The good news, our landscaping this past season has greatly benefited from well needed rain. Lots of vegetation that we thought was dead or threatened came back to life. The bad news is that we had excessive trimming of both the trees and bushes.

Those residents that came to the meetings, expressed their opinion were very disappointed that our landscaper recommended not to use mulch this past year. So the Board added a line item to our budget for mulch. Everyone can see by this budget that the cost of mulch is $13,000. This is the cost of the mulch and the labor to install. Now, the board is hearing the displeasure of increasing the budget. We can’t have it both ways. If the residents want the services then we need to pay for it. The Board works very diligently to acquire the best prices for the best service.

Again, I will repeat the understanding of our ownership. We must pay for the maintenance and services of 162 units and 23 acres of property. If you want your opinion heard then you must come to meetings and be involved in the decision making. Not just for Four Oaks but also the Master Assoc. Complaining amongst yourselves or even at a meeting is not the answer. The Board wants the residents to come to the board with solutions.

Our budget for everyday operating cost has not gone up. The Board has been able to negotiate contracts to maintain cost. However, the constant demand for more landscaping seems to be the ultimate complaint. We spend the most on landscaping than any other expense. $93,000 + water $20,000. =$113,000. or $700 per unit. The Board would like to reduce our costs, however landscaping is the most labor intensive service. So I am leaving this up to the residents as to what they think is the proper balance.

Carol Guttschall