Newsletter – September 2009

     The Crestlake Neighborhood Watch Committee held its first special event. The Child Safety Program was held on September 13th, and we want to thank everyone who helped plan, donated to and participated in the event.
     The event was very successful. Although we didn’t think of counting how many people came to the park until we were well into the event, we estimate that 60-75 people came to Crestwood Park and participated in the various child safety activities.
     Pro Ambulance let the children explore their ambulance and the St. Joseph-Stanton Fire Department & Emergency Services gave children red fireman helmets, coloring books and showed the young and the young-at-heart how their fire truck worked. F.E. Moran, Inc, an alarm and monitoring company in Champaign, also attended the event. They gave the children McGruff child ID kits and gave parents information on home security. Don Glenn, Block Captain for Area 17, brought information from the Illinois Emergency Management Agency. We want to thank all these volunteers who generously donated their time for our event.
     St. Joseph IGA donated drinks and their trailer to keep the drinks cold. The trailer was also used to house the popcorn machine which had been loaned to the Neighborhood Watch Committee by the local Boy Scout Troop. The Crestlake Homeowners’ Association donated money for popcorn and the associated fixings. Jim Brock and a couple of the children who helped out with various tasks manned the trailer, made popcorn and distributed drinks.
     Michele Guido, Joe Guetzloff, Don Glenn, Shelly Altenbaumer and Ginny Bolan set out the information on child safety, emergency preparedness and the Crestlake Neighborhood Watch program, and also provided information to people who requested it. Mike Anderson took pictures that may be seen in the Photo Gallery at Even Mother Nature pitched in and provided a beautiful afternoon for the event.
     In the end, we gave out a lot of information, entertained quite a few people, found at least one new Block Captain and received $10 in donations. All in all, we had a wonderful day.

     The Neighborhood Watch Committee has been working diligently to establish Block Captains for all areas in Crestlake. We are about half way to our goal and need your help to complete this important task.
     Block Captains are needed for the numbered areas outlined in the map below. It requires little effort after you make the initial contact with those in your area. The primary responsibility of a Block Captain is to gather the information from the neighbors in your section, organize it in an easy format the committee has created and distribute it to your neighbors. We will provide you with materials and guidance that have already been used throughout many areas of Crestlake. We hope you will seriously consider being a Block Captain and keep Crestlake a safe, fun and involved neighborhood for everyone.

     The next Neighborhood Watch meeting will be held on Thursday, October 15 at 7 p.m. The meeting will be in the St. Joseph Township Building at 400 W. Sherman St. and is open to all residents of Crestlake. Refreshments and childcare are provided.
     If you have any questions about the Neighborhood Watch program, please contact one of the committee members: Jim Brock, Michele Guido or Ginny Bolan. Just go to and click on Contact Us.

     Construction for Ponds Remediation Project #2 has begun. Daniel L. Ribbe Trucking was the low bidder. This is the same firm that successfully performed project #1 in 2008.
     The Board of Directors was forced to scale back the scope of the project from what was described in the previous newsletter. With an estimated cost of $175,000 and the current uncertainty of the financial markets, the Board was faced with these unattractive alternatives:
          •  No banks would offer a loan for longer than five years. The Board estimated that it would need 10-12 years to pay off the loan. Although banks would amortize the loan for this length of time, the Board would be forced to renegotiate terms every three to five years. Given current and future financial uncertainties, this was felt to be too risky.
          •  In addition to the amortization issue, one bank required a loan guaranty from the U.S. Department of Agriculture. This came with a cost of 1% of the loan, plus the cost for our engineering firm to prepare and file detailed documents to the USDA and specific environmental agencies.
          •  In addition to the amortization issue, one bank required that members of the Board must personally guaranty the loan.
      After careful consideration, the Board decided to scale back Project #2 to this scope:
          •  Finish installing riprap (rocks) on both Hawthorn Ponds
          •  Remove vegetation and install riprap on Glover Pond
          •  Install an aerator on Magnolia Pond
          •  Replace damaged liner and missing riprap on Grand and Park Ponds
     This revised project eliminated installing riprap on Magnolia Pond. This pond already has river rock around its shoreline. Although this is not the correct type of rock and it is worn and beaten down, it does provide some shoreline protection.
     This revised project has an estimated cost of $136,000. The Board obtained a five-year fixed interest loan from Gifford State Bank in St. Joseph. This enables the Board to have affordable payments and the loan will be paid off in five years. At that time, the repair of Magnolia Pond shoreline will be put out for bids.
     Obviously maintaining the shorelines of our ponds is complicated and 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.

     The Social Committee is pleased to announce that the Third Annual Crestlake Halloween Parade and Festivities is scheduled for Sunday, October 25, 2:00 – 3:30 p.m. This fun-filled event will take place at the Crestwood Park Pavilion on Park Avenue. It is open to all Crestlake residents and extended families. So grandma and grandpa, come join the fun.
     We will meet at the Crestwood Park Pavilion and follow a short parade route around the block. Then everyone will return to the pavilion for fun activities. There will be a pumpkin walk, fishing pond, bobbing for apples and witch’s hat toss. You will enjoy free refreshments, photo opportunities on a Halloween/Fall backdrop and our DJ will provide music.
     Of course the event wouldn’t be complete with a costume contest. Prizes will be awarded for Funniest, Most Original and Scariest costumes in the following age categories: 0-2, 3-4, 5-6, 7-9, 10-13 and14-99.
     Give the kids a second opportunity to wear their costumes! Don’t forget to bring your cameras. Adults are encouraged to share their Halloween spirit by dressing up as well.
     Please Volunteer! Contact a member of the Social Committee if you can help in the following areas: assist with decorations, costume contest judges or assist with fun activities. Just go to and click on Contact Us.

     As you can tell, there is much happening in Crestlake. Newsletters sent via email are the primary method of communicating with Crestlake property owners. However, only about half of Crestlake families have signed up to receive these newsletters. Please remind your neighbors to visit and sign up to receive additional announcements like this via email. Newsletters and meeting reminders will be emailed regularly.

     The Webmaster encourages you to use the Forum at the website. It’s an ideal place to advertise products or services that you offer. has about 500 visits per month. It’s great free advertising!

     You may not know that there is currently a vacancy to fill. Please volunteer yourself or a willing neighbor. When shared by a full board, the commitment is not too demanding. Obviously it would be easier to just pass the responsibility off to anyone else, but there really is no good alternative. Please volunteer by going to or call the board at 353-LAKE.

     Thursday, October 8   7:00 p.m.   Crestlake Board of Directors meeting
     Thursday, October 15   7:00 p.m.   Crestlake Neighborhood Watch meeting
     Sunday, October 25   2:00 p.m.   Crestlake Halloween Parade and Festivities