January 14, 2012

The Jardin Fountain Needs Someone Next Summer

Beginning last summer, maintenance of the Jardin Fountain was turned over to a professional fountain maintenance company.  Prior to that, ad hoc maintenance had been carried out by a mix of contractors and residents.  Unfortunately, the company the Master Association hired last year wasn't able to keep up with chronic algae growth and clean-up problems.  To address the problems for next year, Dan D. offered to keep an eye on the fountain and report it's condition to our Community Manager once a week.  That way, there would be a little more oversight on this Master Association amenity.  Algae and dirty fountain problems could be reported and resolved before they became major problems.

Unfortunately, Dan has sold their home and is no longer living in the neighborhood. He won't be able to report on the fountain's weekly or bi-weekly status next spring/summer season.

We're looking for one or two volunteers who, next spring, could regularly inform our Community Manager Kari Miller on the condition of the Jardin Fountain.  This could be as simple as sending one email a week or so to Kari.

Can you help?

Please let Kari Miller or I know if you're interested.  Thanks!

- Mark

January 13, 2012

Flag Poles Removed

As the Master Board was in the final stages of reviewing electrical lighting bids for the three flag poles near the Clock Tower, the poles were removed.  The flag poles were leased to Rottlund Homes and have been collected by the company that leased them.

Share Your Opinion - Ideas Wanted

I'd like to hear your opinion on a few things.  Please click the "comments" link following this text to share your opinion. Anonymous comments are allowed.*

Recently, the Master Board briefly considered a few interesting ideas for the Master Association's Common Area landscaping.  One simple suggestion offered by VG's landscape vendor, Goetz Landscape, was to unify mulch colors used in future Common Area landscaping work.  As it is now, there's a patchwork of different color mulches found throughout the Master Association's and some of VG's Sub-Association's Common Areas.  It's a simple idea to unify our neighborhood's appearance.

Other interesting ideas have been entertained in the past too. These ideas have included installing "Victor Gardens" signage to our neighborhood entrances, adding adult-only swim hours, fixing up the small vacant lot near the Activity Center, building another playground near VG's North and North West Villages, etc.

What sort of ideas would you like to see carried forward?  How would you propose they might be planned?

In the past, the Master Board had asked (unsuccessfully) for various committee volunteers. Perhaps that effort was a bit premature though.  So, in the spirit of progress, I'd like to hear your ideas that would improve our neighborhood.  It's a start.  Thanks!

- Mark

* Please ensure your comments are constructive. 

Your Comments Are Encouraged

Anonymous comments are now allowed on this website. I've decided to turn off comment log-in requirements in the hopes of encouraging more reader participation. 

Although the Victor Gardens News website, VG News Facebook page, and associated email lists are not "official", many of our neighborhood's board and committee members read them.

I hope we can use these comments to connect with each other and improve our community.  Enjoy!

- Mark

January 11, 2012

Special Offer for VG Residents - Anytime Fitness - Local Business Profile

Ryan Manning of Anytime Fitness, and Dr. Erik Carlson of HealthSource introduced themselves and their companies to the Master Board at it's meeting last week.  Both companies' services complement each other.  Starting this month, they're offering discounts for Victor Gardens residents. 

"Anytime Fitness just recently opened their newest location in Hugo. Located in the old Sertino's Coffee site, Anytime Fitness is a premier 24hour fitness facility.  Members get full 24 hour access to over 1800 clubs. The Victor Gardens Community Association has welcomed Anytime Fitness to the neighborhood. 
Anytime Fitness is offering a 15% discount to all Victor Gardens residents.  Simply present a valid ID for proof of residence and receive 15% off your membership dues.  If you haven't had a chance, stop on by and check it out.  The facility really turned out nice and the equipment is fantastic!"
- Ryan Manning

