February 2017 Hickory Farms Newsletter
- Editor, Don Seymour (Farm House Ln)
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Please welcome Melissa Stark, the newest member of the Board of Directors. Melissa will be taking over the position of Secretary. Welcome aboard, Melissa!
Help Save Our Walk/Bike Paths
Our community's two asphalt walking / bicycling paths are showing their age. Many are covered by slippery moss, and some sections have buckled as tree roots have grown over the years, creating a tripping hazard for those on foot and falling risk for bikers. We need your help to fix them.
The lower common area path runs from between 10007 Cotton Farm and 4314 Farm House through the grassy field, passes by the children’s sledding hill, and ends between 4337 and 4339 Still Meadow. The North path runs from Roberts Road near the swimming pool (behind 4301 Still Meadow) to the wooded area that runs along Rabbit Run (behind 4279 Country Squire).
The Board of Directors is initiating a review to assess the extent of the damage to each path.
It would be helpful if 2-4 other homeowners could accompany Board member Kirk Randall on a 1-1½ hour walk-thru during an upcoming weekend.
Please call Kirk at 703-425-0210 or email Kirk_Randall@Hotmail.com if you can help. Also, if you have had a good experience with a local asphalt company, please forward that information on to Kirk as well.
Bunco Night (2/16)
Calling all neighbors! We will be having the first Bunco Night of 2017!
Bunco is social dice game typically played with 12 players. It's a great way to chat with neighbors and have a little fun. No experience or skill needed to play. Please bring $5 for the Bunco pot. Snacks and soda will be provided by our gracious hostess. If you feel inclined, please bring an adult beverage of your choice.
When: Thursday, February 16, 7:00PM
Where: Debbi Buchanan's House 10110 Roundtop Court
RSVP: firstname.lastname@example.org 703-307-7323
We need at least 12 people to play! Hope to see you there!
Spring Egg Hunt (4/1)
Mark your calendars for our annual Hickory Farms Spring Egg Hunt!
When: Saturday, April 1, 4:00PM (rain date April 2)
More details and information to come! Get your cameras ready — the Easter Bunny has agreed to make a special appearance!
Home Maintenance Checklist
JANUARY / FEBRUARY
- Furnace & Heat Pump Filter Change: Replace paper/fiberglass filters. Vacuum or wash electronic filter elements. A dirty filter makes your fan work harder, using more electricity.
- Fire Extinguisher Check: Visually check that each fire extinguisher is fully charged. You should have fire extinguishers in the garage, kitchen, and basement furnace area.
- Dryer Vent Cleaning: Clean lint from both the screen behind the door and exhaust hose which leads to the outside. Lint is a fire hazard. Never use a plastic flexible vent hose – it could melt.
- Bathroom Check:
- Check faucets and showers for leaks. Check caulking around bathtubs and showers for areas where water may leak. Check for leaks under the toilet and sink.
- Test toilets for leakage by placing a few drops of food coloring in the tank, then wait a few hours. If you see coloring in the bowl, you should replace the tank flapper.
- Locate the Ground Fault Interrupter (GFI, usually in the electrical outlet). Press the test button and then reset.
Keeping the Common Areas Clean
The Common Areas are part of everyone's back yard – please do not dump debris (grass clippings, branches, or anything else) in the common areas. Not only is it a violation of our Rules and Regulations, it is unsightly, and it attracts rats and other wild animals.
Your trash service will pick up yard debris separately for recycling from spring through fall, and it will pick up yard debris as part of your regular trash service during the winter.
Yard debris collection days are Wednesdays for Republic/AAA and Tuesdays for American.
We Need Your Help
We live in an incredible neighborhood, folks, but it’s only as good as we make it — together.
That’s why we need your help.
If you see something in the community that’s off — graffiti or vandalism, trash, abuse of the common areas, violations of our covenants (see recent examples below) — let the board of directors know. Help us help keep Hickory Farms an amazing place to live.
2016 HFCA Income & Expense Report
|Assessments - Current Year||$29,298||Bank Fees||$19|
|Assessments - Prior Years||$0||Common Areas Maintenance||$26,045|
|Assessments - Late Charges||$400||Insurance||$2,129|
|Interest – Checking & Reserves||$8||Legal Fees||$1,643|
Tax Preparation & Audit
|Taxes & Fees||$100|
|Total Income||$31,212||Total Expenses||$33,441|
|Net Income (Loss)||($2,119)|
Notes: (1) In prior years, Annual Assessment checks received for the year following the current year were held until they could be deposited after January 1. The BOD has decided to instead deposit them as received avoiding check processing delays to homeowners. The $15,750 of 2017 Annual Assessments processed to date will therefore be included in the 2017 Income and Expense Statement. (2) It is HFCA policy to maintain a Reserve Fund invested in low risk investments approximately equal to the Association’s Annual Assessments ($29,700). Until 2016, these funds were invested in bank certificates of deposit valued at approximately $23,000. The BOD decided to liquidate the CDs and transfer the Reserve Fund to the Association’s checking account (year-end balance of $41,483) in order have greater access to the funds when needed (CDs may be redeemed at only certain times of the year). The BOD intends to secure a separate savings account at our banking institution in order to segregate the Association’s Reserve Funds, and transfer them to the savings account at that time.
- 10122 Spinning Wheel - Enclose Carport
- 4286 Country Squire - Replace Garage Door & Construct Deck
- 4324 Farm House - Replace Roof
- 4350 Harvester Farm - Replace Windows
- 4352 Harvester Farm - Replace Window/Door Shutters
Know Where Your Property Ends and Common Areas Begin
Many folks who back up to our common areas don’t know exactly where their property ends and HFCA’s property begins. Here’s how: look for a buried iron pipe or rebar that is pounded into the ground at your property corners. Or, review the survey plat you received when you purchased your property.
