MERIDIAN VALLEY MAINTENANCE ASSOCIATION
SPRING 2008 NEWSLETTER
 

 

PRESIDENT’S MESSAGE - Ron Arntson
                    253-630-2281                arntson7@comcast.net

            Your Board Members have been very involved in the many activities that make Meridian Valley one of the premier communities in this area.  We are very close to finalizing all the last minute details relative to our new security and gate control system which incorporates videos cameras at each gate and real time monitors located at our gatehouse.  This endeavor was accomplished through countless hours of work by our Facility and Security Chairpersons.  The Architectural Committee is busy looking at plans which include at least one tear-down and rebuild, several remodel projects, and numerous landscaping projects.  Our Common Grounds continue to look very good and compliment the environment we are trying to create in this community.

I would like to thank the many volunteers that helped with the registration of our members for the new remotes and explained the new policies relative to these remotes.  We worked two days and received a lot of comments about how well the event was organized.

ARCHITECTURAL COMMITTEE - Jim Schack
                   
(253) 639-1515                jschack245@mac.com

            As this year’s Chair, I want to thank our neighbors who volunteer to serve as members of the Architectural Committee, they are: Sarah Davidson, Terry and Trish Lavery, Janet Lewis, Randy McClaflin, Pat Mjelde, Jared Myers, Lin Payton, Mike Rucker, Frank Wisdom, Joanne Ottini, and Stuart MacDonald.  Complete contact information for each member is available on the MVMA website (www.meridianvalleycc.com/mvma) I encourage you to check out this site for all the current policies and guidelines.

            Our community has 384 single-family lots and 42 condo units.  There are only two empty lots, so the focus of the Architectural Committee is on remodels, maintenance, and landscape issues to the exterior of your homes.  As a reminder, if you are planning to change/update the exterior of your home or landscaping, prior Architectural Committee approval is required.  You may download from the website application forms or get a copy from the MVMA office (next to the new fitness center at the clubhouse).  The Committee meets the first Wednesday of every month at 7pm in the boardroom of the Meridian Valley clubhouse.  You are welcome to attend.

            The Committee is working to refine the policy for approved roofing materials, specifically with respect to asphalt material.  A number of homes are now replacing the traditional wood shake roofs with other materials.  Our goal is to preserve the look (depth, shadow, and relief) as near as possible with these replacement materials.  All roofing submittals will require a color brochure attached and asphalt materials will require a color brochure and a sample board for review.  Please refer to the website for our latest policy on roofing materials or call me or one of the committee members for additional guidance on approved materials.

            If you have any questions or concerns, please call or send me an e-mail.

REMEMBER:  Lock your cars, close garage doors, obey stop signs, and the speed limit!!
Please pick up your dog’s deposits – all homeowners would appreciate this consideration.

SECURITY - Terry Lavery
  
                 253-631-7275             terrylavery1@comcast.net

We deactivated the remotes and card reader from our “old” system on March 8th and activated the remotes for the new access control system.  It was a very happy day for the MVMA Board.  As I reflect on this event that has consumed the majority our time and efforts for a year and a half, I would be remiss if I didn’t explain some of the reasons for the delay.

In the rapidly changing electronic/digital world our MVMA access control system for our gates was outdated (we were using Windows 95 operating system), we were experiencing computer problems that controlled the gates, especially the north and south gates, we were three updates behind the current systems.  Thus began our 1-1/2 year journey.  In the security/gate world there is no single company that provides the access control and the mechanical operation of our gates.  After we sent our request for quotes to 3-4 security companies, we selected Pacific Fire and Security (PF&S) to provide and install our new access control system which included security cameras.  We, the MVMA board, debated which tool we were going to provide our residents to use to assess the community.  There were 3 choices, universal remotes, proprietary remotes, or a Prox-Linc MT tags (sticks).  We chose the “sticks” because they offered security over convenience and that PF&S assured us a 95-98% reliability rate.  We ordered the system and after the Prox-Linc system and reader were delivered to PF&S they conducted a field test on these “sticks”, unfortunately they could not achieve the reported 95-98% reliability rate with the “sticks”.  PF&S reported their finding to us and we immediately conducted our own field tests and ratified their findings.  We had to change directions and as a result of the consensus of those residents attending the MVMA annual meeting, we chose to proceed with the universal remotes. Most of you are familiar with “Murphy’s Law”; well Murphy played a big role in the delay. After we ordered the new security system we had the south gate card reader burn out. It would have cost $2,000.00 to replace it; we were also having trouble with the north gate reader, likewise $2,000.00 to replace it.  We chose not replace the readers but to use an interim fixed remote/push button system since the new system would be here soon.  You all know how well that worked, BUT here is the kicker!  Both the Fire & Police Departments use card readers to access our community, we have distributed over 80 to both departments for their engines and police cars.  We didn’t have 80 remotes to give the department hence the gates being left open between 5:00am and 10:00pm when the buttons didn’t work but closed at night after 10:00pm.  At night, the guards at our gate house communicated with 911 as to the status of our gates.

