General Manager's Update

By Shari Haldeman -
General Manager/COO, The Landings Association
Dear Residents, Please join me in expressing sincere thanks and appreciation to the R3 Committee. After several years of net losses in operating cost due to lack of recycling markets, we suspended collection of mixed paper from the Recycling Center in 2018. This announcement prompted a concerned group of about 15 residents to attend a meeting where they expressed strong support for recycling. Their passion for our community and dedication to recycling was obvious. The immediate outcome of that meeting was the birth of the Reduce, Reuse, and Recycle Committee. They partnered with staff to examine the operations, cost, and market, and spent well over 300 volunteer hours at the Center to educate residents on proper disposal (e.g., no pizza boxes please!) to reduce contamination. Ultimately, the R3 Committee and staff concluded that market deterioration has resulted in warehousing or landfilling of the material by recycle contractors, not recycling. As a result, the Committee and staff recommended that further “recycling” be suspended. I am extremely grateful to these residents. They had a concern, shared it directly with The Landings Association, and were willing to roll up their sleeves and partner with staff on open-minded problem resolution despite their initial position. The Board of Directors approved this recommendation during the September meeting and work will begin to phase out the operations. As our community nears build out (178 lots remaining), interest in the neighborhood impact of new home construction on these final lots has increased, as evidenced by resident concerns expressed to the Board of Directors at the June meeting. As a result, the Architectural Review Committee (ARC) was asked to consider process changes recommended by Association staff in discussions during Governance Committee meetings. Noel Ruppert, chair of the ARC, attended the September Board meeting, noting that the Committee is implementing the recommendations, which include posting the upcoming ARC meeting agenda online and restructuring the ARC meeting process for resident attendance to hear the staff review of the application and the applicant presentation, followed with resident comment. These changes provide an opportunity for neighbors to obtain project information and express opinions on the proposals submitted for consideration. The ARC, established in the Covenants as the decision-making entity on such matters, will complete deliberations among its members and subsequently inform the applicant in writing of the decision. Interested neighbors in attendance will be advised of the result as well. The ARC meets on the first and third Thursday of each month at 9 a.m. The agenda will be posted online and in E-News each Friday before the regularly scheduled meeting, beginning on September 25th for the October 3rd meeting. Extensive budget work continues, including reviews with the Finance Committee and Board of Directors, to finalize year-end budget estimates reflecting further current year and future year operating budget expenditure reductions. As noted in this issue’s Budget Box, the Association has engaged a Reserves Specialist to review our Capital Asset Management Plan (CAMP) to provide an independent, industry-specific study on the appropriate level of capital reserves, ranging from today and out to 40 years. In the community association industry, periodic reserve studies are made of all the major capital assets to evaluate how much life they have left and how much they're likely to cost when they wear out. That enables a calculation of the amount of money the association should set aside each year to have enough to replace those items when they do wear out. The importance of this study cannot be overstated, given that the Association owns and manages an extensive and diverse set of capital assets with a current replacement value of $76 million. The remaining useful lives of these assets range from nil to more than 40 years. This work is scheduled to be completed in December. We look forward to an initiative to better engage the community more thoroughly in the budgeting process through three Budget Workshops scheduled for this fall. Each workshop will be livestreamed and then posted on our Facebook and YouTube sites for easy viewing for those unable to attend. These workshops will focus on the topics noted below, as well as allow a question-and-answer period. Please come out or tune in! Budget Workshops @ Delegal’s Sunset Pavilion – 6 p.m.
  • October 16 – Budget Overview and Budget Process
  • November 13 – Changes to Budget Since 2018
  • December 16 – Reserves Study Results
I requested an update from Chatham County concerning the specific plans for the safety improvements at the McWhorter Drive/Green Island Road intersection. According to County staff, the County Commission will vote on a request to establish the project fund. Thereafter, the County will complete the following work by the end of November:
  • Install flashing amber lights on the advance stop ahead signs;
  • Install flashing red lights on the stop signs at the intersection;
  • Install thermoplastic rumble strips at the intersection; and,
  • Coordinate with the County Police Chief to position a speed awareness monitor at the intersection.
As we enter October, I’m celebrating Thanksgiving early. I’m extremely thankful that our community came through Hurricane Dorian with little impact. I’m also thankful that our residents are too smart to get complacent, knowing that Hurricane Season isn’t over until November 30th.

This article was originally published by The Landings Association on their website.

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