For the benefit of the newer members, this overview will provide information.

About five years ago, the Board recognized that our community was getting older and we needed a landscape plan. We had several meetings with our then landscaper. Our contract called for maintenance and replacement. However, the vendor did not honor their contract and we had no alternative but to fire them and get a new contractor.

We hired High Tech. However, we had to start over and we lost our warranty for replacement by having to hire any new contractor. In addition, we had two severe winters and summer drought. These conditions created more damage, and dead vegetation. Not having our replacement contract, required us to spend more money on removal. When we set our landscape plan, we budgeted $20,000 per year for enhancement. This would have been enough money if we had not had these setbacks, and the addition $30,000 we had to spend for drainage. Monies in the amount of $10,000 were spent to upgrade our sprinklers.

Please be reminded that all of this was done without assessment.

We are continuing to move forward with the improvements according to our plan. Removal of dead vegetation and the replacement with less maintenance free vegetation, starting with the cul de sacs, islands, all the fronts, then the courtyards, and finally work in the rears of the units. This is a continual work in progress.

Although we lost our warranty, High Tech has been more than fair with their prices for additional work, and especially the removal of trees. The prior company was charging us $1200 to 1500 to take down one tree without the stump or removal. Therefore, we have been able to accomplish a lot more.

The Board also voted to allow residents to do their own landscaping enhancements with approval, within their limited common elements. We realized, with the setbacks, that our plan was not going to be accomplished as quickly as we had originally intended. Yes, we couls assess the residents to do a more elaborate landscape plan, however, the money will need to be spent on the entire 23 acres. The Board felt that our landscape plan was better for all concerned.

High Tech has been working together very successfully to stay within budget and to accomplish our goals. During spring and late summer walk through inspections, it is seen what can be done next. Any suggestions to help with landscaping and the continuance of the plan is encouraged. It is hoped that this history helps with your the understanding of the goals and benefits to all of our community.

 

Carol Guttschall,

President

Four Oaks Neighborhood Association