Q&A Session with St. Joseph County Commissioner Andy Kostielney

Neighbors:

We have arranged for a special Homeowners Association Meeting for a Q&A session with St. Joseph County Commissioner Andy Kostielney. Andy is the president of the Commissioners and also represents our area of the county.

This meeting will also be a joint session with our neighbors in Knollwood West.

The session will be held on Wednesday, June 27 at 7 PM. We will meet at the Clay Church Firehouse Campus, 17616 Cleveland Road. Please note the meeting place as it is not at our usual place.

It would be helpful if you could provide some questions in advance. I’ll compile them and send them to Andy on the Sunday prior to the meeting. This will give him an opportunity to do any necessary research as well as to get a feel for what he should be prepared to discuss.

You may submit your questions via this “survey” link: https://nd.qualtrics.com/jfe/form/SV_d9XOygds31by6Xj

Thanks!
Augie

Annual Knollwood Garage Sale – Friday, June 8th & Sat., June 9th  9:00 AM to 5:00 PM Rain or Shine

Declutter your life this spring and make money!

If you have a unique or special item to feature in our ad, please email or call me prior to May 10th, so I can include your item or items in our ads.  Mowers, Snow Blowers, Furniture, Kids Toys and Bikes are popular with Buyers!

I will place ads in the South Bend Tribune and on Craig’s List advertising a few items that will be included in the sale.

Signs & flags will be placed at all the entrances several days before the sale.  I’d recommend adding directional signs to your house from the entrance closest to your home.  This will increase your sales.

Safety Tip:  Keep your money & cell phone in a fanny pack.  Avoid taking checks if possible.  Keep your doors locked to your house.  Pair up with another person so you can keep an eye on your merchandise while the other person takes the money.

If you have any questions about having a garage sale, especially if it is your first sale, please contact me.

Email:  mktbecker@aol.com            Michelle Becker     574-277-1152

Minutes of Annual Knollwood HOA Meeting

Below are the minutes to the annual Knollwood HOA meeting. Special thanks to Aviva Wulfsohn for taking superb notes!


KHA Annual Meeting – May 23, 2018

Introductions: About 25 attendees plus seven board members: Augie, Harold, Mark, Debbie, John, Aviva, ?

Finance Report:

  • Have we considered looking into a CD? Rates at KEY Bank have gone up to 2.5%. We can look into a website called depositaccounts.com.
  • $4500 outstanding from past receivables.
  • Why are we paying bank fees? Mostly PayPal. $3.80 each time someone uses PayPal. Pretty much par for the course with online banking.
  • How much would people be likely to use PayPal versus not paying at all? Some people don’t even use or have checking accounts.
  • Had to get a business license, which says yes, we are still Knollwood Homeowners Association.
  • What do we own that we have to file taxes on? Every year we file, never any money due.
  • Property taxes = common lots: entrances owned by association, field off of Pine Ridge is our property, lot with retention pond.

Committee Reports:

Architecture & Covenants:

  • Only had a couple of calls here (John not here, new guy). Month and a half ago someone wanted to know how long they could park their RV in front of their yard (typically 2-3 days). Otherwise, nothing major, a couple of nuisance complaints – dogs barking, property that could use some upkeep that we are addressing.
  • Is there a limit on cars in driveways? Don’t think there is, as long as they’re licensed and not abandoned.
  • Having a vehicle in your driveway is not the same as a nuisance in their driveway.

Property Management:

  • Vandalism on Barryknoll and Gumwood, lights broken for the second time. If something happens, give me a call (Mark). Maybe think about getting a security camera at entrances?
  • Road repair – Running into potholes on Barryknoll, in front of Augie’s house. Called the county. I was really nice, she was really nice. All been patched. If you see an issue, just call the county. No insurance on those. Only twice in 3-4 years have there been vandalism issues.
  • Who do you call at county regarding road repairs? St. Joe County Road Repairs. Will post number on KHA website.
  • Leaves – Whole issue is trying to understand that website! We are a high-volume area, so we should be taken care of automatically. Have to register or sign in (for last pickup). Something in the paper today about leaf pickup: will renew contract and reduce number of pickups.
  • First pickup comes through before leaves have fallen. Fall off as soon as second pass is gone!
  • Greenworld, company contracted to do pickups, is less than reputable. Say that from personal experience. Everything you think you have to do from that website has nothing to do with the company. That is Greenworld doing what Greenworld wants to do. County has said these are high leaf volume areas. Part of challenge is that county signed a bad deal. A deal in which they exercised very little oversight. Greenworld says you have to register; county isn’t really overseeing that.
  • Sent out a survey, but was Greenworld sending out survey to look better in front of county. Greenworld reached out to both us and Knollwood West. We are offering to a certain number of neighborhoods to contract with you in case the county doesn’t renew. Greenworld led everyone to believe they had discontinued program when the county hadn’t decided yet.
  • If you can commit by 12/31, we’ll give you a 50% fee reduction. Presented us with a package that was $340,000, ten times what we paid before. But wait there’s more, but it’s really $170,000. Guy from Greenworld asked what we think is reasonable. Maybe twice what we paid 3-4 years ago. They had no intention with signing any agreement. Junoll doesn’t do it anymore, Greenworld bought all equipment.
  • A few years ago we had county commissioner come in. They were the ones who signed contract, they will be re-elected this fall. Need to come in and have a conversation with us. County used to pick up leaves. It’s something we expect from them.
  • Michiana Recycling will pick up bags, up to five at a time (brown bags).
  • Commissioners sign contracts, council makes laws. Can press our commissioner, Andy Kostielney.
  • Maybe other homeowners association as a group might be able to address county commissioners.
  • Could our association send a letter to Greenworld requesting there not be a pickup until there’s something to pick up? Fraudulent operation. Won’t do any good because contract is with county, not with us. Augie won’t waste his time on this.
  • What if we had some kind of petition form on website?
  • Board suggests that we contact county representatives, invite them to come speak, and extend invitation to other neighborhood boards.
  • What if we have candidates come in before November elections? Get them in front of us and invite other homeowners associations. In meantime we have less service coming up this year and people just have to be ready.
  • Burning wouldn’t be bad if you had a community burner! Take all our leaves over to Andy’s house and burn them.

