Our annual meeting was held on Monday, April 6, 2015 at the police department on Zumbehl Rd.
We had a lot of good discussion on agenda items and current events regarding our subdivision. Alderwoman Laurie Feldman and two gentlemen from the Community Development and Public Works departments were there to speak on current events and construction within the City.
The meeting opened with Alderwoman Feldman speaking. She talked about the Streets of St. Charles development and some of the new businesses slated to open in the near future such as a Picasso coffee shop and Wasabi Sushi Bar. She stated that there is still 50% more land to be developed in that area. She noted that the Columns banquet facility has been closed and sold to SSM Health Group. They are planning to tear down the Columns and build a 4 story medical center and garage. Lombardo homes currently has nine new homes under construction on the old golf course property and the first phase is just about sold out. The new subdivision will be called the Estates at Talbridge. She also mentioned the city has purchased Bangert Island as part of a renewed effort to get developers interested in the shore opposite the island for a major development. They are going to be making improvements to the island, but it will continue to be a recreational area.There were questions regarding the Edward Rose development on the old golf course property. Alderwoman Feldman is aware of the fact that things are moving slower than hoped, and she expressed frustration to our residents on the lack of movement on construction. She said that they will continue to monitor the situation. Rose has applied for permits, so there is not much that can be done at this point.
Next to speak was John, the Assistant Director of Public Works. He talked about the new Public Works facility being constructed on the north side of town near Mueller Field next to the Coke warehouse. On November 6, 2012, voters of the City of St. Charles approved Proposition 1 to allocate $8.3 million in General Obligation Bonds to design, construct, and furnish a new Public Works Facility This new facility will combine the Water Distribution and Streets Division departments. The new facility will include:
- Additional service bays to maintain over 150 trucks, SCAT buses, and various heavy equipment
- An indoor storage area for weather sensitive equipment, tools, and materials
- An outdoor bulk storage area for street construction, lighting, and landscape materials
- On-site storage for trucks, construction equipment, and snow plows
- An area to house and store sewer pipe, manhole structures, and components
- Signs and traffic control barricades storage
- A proposed salt dome with 4,000 ton storage capacity
- Administrative offices and training room for Public Works personnel
Next to speak was Kevin, an engineer from the Community Development department. He gave us an update on the Fifth Street construction project from Booneslick to First Capitol currently underway. This construction will entail putting in wider sidewalks, widening the street, improved lighting, replacing the water main and storm sewers, and eliminating the overhead utilities. There will be one more traffic signal added along the way. When completed, there will be 4 lanes…..2 lanes northbound, 1 lane southbound, and a center turn lane. This will eliminate the merge issue that slows traffic and is a pain to deal with currently. He stated that this is a $10.5 million dollar project of which the city will pay only $2.8 million. The city received a federal grant of over $7 million.
Kevin also spoke about the redevelopment of the 5th Street overpass. He said that is the next overpass to be reconstructed, but it will take place within the next 5 years. It will be a “Diverging Diamond” concept like the one recently completed at Mid Rivers and Hwy 70.
A question was raised concerning the Fairgrounds Road extension project. Kevin said that it is in the long range plan, but there is still no funding available for it.
Hidden Oaks board member Rich Siemons talked on the 2014 budget and reviewed the spreadsheet that was given to those in attendance. After all expenses were paid, we saved $1065 this year. Due to legal expenses projected for 2015 relating to the amendment changes and various price increases for budgeted items, it was discussed and determined to cut back on the social activities budget for 2015. Several budget questions were addressed concerning lawn maintenance, rental locker fees, and the percentage of people attending social events.
Next were nominations for board positions. No other candidates expressed an interest in serving on the board, so the three current members, Vince Ratchford, Rich Siemons, and Mark Verzino, were nominated for a another term. Ballots were then passed out, and voting took place. All three members were elected to another term.
Then came discussion on the amendment changes. Everyone should have received a copy of the proposed changes to the subdivision covenants on their mailbox. The first amendment is to change the allowable materials to be used for fence construction in your yard with the exception of chain-link. The second amendment changes the length of terms that the board members can serve to two years and staggers elections so that no more than two of the three board members may change in any given year. This will allow better continuity to the Board and operations of the association. The third amendment is to modify the requirements for passage of an amendment from 70% approval of all homeowners to only 70% of those who vote, provided at least 50% of the total homeowners vote. After some good comments and discussion, it was decided to move forward with the first two proposed changes, but to hold off on the third one relating to the voting percentage on amendment passage. A few residents brought up the fact that this amendment would allow less than a majority of all homeowners to change the covenants.
Finally, the floor was opened for questions or comments regarding the subdivision. The idea of having a mobile, commercial shredder come to the subdivision for document shredding was shared. We are looking into this. There was a reminder that the annual subdivision garage sale has moved to June 3rd, 5th and 6th this year. Questions were asked concerning the best way to report maintenance issues in the neighborhood, such as pot holes, overgrown trees/bushes, trash/debris, dangerous sidewalks, etc.There is an app for your phone called “See-Click-Fix” that can be used to report these types of problems in the subdivision, or you can go to their website SeeClickFix.com. It was mentioned to visit our website, Hidden-Oaks.com frequently, for any updates or information in the neighborhood. Also, if you are not a member of our Facebook group, you can send a message to the Board at to our gmail account at “firstname.lastname@example.org” and ask to be added to our Facebook group (this is a private group). Once a member, you will be able to get real time updates on things occurring in the neighborhood. You can also send out information that will be received instantly by all members of the group. We highly recommend doing this to stay informed.