Following an impressive term as Treasurer of the Mill Creek HOA, our neighbor Sharon Herbert has resigned and her duties will be temporarily handled by the President until a new Treasurer is appointed by the Board. The Treasurer is an officer position which has often been filled by a Board member (but probably shouldn't be). Sharon ushered in several key changes and provided a professional's touch which resulted in greatly improved HOA financial processes. The current Treasurer position now enjoys the reliability and security provided by the accounting firm of Wills & Associates, as well as the assurances imparted by a named co-signer when endorsing invoices, checks or other HOA financial instruments. Sharon streamlined Mill Creek's financial procedures, making them more transparent, efficient and secure - which leaves the next Treasurer in a really good place. If you see Sharon out and about, be sure to thank her for the many hours she spent making the Association more sound financially.
So what's the good news for anyone interested in the job? The Treasurer isn't required to make sit-down meetings, so the position is self-scheduling and very flexible. The job involves overseeing the HOA's finances by maintaining contact with our accounting firm and providing reports to the Board on a recurring basis. The Treasurer also manages the fiscal requirements of Mill Creek HOA contracts, which generally involves landscaping services. A bookkeeper is assigned to the Mill Creek account at Will's & Associates, which is helpful to say the least. No special skills are required for the position - just a desire to want to serve Mill Creek and the ability to do basic arithmetic. Please contact Brian Lewis or Jim Aitken for any questions.
Many of you have asked what will happen to the county land near Monticello fire station now that the mini-dump is not going there. Here's the answer:
(The following is reprinted from the Albemarle County Newsletter)
July 24th 2014
5:30 - 6:30 pm: review exhibits and talk informally with staff
6:30 - 9:00 pm: community input session
Monticello High School Forum
County Supervisors Jane Dittmar (Scottsville), Liz Palmer (Samuel Miller), and County Staff
Albemarle County is updating our community's Comprehensive Plan, which guides decisions about land use, public projects like schools, parks, and libraries, transportation improvements and environmental and historic resource protection initiatives. The Comprehensive Plan update has been approved by the Planning Commission but is still under consideration by the Board of Supervisors. Work will be completed sometime in the late fall.
Signs in yards, failure to mow grass, unauthorized paint colors, fences beyond house fronts, potholes, roofing materials, commercial vehicles on lawns, unauthorized live tree removals, big sheds and bad mailboxes. These are just some of the complaints your Mill Creek HOA is currently addressing. Most of them relate directly to the bylaws and covenants which provide for governance in our neighborhood.
There is only one take home point to this article: it is NOT better to beg forgiveness than ask permission when it comes to projects on any property, lot or common area of Mill Creek. Communication with your HOA is easy, so it is better not to guess about whether your plans require approval. Simply contact an Architectural Committee member, or anyone on the Board via email or regular mail. Boards have answered many email questions in hours or even minutes in some cases. But if your plan requires formal approval, you will be asked to complete the request form, submit it and await approval or disapproval.
This week, a Little Free Library opened, adjacent to the sidewalk across the street from 131 Mill Creek Drive. Interest is high and trading has been brisk.
What is a "Little Free Library?" It is a place where neighbors can share books: "take one, leave one." So come see the books available for children and adults.
Who built our library? Volunteers worked over several months to build and install the library. Though small in size, the neighborhood project required research, site surveys, drawings, Miss Utility, Cabinetry and construction skills and approval from the Mill Creek Board of Directors. Gristmill Drive residents Janet Eden and Addeane Caelleigh were the project instigators - Janet installed the post. Special thanks go to Susan Patrick (Gristmill Drive) and Peter Kleeman who designed and built the library. They used recycled materials from their own projects. On behalf of those involved, Susan and Peter thanked the Homeowner's Association for its support in making a Little Free Library possible in Mill Creek: "From salvaged materials a library was constructed to be a meeting place for readers young and old and a source of pleasure and knowledge for all. We invite everyone to take a book, leave a book."
Want to know more about Little Free Libraries around the world? See http://www.littlefreelibrary.org to learn more about this community-based movement.