Lighting:

  • Question on yard lamps. Is there a setback requirement. Just have to have one. Can add a second one if you want. Are these streetlights LED? Don’t know. Will find out.
  • What would it cost to install LED? How many lights? 60-70.

Garage Sale:

  • Annual garage sale will be June 8-9. Is posted on website. Michelle will place signs at entrances.
  • Be safe – Team up with a neighbor. Keep house locked. Tips will be added to website. Cars have sold at garage sales. Get started early.

President’s Report:

  • This is our neighborhood. There are a lot of great ideas. YOU oughtta do this, YOU oughtta do that! We need you to participate in this process. If you really feel like that’s a great idea, we would love to have you do that. This is the only way to do this. Went for a year without a president. No one who had been on the board for a while wanted to do it; no one new wanted to step into it cold. No one else raising hand and wanted to do it.
  • Augie will serve until next year’s annual meeting. Someone needs to step up and fill positions. Through this year, his focus will be on getting people to participate. Alternatives: dissolve HOA, outsource to administrative firm, join forces with Knollwood West. If we dissolve HOA, it means no more covenants, would challenge you to hire admin firm and keep dues at $100. Merging with Knollwood West just delays the inevitable. Supposed to have nine on board. Don’t meet requirements.
  • Mike Stay said he volunteered to be on board but no one called him.
  • Put this “speech” on website.
  • What would happen if dissolved? No one would collect dues. If you don’t dissolve it, at what point does it cease to exist? Nobody would pay bill for streetlights. State of Indiana no longer sees us as an entity. What would county say about taxes not paid on four pieces of property we own?
  • Roseann asked why no notification given about this meeting? Did people receive invite via email? Someone had to go to website to see there was a meeting tonight. We will leave a sheet to collect emails.
  • Whatever happened to printed Knollwood mailings? Use to look forward to that. Not a big deal. Agreed to send paper copies to people who did not want to receive emails.
  • A lot of people aren’t getting notified of this meeting. Suggest sending out mailer that is clear as a bell, that we need participation or else.
  • Notification should go out with dues bill.
  • Spent two years as a board trying to do that but was impossible because of how it was written, and lawyers were involved. We knocked on doors, etc. Couldn’t get anyone to respond.
  • One last item – Number of past dues. How do we get compliance? Couple of years spent trying to implement fines, etc. A lot of candidly personal attacks about the fines as a way for board to get rich. Our only option at the time was to have Covenants & Restrictions people call everyone. For dues, only option we considered was putting lien on their mortgage. At some point in future when they sell house, we get money.
  • Here’s what’s going to happen: Spoke with attorney. For uncollected dues, attorney will pursue collection on our behalf, in return for a portion of what we collect. $50 for notification letter. Their success in collecting dues is how they get paid.
  • If you are outstanding, you are responsible for all associated legal fees. If you are in violation of covenants, we’ll give you a couple of warnings, then you will get letter from attorney. Fee will be put on dues for next year. That solves the problem of us having to set fines, collect fines, etc.
  • How many people don’t pay their dues? About 20 people who are about more than a year. About 5% we still need to collect for this year. Need to send a second notice in June, stating there is $25 late fee.
  • Repeat offenders haven’t for years. How many people/homes? About 20. If it’s one it’s too many. Basically we’re selling our debt to an attorney. Not sure how they pursue covenants.
  • Dues were $100 in 1986 and they’re still $100.
  • Ones most likely to violate covenants are the ones not paying their dues. Is this being reported as a bad debt?
  • We are just going to execute what we’re allowed to execute.