That is all behind us now.  In addition to the new cameras, the new remotes for access control we have installed a state of the art “Click to Enter” system for the Fire and Police Departments; this will give them faster access through our gates in the case of an emergency.  We are also looking for ways to increase the efficiency of the mechanical portion of the gates.  Our current contractor, Guardian, is doing an excellent job on maintaining the mechanical portion of the gates.

I would like to thank Jim Marter, Jack Ottini, and Dale Mjelde for their tireless efforts to keep both the north and south gates operational during the transition period or opening the gate when they were acting up.  I would also like to remind the residents that the remotes should be pointed at the gates and held down for 1-2 seconds until the gates start to move (north and south gates).  The main gate requires you aim the remote at the gatehouse for the same period of time and you will see the gate lifting up to swing out.  This gate is slower than the north and south gates.  If you are tailgating another car please click your remote, which will notify the guard that a Meridian Valley home resident is entering the community when your car appears on the screen in the gate house.  If you have a remote that is not operating, please take it to the gatehouse and they will test it for you.

I would also like to thank our residents for their patience and understating during this transition.  It was my pleasure to have met a large number of you when you came in to get your remotes and to drop off your information.

FACILITIES - Jack Ottini
                    253-631-2487

            Most of January and February was spent on getting the new gate system installed and running.  We switched over to the new system on Saturday March 8th.  A few of you may have a problem with your new remotes.  If so, please contact Cheryl Havener at our MVMA office on Mondays from 9:00 to noon, or call 253-631-3131, ask for the MVMA office and leave your name and number so that we can contact you. 

            I would like to thank those who helped distribute the new remotes to our residents; Pat and Dale Mjelde, Kim Sharrah, Joanne Ottini, Cheryl Havener, Ed Bangsund, Ron Arntson, Jim Schack, and Terry Lavery.

            The new “Click 2 Enter” system for Police and Fire access is now operational. This system is separate from our resident access system.  The Kent Fire Department met with the MVMA Board in February about the “possible” closure of the Fire Station outside our south gate.  Look for the article from the Fire Department in this newsletter.

            Guardian Security performed their quarterly inspection of our gates.  Three gates were found to have minor problems and repairs were made.  This past winter, we had one snow storm and no major wind storms.  We had no problems and all our facilities are in good shape.  As we approach spring, we have some upgrades to do with our signs and street reflectors.

MVMA WEBSITE - Robert Steiner
                    253-630-2619                rlsteiner@comcast.net

The Board decided that there is no need for the majority of the MVMA web information to be in the private section of the MVMA web so all items except the Board minutes are now public.  To access them, you need only log onto the MVMA website www.meridianvalleycc.com/mvma and click on the appropriate link.  To access the minutes, you do need to enter the username, mvma and the password, mvma. The website continues to be a convenient way that minutes of Board Meetings, policy statements, Newsletters, e-mail addresses, and phone numbers of Board Members and Architectural Committee members are readily available to you.

Although e-mail distribution to MVCC residents is not used a great deal it is the fastest and least expensive way to contact residents in Meridian Valley with announcements and security issues.  If you are not currently on the distribution list and would like to be, please let me know (rlsteiner@comcast.net or mvma@eschelon.com) and you will be added to the list.  Likewise if you wish to be removed from the list, also notify me at the above e-mail address.  Most importantly, if you have or will be changing your e-mail address, please notify me so that I can update your e-mail address.