Anytime Fitness
14643 Mercantile Dr. N
Hugo, MN 55038
(651) 429-2188

Special Offer for VG Residents - HealthSource of Hugo - Local Business Profile

Dr. Erik Carlson of Health Source introduced his chiropractic and rehab company along with Ryan Manning of Anytime Fitness.  Both of these companies complement each other and provide valuable services close to home.  For Victor Gardens residents, Dr. Carlson is offering following special offer: 

"Free consultation, examination, X-rays (if necessary) and discussion of your treatment plan ($180 value).  Also, for patients that decide to sign up for care, there are two more options.  Patients that choose a corrective care plan will receive 5 free 1/2 hour massages ($200 value) and patients that choose pain relief will receive 2 free 1/2 hour massages ($80 value).  This totals to a value of up to $380 in savings.  Please bring your ID to verify your address."

14643 Mercantile Drive
Hugo, MN, 55038


January 9, 2012

Ladies-Only Social Event - Jan. 31, 6:30pm at Orchid

Attention all Victor Gardens LADIES:
Come out and join your neighbors at a Ladies only dinner on Tuesday, January 31st at 6:30 at the Orchid in White Bear Lake. The restaurant is located in the out-lot of the White Bear Township Theater at 1190 County Road J. You KNOW you have been wanting to meet the other lovely ladies in the neighborhood and this is the perfect opportunity!! The Orchid is reasonably priced and has wonderful food. See you there!!

New Homes in Concept Phase

While Pratt Homes continues working on the home it's building near Val Jean Park, other plans for more single family homes are in the works. At two recent Master ARC meetings, two separate new home concept presentations were made related to two separate Single Family Village lots.  Although those concepts aren't yet final, the Master ARC invited both parties to continue their work towards final submission.

Communicating with Residents

There have been a few recent complaints that this VG News website, VG News' Facebook page, and related neighborhood calendar and email subscription services aren't providing as much information as they should.  My goal for these services has always been to provide as much information as possible in a time frame that is relevant to readers. Even though these services have never been an official, sanctioned arm of any association, a number of people have found them helpful.  Although there have been a few others that've helped post items in the past, I've largely taken this task on by myself.

Recently, I failed to post on the blog that a Master Board of Directors meeting had been rescheduled for Jan. 5 due to the December meeting's lack of quorum.  On Jan. 5, the Master Board briefly discussed the status of the Victor Gardens North Village 5th Addition sub-association.  With Rottlund Homes going out of business, these residents are going through an uncertain time, and I'm sure they would've been interested in attending.  Although I think the meeting had been posted on the VG News calendar for awhile, I didn't specifically post details about the rescheduled Master Board Meeting on the blog until one day before the meeting.

Afterward, a resident insinuated that I or the Master Board had conspired to keep Victor Gardens North Village 5th Addition residents from these meetings. That's just not the case.  

I completely understand the frustration that residents feel when they're not getting the information they want.  Poor communications from Victor Gardens' Developer, CPDC, is what prompted me to start this website way back in 2006-2007.  Since then, I've added services to reach as many people as possible.

As a busy volunteer, I'll try to do better.  I'll redouble my efforts to get every notice and update posted to the blog that I can. I can definitely use help if anyone is interested in volunteering! 

Residents are always welcomed and encouraged to attend Board and Committee Meetings. If there's a topic that's important to you, contact our Community Manager, Kari Miller to ensure that you have time to speak at the next Master Board meeting.


January 8, 2012

Washington County Launching New Alert System

According to KSTP:  
A new emergency notification system launching Wednesday [Jan. 4] will allow Washington County residents to receive community alerts via phone, text and email message.

The new system, called CodeRED, will allow authorities to geographically target community alerts, such as evacuation notices or missing child reports. The availability of CodeRED is the result of a contract between the Washington County Sheriff's Office, the Public Health Department and Emergency Communications Network, Inc.

CodeRED's activation at noon on Wednesday will test the system, notifying residents of system capabilities and how to register their information, according to the sheriff's office.

Click here to register for CodeRED notifications. You will be asked to provide your name, address and contact information.

Additional information is available online or by contacting the sheriff's office at 651-439-9381.