Hickory Farms

HFCA Board Meeting Minutes

August 9, 2022

Minutes of 9 August 2022 Hickory Farms HOA Board Meeting
Location: Zoom


Attendance: Jim Bever – President; Carlie Mensen – Member at Large; Ben Noviello – Secretary; Telah Jackson – Member at Large; Ken Sorg – Treasurer; Pam Barrett-ACC;

Melissa Stark – Common Area Coordinator; Bob Cosgriff – Guest


Meeting called to order at 7:00

Jim made a motion to accept the previous meeting minutes; Telah seconded, and the motion passed.

Jim reported that Telah Jackson has volunteered to be VP until end of 2022. Jim moved to approve; Ben seconded, and the motion passed.

Jim reported ongoing issues related to access to the HOA lawyer and Ken described the implications for payment.

Jim introduced Bob Cosgriff who provided the following information about the Braddock District Council, the planned Rabbit Run Restoration, and a proposed Purple Martin colony.


Braddock District Council

Bob explained that the Braddock council is composed of HOA representatives who exchange information and interact with supervisor James Walkenshaw. The next two meetings are scheduled for the 21st of September and the 21st of December from 7PM to 9:PM. Telah is invited to attend.


Rabbit Run Restoration

Bob described how local stream projects show that it is possible to make improvements in both appearance and stream health. One example is work done on the Rabbit Branch tributary to reduce silt. While detailed information on planned Rabbit Run restoration will be included in an upcoming newsletter, highlights include the following: Funding for the design is expected to be available next year, and the design target is 18 months. Pending additional funding, actual work is expected to begin in 2026 and could last up to three years. During construction access will likely require that some trees around the creek be removed. Other disruptions, including the need to store equipment, are anticipated. Since every project is different, unexpected issues may occur, although affected homeowners will be kept informed. As part of the project, new ground cover will be established and new trees planted.


Jim expressed admiration for quality of what he had seen done in existing projects, and pointed out that the HOA will not need to pay for this.


Purple Martin colony

The Purple Martin is a beneficial bird that consumes large amounts of mosquitoes and gnats. Bob described a proposal to purchase manufactured “gourd” homes to be mounted on a 10 to 12 foot pole, likely located in the upper commons area. He stressed that these were easy to maintain, and that detailed information would be made available via a catalog.


There was discussion related to how the white color is preferred for temperature control.

It was noted that since the birds migrate the structure could be removed for part of each year if desired. Bob confirmed that no new nesting material needs to be purchased, the birds are not noisy, the gourd homes could probably be populated with overflow from nearby colonies, and that there are advantages to having this installed by the end of August. He also confirmed that he would take the lead in maintenance, and in educating others so that they could do the same.


Annual Meeting Planning

Jim reported progress in finding candidates to be presented at the HOA meeting scheduled for 18 October, but that this was not yet complete.

Jim described efforts to build on last year’s successful virtual meeting and remote voting.

Carlie described a remote voting strategy that she has documented, which is intended to prevent multiple voting. She indicated her plans to coordinate this with others, and her willingness to take the lead in developing this further. Ben offered to help.

Jim noted email addresses are only for about 90% of homeowners so others would need to be accommodated with paper ballet via a newsletter.

Jim noted that the agenda for the October meeting would include approval of nominated candidates; presentation of the proposed budget and assessment amounts; brief reports from key committees, and a description of the strategic plan.


ACC Report

Pam shared a document titled. “Property Improvement Approvals.” She mentioned highlights related to solar powered venting; that property sales had allowed long-time violations to be corrected; and that violation letters were being issued.

There was a discussion regarding the desire to continue this useful documentation, have access to recalcitrant homeowner’s letters, and to have approval-time information included.


Treasurer’s Report

Ken indicated that relevant reports would be on Slack. He discussed apparent discrepancies between online information and published monthly statements produced by Truist bank, as well as ongoing efforts to resolve this issue--including our own internal audit.

Ken indicated that the July CPI will be used to update the assessment value.

A discussion occurred regarding the cost of Slack. Melissa and Carlie agreed to do further research on this.

Ken will confirm the budget spreadsheet numbers and then post the update.

Jim reported that the CPA seemed to have missed some information but that he (Jim) will follow up.


Branding Report

Telah and Melissa reported on options for stationary with the new logo, which would be made available to board members.

Telah is still waiting to get input regarding the website.

Discussion of possible signage for announcements, which were described as a way to build a community experience so long as they were located on commons areas and not an obstruction to visibility.


Commons Area Report

Melissa described efforts by the commons area committee to identify projects to be done during the time of year when relevant companies are less busy and more eager for work.

Discussion of priority of purple martin project and possible need to clarify community interest.

Discussion of repairing lower buckled section of posts, and the scope of a proposed work statement.

Final Comments by Jim

Although the August newsletter is being skipped, there are critical items that need to be included in the September newsletter in preparation for the annual meeting. Inputs are needed by the 25th of August.

Jim requested photographs of the community to update the newsletter.

It was noted that Officers and Commercial Crime Insurances are coming up soon.