Tuesday, March 24, 2015

Well, let's talk about our streets....

The Cambridge Forest HOA Board of Directors has revived the discussion of street maintenance.  Remember that since the HOA owns the streets in our neighborhood, we HOA members pay to maintain them, rather than the Town of Cary.  Let me also remind everyone that street maintenance is an equally-shared member expense.  So the single-family members share the expense for street repair in the townhome section.  And yes, vice versa.

This issue was raised a few years back.  In fact, the board called a special meeting of the members to discuss the issue and get feedback.  The response was overwhelmingly negative.  And a new board subsequently tabled the discussion indefinitely.

Nevertheless, the current board has renewed the discussion.  If we are to have a discussion about street maintenance and/or replacement, we have to consider four factors:

  1.  How much money do we need to spend on the streets today?
  2.  What other expenses are we facing today?
  3.  How much money do we have?
  4.  How should we prioritize our limited resources?

We simply do not have reserves to cover everything today.  So we must decide what to spend our money on today and what can be put off until tomorrow.  This is just common sense.  The key words above are 'need' and 'today.'

So what other expenses are we facing today?  Well, all of the townhome buildings need quite a bit of carpentry work (there is a list and it is long).  Ideally, this should be followed immediately by exterior painting.  Altogether a very large expense.

Let's note in passing that any type of maintenance will cost more the longer that it is deferred.  This is true for streets; this is true for buildings.

Here I would ask a fifth question:  Why can we not simply patch the worst areas of the streets?

So, let's all look at the streets, and let's all look at the buildings.  And answer these questions.


  1. Hey I just got your flyer. My question is why is this board not calling a special member meeting like the old board?

  2. My suggestion is that we do the building maintenance first and patch the worst areas of the streets second.

  3. What street needs work?

    1. I think everyone will agree that the street that is in the worst shape is South McLean Court. Have a look.

  4. Do you have any numbers you can share? Specifically:
    - How much money is currently in the town home coffers?
    - How much money is currently in the single family home coffers?
    - How much will the carpentry run (I assume this would only come from the town home money)?
    - What street repair options are we considering and how much do they cost?

    1. I left the board in October of last year. The last reserve account figures that I have are from the end of August, 2014. At that time the Townhouse account held $67,871.13 and the Single Family account held $16,396.03.

      Also in 2014, we had three estimates done on the townhouse carpentry. One was in the $25,000 range, one was in the $35,000 range, and one was crazy high. Note, these are for just the carpentry, not the painting. And yes, the carpentry and painting would come solely from the townhouse reserve account. My understanding is that the board is still collecting estimates for the street repairs.

      If anyone can update these figures that would be helpful.

  5. Not only do the streets need repair, but so do the parking pads on South McLean. There is a corner on the pad next to the side walk in front of 113 S McLean that is washing out. We've personally put gravel and dirt in there numerous times but the amount of rain water that rolls off this hill washes it right out.

    There are also huge cracks and some broken concrete holes where the large cracks intersect in the parking pads, which get bigger and worse each winter.

    The 113-121 S McLean building has a huge amount of rain water that drains from the upper hill down the yards, sidewalks, walkways, parking pads and side of street with every rain and for days after each rain. Can additional drainage be put in between the two buildings to capture and re-route the rain water? The yards (front and back) of the 113-121 building stay muddy 85% of the time.

  6. I believe the current board absolutely understands that maintaining the physical structures of the homes as well as immediate needs are priorities. The reason there has not been a meeting regarding the streets this time is that no action is being undertaken.The board is basically in a fact finding mode to see cost etc. Also the last time, there was a meeting because it would have required an assessment. This go round, Reuben created a proposed budget and mutli-year plan that includes several dues increases but allows the HOA to have the money to begin fixing some of these sorts of issues. The current board is strictly planning on using that plan to fix the issues. Remember this board was elected at an annual meeting with minimal attendance and filled with people who stepped up because no body else would. If you have an interest in your money and your home please contact the current board members and ask questions. Go to their meetings. I have gone to some meetings and it is very informative. I may not have liked everything I heard but I think I now understand the boards train of thought.


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