Mountain Folk News
Winter 2006 Edition
The Manager's Report
by Jim White
The Gate: It was broken 27 times last year and twice so far in 2006. Each time it’s broken I estimate that it costs us property owners about $20.
There was a stretch of vandalism this past fall that was so blatant that the Board decided to offer a Reward of $100 for information leading to the arrest of the individual(s) breaking the gate.
We checked into the possibility of a different type of gate, but the expense or the mechanics of the other choices just didn’t seem to fit with the heavy use that our gate receives. We realize our current gate occasionally has problems, but I’m committed to making it work for all of us (even those light cars built with little metal in them that don’t always trigger our gate mechanism!).
The Gate Code: We will be changing the gate number March 1. The new gate code will be #7913. For those of you smart enough to have purchased automatic gate openers, don’t worry, they will continue to work. If you’d like to purchase a gate opener, contact me or one of the Board members. We can get you a discounted price on them.
Our Water System: Our water system seems to be in good shape. This fall we replaced all the wiring down through the meadow where our water pumps are located. The wiring was old, and malfunctions were causing the pumps to run too long, which could burn them out. We fixed the problem.
We are still having problems with one of our wells that we deepened to 594 feet. It’s not producing as much water as we think it should. There is likely a malfunction in the pump, although there is a slight possibility that the recent earthquakes near Cascade have affected the water table. It’s a project I’ll be working on this spring. I’m hoping it’s the pump!
I fixed two water leaks in our system in 2005. The year before that, I fixed 12. This is an on-going project. If you know of any leaks in our system, let me know. Again, this is probably a spring project. One of the things I’ve learned in fixing leaks is that, at least once a year folks should turn their main water valve off, then back on. This movement keeps it from “freezing up”. That way, if there’s a water leak in your house, you’ll be able to shut the water off at your main water valve.
Speaking of water valves, it’s also a good idea to dig out your fire hydrant and valve this winter, in case there’s a fire. Of course, that means you need to know where your hydrant and water valve is located! And make sure that you have a 1-inch nipple on your hydrant, so that the Idaho City Volunteer fire department can hook up their water truck to your hydrant. We’re hoping to eventually get a grant to replace our old subdivision water truck. Right now, the Idaho City Volunteers are our best bet in case of a house fire.
And finally, for those of you who have been praying for snow, I wish you’d stop praying. Or at least start praying for spring!
FROM THE DESK OF THE PRESIDENT
By Brent Adamson
Winter Safety for our ‘little’ area is just as important as the on the highway or in the valley. We all think about safety for our home, family, animals, and your neighbors. We thought a few reminders might be good, especially for the new folks as the white stuff continues to pile up.
1. Snow Plow—Please do not pass the plow while they are clearing the roads. They will look for you and pull over when they can to let you by. It may seem like they are slow; but to have them turn and take out your bumper (or worse) would not be worth the time you are trying to save.
2. Plan to leave early—It takes longer, and if you follow #3, you need more time.
3. Drive slow-- It may seem obvious, but it does get slippery and people tend to slide on the curves; besides, there are times when it is really tough to stop.
4. Chain up if you think you need to at a safe location, or better yet, chain up in
If you stop in the road after you need your chains, you may be blocking traffic or be in the way of someone who didn’t read # 3.
5. Park in your driveway not on the roads—It is important for the snowplow to have the whole road to do his work. If you park on the road, someone who has not read #3 may hit your car. At night or low light they may not see your car if it’s covered in snow. If you can’t navigate your driveway, arrange for a safe place to leave your vehicle.
6. Keep your snow on your property. If you push snow off your driveway, please push it off the side on your property. Piles of snow on the road are dangerous to those who may be driving by and haven’t read #3
7. It’s our neighborhood, try # 2 and 3, turn your headlights on, help your neighbor and enjoy the winter. There’ll be dust flying before you know it.
Our current Road Maintenance/Snow Removal is contracted with Gardner Construction. Plowing will be scheduled by Duquette Pines Manager, Jim White. Typical snow removal occurs after 6 inches of snow has fallen within the subdivision however, conditions such as wet snow, ice, rain/melt etc., will dictate the need for a great deal of flexibility. Generally, snow removal will begin at approximately 5:30 a.m. however, circumstances and snow conditions will determine necessary start times.
the request of the Board,
While every effort is made to not leave snow berms, as the priority of the road contractor is to clear subdivision roads, berms left in front of driveways due to snow plowing may be unavoidable. Property owners are responsible for clearing private driveways.
