Newsletter – June 2009

     In January the Crestlake Homeowners’ Association (CHOA) organized its Board of Directors and committees for 2009.

     Board of Directors
     President – Jim Brock
     Vice-President – Mike Anderson
     Treasurer – Jaime Kofoot
     Secretary – Michele Guido
     Sergeant at Arms – Paul Duitsman
     Members at Large – Ginny Bolan, Rick Edwards, Cindy Ferry, Elmer Nicklas

     Architectural Committee
          Rick Edwards – Chair
          Jim Brock
     Babysitters Committee
          Mike Anderson – Chair
          MT Campbell, Jendie Getty, Michele Guido
     Neighborhood Watch Committee
          Jim Brock – Chair
          Ginny Bolan, Michele Guido
     Ponds and Commons Committee
          Elmer Nicklas – Chair
          Paul Duitsman, Ernie Monk, Phyllis Williams
     Social Committee
          Rick Edwards – Chair
          Halloween Gathering: Janilyn Daily, Dianne Gorvin, Rhonda Littlefield
     Web and Communications Committee
          Mike Anderson – Chair & Webmaster
          Newsletter: Maggie Anderson, Ginny Bolan

     Your Board of Directors meets monthly at 7:00 p.m. on the second Thursday at the St. Joseph Township Building, 400 W. Sherman St. Here is the schedule for the remainder of 2009:
     July 9
     August 13
     September 10
     October 8
     November 12
     December 10

     The Annual Membership Meeting of the CHOA will be held January 17, 2010. 

     During the past 12 months, your Board of Directors has:
          Maintained the liability insurance coverage for the ponds and commons
          Renewed the not-for-profit corporate status
          Filed corporate income tax returns
          Collected the 2008 assessments from Crestlake property owners
          Established and updated a multi-year budget
          Created a schedule for a CHOA board member to attend each Village board meeting
          Documented the roles and responsibilities for Board members
          Established a timeline for the second & third dues notices and attorney notifications
          Sponsored a Halloween Parade and Gathering for Crestlake families
          Purchased "Crestlake Meeting" signs which are used to announce meetings
          Continued the maintenance of the commons areas and the ponds
          Repaired the north and west shorelines of the two Hawthorne Ponds
          Prepared contract documents, specifications and budgets to repair the shorelines of the remaining ponds
          Emailed announcements and monthly newsletters
          Created and distributed a Crestlake Babysitters List
          Established a Crestlake Neighborhood Watch Program

     Your Board firmly believes that it is unfair to the property owners who pay in a timely manner to not vigorously pursue 100% payment from everyone. After multiple notices, three property owners failed to pay the 2008 assessment. CHOA was forced to take them to court – two cases are still pending. Your Board congratulates those property owners who promptly paid their assessments and gratefully thanks them for their cooperation.
     Late payments of assessments are costly to CHOA. Our accounting firm charges for the extra time required to send second and third billing notices. Therefore, your Board has established a late payment fee of $25.00 for those who don’t pay their assessments on time.

     During the Independence Day 2008 weekend, your Board received two anonymous complaints about fireworks. These complaints specifically referred to the late hour that some fireworks were launched and the trash that littered many yards.
     Your Board of Directors took these complaints very seriously. A member of your Board personally met with Champaign County Sheriff Dan Walsh to discuss this matter. Also, Deputy Sheriff Atwood attended the July 11 Crestlake Board of Directors meeting where this matter was discussed.
     Your Board is compelled to notify all Crestlake residents that launching fireworks from the common areas of Crestlake is forbidden. In fact, no illegal activities of any type may be conducted on Crestlake common property. Your Board expects all Crestlake residents and their guests to comply with this. The legal liability that might result from such activities is something that your Board strives to protect our property owners from.
     It must be noted that the Champaign County Sheriff’s Office will not write an official report without the name of the complaining party. If displeased residents really want the Sheriff to act on complaints, they must contact the Sheriff’s Office directly and identify themselves. If a Crestlake resident were violating the law in any other way, i.e. vandalizing cars, the victims would not place anonymous complaints with CHOA. They would call the Sheriff’s Office.  Since launching fireworks is a violation of an ordinance/law, the reporting process should be handled in the same manner as any other type of criminal violation.

