A Brief Background on Hickory Pond
Complaints sent to the Board about mice, rats, and snakes in the pond. At this time, the Board began investigating how to take care of this problem. They met with the city of Foley, engineers, and contractors for options. Dues were raised fifty dollars to begin in 2016 to accrue.
Fifty dollars per homeowner was deposited into a special account so when there was a plan on how to fix the pond, there would be some money to start the project.
The Architectural Committee was directed to find any issues within the drainage system that could be addressed. Problems were identified and some could be fixed but others could not because of the design of the drainage system. At that time, we decided the best solution for Hickory Pond was to move as much of the water to the middle and mow as much as possible. Other options such as creating a lake were discussed. In exploring these other options, we were made aware that any changes, additions, etc. had to be approved by the city. There was not enough money to complete anything at that time. Bids were coming in at $70,000 and above so no actions were taken. To address the snakes etc., we attempted to mow as much as possible. Another short-term effort was made to keep the cattails out was to use pellets and liquid Aquacide.
The management company takes over. Because of how our covenants had to be applied, little was able to be done. The management company was no longer used after 2018.
The POA was dealing with a lawsuit that they were not aware of beforehand and it was time consuming. We continued to try to get more bids within reason and look for an engineer to oversee the project. We began working with GMC during 2019 because of the difficulty to get reasonable bids and find a contractor willing to do such a small project. By this time, after countless meetings with the city, we knew this project was beyond our scope to oversee and we needed a professional.
Mr. Cummings of GMC found Blade Construction and began the development of a plan for the pond, which would make it mowable and easier to have a long-term maintenance plan. At least two plans were developed, and all work had to be approved by the city of Foley (Leslie Gahagan) Throughout the process, we learned from the professionals of the need for all our ponds to have a long-term maintenance program. This directly affects the property value for all homeowners.
The equipment to work on the pond arrived in early September. A large “swamp buggy” was brought in because other equipment would sink and get stuck. But. because of Hurricane Sally, on the 16th, and Zeta, work was halted and could not start until later. After Hurricane Sally, as part of our long-term maintenance, trees and other debris were removed from three of the ponds.
. As of December, the pond itself is completed. No dirt was taken out or brought in. The volume of the pond remained the same. But the grading and smoothing must wait until the mud settles so equipment can work on it to level it and smooth it so seeding can be completed. That should allow most of the area to be mowed as was the objective.Realize that this could take 12 to 18 months. That should reduce the number of snakes, rats, mice.
We have been notified by the landscapers that the pond between Oakford and Hickory Street can no longer be mowed, due to the buildup of dirt and debris. If not addressed, it will not take long for it to become infested with snakes and mice, as we have seen before.
In short, it has been a process to repair one pond and not a quick decision. The Board feels it is imperative that a long-term plan continue with the next Boards. Waiting can prove to be costly and lower property values. (See article by Blake Brown on what can happen if we do NOT keep up our maintenance.
Read the article from WKRG---what we don't want in Ashford Park.
Residents in Mobile neighborhood fighting $6K HOA increase
by: Blake Brown
Posted: Dec 9, 2020 / 04:17 PM CST / Updated: Dec 13, 2020 / 12:50 PM CST
MOBILE, Ala. (WKRG) — Residents in a Mobile neighborhood aren't happy about an increase in their HOA dues. Those dues are now rising and they want answers.
"It's a terrible shock and we're not going to pay it," said Ben Preston.
"We're on social security, so you can imagine the shock of a $6,300 bill with no explanation," he added.
He's not the only resident upset about the rising costs. Signs were posted by residents in the Briargrove neighborhood last weekend expressing their concerns about where the money is going.
"She (HOA President) is effectively holding this neighborhood hostage. You can't buy or sell. We had neighbors that wanted to buy a piece of land and start building, but they can't do it right now. No one will touch this neighborhood," said Susan Calder.
The attorney representing the HOA says the steep increase to $6300 has to do with an ongoing drainage problem created by the developer. He says that responsibility has now fallen on the homeowners. The homeowners say it's not their problem to fix.
"That is downright disgusting. It is downright disrespectful. You hit these people with $6300," said a resident.
The HOA is offering a payment plan for those unable to make the full $6300 payment in full, but residents say their fight isn't over.
We are in the process of adding additional information to this page regarding pond and drainage in Ashford Park. Thank you for your patience.