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TLA Hosts First-Ever Virtual Annual Meeting
COVID-19 has created a new normal as it relates to events and in-person gatherings. But if we’ve learned anything, we now know that adapting doesn’t have to mean canceling. With that thought in mind, The Landings Association held its first-ever Virtual Annual Meeting on Tuesday, March 2, at 7 p.m.
Landings Association President John Holmquist opened the meeting, welcomed the group, and gave an overview of the agenda. He recognized retired Directors Hank Policinski, Diane Thompson, and Jim Van Epps for their service on the Board. Holmquist then acknowledged 2020 Volunteer of the Year William “Bill” Foster, Sr. for his work in developing the community and his volunteer efforts with The Landings Association’s Public Works and Strategic Water committees. The Landings Association’s Athletic Complex Committee was named the 2020 Volunteer Group of the Year for their work in determining the future of the Athletic Complex, including the current overhaul to the playground and other improvements scheduled for 2021.
Board Director and Treasurer Eric Larson presented the Association’s financial report and covered some financial highlights for the Association.
“Let me start with some key results for the year,” Larson said. “Foremost, be assured that the financial health of The Landings Association remains favorable. We received an independent accounting firm’s assurance in an ‘unqualified’ or clean audit opinion for 2020. Our net revenue over expenses was positive $500 thousand on a cash basis before depreciation, and expenses were reduced by $374 thousand compared to the prior year. The Capital Reserves Fund for future maintenance of your assets was just slightly below our 30% minimum target, with the value of member equity and member deferred revenue in reserve at $19.3 million.”
Larson then explained the allocation of the 2021 Assessment (Property Owner Dues). He shared that of the total $2,070, $1,353 will go to the operating fund and be used for the day-to-day expenses associated with operating the Association and providing the desired services to residents. The Capital Reserves Fund will receive $717 from the total $2,070 Assessment. The Capital Reserves is a restricted fund and is used only to repair and replace capital assets (roads, paths, storm drains, heavy equipment, etc.).
“One significant financial outcome for 2020 was the community approval of funding needs for 2021 to 2023 budgets,” Larson said. “Thank you for your support of the community in a difficult year.”
Larson concluded the financials by reviewing the consolidating statements of revenues and expenses and the consolidating balance sheets. He explained that the consolidating statements of revenues and expenses show the combined results for all TLA operating components, including The Landings Company.
“The Annual Report containing the 2020 audited financial statements, along with an excellent review of the financial and operating results, is posted on the Association’s website (www.landings.org/resources > Annual Meeting Presentations). I hope you will take the time to visit the website where you can download or read the report online.”
Holmquist returned to discuss the Association’s communications and steps that have been taken to improve in this area. These improvements included live-streaming of the Association’s monthly Board Meetings, Backyard Buzz (the email that weeds through rumors and shares the facts), improvements to the Association’s website (www.landings.org) to make it more user-friendly, and the Working Neighbor Drop-in Sessions hosted monthly by the Board. He then talked about work on the Association’s new Strategic Plan, which will be finalized this summer, and about The Landings’ upcoming 50th Birthday in 2022.
The floor was opened for questions from the audience. Following are some highlights from that portion of the program. To view the PowerPoint presentation from the 2020 Annual Meeting, click here. To read the 2020 Annual Report, click here. To watch a video of the meeting, including the full Q-and-A, click here.
Q. What have been the coordinated efforts for marketing between TLA, TLCo, and TLC?
A. The Landings Company is the wholly owned subsidiary of the Association, with a mission of marketing. Both TLCo and TLC use the same marketing firm, Wyse, so there is synergy in those efforts.
Q. What is the status of the housing stock, and how active has the Architectural Review Committee (ARC) been this year?
A. ARC was extremely busy in 2020, approving more than 900 applications, a 35 percent increase from 2019. This has resulted in a vast improvement of the housing stock and new homes being proposed for construction.
Q. Does Security need to be enhanced to screen walk-ins and cyclists that enter the community?
A. Landings Security and the Security Committee looked at this two years ago. At that time, the threat levels didn’t meet the financial investment required to increase Security. The department continues to monitor security levels and will be looking specifically at perimeter security in 2021 to ascertain if cost-effective improvements are warranted.
Q. What can be done about all the dog fences with dogs harassing walkers, runners, etc.?
A. Dog fences are permitted in the Architectural Guidelines. However, nuisance and aggressive dogs should be reported first to Chatham County Animal Control (912-652-6575) and then to Landings Security (912-598-1982)
Q. When will the residents have input in the proposed use of Landings Harbor?
A. That project right now is in the process of some preliminary engineering to help us determine what options are available. It may be another month or two before we can meet with residents in that neighborhood and lay out the plans.
Q. Has the Association considered offering among its amenities a community pool?
A. The Landings Association has taken the position that we do not compete with The Landings Club on amenities. However, we do partner and collaborate with them as much as possible.
Q. What is the status of the proposed roundabout? If installed, will it be paid for by the County or TLA?
A. Chatham County continues to monitor the traffic flow of the island and the four-way intersection at Diamond Causeway and Green Island Road, and McWhorter Drive. Several options, including a roundabout, have been explored by the County. However, to date, no final decisions or official announcements have been made by them. If a roundabout is the chosen solution, it’s cost will be covered by County tax dollars.
Q. Due to our aging infrastructure, how significant is the risk posed by older storm drains, root intrusion, etc., and what are we doing to ensure we can weather larger storms?
A. Currently, Landings Association Public Works is in the process of identifying and addressing the areas that need repair. We use a cure-in-place system that can be pulled within the storm drain and cured, making a seamless pipe within the pipe and preventing the need for removal. The current focus is on the older area of the community and the corrugated pipes. Regardless of the type of pipes used, we will see root intrusion, as we are a community with an abundance of trees. However, we continue to be proactive and work through this process.
Q. What are the plans for refreshing landscaping in the southern section of the island?
A. We now are fully funded in the center island budget with the new Assessment, which allows us to go out and address some of these concerns. Residents are encouraged to email Public Works (www.landings.org/contact-us) if there are specific areas you would like us to evaluate.
Q. What are the plans for Mid-Point resurfacing?
A. Currently, we are exploring three different design options, including a like-for-like paver option, an asphalt option, and a redesign where we would allow Civil Engineers to recommend the best course of action. Once we fine-tune plans and costs, we will put forth a recommendation to the Board.
Q. Is TLA planning cookouts for the summer?
A. No. With the uncertainty of COVID-19 and in-person gatherings, TLA eliminated community programs for 2021, as it didn’t seem an effective use of members’ money. However, we will evaluate it in our budgeting this fall to see if this is something we should reinstate.
Q. When do you expect the new Strategic Plan to be available, and will residents have input?
A. Currently, we are in the information gathering stage of this project and hope to have something pulled together by mid-summer. Residents will have the opportunity to provide input on the Strategic Plan.
Q. Is TLA exploring bringing fiber-optic Internet options to The Landings to increase Internet reliability?
A. Yes. We are working with a consultation group and a local firm to gauge their interest in getting fiber to the homes. It is challenging, as so many companies, including AT&T, have paused upgrading technology in some areas. Hopefully, 5G also will offer some options.
Q. Can you update the status of Sprayfield development?
A. TLA has no plans for Sprayfield development at this time.
Q. What is the status of the water issue in 2025?
A. The state of Georgia issues permits to all the water providers in increments. 2025 is the end of the current permitting period. As a result, EPD will issue the new standards that everyone will need to achieve. In the past, they have reduced to the prior year’s standards. There is a five-year phase-in level to achieve whatever the next permitting level happens to be.