Newsletter – March 2009

     On January 25, 2009 the Annual Meeting for the membership of the Crestlake Homeowners’ Association was held at the Prince of Peace Lutheran Church.
     Annual Reports were provided by the Treasurer, Ponds and Commons Committee, and Social Committee. 
     There was a discussion on the maintenance work that has been done so far on of the retention ponds, plans for future work being planned and how this work will be financed. The repairs on Hawthorne Pond are nearly completed and planning is underway for needed maintenance of Magnolia and Glover ponds. The Board is working on obtaining a loan to finance future work on the ponds.
     A Summary of the 2008 Activities was also provided for the membership.  The accomplishments include: election of a Board of Directors; establishment of committee leadership; renewal of liability insurance for the neighborhood association; filing of the CHOA tax return; completion of the annual report; renewal of the corporate certificate; collection of membership assessments; initiation of maintenance of the detention ponds; development of a 2009 operating budget, initiation of improvements in the accuracy of the membership; inquiries about a loan to fund pond maintenance; provision of maintenance of common areas, meetings with the Village officials; newsletters, updating of the Welcome letter for new residents; expansion of the Crestlake website; creation of a neighborhood babysitter list; investigation of a Neighborhood Watch program and "Crestlake Meeting" signs were purchased to insure that the membership is aware of upcoming meetings.

Jim Brock          President 
Mike Anderson   Vice-President               
Jaime Kofoot     Treasurer   
Cindy Ferry        Secretary                      
Steve Quick       Sergeant at Arms
Ginny Bolan       Member
Paul Duitsman   Member
Rick Edwards      Member
Elmer Nicklas     Member

     A planning meeting was held in February for a Neighborhood Watch program in Crestlake. Attendance was minimal and it was unclear if there was sufficient interest for this program to be viable. In order for a Neighborhood Watch program to be effective at least 12 block captains would have to be willing to coordinate the program in their areas.
     Anyone interested in having a Neighborhood Watch program in Crestlake and is willing to serve as a block captain can contact Ginny Bolan. Also, anyone who is aware of concerns that might be addressed by the Neighborhood Watch program can also notify Ginny Bolan. These issues will be part of the monthly Crestlake Newsletters.
     To date, there have been reports of possible drug activity in the neighborhood, at least one fight in the park that necessitated police intervention, reckless driving, people running stop signs and people speeding through the neighborhood.  These are some of problems that having a Neighborhood Watch program might help.
     In order to ensure that a Neighborhood Watch program is given every opportunity to succeed in Crestlake, another meeting is scheduled for Thursday, March 19 at 7:00 p.m. It will be held the St. Joseph Township Building, 400 W. Sherman St., one block west of Kolb Park.

     In January 2009, as required by the CHOA By-Laws, the Board of Directors mailed a ballot requesting approval to borrow funds for additional ponds remediation. Only 17 "No" votes were returned and the ballot carried in the affirmative. Local banks have been contacted in order to assess terms for a loan.
     The board is ready to complete repairs to the shorelines around four ponds. The engineering firm of Berns, Clancy and Associates has been engaged to help us complete this project. The board is preparing to open the bidding for repairing the entire shoreline around Magnolia Pond, the entire shoreline around Glover Pond, and the eastern and southern shorelines of Hawthorne Pond North and Hawthorne Pond South.

     With spring approaching, plans are being made for the mowing and maintenance of the grass areas around the ponds and Catalpa Commons. Also, the services of Marine Biochemists will be utilized again this year to control the growth of aquatic plants on the ponds. The Ponds and Commons Committee will oversee all these activities.
     The growth of aquatic plants in Magnolia Pond is a particular problem. During warm weather, the clarity of the water in this pond promotes the rapid and dense growth of algae. The committee is reviewing a quote from Marine Biochemists for a below-surface aerator to alleviate this problem.
     Fishing in the ponds is known to be good. It’s always enjoyable for the fishermen in Crestlake. We want to carefully preserve this valuable asset.
     All fishing is Catch and Release. Also, under no circumstances should anyone introduce new stock to any pond without prior approval from the Board of Directors.
     If you accidentally dislodge rocks, please replace them. Do not throw rocks into the ponds. If you see someone throwing rocks, please ask them to stop. The rocks and the fabric underneath them help preserve our shorelines.

     The Board of Directors plan to meet on a monthly basis in 2009. Meetings will be held on the second Thursday of the month at the St. Joseph Township Building at 400 W Sherman St. (west of Kolb Park). Meetings begin at 7 p.m.
Scheduled meetings for the remainder of 2009 are:
April 9
May 7
June 11
July 9
August 13
September 10
October 8
November 12
December 10

     The CHOA Board has begun meeting on a monthly basis to insure that all the neighborhood issues are being addressed. The newsletter will also be issued on a monthly basis to keep the membership informed. Last year, most of the newsletters were published electronically and posted on Only two of the newsletters (June and December) were printed and mailed to the membership. This year’s newsletters will be handled in a similar manner.
     If you know of someone who has not received a newsletter, please forward a copy to them. If you know someone in the neighborhood who hasn’t signed up to receive newsletters via email, encourage them to sign up on the website so they receive their newsletter every month.

     Carle Hospital is offering Safe Sitter® classes again. This is a great time to get the older kids ready for watching smaller children during summer vacation. Whether to help out at home or earn some extra money, the skills learned in the Safe Sitter® class are invaluable.
     The Safe Sitter® program was designed by a pediatrician to educate youngsters in the skills of babysitting. This medically accurate course teaches safe and nurturing child care techniques, behavior management skills, and appropriate responses to medical emergencies.
     This class is for babysitters ages 11-14 years. Breakfast, lunch and snacks are provided. Each student receives a Safe Sitter® handbook and, upon completion of the course, will be awarded a completion card and t-shirt.
     The one-day class will be offered three times: March 28, April 25 and May 30, 2009. Class runs from 9:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Reservations are necessary to attend. There is no cost for the class thanks to all the wonderful donations made by Carle employees. To register or to ask questions, contact Carle’s All About Baby Program at 383-6962 or 383-3314.

     The St. Joseph and Ogden United Methodist Men will host an all-you-can-eat sausage and pancake breakfast from 6:30 to 10:30 a.m. on Saturday, March 21 in the basement of the St. Joseph United Methodist Church. Freewill donations will benefit Cunningham Children’s Home and Chaddock Children’s Foundation.

     The St. Joseph Chamber of Commerce will host an Easter Egg Hunt for children through age 8. It will be held on Sunday, April 5 at Crestwood Park and will begin at 2:00 p.m. Children should bring a basket or sack to pick up eggs. Eggs will have prizes inside. The Easter Bunny will make an appearance!

     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 2009 are scheduled* for the following weeks:
April 6 – 10
May 4 – 8
June 1 – 5
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.