Welcome back, my Woodhaven family. It seems like winter just started and here we are getting ready for family and friends to meet us for the 2018 season. I have spent the better part of this winter visiting with some of our Owners that winter from Texas to Florida. I am a firm believer that, as a Board member, one of my responsibilities should be to check out other places and facilities that mirror our beloved Woodhaven in order to compare our operations. I have to admit that I’ve not found anything comparable to Woodhaven that even comes close to our amenities, value, and management.
Our staff has been hitting projects around Woodhaven like storm troopers and I hope to put the call out to many of you to help assist our staff as needed in the months to come. It’s my belief that as part of our large Woodhaven family the help given will translate into higher attendance and participation from parents and children. The cold weather coupled with harsh winds, and recently snow, is preventing the final phase of the Nature Center metal roof from being completed. With the outside work delayed, attention to the inside is bringing this project closer to completion.
I was not able to attend Cabin Fever this year, as Bea and I were making our way back home; however, I hope you all were overjoyed to make your way back to the peace and tranquility of Woodhaven.
Be safe and may God bless you all,
Board of Directors President
The holiday season is upon us, so my greeting to our Membership will be all encompassing. I received a Facebook posting from my good friend Mary McGrady and it included the following holiday wishes “Happy Hanukkah”, “Merry Christmas,” “Joyous Kwanzaa,” and “Happy Holidays.” The post stated “I will not be offended. I will be thankful that you took the time to say something nice.” These sayings I believe may be appropriate to many of you, as I’m sure there are many more which apply. My best wishes to all our Members. I also pray that you have safe travels and a Happy New Year.
Our Nature Center/Bait Shop construction is coming along great. The roof is on and soon we’ll have it buttoned up for interior work. It’s cold outside, but wonderful being out here in paradise. The roads have a lot of deer crossing, so keep an eye out for them and be safe. The mild weather we’ve had recently has allowed staff to complete some of our trail improvements. We have completed the initial phase of the 2018 budget process and the Board will be voting on the assessment levels at our December meeting. The recommended assessments are to remain at $1,230 for lots with sewer services, and $1,105 for lots without sewer services in 2018. Work on the budget will continue after the first of the year, with the final figures to be approved at our March Board Meeting. A lot of work was performed by our ESAC Department in order for the Board of Directors to enact our current year’s abatements. Needless to say, our staff has done a fantastic job in keeping our facility and resources operating optimally.
The Board will be making appointments at our December meeting for all our standing committees and review boards. These appointments will be for a four year term. I would like to preemptively congratulate the new appointees and thank all our Owners who were willing to make the commitment to Woodhaven’s operation.
I wish all our Woodhaven families a happy Thanksgiving. I was impressed by the amount of children at our trunk and treat this year. Our families and our children are what keep me on the Board. We strive to give you the best experience possible and the memories you make last for a lifetime. I truly enjoyed speaking to many of you about our activities and was able to meet many Owners that have been participating here since they were children. The entire Woodhaven staff deserves a round of applause for a job well done.
The snowflakes will fall, and if you’re on property and hear the roar of snowmobile engines, make sure you look both ways while driving. There are many activities going on in the winter, so stay bundled up and be safe while doing your outdoor activities. Frostbite and even dehydration occur in the winter, so come in frequently, warm up and drink lots of liquids. Pay special attention to weather advisories that emphasize extreme weather conditions.
Veterans’ Day has come and gone, so I would like to tell my fellow veterans “Thank You for Your Service”. You who have defended our freedoms, our flag and your country will always have my admiration and respect. The Woodhaven Ad Hoc Veterans Committee, staff and the Board are currently discussing a facelift around the area of our Veterans Memorial Circle Drive. Hopefully we will have this work completed by our next Memorial Day. The eagle woodcarving has been moved and stored by our Maintenance Department until next season when we will have a dedication ceremony to our veterans.
