Vidya and I would like to thank you all for being part of our small and growing community here in Costa Rica. For us it has been a pleasure spending time with each of you, and we look forward to more of it!
The development of the property has been rapid and its potential as a beautiful tropical garden and a delightful place to live has, we feel, been obvious to all of us.
This past year has seen the completion of:
*the planting of over a thousand forest, flowering and fruit trees
*a walking trail cut through the Common Area
*erosion control measures utilizing vetiver grass, bamboo and hitabo
*installation of a drip irrigation system for the orchard area
*the sealing of the initial cut into the hill for the entryway, and the subsequent retaining wall of stone (called 'gaviones')
*installation of 4 concrete drainage collection boxes and sub-road culverts at critical locations to control water flow
*crushed rock and gravel placed and rolled with heavy duty compactor, all the way through to lot 8, some 450 meters
*the concreting of the entryway from the street, construction of the metal gate and columns, and pavers installed to the first of the culverts
*our well spring dug out and fitted with concrete sleeves
*our dual chamber water tank built and connected to the Municipal water supply
*water distribution system installed, bringing potable water to each lot
*change of the majority grass type from the very tall, intrusive and aggressive Bracharia to a more easily maintained Paspalum
*completion of the access road from the gate to the top of the hill in two rails of concrete
*and after more than a year of waiting, the electrification along the main road to the entry gate (still in progress)
With the recent completion of the concrete access road up the hill, we now have year-round access. This is particularly important as the first period of house construction approaches.
The electric company has made promises that the power will be completed early in the new year. As there is just one post missing, this seems likely even given the glacial speed of progress of this dinosaur.
Vidya and I will begin construction of a house for resale on lot three this spring, and Erik and Teri expect to begin theirs also, on lot 5. Joe and RoJean have a guest cabina in mind, also starting this coming year.
We personally are very excited to finally have the opportunity to live on the property for the first time and enjoy its spectacular location and features.
As part of our future vision we look forward to further growing its beauty with ongoing development work. Part of that, as you're aware, is the participation Resident's Association.
Our 2008 Resident's Association budget appears below:
explanation of the budget items:
It is extremely important to have someone on site, not only for security of the property, but to hold an overview on development and allocate resources in a structured manner.
The management job relates to work on the whole property, but particularly the Common Area, including improvements, trails, and further planting, as well as organising and directing the usual maintenance tasks such as weeding, fertilizing and grass cutting, watering in the dry season, treating plants for pests and disease states.
Please note that maintaining the grass cut low is important for safety. There is a local snake (called a 'terciopelo') which finds itself at home in tall grass, but avoids areas where the grass is kept low.
A more complete breakdown of these tasks:
*Allocate jobs, direct sequence of work to be done, check work done.
*buy supplies, gasoline, deliver to site
*pay workers weekly; pay CCSS
*maintain equipment (tools and pump) in good order
*arrange for and pay liability insurance, municipal property taxes
*pay ADJ phone, water and power bills monthly
*keep an accounting of expenses for Resident's Ass'n.
$50/lot per month=$600 per lot per year
ADJ refers to Amrita Deva Jay SA, the holding company of the Common Areas.
We have 2 workers. One is fully enrolled with Social Security (la Caja), with full benefits including vacation pay, holiday pay, 13th. month and so on. The other is more part time, and is paid on a part time basis.
Gasoline, oil and cord refer to the basics for running the grass cutting machine (chappiadora).
Payments may be made quarterly or all at once. Until such time as we have an electric bill in the name of the Commons (Amrita Deva Jay SA), and thus can open a company account in it's name, please use our Scotiabank account for transfers.
We'd like to wish you all a happy New Year and look forward to seeing everyone down here in April.
Rob and Vidya