June 22, 2007

New “Grounds Committee” Needs Volunteers

In the last few seasons, homeowners have noticed a decline in the condition of some of Victor Gardens parks and Common Areas. To begin correcting problems, homeowners suggested forming a neighborhood "Grounds Committee".   

The theory behind forming this committee was for residents to do a better job of monitoring and preserving Victor Gardens parks and common spaces.  Essentially - Neighbors wanted to take more responsibility for their surroundings.  

One of the problems we've seen is the time it takes to fix simple problems.  For example, a homeowner notices that a sprinkler head is not working, she waits for a few weeks to see if the mowing crew will fix it.  After waiting, she sends Mark an email, then it’s forwarded to Gina Higgins, then Gina writes a work order and speaks to the contractor, the contractor puts the sprinkler on his to do list, and schedules the repair for the next time he is in VG, etc, etc, .... You can see that this process is unnecessarily long - and it hasn't been working for us.

Some have asked if it’s a measure to save the VG Community Association money.  In part that’s correct - but not the overall goal.  The Committee will hopefully be able to save money by correctly diagnosing small problems when they arise, and work to quickly fix the issues before major damage occurs (like large patches of dead turf or burned-out fountain pumps).  The goal is to help preserve the beauty of the neighborhood.  Saving money is just another positive outcome.

I have asked for volunteers and have received a good response so far.  Some of the members responsibilities will be: mapping out the irrigation systems & reporting specific problems (such as a broken sprinkler heads in Zone 4), following up on repairs, and taking an more active role in minor maintenance jobs (like fountain clean-up, tennis court windscreen repairs, etc.).  The Committee will be broken up into small groups, with each having it's own area of interest.  For example, one group will fix the tennis court windscreen when needed, another will do routine clean-up in the Jardin Fountain, others small groups will monitor sprinkler systems in Val Jean Park, Arbre Park, and Poet's Green.  These are not the only interests of the Grounds Committee, but a great beginning nevertheless.

Of course, the Grounds Committee does not intend to take over the ultimate responsibility of these systems. Members will mainly supplement and monitor the work that the contractors and the City of Hugo already perform.  It will be made up of individuals who have some technical experience, mechanical ability, and those who can monitor sprinklers because they live adjacent to the Parks and Common Areas.

I'm happy that homeowners are taking the initiative and working towards a better Victor Gardens. I hope we all will support the goals of the Grounds Committee.  When the Committee groups are formed and working, I'm sure we'll all see positive progress.

As of today we have some volunteers for:

Poet’s Green

The Jardin Fountain Area

The Val Jean Tennis Courts

Val Jean Park

We still need volunteers for:

Victor Square

Main Entrance Areas

Neighborhood Activity Center & Pool

Arbre Park

Planning Fall & Spring neighborhood cleanup events.

Please email mark@victorgardensnews.org to volunteer for the Grounds Committee.