Saddlebrook's December Newsletter
2020 continues to be a challenging year on many fronts; and it has affected most residents in some way. The most notable front being that long standing residents are looking to, or have sold their properties in Saddlebrook. To the new owners, we hope you find Saddlebrook to be everything you were hoping for. Aside from the challenges, it has been a fulfilling year in what we have been able to achieve.
NEW SECURITY COMPANY
24/7 Security has joined us, as of the 1st of December. Our impression is that the handover from Servest went smoothly and we retained 9 guards who met 24/7 criteria. Our interaction with the 24/7 Management has been positive, and it is encouraging to see their interest in improving our security for the Estate. They have ideas that have been implemented in other estates, that we will be bringing across to Saddlebrook. Long may their enthusiasm last.
We will have a perimeter breach test on a weekly basis, to keep the guards and our infrastructure in check. JD runs fence tests twice a week, to make sure voltages and zones are reading correctly at the guard houses. At some point we are hoping to have enough budget to get him into an ATV/Gator to facilitate this time consuming task of testing the fence daily as per 24/7’s requirements, as the estate bakkie isn’t ideal for the task.
We are also in meetings, to see the viability of installing Phase 1 and 2 of our CCTV security upgrade. We feel strongly that this is the missing link in our security network.
Our new access app from EntryPro hasn’t gone as smoothly as we would have liked, but hopefully in a month the teething problems will be behind us and we will be reaping the rewards from the financial savings and the ease of use that EntryPro brings to Saddlebrook. We encourage residents to issue access codes to visitors and contractors, to facilitate access and egress from the Estate.
MANAGING AGENTS - INSPIRED MANAGEMENT Inspired continue to assist us greatly. Hopefully at some point our weekly meetings will become fortnightly ones but for now, it is what is required to get us to where we would like to be.
Mapitso has been joined by Lee three times a week, to assist with the demands of running an estate such as ours.
LANDSCAPING & SERVEST
Servest landscaping has really upped their efforts. The bridle path is starting to turn the corner, now that vehicle traffic has been reduced to a bare minimum. Logs have been placed in strategic places to avoid water runoff creating deep ruts, and allowing natural growth of grass to take place to avoid erosion on the steeper parts of the estate.
We are also in the process of growing a hedge next to the Clubhouse parking, so that we can park the equipment out of sight, as opposed to leaving it exposed on the tarmac at the Clubhouse parking area.
Irrigation piping has been placed along Goodwood, from the entrance of the Estate to the stop street at Rose Road. This will facilitate the watering of our hedge next to ICB and the trees recently planted along the length of Goodwood. In 3-5 years, the entrance to the Estate should have a different look and feel. JD and his assistants have also attended to and completed the horse jumps throughout the Estate. The gates at the pedestrian crossing are almost complete and the idea is to carry the cladding and wooden fencing throughout the Estate. The cladding will be continued at the main sign going up next year at the Corner of Rose and Goodwood and, funds permitting, the “fence” going along the road at the Park. We are also looking at making a sign for The Clubhouse in the same look. It’s all about improving the common property, yet keeping a uniform look.
PROJECTS AND IMPROVEMENTS JD has had his hands full, with the clubhouse and park dams having been repaired and resealed, and a new water feature installed at the park dam. We were able to get power supply to the park, by trenching under the road at the 3-way-stop. Provision has been made for power and irrigation either way. We have installed 2x 5000 litre JoJo’s in the Park, that are being fed by the rain runoff coming off the American School. The idea is to get a few more, so that we can irrigate the park on a more regular basis. A strong possibility for water has also been identified in the park basin, so once the borehole goes in, we will be able to irrigate the park and the clubhouse park off the JoJo’s, as opposed to municipal water. The borehole is a work in progress, and has been allocated for the 2021 Landscape Budget.
SOCIAL EVENTS We have had a few get-togethers at the Bouncing Bullfrog, and even though Covid tends to keep many residents away, the turnout has been encouraging. Our catering neighbours from Riversands have appreciated our support in these quieter times.
The Halloween night seems to have gone off well, with many kids and adults enjoying the haunted forest. Big thanks to all those involved for making it a memorable night. You have set the bar high for next year. Thank you to the Residents in Kentucky Circle for joining in.
The Christmas function was also well attended, with kids lining up to get their gifts from Santa.
We also have our Facebook, Instagram and New Website ( www.saddlebrookestate.net ) up and running. This came about after a meeting with 3 of our regular Estate Agents recommending we up our Online presence, so that they can showcase our unique Estate to prospective buyers.
The Clubhouse has also seen an increase in foot traffic. Kids are spending a lot more time around the pool and tennis courts. The clubhouse facilities have also been upgraded with new patio furniture, a sound system and a pool table.
For interested residents, there is a biometric system at the honesty bar, where you can help yourself to drinks, snacks and sweets and get them billed to your levy statement. For those that have expressed concern with the system, there is a camera and a log of who went into the bar area. We will try it out for now.
ARCHITECTURAL This remains a challenge, from fictitious architects submitting plans, to residents ignoring procedure with regards to building and improvements. We urge residents to advise of any changes or improvements to their properties; to avoid the headaches and litigation once an error or illegal structure has been completed. No fair request will be turned down, so please approach the office for clarity prior to commencement. It really is to the benefit of the Estate and the neighbours. We are after all a community.
FINANCES Even though we still have some historical debt to sort out, the Estate is on a solid footing, thanks to the efforts of Stephen on the legal front, Inspired and residents making arrangements to settle their arrears. The historical debt in certain cases is now before the court and we hope to get resolution soon. We also continue to do as much as possible internally, especially when it comes to the common property. Servest have assisted greatly with obtaining plants from surrounding estates, and JD taking on our bucket list of improvements. Contractors only get called in when the task is above our pay-grade or skillset. To all the residents that have given of their time and skills to make the above possible, a sincere "Thank You". Anne, Mark and Nuno