Happy New Year! With 2020 officially behind us, I wanted to take a moment to reflect on what an eventful, unprecedented year it was to our families, our neighbors, and our Association. While no one could have planned for every drastic change and effect that the pandemic would have on all of us, I am heartened by the care and compassion shown by many of our residents, especially those who have stepped up to help others.
Last year was monumental for so many reasons, but not all of them negative. One major positive was our turnover to homeowner control of our HOA. This historic occasion was shadowed by the pandemic, but I would like to provide some updates on what your volunteer Board of Directors has accomplished in our first 12 weeks since Turnover, and what is planned for 2021. I also want to extend a thank you to my fellow Board members, Iliana Camacho-Diaz, Secretary & Treasurer, and Warren Stimpson, Vice President, for all of their help during the past three months.
Next, a big thank you to all of the volunteers who were appointed to be part of our new Architectural, Hearing, and Social Committees. They have been working hard to get up to speed on their roles, and all have shown a great willingness to lend a hand to help build a better community for us all. Learn more about our committees and volunteers by clicking here.
And I would be remiss if I did not thank all of the residents here in the Reserve for all of the support and feedback. I’m proud to call Reserve home, and my personal goal is that all residents here feel that same pride of being a great community to call home.
As a reminder, you can stay up to date via our community website, www.reserveatsawgrass.com, for helpful information including our ARC Guidelines, links to pay your assessments, report streetlight outages, contact the association, report issues, see a list of common questions, view current community projects, look up various committee information, etc. Make sure to check it out!
As you can see from the below list, it’s been a busy first few months, and we know there is much more to do. I am excited about the progress and feedback we have received so far. Please keep your suggestions and feedback coming, and I hope all of you have a very happy New Year, and hope for a safe and prosperous 2021 as we work to build a better Sawgrass, together!
President, Board of Directors
Reserve at Sawgrass Homeowners Association
LOOKING BACK AT 2020
- Turnover process began from developer (Beazer) to homeowner-controlled Board of Directors at end of September.
- Community grew from 450 homes in 2019, to almost complete build-out at 544 homes. One home is remaining to close.
- Formed Architectural, Hearing, and Social Committees. Planning for 2021 community events calendar is underway.
- To increase visibility of community notices and events, a message board was installed at the secondary mailbox center on Cypress Glades Lane to complement the existing board at the original mailbox center at the community pool.
- Held our first two official social events since Turnover, with great turnout at both our Outdoor Movie Night in November, and our Santa Car Parade and our get together afterwards at the pool to meet Santa, have some cookies and hot chocolate. Thank you to the entire Social Committee for putting together our best attended events yet in such a short timeframe.
- Completed electrical upgrades to entrance area for more reliable electrical service for holiday décor and future plans.
- Installed of roll-up door at pool cabana to increase storage area for social committee and other HOA supplies. Previous storage area was only a 40” wide mechanical closet which held very little.
- Various maintenance items completed:
- Refurbished soccer goals.
- Playground re-mulched with an improved type of certified safety mulch.
- Releveled pool deck pavers, repairs cracked and damaged tiles, upgraded underwater lights to LED, replaced pool pump and filter cartridges, and did a deep clean of the waterline tile.
- Purchased pressure washer in December to enable more frequent cleaning at reduced cost.
- Upgraded burnt out streetlamps around pool to LED for reduced maintenance costs and lower energy bills.
- Started preventative maintenance programs on fountains to extend the lifespan and reduce unplanned, expensive repairs of pumps and motors.
- Started pest control at common areas and around ponds to help treat fire ants and other pests. While there are restrictions around the ponds on how much it can be treated, we are working to improve the results with the fire ant issue.
LOOKING TO 2021 AND THE FUTURE
- Undergoing independent engineering inspections of our 10 ponds, pool, cabana, parking lot, recreational fields, storm drains, irrigation, landscaping, mailbox centers, dog park, property site walls and fences, sewage lift station, as well as some other civil site components.
- Will be launching an initiative to gather updated contact information for all homes- we have limited or outdated contact info for many of the homes here.
- Implementation of electronic voting option for homeowners. This is something we will be rolling out in conjunction with the contact information update initiative.
- Community wide survey planned for February to gather feedback and ideas on capital improvement projects.
- After the survey, we will be creating a cost analysis of the most popular projects to share with the community for feedback.
- A “Resident Guide” is currently under development, to help offer quick reference to many of the common questions and important rules.
- We will be sending a “Helpful Contacts” fridge magnet to all homes that has important contact phone numbers and websites for the HOA, Orange County Services, Trash/Recycling Days, etc.
- All service contracts will be rebid throughout 2021 as we ensure that we are getting the best service at the right price. Some vendors may change, others may stay the same, but this is a good exercise to re-align expectations between our HOA and our vendors.
- Currently in process of reviewing all Turnover documents received from Beazer in coordination with our attorney to ensure we have everything legally required from Beazer and all common area property has been transferred to the HOA’s ownership.
- Minor refurbishment planned for pool cabana and bathrooms in the spring. The restrooms and cabana will be getting some fresh paint, updated dispensers, refreshing the changing tables, and more.
- Landscaping improvements at entrance and pool area- design in progress, awaiting soil testing results to ensure when we make the investment in the updated landscaping, they will thrive and last.
- Refurbishment of the wooden swings at the dog park. The swings have been in disrepair for a while, so a deep cleaning and re-staining is planned in the next few weeks along with any necessary repairs.
- Pressure washing of common areas, including pool, playground, front marquee sign and bridge, dog park, and all pond access aprons around the community. This will be completed in phases, as some areas do not have water hose hookups nearby, so those will be handled by an outside vendor with water truck. Areas with hose hookups nearby will be handled by our regular maintenance staff with our new pressure washer.
- Repairs to missing stone bricks on bridge and cabana and repair of damage to bridge architectural elements. We are soliciting bids for these repairs and hope to have them completed by February/March timeframe.
- Investigating upgrades of the three pond fountains to LED lighting to reduce energy usage and lower repair costs and frequency.
- Installation of benches at some of the ponds/dog areas.
- The Board will be reviewing the completed full Reserve Study finding to review and make any necessary adjustments for 2022 Budget Year to ensure we are adequately saving for future planned repairs to community elements and minimizing the need for special assessments in the future, as required by Florida Statute. Our Reserve Fund is basically our “savings account” where major repair items are planned out for the next 30 years. This is the first full reserve study we have had completed.
- Implementing new pool access system with ID cards instead of current key fobs to allow easier identification without the need to bring a separate ID. Also, many of the old fobs were not properly set up, some have issues working reliably, and some have been known to have been given to non-residents.
- The Board will also be working to finalize any remaining Turnover items to complete that process by mid-Spring.