After reading the update from January of last year, I was dismayed to see that the serving president & secretary at that time would be stepping down with no one “stepping up” to take on the reins. After several weeks of consideration and lots of discussion with my spouse, I put my name forward, and voila’ several months later here we are. And what an interesting few months it’s been!
Here’s a brief review of 2018!
First off out of the gate after AGM last spring was the Jones Estate (again). I have to extend my thanks & appreciation to all of the residents that volunteered their expertise and many hours of effort over 5-6 months which resulted in our current elected Town Council rejecting the Proponents proposal.
However, that being said Council on November 26 instructed Town Administration “to explore land use, density and regulatory options for the Jones Estates in order to address opportunities for future development that recognize the unique development constraints of this property.” Town staff has since contacted GECA requesting a meeting for staff to begin to understand what would to be “acceptable to Gleneagles”. These meetings should be happening in Q1 in 2019, and thankfully the same group of volunteers is amenable to stepping up again.
The feedback that I’ve been getting from residents during my open houses in Gleneagles is that they are happy that council ruled the way they did, and they are very thankful with many folks taking the extra time to express their gratitude for all of the volunteers and their many hours of efforts!
As everyone on the lower level of of Gleneagles View realized in the late summer, the Gravel pit operations on the south side of the river relocated from their previous location down to the bottom of the river valley. With the terrain acting like an auditorium this has led to increased noice levels for many homeowners. In some cases increased dust levels have also been noticed. The unfortunate reality is that this area was zoned for these operations before the Town annexed the lands. We urge residents to contact the town with noise and/or dust complaints, especially if the pit is operating outside of its approved hours of operations. Another option for those homeowners that are affected by increased noise and/or dust is to challenge your property taxes. This is coming up soon and the more homeowners that speak-up, the greater the chances are for a successful challenge.
2018 Budget vs Actuals
For the first time since 2015 it looks like we’ll finish the year above water, this is good news and is primarily a result of changing out our Landscaping & Irrigation contractor. The numbers are currently being finalized, and it will be good to not to have draw down on our reserves this year! GECA cannot continue to operate the way it has been and the changes made last year which drove these results are a positive first step.
Other encouraging signs include that it looks like there are only a few homes haven’t paid their 2018 fees. As well, there were a number of examples where we were also able to collect on past due accounts from previous years – which is great news! We have to thank our volunteers for their tenacity & diligence on this. Unfortunately if the last few homes don’t remit their 2018 fees, we may have to send these accounts for collection.
An ongoing issue over the last several years has been speeding. With the warm weather speeding seems to be on the rise again. Your Board of Directors and myself are considering establishing a committee to work with the Town, Bylaw Enforcement, the RCMP as well as hopefully the traffic planners & the Roads division from the Town of Cochrane. While GECA cannot and will not take part in any type enforcement, we can help spread the word and educate ourselves, our residents as well as our guests.
Residents have asked for “more” from their community association. In discussion with the board, GECA is open to supporting any event, activity, etc as long as two basic criteria are fulfilled – 1) there must be volunteer leaders to drive/run the activity and 2) it must be self funding. Example – our landscape contractor last year mentioned that he’d be willing to sponsor either donate the hotdogs (or the funds) for some type of “kids in the park” or “meet your neighbours” day.
So far this year we had a number of volunteers stepped forward to organize a community wide garage sale in September, and now there’s a book club for Gleneagles residents as well. What would you like?
2019 GECA FEES & BUDGET
It’s that time again…GECA fees for 2019 are now due and we would appreciate payment by no later than April 30th. Reminder that you can pay on our website via the PayPal link. The good news is that we not proposing a fee increase for 2019, and the fees will remain the same at $125 (incl GST).
In other 2019 budget news
- Garbage Removal has been transferred to the town, which should result in a savings of several hundred of dollars per year.
- Our insurance policy is currently under review. Upon an initial review we immediately realized a savings of over $400/year. The review is ongoing and we will pick this up again in the new year to see if any additional savings could be realized
- GECA Scope Change 2019 – GECA is currently engaged in discussions with the Town Parks department to refine our scope to only the five common & key areas which highlight Gleneagles for visitors and prospective buyers. These areas are the highway entrance at Highway 1A and Gleneagles Drive, as well as the boulevard entrances to Gleneagles Landing, East & West. Initial indications suggest that we may able to reduce our landscaping costs by up to 2/3 once this is adopted.
Myself and the Board of Directors wish everyone the best in 2019! Slow down & enjoy it!