Q&A:

  • Live on the 16th tee, but we don’t golf. All those pines died and when they made sidewalk they tore out everything else. Would like some wild grass planted, or some kind of noise barrier from traffic on Gumwood. Yippy dog sees people walking and yips some more! Thought Knollwood would get some money to replant. Talk to Matt (GM). Noise abatement would probably be county.
  • Club is responsible for this entrance. Never looks as nice as others. Could HOA take care of it and charge back to club? No.
  • Trying for three years to get block wall that says Knollwood power-washed. Have not been successful in 3.5 years. 40+ years of grime on those walls.
  • Propose resolution of thanks for good members of current board!
  • Need speed sign on Hampton and Ridgemoor replaced. Also entrance from Reserve.
  • How is it that there’s only a one-way gate?
  • Roofing shingles on top of roof for years? House on Lincroft.
  • How do you follow through on people who don’t keep up with maintenance? Nothing in our C&R that allows us to do anything about these people. There’s a nuisance clause, but it’s very vague. Look into county ordinances; they have the power.
  • We don’t have any ordinances about people renting their homes out here, do we? No.
  • Not HOA’s responsibility to pick up leaves. Commissioners should come in and explain; contract needs to be signed soon. Mark says if he gets a lot of angry emails about leaves not being picked up, he’ll keep saying “call the county.”
  • Augie will invite Andy and common council member who represents our area. Don’t want to make this a political forum for campaign. He should speak to his actions.
  • Motion to adjourn at 8:49.

Recent Vandalism – Report Unusual Activity

We’ve had reports of some vandalism on Barryknoll.  The entrance lights were snapped off, a mailbox was run down by a car, political signs have been stolen or vandalized and a flyer with racial hate speech was left in a mailbox.

These have been reported to the SJC Police.  Please be vigilant and aware.  If you see something unusual or your instincts tell you something’s not right about what you see or hear, please call the County Police immediately.  The police and your neighbors would rather you report it and have it be nothing than to not report it and find out it was a real threat.

Thank you!
Augie Freda

Annual Knollwood Garage Sale – Friday, June 8th & Sat., June 9th 9:00 AM to 5:00 PM Rain or Shine

Declutter your life this spring and make money!

If you have a unique or special item to feature in our ad, please email or call me prior to May 10th, so I can include your item or items in our ads. Mowers, Snow Blowers, Furniture, Kids Toys and Bikes are popular with Buyers!

I will place ads in the South Bend Tribune and on Craig’s List advertising a few items that will be included in the sale.

Signs & flags will be placed at all the entrances several days before the sale. I’d recommend adding directional signs to your house from the entrance closest to your home. This will increase your sales.

Safety Tip: Keep your money & cell phone in a fanny pack. Avoid taking checks if possible. Keep your doors locked to your house. Pair up with another person so you can keep an eye on your merchandise while the other person takes the money.

If you have any questions about having a garage sale, especially if it is your first sale, please contact me.

Email: mktbecker at aol.com Michelle Becker 574-277-1152

Spring Leaf Pickup Begins April 16th

Neighbors:

Please be aware that the St. Joseph County Leaf Program begins picking up leaves in Clay Township on April 16. Please see the county’s website, http://www.sjclp.com/ for guidelines, updates and pickup status.

Signs will be posted at the three Knollwood entrances as a reminder. NOTE: Because the county leaf pickup begins the 16th that does NOT guarantee Knollwood’s leaves will be picked up that week. 

As an alternative, you should contact your trash pickup service to see if and how they will accept lawn waste. I have found that Michiana Recycling and Disposal has an inexpensive service level that includes their weekly pickup container plus up to five additional bags which may be yard waste. http://michianarecyclinganddisposal.com/

Watch the County website and our website for updates!

Nextdoor: The private social network for your neighborhood.

Obviously quite a few of you know about NEXTDOOR. It’s a website that touts the following,

“Nextdoor is the best way to stay in the know about what’s going on in your neighborhood—whether it’s finding a last-minute babysitter, learning about an upcoming block party, or hearing about a rash of car break-ins. There are so many ways our neighbors can help us. We just need an easier way to connect with them.”

Currently the Knollwood Forrest Hills Neighborhood has 408 members and 309 households or 39% of 799 households.

To sign up click here. Of course there is an app for your favorite cell phone as well.

Here are some of the catagories. 

Thank you to Knollwood Good Samaritans

Dear Samaritans

I want to thank the lady, and the four young adults who stopped and helped my husband when he lay helpless in front of our mail box on Barryknoll Way last Wednesday, Jan 10th. He suffered a stroke, but due to their effort to move him into my car I was able to get him to the Emergency Room in time to save him. He is experiencing a full recovery. I don’t even know your names, but know that you saved my husband’s life. We both want to thank you from the bottom of our hearts for your help.

THANK YOU SO MUCH,

Lisa & Axel Missing

Here is a link to the story in the South Bend Tribune