Because the subdivision contracts for snow removal services and our contractor must meet strict liability insurance requirements, property owners are not to independently remove snow from subdivision common roads. Please limit your snow removal to your drive and other areas on your property. When clearing your driveway/property, please move the snow to other areas of your own property – not onto the subdivision roads.
Questions or problems regarding these services should be directed to the resident manager or any Board member not to the contractor’s employees.
(catching them, that is!)
At our December meeting, the Board voted to offer a $100 reward for information leading to the arrest and conviction of the person or persons who have been breaking our gate. We have found parts of our gate scattered far from the subdivision. We have even found the gate broken after it had been locked in the raised position – clearly an act of deliberate vandalism.
The money to replace the gate comes out of the homeowners’ dues that we all pay, and requires that our property manager spend time replacing gates when he is needed for other duties in the subdivision. We believe our homeowners want these malicious acts stopped.
So, if you see someone deliberately breaking the gate in an obvious act of vandalism, and you are prepared to assist in the filing of a complaint that leads to that person's conviction, you will receive $100 for your efforts. If you take a photograph that shows someone deliberately breaking the gate, and that image leads to a conviction, you will receive $100 for your efforts. And, if you are one of several people whose actions lead to the conviction of a person breaking our gate, the Board will distribute the $100 reward in an equitable fashion among those who assisted.
Please forward your information to the Boise County Sheriff's Department.
Got A Grant!
by Bruce Reichert
It seems like a bad joke to be writing an article about wildfires in the middle of winter.
So, let me get to the punch line real quick before you turn away. We have $45,000 -- and the assistance of the county’s Disaster Services coordinator -- to help us safeguard our subdivision from wildfires.
That’s the good news. The better news is that, if we spend it wisely, we have a good shot at getting another grant the following year, to finish up the work.
all remember how we felt last summer when the wildfires threatened the subdivisions
In large part that’s because of the BLM land directly west of us. Thankfully, the BLM is starting to take steps to ease the fire danger there and the Board will be working with them to do even more.
But there are things each of us can do, on our own property, to save our homes, and that’s where this $45,000 comes in.
This spring, a wildfire expert and Manager Jim White will make an appointment with you, to see if you want to participate in this project.
If you say “Yes, I’m interested,” they will then analyze what could be done to safeguard your home and offer suggestions. If you’re still in agreement, part of that $45,000 will be used to hire trained personnel to do the work. Perhaps a tree leaning into your house needs to come out or you’re stacking your firewood next to the house. Maybe the undergrowth is getting too dense and needs to be thinned or hit with the “mulcher,” a cool machine that grinds things into mulch.
You’ll have the choice of paying your share or you will have to agree to some “sweat equity,” which might mean a couple of hours of work on the weekend, since this is a matching grant. The contractor will determine how much this will be before you agree to have the work done.
Gordon Ravenscroft, the Disaster Services Coordinator, will be managing the grant and hiring the individuals to do the work. We’re hoping that he and other interested professionals will be available for future discussions with us as we move forward on this important project.
I’ve personally seen a few wildfires up close, in other parts of the state, and they are tremendously destructive. And I’m reminded of something forester Max Muffley said at one of our monthly Board meetings last fall: that in his estimation, Duquette Pines is the subdivision most in peril in this part of the state.
But, luckily, it’s not too late to change that equation.
Keep in touch!
DPHOA wants to make sure we know how to contact you should the need arise. For example, we may want to let you know that your water will be shut off while the subdivision’s central water system is being maintained, or contact you about a special meeting.
Please help us to keep you informed by taking a few moments to update your contact information. And, don’t worry, we will not share or distribute this information without your express permission.
Homeowners with access to the Internet may email their information to firstname.lastname@example.org. Alternatively, homeowners may complete the form below, and either give it directly to a board member, or mail it to the address indicated. (Hint – if you are sending in your road and/or water payment, you can put this in the same envelope!)
DPHOA HOMEOWNER CONTACT INFORMATION
Homeowner name(s) ______________________________________
Contact telephone number ______________________________________
Email address ______________________________________
Pines Sub., Block,
Primary mailing address ______________________________________
Form may be mailed to: