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When can I put out my Trash? 3-29-15

Trash pick up is on Wednesday’s unless there is a holiday in the week and then pick up is a day later, or Thursday. More detailed information regarding trash handling is in the Association Handbook.

Lately we have had residents putting our their trash over the weekend and then everyone has to put up with the unsightly appearance for 3 or 4 days. Large items like refrigerators, TV’s or freezers are often put out on Saturday when family or friends are available. That means all the neighbors have to look at the trash for several days. 

All trash is not to be put out until after 6:00 PM on the Tuesday before pick up. If you have a bulky heavy item that cannot be handled by yourself, call McShane and make arrangements to get help putting it out on on the appropriate day.

Trash Day makes the sight look terrible nearly all day. First the debris is piled in the driveway or on the lawn and then the empty trash barrels are left until evening to be removed and placed in the garage. Some pople like to push the re-cycle bin to the garage door and leave it there. This is not permitted.

Our objective is to keep the site as attractive as possible at all times. That’s why we tend to be fussy regarding trash, parked cars and debris around the units. Please be considerate by keeping the area around your unit neat and tidy.

Do Not Feed the Animals 3-17-15

With spring coming the animals are getting edgy and foraging for food.  Right now the skunks are out going for grubs in the lawns and causing lots of damage.  Since we treat the lawns grubs are not plentiful so they go for the the  “bird feeders” and anything else they can find. Critter Control tells us that in every case where they are called to get rid of skunks and other critters, they find evidence of owners feeding the animals and literally causing the problem.

So, please do your part and DO NOT FEED THE ANIMALS.

Garage Break-In – 2/21/14

We recently came across a video about intruders breaking into garages and doing so very quickly.  Take a minute and see how easy it is to do this. This is the web site:   Since our garage doors do not have windows it’s not as easy to break-in as shown in this video.  Nevertheless, an accomplished crook will give it a “go”.

Do you know how to turn off your water ???

By: The Architectural Committee  It is surprising how many calls the Management Company and our Site Manager get from Co-owners saying, “I have water running into my basement.”  When told to turn off the city water supply, they say, “I don’t know how to do that.” Knowing where and how to turn off your water supply is very important.  If you have a broken pipe, turning off the water can significantly reduce   the amount of damage that occurs in your unit. Get someone to show you where the valve is located and how to shut off the water.  Contact a relative, a neighbor or someone that can instruct you before you have a problem.  You can call Greg our Maintenance Man or Bob Goodman our Site Manager and they can help you. Be prepared and be informed.

Solicitors/Peddlers Safety Tips

December 7, 2013 The City of Farmington Hills requires solicitors and peddlers to obtain a permit for their activities. The permit requirement is in place to protect citizens and community members from unwanted harassment and to identify peddlers and solicitors. The Farmington Hills Police Department offers the following tips on dealing with door-to-door salespeople.  When someone you don’t know appears at your home, it is best to talk to them through a locked door. ¨  You do not have to allow anyone inside your home. ¨  Ask the salesperson to display their City-issued permit. ¨  Contact the Police Department if you have concerns about the person at your door. The City of Farmington Hills Solicitors and Peddlers Ordinance is intended to prevent undue annoyance, and crimes such as fraud or harassment. Its purpose is to protect the peace, privacy, safety, health and welfare of the residents, businesses and persons in the City, while also respecting the constitutional rights of those involved in these activities. The Ordinance also specifies: ¨  Hours of soliciting are 10:00 a.m. until 8:00 p.m. or sunset (whichever is earlier). ¨  Solicitors shall not enter upon property that is posted “no soliciting” or “no trespassing.” ¨  Solicitors shall not remain on private property after having been asked to leave. For additional information, go to the City website at Click on the Quick Links drop-down menu and select Code of Ordinances