Lastly, I would like to touch on a situation that occurred recently in Section 21. The Association posted information about gunfire that happened one night where two trailers were damaged. This random but blatant disregard for the safety of others is a situation that will not be taken lightly by your Board of Directors or staff. To those impacted by this, my prayers are with you and we will be following up on the culmination of the Lee County Sheriff’s Department investigation.
Board of Directors President
Our summer has given us record amounts of rainfall and yet we have had many beautiful days. I hope that everyone enjoyed our Main Event weekend. Our recent road improvements serve as a reminder to our Owners that our staff and your board have your best interests at heart. Many of the projects completed this year reflect what a wonderful place we have and our commitment to continuous improvement.
I wish to welcome all our new Owners and their families to our Woodhaven family. In speaking to many new Owners I was told that they couldn’t believe all that we, as an association, provide our Members.
Hopefully our road improvements project did not adversely affect any of us. This year we received favorable pricing and decided to expand the road projects which will put us ahead on our improvement schedule. If you have our Woodhaven App on your smartphone, you probably received the notifications put out by staff which apprised us of where road construction was occurring. I myself was impressed by how much work was going on and the amount of coordinating happening on our announcements.
The paving crew will be prepping the roads for paving in sections 22, 25, and 28 – paving work is scheduled for this Wednesday – weather permitting.
Due to today’s weather outlook, the seal coat crew will start TOMORROW(instead of today) in section 5, then move into sections 4, 7, 8 – again, weather permitting. These sections of road will be closed while the seal coat is applied.
My message this month is one of information dissemination. We have numerous Owners at Woodhaven who have chosen to be your point of contact for information about your beloved Woodhaven. These Owners are known to everyone by the titles of Section Representative or Alternate Section Representative. Once a month these individuals attend a Section Rep meeting where they talk about upcoming projects, activities, or how our many internal departments operate. Your Section Reps hold three meetings each camping season in their respective sections or sometimes as a joint section meeting in order to pass on information to you, our Owners. I urge everyone to attend your section meetings and learn what’s happening at Woodhaven from your Section Representatives. As an intricate part of our Association, I would like to thank them all for their devotion.
During our last Board of Directors meeting, I was presented with a check for the Veterans Memorial display from one of our veterans, Mr. Stephen Fleck, who started a Go Fund Me page in order to replace several veterans display items which were taken and later recovered by our Public Safety staff. The funds were donations by some of our Owners and businesses who were outraged that this had occurred. The Veterans Ad Hoc Committee will be meeting this month to discuss ways to utilize these funds in enhancing our Veterans Memorial display. My heartfelt thanks to all who donated to this fund.
Our Board of Directors has a responsibility to you, the Owners, and one of them is maintaining the common properties, buildings, roads and other improvements within Woodhaven Lakes. We are also tasked with conducting its affairs in keeping with the highest ethical, moral, and legal standards. During the past five years we have had numerous debates, discussions and planning centered on our Nature Center building and I am happy to report that a positive vote was taken on June 26th at the Board of Directors meeting. We will have further information posted on the construction schedule in future Association postings on Facebook and our website.
Our Main Event weekend is rapidly approaching. Many great events and activities are planned for this weekend with our fireworks display as our feature attraction. This year our fireworks will be done over Woodhaven Lake with a Venetian Boat Parade to precede the fireworks(more info on page 24). I hope to see many of you by the Family Center and Beach that evening.
This is the time of year that I wish all our Woodhaven fathers a happy Fathers Day. We have just celebrated the memory of our fallen military members with respect and honor. Thanks to all our veterans and the many families at the Memorial Day ceremony. We had the highest attendance ever. Woodhaven staff did a fantastic job setting up this ceremony. A concrete medallion of the U.S. Marine logo was donated and placed into our display. This medallion had belonged to an owner/veteran that passed away and my heartfelt thanks go to the owners that donated it for our display. Natalie from recreation took the initiative to obtain the medallions for all our service branches and the Veterans Memorial Ad Hoc committee will be working on the placement of the medallions in upcoming weeks.
