ($30.00) per year will provide the HOA with a healthy reserve for emergencies in the future. The new dues will begin in January of 2019.
There are households that are behind on HOA dues, and over the last 60 days, CAMS has been working with the owners of those homes to find solutions. CAMS is pleased to say that most of these homeowners have reached out to set up payment plans. Homes within the community that are currently in bankruptcy, where dues have not been paid, are a bit trickier to recoup past due monies, but CAMS is working with the various banks to try and reclaim those funds.
David Peterson spent approximately 20 minutes outlining the final budget for the upcoming year. Copies of the budget were handed out to all in attendance. People unable to attend the meeting may request a copy from the CAMS office.
The Board will decide whether or not to post the budget on the website. As the website is PUBLIC, they are reticent about making all the community financial information widely available.
Resident Question and Answer Period:
Various questions about the budget in general were answered, and residents with personal issues were invited to speak to Board members following the end of the meeting.
Meeting End: 8:13pm
Minutes reviewed and authorized by: Larry Newton, HOA Board
Renée Cabaup/Comm. Comm.