The Snow Season and Parking — 10/18/13

Our By-laws state rules for parking in the confines of River Pines. They state that no vehicles are to be parked overnight on any street. This includes the hours between 12:00 AM and 6:00 AM. NO parking of any kind (guests, visitors, etc.) is permitted on River Pine Court, Red Pine Trail, Silver Ridge Court and Court Ridge Court because of their narrow width. Out of town guests must park within their host’s driveway. Street parking for out of town guests will be limited and only with written permission of the Board of Directors. Vehicles may not be parked in the driveway under cover or protection from the elements. No driveway parking is allowed for any commercial vehicle owned or operated by a Co-owner. These vehicles must be parked IN the garage. Trailers and recreational type vehicles cannot be parked in the driveway. With the winter weather and all the ice and snow, parking is a big problem.  The Snow Plows and Salt Trucks need to get up and down our streets and cars left in the street make it difficult for the trucks to maneuver around them.  Your cooperation will be greatly appreciated.

Gang of feral cats attacks woman in France

(Article from NBC News Internet – 7/27/13 A feral cat looks out from the underbrush in this undated handout photo. One more reason to love dogs: A gang of feral cats in France attacked a woman and her poodle, forcing both victims to seek medical attention for their injuries. The cat-attack occurred Sunday near the city of Belfort in eastern France. The 31-year-old woman was walking her dog near a wooded area when six felines set upon her, knocking her to the ground, The Independent reports. The victim was treated for injuries at a nearby hospital where she was also given an injection for rabies. Her poodle was treated at a nearby veterinary clinic. Josette Galliot, the mother of the victim, said, “The cats jumped on my daughter and managed to knock her over. They bit her on the leg and on her arms. They even pierced an artery.” “My daughter thought it was a living nightmare. She’s still traumatized and is bordering on depression,” Galliot said. Veterinarians and local residents are divided over what may have provoked the feline fury. According to some observers, a recent heat wave in the area may have played a part in the unusual mauling. Veterinary specialist Valerie Dramard believes the cats were protecting their territory from the poodle, and the woman simply got in the way. “Cats are not new zombies of the apocalypse,” Dramard said reassuringly. “They are just very territorial and unfriendly with unknown species.” But cats are known as aggressive hunters, too: Recent research has revealed that cats kill between 1.4 billion and 3.7 billion birds, and between 6.9 billion and 20.7 billion small mammals, each year in the United States. Some wildlife conservationists have even proposed a ban on cats, or at least prohibitions against free-roaming cats. “We have long accepted the fact that you can’t let your dog run free, and yet cat owners seem to take offense at the idea that they would be asked to keep their cats indoors,” StanleyTemple, University of Wisconsin-Madison professor emeritus in conservation, told LiveScience. About 8,000 feral cats are born every day in France, according to The Independent. “We must get rid of this scourge,” Galliot said. “There are too many cats in the neighborhood, many of which are strays. There are also lots of children here. We don’t want it to happen again.” (The entire article was not printed here)

Garage Sale 2013 –

The annual River Pines Garage Sale is underway today, June 14, 2013.  We have 21 residents participating this year and there are visitors and buyers all over the place.  The weather is great and it looks like the project will be a great success. We owe a special thanks to Bob Goodman and Greg Nothnagel for all the work they have done to get this event organized and implemented.  Without their effort we would not have a Garage Sale this year. So, when you see them give Bob and Greg a “Thank You”.

2012 Budget Successful – 1/22/13

We have received the December 2012 Financial Statement from McShane.  We are pleased to report that we were slightly under budget for the year with a .28% surplus.

Damaged Tree – Driver Found

December 24, 2012 – The “Hit and Run” driver, that damaged one of our trees at the 9 Mile Rd and River Pines Dr. entrance, has been located thanks to Bob Eix.  His tenacious follow up not only located the driver but we were able to obtain $1.095 in restitution for damages from his insurance company.  We are considering some landscape boulders on the east side of River Pines Dr. to protect the trees, lamp post and nearby unit.