The Board of Directors conducted their first of three board meetings on property. The meeting was well attended by many owners some of which were pro or con on our Nature Center project. A vote was taken and it was turned down at this time. I, along with several board members, felt that more discussion remained to be completed and I have called for another meeting in Naperville to discuss this project in its entirety. Some of our owners called the new facility a Taj Majal and for me I think of it as a nature palace. I have witnessed the wonder, amazement and inquisitiveness of families and children when attending the many projects held at the Nature Center. I have always been an advocate for this project. Staff and property owners on your Facilities Planning Committee have spent years debating the size, use, location and ADA (Americans with Disabilities Act) concerns.
We have planned a communications hub within this building in order to centrally house our fiber optics upgrade. The cost for this project has been factored into your dues and placed into our reserves for capital improvements. I would like to break the numbers down for everyone. The current building is 2,471 square feet in size and we sent out to bid a structure that will be 3,584 square feet. This square footage doesn’t include a 500 square foot screen room or the 400 square foot portico. An additional 61 square feet will be added to the bait shop and 427 square feet to the Nature Center side. Bathrooms will be added which total 315 square feet which include public access restrooms and an employee restroom. We currently have a single stall 32 square foot bathroom in the bait shop area. The communications hub will be housed in the mechanical room. We currently have a 73 square foot room and are proposing a 345 square foot room which increases the size by 272 square feet. The mechanical room will also double as a storage area for this facility.
This plan and the reasons for the new building are outlined in a presentation that you can link to from the Woodhaven phone application in the announcement section dated October 17, 2016 or on our website. I urge all owners to take the time to see what this project entails.
During our board meeting an owner in attendance stated that she had crunched the numbers and our building cost per square foot was extremely high. I would like to have that owner recheck the numbers and if the site work for the parking area and demolition cost for the old building were on those figures then the totals are totally different in determining cost per foot. We will be discussing all of this at our next meeting.
When consideration is given to what the association has spent in recent years starting with the Pool 2, beach and Family Center Project at 1 million and seventy three thousand dollars, the road improvements since 2010 at 2 million dollars, 700 thousand dollars in fiber optics and IT improvements which includes multiple extensions to our fiber optics network/camera systems/phone and network upgrades you will see that the state of Woodhaven Lakes is one based on great planning, improvements and an eye to the future.
I hope to be here with my family for many more years and I have total confidence in our management staff and you the owners of Woodhaven. The figures I have quoted reflect many projects, but not all that have been undertaken in the last ten years and it places the Nature Center project in the middle of cost compared to what we’ve completed. I personally took this project and placed myself in your shoes and that of our children. This is a place to learn, love and embrace nature. As your board President I looked at the benefits afforded to our families and moving forward. I chose to side with the recommendations made by our Facilities Planning Committee because they got it RIGHT.
April showers got the best of us at Woodhaven, so we should have some great May flowers coming our way! May is here and for many of our veterans and their families, we will honor those men and women who died while serving in the U.S. military. Woodhaven will be hosting our annual Memorial Day Flag Dedication and Ceremony on Monday, May 29th at the Lakeview Building. I wish to extend a heartfelt thanks to the members of the American Legion Post 453 in Amboy, Illinois for the support they have given Woodhaven over the years at the Memorial Day Flag Ceremony.
This is also the time of year we reflect on the second anniversary of the tornado that struck Woodhaven. We have accomplished a lot towards getting Woodhaven back to normal, but there is still work remaining. The trees planted in late 2015 and early 2016 appear to be budding quite nicely. Many thanks to our volunteers who helped staff in the planting endeavors.
The first day of summer is right around the corner; be mindful of weather patterns. Keep your weather radio in working order and we would like to see everyone switch from the text alert system, to the new Woodhaven Lakes app for notifications. In order to unsubscribe, reply to or text the alert number(317-800-7269) with “STOP.” You will then receive a confirmation text. With the Woodhaven Lakes smartphone application, you can receive push notifications by going to your settings, and allowing notifications from the app. Please call the Association Office if you have any questions.
Stay safe, stay alert, and have a great camping season!