Annual Budget Meeting Dec 2021

Meeting Start: 6:30pm

Board Members in Attendance:  David Bergeron, JJ Gentry, Karen Sipos, Jan Talkish, John Wallace, and David Peterson of CAMS

Attendees:  Several residents and O’Neil Gilliam, landscape contractor

Board President David Bergeron opened the meeting by reminding the attendees that this meeting was only to present the approved 2022 budget. Those wishing to voice concerns or ideas are welcome to attend the regular monthly meeting on the last Monday of each month.

David had some prepared remarks:

What has the HOA done for you this year?

First let’s remember why we have an HOA in the first place. The main purpose of the HOA is to maintain property values. We do this by keeping the neighborhood attractive, and making this a pleasant place to live. Keeping attractive means enforcing rules as well as marinating the landscaping. Not everybody likes rules, but they benefit everyone.

So here’s what we’ve done this year to make this a pleasant place to live.

This is a big area, so Landscaping is our major expense. It’s always a balancing act between all we want to do and the budget we have to work with. Many irrigation repairs were necessary, but we’ve also implemented some strategies to help minimize irrigation damage in the future. Speaking of rules, keeping the common areas safe and pleasant for everyone is why we don’t allow motorized vehicles on the grass. No one wants the ruts and mud left behind. Just recently we did what we could to get the construction vehicles off the grass.

The volunteers on the Trails Committee continued their work to maintain the nature trails, and we thank them for that.

The volunteer Communications Committee continued to maintain the web site, post updates on Facebook, and keep the signs relevant.

The volunteers of the Social Committee sponsored four events this year that brought homeowners together for fun and fellowship. We tried to be as inclusive as possible, but of course not every event can appeal to every age group.

The events were:

Family Nature Day in the Spring with fishing, trail tours, kayaking, planting flowers, and more

Movie night in the Summer at the clubhouse

A Fall Festival, including games for children and adults, food, and Nerf War

The Winter Holiday drop-in at the clubhouse, including crafts, food, and Santa.

If you have ideas for next year, please use the link on the web site to communicate with the Board. Remember: all of these events are coordinated by volunteers. The more involvement we can get, the better the events can be for everyone!

The volunteer Pool Committee gave us a great pool season. Since we recently did some major repairs on the equipment, all that worked very well. We got a deal on two new tables for the pool that were vey popular, so we want to buy some more, but the price has gone up. We’ll see what we can fit in the budget next year. We had good communication with the pool management company and the attendants were as good as can be expected from the labor pool they have to choose from.

The volunteer Board intervened when we learned of a proposed development between White Oak and Chestnut Ridge. We established a rapport with the developer, let them know we’ll be monitoring closely, and intervened with the City to get some concessions in the plan. We’ve continued to monitor the situation but the development appears to be stalled. We’ll stay on top of it and try to keep the neighborhood informed.

The good news about adding more homes to the community is that will raise income from new HOA dues. We’ve been lucky in the past that new development has kept revenue rising, so we’ve only raised dues twice in 20 years to keep up with rising costs. Development has all but stopped now, so there will come a day when dues will have to go up almost every year to keep up with inflation. If the new proposed development does not happen, that day will come sooner rather than later. However, we do not have to raise dues this year.

The Board continued to monitor the budget and managed to continue to contribute to reserves. Now that we have a cushion, we can start on some big projects to continue making this a great place to live.

New lighting outside the clubhouse was supposed to be installed by now, but we think the fixtures are on a ship somewhere off the coast of California. As soon as they get here, that area will be bright and safe again.

While not everyone uses the pool, lots of people what to live in a neighborhood with a nice pool, so that continues to be a priority. The pool needs more storage to comply with DHEC requirements. We’ve been working through some permitting issues with the City, and hope to get that done in 2022.

The tennis courts are an important draw for potential homeowners. They will be repaired and updated in 2022.

These projects will diminish the Reserve fund we’ve worked so hard to build, but that’s what this fund is for. We’re keeping some reserve in case the unexpected happens, and we will continue to build it in the future, so we can continue to make this community a great place to live, and maintain property values for those who have invested here.

What can I do for my community?

Be involved! Meetings are the fourth Monday of each month at 6:30 at the clubhouse. The more we hear from homeowners, the more we can address their needs.

Committees need help. Almost everything that happens here is done by volunteers. You can help maintain trails, clean up the common areas, and put on special events. You can contribute blogs to the web site, and help coordinate events. While time and effort are most valuable, the Social Committee always needs supplies and sponsorships to make the events as culturally rich as possible.

After David’s remarks, David Peterson presented the 2022 budget. He highlighted some minor differences from 2021, and pointed out some major projects that have been approved for 2022.

The budget is available here: 

Meeting adjourned around 7:30pm

Next HOA meeting January 31, 2022, 6:30pm


851 Lost Creek Dr, Columbia, SC 29212