     The Crestlake Neighborhood Watch program began in February 2009. It is a watch and report program which does not involve any kind of neighborhood patrol or "vigilante" activity. The program is designed to encourage neighbors to become aware of the people, vehicles and activities in their area so that they are more likely to notice unfamiliar people or vehicles or unusual activities.
     Block Captains are volunteers who collect contact information for the residents in their area. The Block Captains collate the information, distribute it to the residents of their area who are participating in the program and ensure that the information is kept current. With this information, if a neighbor becomes concerned that there may be a problem, he or she has sufficient information and guidelines to know to call 911 if an emergency exists or reach either the owner of the home that is the object of concern or the Block Captain if the situation is not an emergency. Should a neighbor express a concern to a Block Captain, the Block Captain can offer to contact the owner of the home where a potential problem exists or contact the Champaign County Sheriff’s Department to ask that a deputy investigate.
     Please remember that Block Captains are resources for your area, not enforcers of the laws, ordinances or covenants. They can discuss your options with you, but they are not able nor expected to enforce compliance.
     Crestlake has been divided into 21 areas consisting of approximately 18 homes. Block Captains have volunteered for nine of the areas and are still needed for the remaining 12 areas. To date, there is not a Block Captain for any of the three areas on Chestnut Drive, for eight of the 12 areas that include the majority of Grand Avenue, North Glover Court, Juniper Court, two of the five areas on Hawthorne Drive, more than ½ of Winston Drive, or more than ½ of Cedar Drive. See the map below where areas still needing Block Captains are outlined and numbered.

crestlake neighborhood watch2.gif

     Neighborhood Watch signs will be purchased by the CHOA from the Village and they will be erected throughout Crestlake.
     The Crestlake Neighborhood Watch program continues to develop. Meetings are held monthly at 7:00 p.m. on the third Thursday at the St. Joseph Township Building, 400 W Sherman St. Refreshments and childcare are provided.
     Crestlake residents interested in learning more about the program, participating in the program, volunteering to serve as a Block Captain or with experience with other Neighborhood Watch programs should contact a Committee member: Jim Brock, Ginny Bolan or Michele Guido. Your help is needed and will be appreciated.

     During the summer of 2008 your Board completed remediation to the north and west shorelines of Hawthorne Pond North and Hawthorne Pond South. The silt was excavated, a liner was installed and covered with riprap (rocks), and the landscaping was graded and reseeded. This work was completed for a cost of approximately $40,000, which was paid from CHOA’s cash reserve.
     This remediation was only a portion of a larger project which remains to be completed:
          Finish installing riprap on both Hawthorn Ponds
          Remove vegetation and install riprap on Glover Pond
          Remove vegetation and install riprap and aerator on Magnolia Pond
          Replace damaged liner and missing riprap on Grand and Park Ponds
     Your Board is using the engineering services of Berns, Clancy and Associates, who estimated the cost of the remaining work to be $175,000. Since CHOA can only afford to spend $16,000-$20,000 per year on ponds remediation, your Board decided to obtain a loan. This decision eliminated imposing a Special Assessment on every Crestlake property owner and enables CHOA to complete all the work during 2009. As specified in our By-Laws, in January 2009 your Board mailed a ballot to each CHOA member and received approval to obtain a loan.
     Project documents were prepared by Berns, Clancy and the project was let for bids. As of this writing, the lowest bidder has been identified and details regarding the loan are being finalized. More complete information about the cost of the project and the timeline will be available in future newsletters.
     Obviously maintaining the shorelines of our ponds is expensive. This is a reminder to not throw the rocks into the ponds. Parents, tell your children not to throw them. Residents, if you see someone throwing rocks, inform them not to do so. Fishermen, if you accidentally dislodge rocks, replace them. Thanks to all for your cooperation in this matter!

All property owners are urged to use Phosphate-free fertilizers on their lawns and to refrain from blowing grass clippings into the gutters when mowing. Both of these actions will help to eliminate algae blooms in the ponds. Phosphate-free fertilizers have a "0" in the middle of the composition (30-0-6). CHOA budgets $5,000 yearly for chemical treatment of the ponds. Please do your part to help keep this cost down and to improve the water quality.

     The Architectural Committee would like to remind all property owners that if you have a building project that includes a fence, shed or pool, please contact CHOA for approval in accordance with the covenants. It is a painless procedure that helps keep Crestlake a great place to live. Please feel free to contact us with any questions you might have.

     The Social Committee needs your help. The third annual Halloween Parade and Gathering will be held in October. It has always been a great success and both young and old enjoy the festivities.
     In addition to that, the committee would like to get your feedback about what you would like to see take place in Crestlake. Ideas may range from a roving block party, a barbecue or grilling competition, golf outing, 4th of July party (maybe next year?), fishing derby, book club, card games, garden club, movies on the commons, or just about anything else that you can think of. The committee’s goal is to offer some ways to enjoy Crestlake and make everyone feel welcome. If any of these ideas sound interesting or if you have an idea for a fun event, please contact Rick Edwards and the committee will work with you to make something happen.

