Proposal

The Wolf Laurel Road Maintenance and Security (WLRMS) Board proposes to select 809 Valley View Circle as the permanent location of its road maintenance operations.  The total cost of this project is estimated to be $140,500 in the initial year, of which $84,000 of funds budgeted in 2020 for this purpose will be used, with the balance, approximately $56,500, being funded by general reserves of WLRMS.

Background

The maintenance facility is the heart of the community’s road maintenance operations and a necessary part of WLRMS’s delivery of services to its property owners.  There are three main functions performed there.  First, it is a storage area for the equipment employed in maintaining the roads.  The road maintenance operation requires space to store and assemble this equipment for use.  The second function is equipment repair and maintenance.  To save money in our operation, our road maintenance crew performs small repair and upkeep operations on our trucks and other equipment. While not a fully equipped repair facility, in-house work avoids many of the ordinary repair and maintenance bills.  The third function is materials storage.  We store gravel for our non-asphalt roads and a salt mix for de-icing paved roads.  One of our ways of stretching assessment dollars is to buy at a time and in a quantity to minimize the price for our materials.

For many years the WLRMS Board recognized the risk to the community of not having a long term formal lease arrangement or permanent location for its maintenance facility, but efforts to purchase or secure a formal long term lease of a location were unsuccessful despite successive boards’ continuing best efforts.  The issue came to a head in September 2019 when WLRMS received a notice to vacate its existing facility.

To fund this major project, the WLRMS Board proposes to take a portion of the cost from its Capital Reserves.  Under WLRMS procedures, withdrawal from the Capital Reserves funds for major projects (defined as over $100,000 total cost) must be preceded by the opportunity for public comment by the property owners.

Process for Selecting Satisfactory Site

Upon receiving notice to vacate, the WLRMS Board conducted a thorough review of alternative sites in the community, including property already owned by WLRMS and other sites which could be purchased or leased long term or with an option to purchase from third parties. Sites were extensively evaluated considering: availability, cost to the community, functionality of the site to WLRMS’ specific purpose, consideration of the location in light of the surrounding Wolf Laurel community. WLRMS reported to the community monthly on the site selection process and posted more detailed information on its website.  Alternative sites were ranked in order of most viable to least viable.

While rough costs were obtained on each option as part of the evaluation process, detailed cost estimates were obtained only on the three most viable sites.  Where construction or modifications to existing structures would be necessary, WLRMS obtained estimates from outside contractors working in or supplying materials to the Wolf Laurel area and who would be in a position to perform the work should WLRMS proceed with the site.  On the site not already owned by WLRMS, a contract of purchase was executed to set an enforceable price with the seller and allow a 90 day due diligence period during which WLRMS could obtain a title search, survey and environmental assessment of the property.  The results of this due diligence inquiry were reviewed with the outside professionals who performed the services.

At the April 17, 2020 meeting of the Board, the Board debated the two most viable site alternatives.  Upon full discussion and due inquiry, the Board acted to move forward focusing its energies exclusively on 809 Valley View Circle (the “Property”) as the preferred site, reserving all other alternative sites as backup options.

The Board’s evaluation of the Property concluded that the cost was comparable to, or less than the cost of developing other sites already owned by WLRMS.  The Property is approximately 2.465 acres, large enough and configured in a manner suitable to our operations, and capable of housing our entire maintenance operations with room for future expansion.  Existing structures on the Property can be used with immediate repairs and modifications, the estimates of which are included in the project budget.  Although it is further away from an arterial road than other options, the Property has adequate access to the roads maintained by WLRMS and is in a generally convenient location.  In the judgment of the Board, the location of the Property does not create an additional or new burden on traffic patterns on the Wolf Laurel Road system.  In the judgment of the Board the use of the Property would not impose an additional or new burden on the owners in the immediate vicinity, and the Property is adequately screened from view by terrain and existing vegetation.  The Property has previously been used as a maintenance facility thus no change of use of the Property will occur. An environmental Phase II report has been performed which will not only report the current condition, but establish a baseline of the condition, of the Property on that date. Based on the investigations of the Board, unstable soil conditions impair the Property from being developed for other uses, but do not impair the use of the Property for storage of materials, parking of equipment or maintaining a workshop.  Finally choice of this site would minimize disruption to WLRMS operations and to the Wolf Laurel community.

Budget for the Purchase of the Property

 

Total out of pocket expense $140,500.00
Less 2020 budget line item for maintenance facility -$84,000.00
Estimated balance proposed to be funded from General Reserve category of Capital Reserves $56,500.00

 

Deadline for Response from Community

Property owners now have the opportunity to comment on this proposal for the next two (2) weeks via email at rmsboard@wolflaurelrms.com .  At the end of the two week public comment period the WLRMS Board will meet for the purpose of taking action on this proposal.  This specially called meeting will be conducted electronically via GoToMeeting and instructions on how to listen to the meeting will be posted in advance of the meeting.  Because the electronic platform has some limitations, please take a moment to provide your comments in advance of the meeting.