December 3, 2018

Greetings River Piners. By now you have received the December mailing from McShane Management, which includes the notice that the Association expenses (and your dues) will increase by 3.5% when we start the new year. This is higher than we have been accustomed to for the last decade, and deserves some explanation. One unusual line item on this year’s budget estimate is $6650 for additional salt. This is a provisional purchase based on the recommendation of our snow removal contractor, due to expected difficulty in obtaining salt this winter. The expense is provisional in that we won’t be paying for what we don’t use, but for the purposes of planning we must admit that we may have to use (and spend) all of it. Furthermore, the budget was put together and approved by the Board before a decision was made on the contract for next year’s lawn maintenance. So the draft budget had to accommodate the highest of the lawn maintenance bids that were being considered. Without these two special considerations the budget for operating expenses would have showed roughly a 1% increase. Much of the rest of the overall increase is due to an increase in the amount of our transfer to the reserve fund.

Vehicles that are moving too fast are a common concern at River Pines. That prompted us, earlier this fall, to borrow from the City a speed trailer, so that drivers would know how fast they were going. That was only a temporary opportunity, and to make it permanent the Board has approved the purchase of portable, post-mounted, speed indicator. With only one, we’ll probably move it around among a variety of locations within the community.

At its November meeting, the Board made the decision to award the lawn maintenance contract for next year to Greenlawn. This decision to stay with Greenlawn, after the difficulties with lawn care that we experienced during 2018, was made only after soliciting bids from a half dozen other lawn contractors and interviewing the one other contractor who seemed capable and was competitively priced.

In the past few weeks we’ve seen several snowfalls earlier in the season than we are used to, and the unusual weather has affected the work at River Pines. Both the scheduled November gutter cleaning and the lawn service fall cleanup were delayed, and some new tree plantings had to be postponed until next Spring. We also lost the opportunity to do our usual asphalt crack sealing.

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