June 2020 Updates

Greetings, Cedar Springs Homeowners.

We hope you are all well and getting a little normalcy back into your world. The board would like to update you on several things we have been working on this spring.

Given the number of updates, we have listed a short explanation of each item followed by a detailed explanation for more information.

  • Because of COVID-19 closing local pools, the board has voted to allow a waiver on the covenant that states a homeowner may not have a pool larger than 40 square feet of surface water above ground for the summer of 2020.
  • Porchfest 2020 has been canceled.
  • Five of the culverts at the retention pond have been cleaned out and have new erosion rock.
  • We have started growing native landscaping along the edge of the retention pond as a means of erosion control.
  • We have limbed up the area of trees on the NW edge of the retention pond.
  • The cables for the retention pond fountains have been updated with nylon mooring cables, and repairs have been made to the fountains.
  • We have collected 96% of the HOA dues for the year of 2020 and currently have seven liens for unpaid dues from previous years.

Pool Restrictions Lifted for Summer 2020

With the COVID-19 pandemic closing most pool areas this summer, the board has voted to allow a waiver on the covenant that states a homeowner may not have a pool larger than 40 square feet of surface water above ground.

We are asking that if you choose to purchase a larger pool that it be covered and the ladder removed when not in use, and all pools are to be taken down at the end of the season (September 15). If you choose to purchase a pool, please be aware this waiver is being granted for this year only; it does not mean you will be allowed to use this larger pool in future years.

Porchfest Canceled

The COVID-19 pandemic has also caused the cancellation of Porchfest this year, so it will not be held in Cedar Springs. We will let you know as we receive any further updates from the Porchfest committee.

Pond Culverts

The largest project we completed this spring was the work on the culverts at the retention pond. The board has been putting aside money to have the sediment cleaned out and the erosion rock replaced. 

After speaking to several companies, we hired Craig Tobin’s company to come in and do the work.  We feel they did an excellent job.  And even though the project required more erosion rock than estimated, the project came in at $10,372 for five culverts instead of the estimated cost of $12,555.  We saved money because there was very minimal damage to the grass, and we didn’t need to purchase erosion barriers or hydroseed the disturbed areas.

We are so happy to see so many families enjoying the pond area and spending time fishing.  Please talk to your family members and remind them not to throw the new culvert rocks into the water and also to clean up after themselves before leaving the pond.  We have only noticed these issues with a small percentage of people using the area, but we wanted to bring it to everyone’s attention.

Pond Landscaping and Erosion

We met with some local pond vendors, as well as with the DNR and Johnson County NRCS, to get advice on how to better care for the retention pond.

Based on their recommendations, we made our decision on which culverts needed immediate erosion work.  We also took their advice to get native landscaping growing around the edge of the water to help with soil erosion and to filter the stormwater more effectively.  For now, we have started with not mowing close to the edge of the water. 

The next step will be to plant some native species along the edge of the less-used areas.

Pond: Northwest Corner

We received requests from homeowners to remove the patch of trees on the NW corner of the water

After further research we discovered this area contains Sandbar willow (tree); Cottonwood (tree); Black cherry (tree); White mulberry (tree); Eastern red cedar (conifer); Riverbank grape (vine); Virginia creeper (vine); Common milkweed (forb), used by Monarch butterflies, and Scouring rush (fern). 

This area increases the diversity of the pond by providing a habitat that is not present anywhere else along the shoreline. Brushy/shaded shorelines provide habitat for insects (dragonflies, damselflies, etc.), amphibians (frogs and tadpoles), and small fish by allowing them to hide from predators.

We were told removal of the trees in this area would result in the entire shoreline being devoid of cover, which could be detrimental to those who utilize our pond and could lead to further erosion from the holes left behind by the large, tree roots.

For these reasons, we decided to take the least invasive measure and use a method called limbing up to remove the areas of low-hanging branches encroaching into the neighboring yards. We also had the suckers treated that were sprouting up in the neighboring yards, in addition to treating the poison ivy along the edge of this area. It seems to be working out well, so we are going to maintain it as needed instead of removing this natural habitat area.

Pond Fountains

We have had a few issues with our retention pond fountains. 

Because of COVID 19 shutdowns impacting staffing of local companies, the repair process took several months. The fountain’s metal supporting cables had rusted through, and it had also been brought to our attention that the supporting cables for the fountains were a tripping hazard, given their height and distance from the water.

We decided to replace the fountain’s metal support cables with a nylon mooring rope and to remove the wooden posts on the shore and replace them with a flat piece of cement at ground level.  When the work got underway, it was discovered the fountain filter had also rusted through, so we had to purchase a replacement. 

Everything has been repaired, and the fountains are now once again functioning.

Dues Update

Thank you to everyone who has mailed in your annual membership dues. We have only about four percent remaining unpaid! The board members volunteer their time, so all the HOA dues money is used to maintain the common areas and keep them looking beautiful.

Please contact us if you have any questions, need a copy of the covenants, or if you are interested in assisting the board as a volunteer.

Cedar Springs HOA Board of Directors

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P.O. Box 781
North Liberty, IA 52317

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