Message from the President 

Donna Fontaine 
Fall 2018: How Your Money Works for You

Dear Residents,

 

We had such a great attendance at the June 2 HOA General Meeting. Thank you for coming and sharing some of your thoughts and ideas. One question that came up was:

 

What do the annual $110 HOA contributions go toward?

 

Well, where do I start?

 

One of our biggest expenses is the maintenance of our three entrances:  Pine Springs, Conroy and Pin Oak. Some of you thought that the County maintains the entrances. They don't. It is at our own expense. It takes water, electricity, lawn service, fertilization, weed control, and sometimes plant replacement, especially after a hard freeze. Doris Sheppard has been in charge of overseeing/designing the landscaping for the last seven or so years, which is not exactly the easiest of jobs. She researched which plants are hardy, easy to maintain and attractive. Thank you, Doris, for all your hard work.

A good portion of the contributions goes toward the Orange County Sheriff’s Office for Deputy Perry Troutman’s patrols of our neighborhood. Just by his presence alone, crime is deterred. He keeps a watchful eye on our neighborhood and contributes to the safety of our residents.

A big thank you to Bob Brindle for providing us with old pictures of the entrances – before there was irrigation, electricity and landscaping put in. It is pretty neat to see the differences. Take a look at some of these before and after photos. 

 

The Conroy entrance had no landscaping, no irrigation and minimal lighting. It was basically dirt and dead weeds.

Then
Now

Pin Oak wasn't much better:  a few little plants in the front of the sign. In fact, they look wilted and falling over. We didn't have water for them back at that time.

Then
Now

The Pine Springs entrance wasn't too bad, but the landscaping was sparse because, again, no water. All the wooden signs that came with the development had rotted. So we eventually had to replace. As you can see with the after picture, the sign is sturdy, attractive and long-lasting.

Then
Now

Then last but not least are the brick wall spaces along Dr. Phillips Blvd., which were empty. What has been done fairly recently is they have been filled in with drought-resistant Podocarpis. As time goes on, they will continue to grow upward and look even prettier.

Then
Now

We have a landscaper that maintains the three entrances. As you can imagine, sprinkler heads break, pine bark has to be replaced, trees need to be trimmed. All of those items, just like at your homes, have an extra cost. We work hard to keep costs down. 

 

All of our Board Members contribute pitching in to make our entrances look attractive, especially during the holidays. Wreaths, garland and lights are hung for the Christmas season at all of our entrances, and our Yard of the Quarter Sponsor, John Scolaro, recently put out a beautiful display of flags for Memorial Day and 4th of July. One of our Board Members makes a habit of going out to the entrances a couple times a month to pick up beer bottles, fast-food wrappers, liquor bottles, drink cans that people throw out of their car, etc. She and her husband also spray for weeds and pays for, on their own, red mulch at the Pin Oak entrance, median and around the Sago Palm retention pond. She never asks for reimbursement. We are grateful for that extra help. But your contributions are what helps keep this neighborhood looking the way it does. We are very thankful to all of you who contribute. Can you imagine what our entrances and common areas would look like if residents didn’t contribute these voluntary dues?  

 

Remember, our homes, for most of us, are the biggest investment we have. It is so important for all of us to keep our neighborhood aesthetically pleasing and our homes well-maintained.  

 

A Great Big Thank You to all of you for contributing. And for those who weren't sure what the dues go toward, I hope this has helped. You can view our full budget here. Please reach out to me at any time if you have any ideas, questions or concerns at HOA@HiddenSpringsEstates.org.

 

Sincerely,

 

Donna Fontaine

President

Hidden Springs/Estates HOA

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