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Presidents Letter

President's Message July 2014

As I mentioned in last month’s newsletter a number of Palo Verde trees have been infested with witches’ broom. The landscape committee toured the property recently looking at the condition of the Palo Verde trees. While the committee feels that trees add shade and are a real asset to the community it was with great reluctance that the committee has decided that removing the infested trees is in the best interests of the community. In an attempt to try and get ahead of the infestation and try to keep it from going further the committee decided to remove 24 Palo Verdes from Coachline north of Twin Peaks and replace them with 36 inch boxed trees. This was not something that was planned for but by careful management of their budget they will be able to achieve this goal while staying in budget. The committee will be looking at other infested trees when they have a new budget in November.

On a happier note the new play structure was completed at Windmill Park and if the amount of usage is any indication I would venture a guess that it is being warmly received by both the parents and the kids. It is a great addition to Windmill and continues the mission of this BOD to keeping our assets up to highest standard that we all deserve.

I find it quite interesting that the kiddie pool at the community center has far fewer problems keeping the pH level correct while the hot tub/spa at Windmill pool has constant issues in maintaining the proper pH levels due to urination. You would think that little children would be urinating in the pool while adults using the spa would not be. Apparently this is not the case and can cause very serious consequences for anyone using the spa. Chlorine interacts with ammonia from urine to form chloramines which have been associated with lung and nasal problems. It is really sad that the little children have better control of their bladders than adults in this case.

 

President's Message June 2014

With Memorial Day behind us school is out for summer break meaning the kids have more free time. I am sure we will see more use of our community pools by these children and their families. Just a reminder, that the pool committee has established a set of rules for behavior in the pool areas so that everyone can have a safe and enjoyable time while using the pools. Management is not responsible for making the rules but they are sometimes responsible for enforcing them. That being said, it seems that a few people feel it is their right to get confrontational with management when they are approached about breaking the pool rules. Management is following the rules that the pool committee established and the BOD ratified. The BOD put in place a policy that anyone acting in an intimidating, confrontational or demeaning manner toward management or the pool monitors will have their pool key suspended for 30-days and may face up to a $100 fine. Please follow the rules and treat management and the pool monitors with respect- they are only doing what they are told.

The trees in the common areas within CRCA have a replacement value of 2.4 million dollars. They are a great asset providing shade and enhancing the environment for all. The landscape committee is tasked with overseeing the care of the trees as well as the plants and flowers. It was noticed that a number of Palo Verde trees were not appearing healthy. The arborist was consulted and he noted that a number of them are infested with witches’ broom. Witches’ broom causes a proliferation of dense twig growth and is associated with the eriophyid mite, but the cause of the problem is unclear at this time. It eventually will kill the tree and there is no cure except removal of affected areas, but removal does not prevent reoccurrence. If you prune out witches’ broom you need to sterilize your tools before using them elsewhere or you can spread it further. If you have Palo Verde trees please keep an eye on them for witches’ broom so it does not spread throughout the community. CRCA has over 170 Palo Verde trees and the landscape committee will be addressing what actions need to be taken with the affected trees so we can protect our investment.

 

President's Message May 2014

The Association hosted the annual Easter Egg hunt at Windmill park on the Saturday before Easter. Judging from the large turnout (over 500 children) accompanied by parents, older siblings, and a few grandparents I would have to say it was a great success. Thanks to Jocelyn and all the volunteers as well as the rest of the management staff for putting so much work into making this such a great event. A special thanks to Stephen and Ryan for dressing up in the Easter bunny suit- they deserve it as you have no idea how hot that suit is. It was really nice to see the families coming together and enjoying our beautiful park and their families. There were lots of smiling children running around and enjoying the petting zoo, face painters, balloon artists and jumping castles as well as the egg hunts.