Tree Damaged on Thanksgiving Day

November 25, 2012 – Sometime around noon on Thanksgiving Day a car entered our complex from 9 mile road, missed the turn after the guard house and proceeded to hit one of our trees on the east side of River Pines Dr.  Apparently, the driver panicked and drove off with considerable damage to the car.  Another Hit and Run. On Thanksgiving evening around 8:00 pm Bob Eix came into the complex and noticed the tree damage.  He called Ed LeFevre and we went to the scene to survey the damage.  We called the Farmington Hills Police and they ca,e and made a police report.  Since the tree protruded into the street Bob took his tools and trimmed back the branches that extended into the road.  We noticed some car parts around the base of the tree.  On Friday morning Bob was able to identify the parts as coming from a Ford Fusion.  On Saturday, while inspecting the parts again he found a vehicle identification number VIN on one of the parts.  Bob took that information to the FH police. Also, on Saturday, November 24th Bob visited Tom Holtzer Ford at Haggerty and 10 Mile road.  While there he noticed a damaged Ford Fusion outside the collision shop entrance.  He checked the VIN of the vehicle and it matched the parts found at the accident scene.  He took pictures of the damaged car and proceed to the FH police department with more evidence.  The police will be doing further investigation on Monday. Thanks to Bob Eix and with help from the police department we should be able to identify the driver and potentially recover the cost of our damage.

Smoke Alarms Save Lives

Is Yours Functioning Correctly?

One of the most critical safety features in your home is the smoke alarm. It protects you, your love ones, and your neighbors from a deadly accident that needs not occur. Is yours working? When was the last time replaced the batteries (should be done once a year)? When was the last time you replace the smoke alarms? If it’s been over 10 years, you need to replace the smoke alarm. The River Pines Condo Association is concerned that co-owners are not taking seriously the safety of their own home and the neighbor’s home. The importance of everyone getting out of the house safely in case of fire is dependent on the early warning a smoke alarm provides. This is not only for your family safety, but the homes around you and the resident’s living in your building. The association has set up a resource you can use to get your smoke alarms checked, batteries replaced, or smoke alarm replaced. There will be a fee for the service, but this is a resource that will come in a make sure everything is operating correctly Feel free to Contact: Tom Vomastek (Licensed Electrician)……..747-771-3489


Critical Management Issues – February 6, 2012

The governing documents for a condominium complex come from the Master Deed, the Bylaws and the Board of Directors Rules and Regulation. These documents are contained on this web site under the “Documents” menu. The process of managing a condominium complex like River Pines begins with establishing an operating budget and funding requirements for the reserves. The operating budget establishes the funds required for everyday expenses to run the complex. The reserves are funds provided for major maintenance or replacement of facilities that deteriorate over time. The Operating budget is developed from our yearly budget history. We have at least 10 years of budget history to work with but we essentially use the present year to establish a new budget for the following year. We look at each line item to see if we had enough funds to cover our expenses and do we expect any change for the following year. We do not just increase or decrease the budget based on some predetermined percentage amount. The Management Agency and our Finance Manager are involved in the budget tracking process. The Management Agency records the actual expenses and our Finance Manager records our projected expenditures. This tracking process gives us a good picture of where we are financially throughout the year. The Reserve Fund is developed by employing professional Reserve Fund Advisors. They come to the site and evaluate the condition of the facilities and the life expectancy of each facility. They also develop a projected cost to replace these facilities when needed. We have 46 line items in our reserve fund plan. The Management Agency records the actual expenditures during the year and our Financial Manger records our projected expenses throughout the year. Our Finance Manager coordinates with our Finance Committee and our Architectural Committee and updates the reserve plan in January of each year utilizing the professional reserve advisors as required or on a periodic basis. We have several committees involved in our management process. The members of the committees are co-owners but we supplement the committees with local contractors and technical support personnel as required. The two most active committees are the Architectural Control Committee and the Grounds and Landscape Committee. Both committees utilize the facility replacement plan projected in the reserve plan and develop an implementation plan. The committees submit their implementation plans to the Board of Directors for review and final approval.