The Asset Maintenance Committee (AMC) is tasked by the New Town Residential Association’s (NTRA) Board of Directors (BOD) to conduct an annual inspection of common property (such as the pool and its amenities, playground equipment, streetlights, signs, streets), in addition to the Committee’s supervision of the annual review of homeowners’ properties. In the first year under homeowner control, rather than developer control, the AMC has recently completed its 2020 year review of the association’s physical assets. Results of the committee’s findings on which assets should be considered for maintenance or replacement is scheduled to be presented to the NTRA’s BOD. After the BOD has identified an initial list of maintenance projects for consideration, Town Management will develop cost estimates for completing the work on each project. The cost estimate for each project will be reviewed by the BOD and approval will be given on which projects will be included in the 2021 budget.
Many of us feel New Town is a relatively young community with expectations that its assets have some time to go before maintenance or replacement is needed. However, the weather (sun, rain, along with the freezing in the winter) negatively impacts the stain, paint, construction materials and exposed surfaces on our buildings, fences, park benches, light posts, signs, fire hydrants, streets, pool equipment, etc. In general, as we ride or walk around in New Town, perceptions are that our community assets are in good condition. However, a closer inspection reveals that some of these assets have become tired and weathered in their appearance. When under developer control, rather than the current homeowner control, the association’s assets were not always maintained at a level most optimal for extending their length of service and appearance.
The AMC prioritized the list of assets requiring repair and restorative work by the significance of the projects and the sense of urgency to complete them. Funding has been requested of the BOD for the repair, restorative work, or replacement of identified assets in 2021 and later years. Immediate action in 2020 and 2021 is being requested for some items, like the pergola at the pool where we see significant rot and deterioration in the beams supporting the roof. Other items, such as the weathered wood benches in the park areas of New Town, have been recommended to be restored over several years as the budget permits. Recommended cleaning of the playground equipment does not have to take place immediately, but freshening up their appearance will make them more attractive to children and will ensure they last longer.
It is understandable that some of the assets will not be identified as important to our community’s ongoing functioning, as others. But if their deterioration is allowed to continue, the condition of the unmaintained fences, benches, light posts, and fire hydrants will cast a perception over New Town as being weathered and tired. A program of routine maintenance of assets typically extends their life and costs our association less money over the long run. On-going maintenance of these assets instills a positive image of our community in residents and outsiders when they drive through or walk around New Town. A well-maintained community is more attractive to future home buyers when they are ready to consider purchasing a home in one of our neighborhoods. Over the next several years, work and funding will need to be at a higher level than planned if New Town’s assets are going to catch-up to the standards we have come to expect for our community.