The BOD, Finance committee and management will be working on the budget for next year starting in May. We have not seen a dues increase since I have been on the BOD (6 years) but we have seen increases in the of cost services, utilities and required contributions to the reserve fund continually rise. In 2010 our reserve contribution was $90,000.00. The current contribution requirement is $170,000.00 with it rising to $216,968.00 by 2018. We have held management and other contractors to no increases for over two years and will be facing increases this coming year. Looking at a number of expenditures the cost of keeping Windmill pool open November to February has stood out as one of question. In 2006 the then BOD decided to keep Windmill open year round on a trial basis. With the associated costs and usage by a very small number or residents the BOD decided to send a survey out in May for input from all homeowners on the justification of this expenditure. Please return the survey so we can make plans while budgeting for next year and hopefully not have to raise dues.

President's Message April 2014

I have asked myself for the last six years being President of the association- why do I put up with the attacks on the BOD for our actions, dealing with collections of delinquent accounts, overseeing the financials and how homeowners monies are spent, making sure that the reserve study is followed, selecting and overseeing contractors for the myriad of projects- both planned and unplanned- that are undertaken and a host of other issues and challenges faced as a BOD member. Making sure that ALL homeowners are treated equally with no one group receiving preferential treatment over another and making sure that we meet all of the conditions of the CC&R’s while not intruding on a homeowners right to live an enjoyable life here in CRCA. I take this task very seriously and have put a lot of time and effort into this association. WHY?

I guess the answer would be I really enjoy seeing the transformation that has taken place in CRCA. The Windmill office is welcoming to homeowners and it is nice to see visitors looking for their house on the wall map in the lobby. Seeing the interaction between homeowners and the staff of management is most always a good experience for both. Seeing the baseball diamond being used at night by the little league team is especially enjoyable to me- I think I enjoy it as much as the players are. Seeing the families using the picnic area under the armadas at Windmill Park and the kids playing ball and flying kites on the weekends makes all the work put into making the park what it is today all worthwhile. It is a definite asset to CRCA and is being used as it should be by homeowners. Seeing the large turnout for the food truck round up as well as the pool being used by families with the kids enjoying the facilities.

With that said I would like to remind you of the upcoming Easter Egg hunt at Windmill park on April 19th. This event has grown each year with the children having a great time and taking home their share of the eggs. If you have the time it would be great to have you volunteer to help with the Easter Egg hunt- it is a little bit of work but the rewards cannot be measured when you see the joy in the children.

One last thing- starting on April 3rd there will be a Farmers Market at the west end parking lot of Windmill Park from 9AM to 1PM. This will be every Thursday so we hope to see you there so it can continue and grow.

Have a safe and happy Easter and enjoy what CRCA has to offer each homeowner.

President's Message March 2014

I thought it was time to call the attention of homeowners and businesses in CRCA to a portion of your property taxes for which you receive no benefit- what I would call a “taxation without representation” sort of thing. I am referring to the part of your tax bill that reads “CMID”. This CMID tax is assessed by the Cortaro Marana Irrigation District for which you are levied $69 per acre (or percentage of an acre) on your property taxes each year.

CMID (aka Cortaro Water Users Association) has been in existence since 1919 and services approximately 70 irrigation customers. Before Continental Ranch was first developed in the mid-80’s, the area was farmland owned by lettuce grower Bud Antle. I am sure that Mr. Antle used the services of CMID to water his fields. I find it quite disturbing that over 90% of CRCA- as well as the businesses at the Arizona Pavilions- are included in the CMID water district for tax purposes and we receive nothing in return other than the privilege of offsetting some costs to the 70 customers who use CMID water for irrigation. Doing a rough calculation CMID receives in excess of $70,000 a year from properties in CRCA and give nothing back to us in return.

I have included a map in this newsletter showing the boundaries of CMID for taxation purposes. Is there anything we can do to stop paying for something we receive no benefit from? We can petition the Pima County Board of Supervisors to be excluded from this taxing district. If you are interested in lowering your tax bill please contact the office for a petition. This will not happen without a lot of homeowners voicing their opinion.