From the President: Directors’ Planning and Minutes
Let me start this with a misunderstanding that cycles through Wildwood at least once a year. Usually at tax time. Lake Wildwood Association is not responsible for the water or sewer services provided to our community. Our water service is provided by the Nevada Irrigation District (NID) and our sewer service is provided by Nevada County Sanitation District 1: Lake Wildwood, Zone 1.
When you see Lake Wildwood on your property tax bill, it can be confusing, but it is for the Sanitation District, not the Association. So, when your water pressure is down or you are catching that strange odor near a lift station, you know who to call.
However, the Association needs to play a role in communicating with these two very important providers of vital infrastructure and services to Lake Wildwood.
As with our own Association facilities, like buildings, culverts and roads, these two suppliers are also facing aging infrastructure inside and outside our gates. Our recent experience with E.coli has raised our awareness of sewer spills and maintenance on the systems that serve us. “What was the Sanitation District doing down in the creek near the fourth fairway? Why were they there so long?”
To make sure we understand the service providers plans for Wildwood we have identified Board representatives to engage with their board of directors. Luckily, we have two well qualified people willing to be our official liaisons.
Ward Thompson has been appointed as our representative to the NID board. We haven’t had a representative and recent communications regarding NID’s long-term plans for serving Lake Wildwood with water from the Grass Valley facility indicated we had better stay connected and informed. NID seems to be very progressive in their strategic planning and funding.
We have recently opened a dialogue on how we might work together as NID makes these major changes to their water supply routes. We now know their plan for work starting in 2020 will bring water down to and through our newly acquired Minnow Way property.
This has many advantages to Wildwood, including cooperation on an improved evacuation route. We will also have an established water supply to both parcels of our land, increasing the value for potential future use. We will look to Ward for updates on this project as he ramps up his relationship with NID.
Dan Mazorra is an expert in sanitation system and has been the representative to the Sanitation District. Unlike many of us, he has a real job and regular hours. We recently asked Dan to help us with a high-level assessment of the sanitation infrastructure inside Wildwood. He would naturally need to work in cooperation with the Sanitation District but he could provide an independent overview of the potential challenges we might face as we go forward in time. Dan has agreed to fit this project into his busy schedule.
Once again our Wildwood volunteers are an under-appreciated blessing to this community.
The security puzzle pieces continue to come together with the announcement that StoneGate has hired Pete Newell as their local leader for the Wildwood security operations. Some of you may know Pete. He has law enforcement background and more importantly has worked for our security operations in the past. Pete is familiar with the Wildwood environment and culture.
Providing strong local leadership was one of the key conditions of LWA recently signing a contract with StoneGate. StoneGate also agreed to improved reporting methodology and providing GPS capability for the patrol vehicles, so security operations and Administration can better track locations and responses to calls for service.
StoneGate has been our security contract provider for three years, and we have learned a lot about each other’s expectations regarding our relationship. Administration developed a request for proposals from security providers and analyzed the alternative of building our own internal security force again. StoneGate was clearly the most economical alternative. With an improved contract and local leadership, we believe we can continue to provide economical and effective security to the membership.
We have updated our security rules except for access and that critical piece been held up for some changes in language required to facilitate enforcement. That last piece of the rules will be coming forward very soon.
The final piece of the puzzle will be acquiring a modern security system that will provide us with more accurate tracking of gate entry, calls for service and most importantly online capabilities for members to easily manage access for their guests and vendors.
A team has written a request for information from the leading security software providers and we will be developing a plan for purchase and implementation. This new system would replace the home-grown system that has served us for decades.
The Board has recently received correspondence regarding the status of shared private driveways. The Lake Wildwood development evolved over 50 years and we are living with decisions that were made during this period. One of those situations was the use of shared private driveways to get around slope issues, reduce cost and other reasons that must have seemed reasonable at that time.
These private driveways have taken on names over the years and showed up on street signs called loops, drives, and courts. In the last few years, questions have been raised regarding the condition of some of these shared private driveways and the impact on the overall Association image. Compliance with the County fire safety ordinance regarding maintenance along roadways, including private driveways, has also raised our awareness.
Lists identifying these shared private driveways were developed from our Administration records and reviewed to scope the situation. The Board had a long discussion in an open meeting in the fall on this issue, and one of the results was that we asked our Public Works Department to clearly label the shared private driveways so that there was no misunderstanding regarding where the Association maintenance responsibility ended.
We also agreed that the Association should coordinate with the members living along those shared private driveways so they could leverage the Association’s yearly road work and use the same contractor, thus avoiding the set-up fees and maybe achieve better pricing.
Public Works also said they would provide a specification that the homeowners could use when dealing with the contractor. The Board’s goal was to make sure that there was a clear understanding with the members along these shared private driveways as to maintenance responsibility.Administration recently developed a process to notify home buyers if our records show that the property was utilizing a shared private driveway. That process must rely on the list of properties noted earlier. Questions and inquiries have prompted the Board to ask Administration to take a very close look at the list and validate the accuracy.
Some of this will involve digging back into records and documents in historical paper files. This deeper analysis may take some time, and we understand there may also have been a legal review many years ago that can add validity.
The Board is consistent in its commitment to accurately identifying these shared private driveways and creating a process so that current and future owners are aware of the situation.
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