Some Board members have noticed people placing firewood, chairs, benches, bar-b-ques, trash cans, sheds, and even boats on the Common Areas. This is not permitted.
Per our community rules, there is no dumping, littering (including grass clippings), leaving personal items, or posting signs or announcements. The common areas may not be used for private storage or business purposes.
Please take this opportunity to review whether you have any items encroaching on the Common Area before Board members conduct their inspections and send notices of violation.
A New Newsletter
Neighbors — in my first go-round at producing our community newsletter, I want to: 1) thank Kirk Randall for all of his guidance and for producing the newsletter for so many years. And 2) I want to hear from you. I plan to make more changes in the months ahead — so what do you want to see in our newsletter? What do you like or not like? What would be useful? We have a saying at my company: “feedback is a gift.” I’d love to have yours. Please email me: email@example.com.
No Ban on Plastic Yard Waste Bags
- Don Seymour
You may have heard Fairfax County would be banning the use of plastic bags for yard waste — but not so, according to the county website.
“Currently, there is not a ban on the use of plastic bags for yard waste in Fairfax County,” says the website. “A decision to pursue a regulatory change that affects how yard waste is collected has been postponed indefinitely.”
Read more >> fairfaxcounty.gov/dpwes/recycling/yardwaste.htm
Brine vs Your Car
- Kirk Randall
In the old days, our roads were treated with rock salt (calcium chloride) particles. Now, they are frequently treated with brine solution of salt, water, and magnesium chloride. The magnesium chloride is much, much more corrosive to vehicles than rock salt. The folks at Main Street Shell have noticed that cars (including brake lines!) are rusting out much more frequently when they are exposed to brine. Be sure to wash the underside of your car after being exposed to brine. The following article even recommends you keep the car out-side the garage after exposure.
Read more >> goo.gl/zil2RB
Hickory Farms Real Estate Activity
- Arlene Da Cruz and Dominic Da Cruz
|Address||Model||Bed||Bath||Listing Price||Sold Price||Days on Market||Status|
|(1) 4375 Farm House Ln||Colonial||4||2.5||$2,500||$2,500||71||Rented 10/17/16|
|(2) 4371 Harvester Farm Ln||Colonial||3||2.5||$480,000||35||Under contract - closing 2/10/17|
|(3) 4281 Country Squire La||Split Foyer||4||3||$2,550||21||Active|
(1) Immaculate & remodeled. Kitchen w/corian counter tops. Lg master bed. Fenced back yard.
(2) Corner lot house on .31 acre. Sold "as is".
(3) Split foyer, freshly painted through out, some new floors, ss appliances, 2 upgraded baths, fenced back yard, backs onto woods.
Information provided by Arlene Da Cruz and Dominic Da Cruz - full service Realtors and Hickory Farms residents. Arlene and Dominic are associated with Weichert Realtors and are also sole proprietors of ADC Property Services, a family-owned Property Management business managing rental properties. Contact Arlene on 571-436-6551 - firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com.
23 Families (Including Our Newest Neighbor) Help Neighborhood Watch!
- Debbi Buchanan
I've had many neighbors who have contacted me asking to be removed from our roster, but only one who has asked to be added to the list. Thank you, Will Lunsford (our newest Hickory Farms resident)!
We have 198 homes in our beautiful neighborhood, but only 23 families helping us with this project. My plan is to start contacting neighbors directly to get them to sign up, but haven't done so yet, so if you don't want to be called out directly by me, please take a moment to send me a note at firstname.lastname@example.org for more information or to ask that you be added to our list of esteemed volunteers!
If you are already a volunteer, why don't you ask your neighbor on each side of you to sign up? We could get a large number of new people just by asking your neighbor! It's also a great way to get to know each other! How many of you don't know your neighbors? You should!
I challenge each one of you reading this newsletter to go out tomorrow evening and introduce yourself to a new neighbor! Heck, they could become your new best friend! Who knows? What have you got to lose? Nothing! Try it… please!
Thank you for helping us continue to make Hickory Farms a great neighborhood to live in.
Abridged Minutes: 12/6/16 Board Mtg
The following is an abridged / sample version of the meeting minutes from the last HFCA Board of Directors meeting on December 6, 2016. You can read the complete minutes on hickoryfarms.org.
Annual Meeting Recap: The Annual Meeting held on 10/18/2016 marked the second year in a row that sufficient homeowners attended and/or sent proxy statements to achieve a quorum. There was significant discussion and the following activities resulted:
- Volunteer group formed to solicit Deed and Declaration (D&D) change(s). Bruce obtained Opinion Letter from our attorney, and will draft language and send copies to Board Members.
- Volunteer group to conduct property inspections. Dante Gilmer volunteered to lead team.
- Board was directed to try a one year Pilot to use Property Inspection contractor. Brian Roethlisberger is drafting Statement of Work (SOW).
ACC: Notice of Violation Letter Summary: 18 letters sent, 6 of 18 (33%) have fully corrected issues; 4 of 18 (22%) have partially completed corrections; 8 of 18 (44%) have not made noticeable attempts to correct issues.
- Join Our Email Listserv
- Welcome Melissa
- Help Save Our Walk/Bike Paths
- Bunco Night (2/16)
- Spring Egg Hunt (4/1)
- Home Maintenance Checklist
- Keeping the Common Areas Clean
- We Need Your Help
- 2016 HFCA Income & Expense Report
- ACC Approvals
- Know Where Your Property Ends and Common Areas Begin
- A New Newsletter
- No Ban on Plastic Yard Waste Bags
- Brine vs Your Car
- Hickory Farms Real Estate Activity
- 23 Families (Including Our Newest Neighbor) Help Neighborhood Watch!
- Abridged Minutes: 12/6/16 Board Mtg
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