TREASURER’S REPORT - Mike McCarty
                    253-638-8749                mmccarty_98042@yahoo.com

            In the YE 2007 Report I stated the Long Range Plan Reserve (LRP) committee had developed a LRP and Investment Guideline for the association’s monies.  Those investments have been made according to those guidelines and we are experiencing the current market’s performance but our goal is long range.  You may access the LRP and Investment Guidelines at the MVMA website.

            The final cost of the new gate access control system has not been determined as all the work has not been completed to date.  The overall gate access budget was $57,650 and I will provide a complete comparison when the project is finished.  Our accountants, Shannon and Associates, are completing our annual report and tax filing and should be finished by the end of March. 

            I am looking for MVMA member volunteers to participate in an audit of our books to meet our By-law requirements.  Those interested in participating please contact me at mmccarty_98042@yahoo.com.   The audit will be scheduled on a mutually convenient day in late April or early May so please consider volunteering.  

COMMON GROUNDS - Ed Bangsund
  
                 253-638-9680                edbangsund@comcast.net

As a new member of the MVMA board, I look forward to working with the residents of Meridian Valley on common interests and issues concerning our landscaping.

The contract for the maintenance (mowing, pruning, fertilizing, planting, barking, leaf and debris clean up) of the common grounds has been renewed with Myard, Inc. (Chris Rodwell).  Due to our typical winter storms and winds, Chris has been busy performing the clean-up tasks with respect to fallen branches and leaf accumulations.  Myard has developed a close and cooperative working relationship with Craig Benson and his staff, on a number of common projects.  We are still awaiting action from the BPA, on the pruning of the pine trees, located under the power lines on perimeter road, paralleling our fourth fairway. Replacement of the dying Photinia along the fifth fairway road was completed. We are closely following with the City of Kent, any future development of the Temple property on 132nd, to insure that any surface water solutions will not adversely affect MVMA.

            A great help in reducing the costs of clean-up and possible flooding, would be for residents to keep the storm drains near their properties, free from leaf and debris build-up.  There are 306 storm drains in Meridian Valley, and it is costly to have the pumping trucks remove this debris.

            As spring approaches, we will look forward to spreading bark and fertilizing the common grounds.  Flower planting and some shrub replacement will follow.

FIRE STATION UP-DATE:

On February 13, 2008, Representatives from the Kent Fire Department met with the Executive Board of the Meridian Valley Maintenance Association to review the Department’s performance standards.  In discussing performance standards, it was conveyed that the Fire Department is struggling to meet identified performance standards, specifically in the downtown core area of Kent.  In addressing the inability to meet identified performance standards, the Department has been and continues to look at different options relating to resource deployment.  One of the options reviewed in 2007, was the potential relocation of the crew at Fire Station 72.  After considering all options in late 2007, Fire Department representative conveyed that the option of relocating the crew at Fire Station 72 would not happen in 2008. They are currently looking at different options to consider for 2009. These options, at this time, do not include relocating personnel from Station 72.  As the Department continues to look at better ways to provide service to all citizens of the City of Kent and King County Fire District #37, the Department will bring recommendations back to effected stakeholders for open discussion and input before a final decision would be made by the City.

The Fire Department is continuing to work with the Maintenance Association Board to identify ways to reduce their response time in the Meridian Valley Complex. This includes changes made, for faster entry through our gates.

GATE OPERATING HOURS:

            MAIN GATE:  accessible 24 hours
            NORTH & SOUTH GATES:  accessible 4:00 am until 10:00 pm

ATTENTION HOMEOWNERS:  

With the installation of the new gate system, we have found that some of the new remotes do not work.  If you have one of these bad remotes, please contact Cheryl Havener at the office or at home 253-630-1553.

The MVMA Declaration of Restrictions (DOR’s) Article VI Section 6(h), which requires keeping garbage, refuse, or recycle containers screened from public view.  Please see that these containers are stored properly.  A follow up letter will be sent to those that do not comply.