     The Babysitters Committee began in October 2008. It created and maintains a list with the contact information of Crestlake babysitters and is available to Crestlake families needing a babysitter. At this time, the list has 18 babysitters, ranging in age from 12 years to adult, and has been requested by 32 families. You can learn more about the Babysitters List by visiting

     Please remember that is your source for a wealth of information pertaining to CHOA. Be sure to save it as a Favorite in your browser and visit it often.

     The Village has brush pickup the first full work week of each month April – November, weather permitting. Whole trees and grass will not be accepted. The maximum length of branches is 8 feet and the maximum diameter is 10 inches. Brush trimmings and twigs should be placed in PAPER (not plastic) bags. Do not stack brush around power poles or fences. Brush pickup will begin on the south side of town and proceed north through town. All brush to be picked up should be put out by Sunday night.
     Pickups for the remainder of 2009 are scheduled* for the following weeks:
     July 6 – 10
     August 3 – 7
     September 7 – 11
     October 5 – 9
     November 2 – 6
     There will be no December pick up this year.
     * Sometimes it is necessary to change the dates of the pickups, so check the Village website closer to the pickup month.  Note: If you have landscape waste that the Village will not pick up, check with the Landscape Recycling Center, 1210 E. University Ave. in Urbana. The phone number is 344-5323.

     Are you watering outside?  The Village has outside spigot water meters for sale. The cost of each meter is $55. When you bring it in for a reading, you will receive a credit on your sewer bill.

     Are you going on vacation?  Stop by the Village office to sign up. The Champaign County Deputy on duty will check your house (locks, windows, etc.) on a daily basis.

     The Village sewer plant operator has noted a high volume of clean water coming into the sewer treatment plant through the sewer lines. This is causing undue volume and stress on the sewer plant. The Village believes that this is likely caused by illegal sanitary sewer hookups, such as connecting stormwater lines (sump pumps, downspouts, etc.) to the sanitary sewer.
     The Village is continuing to track down the sources of the stormwater put into the sanitary sewer lines. The Village is strictly enforcing the illegal hookup section of the Village ordinances.  When people are caught directing stormwater into the sanitary sewer lines, they will be subject to a fine of up to $750 per day.

     Please be aware that there are Village ordinances which restrict the parking of recreational vehicles or watercraft in residential areas. Below are three which may affect you.
     1. Recreational vehicles and watercraft, either of which are greater than 20 feet in length, and off road vehicles shall be stored in the following manner:
     Inside a carport or garage, or
     Outside behind the face of the principal building, or
     Outside in the front yard at least five feet from the front lot line provided this is for loading and unloading operations completed within a 24 hour period.
     The length of the watercraft shall not include any portion of any trailer used for transporting the watercraft.
     2. No person shall stop, stand or park a vehicle or trailer of any type on a public sidewalk, including the portion of the public sidewalk which is also used as part of the access to a private driveway.
     3. No person shall park any semitrailer, pole trailer or trailer in excess of 8,000 pounds or tandem vehicle in excess of 16,000 pounds on a street in a residential district for a period longer than is necessary for loading or unloading of such vehicles. No such trailer shall be parked overnight in a residential district.

     Pet owners should be aware that Village ordinances prohibit cat and dog owners from allowing their pets to run at large within the Village limits. Further, no owner or person in control of a dog shall permit the dog to deposit fecal matter on any property, other than that of the owner. The fecal matter must be disposed in an area owned by the dog owner.

     St. Joseph has all its Village ordinances online. You may view the details of the ordinances by going to Joseph/  The link to this site can also be found in the Web Links section at

     As you can tell, there is plenty going on in Crestlake. Due to the high cost of postage and materials, newsletters like this are typically mailed only once per year. Newsletters sent via email are the primary method of communicating with Crestlake property owners. Your Board strongly urges you to visit and sign up to receive additional announcements like this via email.
     Newsletters and meeting reminders will be emailed to you monthly. You will not be solicited to volunteer or donate. The newsletters are intended to inform you.
     If you have information or articles that you would like included in the Crestlake Newsletter, please send the information to Mike Anderson or Ginny Bolan. If it is appropriate for the newsletter and space permits, we will include it in the next newsletter. Please be sure that the information is received before the first Thursday of the month so that there is time to evaluate suitability for the newsletter and to incorporate it into the newsletter.