Living in the beautiful, alpine environment of Mill Creek has its benefits. Among them is easy access to existing trails along Biscuit Run Creek, which will one day connect us to an 1,195 acre State Park between Routes 20 and 631. The trails meander through heavily wooded countryside that presents an ever changing landscape. A landscape that was interrupted when Mother Nature decided to impede human travel by way of a 9,000 lb tree across Mill Creek's trail. Several residents complained, so the new HOA Board took action.
The first formal election of a Mill Creek HOA Board of Directors was conducted in compliance with our bylaws at the March 12th continuation of the January 15th Annual Meeting - which had been adjourned for lack of a quorum. The intervening period saw the establishment of an independent Election Committee and a number of volunteers dedicated to obtaining a quorum for the March vote. On March 12th, five nominees were elected to the five Board of Directors seats. Approximately 65% of homeowners participated in the election. The newly elected Board members would like to extend their deepest appreciation to homeowners Nancy Meserve and Sue Voreis for their tireless efforts in achieving a quorum and developing a standardized procedure for future election committees. But most of all, this election could not have happened without the participation of those homeowners who actively voted, assigned proxies, or abstained. Your active participation allowed us to meet a quorum requirement that had not previously been met in over 20 years.
Cars on streets prevent VDOT from plowing.
Please remove cars from streets before it snows.
Do you use www.511virginia.org to check local, regional or state road conditions after a major storm? How about the Albemarle County Schools page for parents, that provides everything you need to know about closings and delays? Or the UVA closing information page? There must be dozens more of value to your neighbors - everything from tree removal to generator usage and product buying guides. If you use a web resource, TV/radio station or other service when weather is a problem, please share it with the rest of us! You can provide a resource via the comment link above, recommend a contractor on our recommendations page, or email the author. Let's all crowdsource a helpful list for people to use when weather is brewing. In the meantime, does anyone know how to help a small or elderly dog to poop outside after a big snowfall? How about this?
At a public hearing January 8th, the Albemarle county Board of Supervisors voted to extend the RSWA contract at Ivy for one year, thus suspending a move to place one of three proposed "convenience centers" in either Mill Creek or Keene by June 2014.
The vote followed about three hours of public commentary from over 60 residents of Keene and the Mill Creek/Avon Street Extended area - all of which reflected opposition to the county's proposal to place the first convenience center in one of those areas.
Residents of Avon Street Extended neighborhoods, along with area business leaders and school officials, met with newly seated Albemarle county supervisor Jane Dittmar and county staff to hear information and voice concerns regarding the placement of a proposed "convenience center" behind the Monticello fire station. The red area in the GoogleMaps image above, denotes the approximate site about 50 feet from Tandem Friends school athletic fields and across the street from Monticello High School. Coverage of the meeting by The Daily Progress can be found here. The Mill Creek HOA Position statement follows here:
A group of Mill Creek homeowners is interested in having a "Little Free Library" in Mill Creek.
Communities across North America have erected small structures for sharing donated books with their neighbors. Go to the Little Free Libraries website to see what our neighbors across the country have done! http://littlefreelibrary.org/
The idea is simple: families or neighbors build a small "library" box and install it on a post along the street. It is filled with donated books available to everyone, and most have a mix of books for adults and children. This grass-roots movement began with one box in Wisconsin in 2009, and there now 10,000+ around the world, with more being installed every week.
If you are interested in planning one for Mill Creek, get in touch with Addeane Caelleigh (firstname.lastname@example.org) or Janet Eden (email@example.com).
Charlottesville has at least three Little Free Libraries: one on Palatine Avenue in Belmont, another in Key West/Cedar Hills, and the newest one in Greenbriar, pictured above.
The Virginia Department of Forestry needs your help to continue producing high-quality seedlings for Virginia landowners. Virginia- grown seed generally produces trees that will grow well in our state. Every year, homeowners from all over the state donate acorns to help produce the next season’s crop.
When you rake your leaves in the fall, consider collecting the acorns and donating them to the forestry department. See the DOF website for details on what is needed and how to drop off your donations in Charlottesville.