Archive | June, 2013

Newsletter: Apr-Jun 2013

MetCom Automatic Meter Reading Project Underway

By now, you should be well aware of the Metropolitan Commission’s activity in our neighborhood. They are undertaking a county-wide project to upgrade our meters. Country Lakes is part of the 1st route of residential sites to be upgraded, with an estimated completion date of August 2013.

In May, elaborate information about the project and how it affects your property was mailed to all residents of the community. If you did not receive this information, or if you have additional questions about the project, please contact MetCom directly at or 301-737-7400.

Rainy Day for Yard Saling, but Dumpster Day was a Hit

Our community yard sale was May 18 and despite the gloomy forecast, a few folks set up shop in their yards, driveways, and garages!  We received feedback from many that they would like to see the HOA organize two of these events per year. We agree that it is a great idea to host a community sale in the Spring and the Fall months and are working diligently to decide on the perfect date. Stay tuned.

Two weeks after the yard sale was the annual Dumpster Day event on Saturday, June 1. There were three large containers for household junk and two for metal. We nearly filled all five containers that were available.
There were 43 residents that participated, but 58 actual dumps.  That’s right, a few people made multiple trips.  We allowed onsite payments of delinquent dues and appreciate those folks that paid. It is your HOA dues that help us make these events a success.

Next Up: National Night Out on Tuesday, Aug 6, 6-8pm at the park. Come meet your community organizations such as the St. Mary’s County Sheriff’s Dept., SMECO, MedStar St. Mary’s Hospital, Mechanicsville Volunteer Fire Department and Rescue Squad, and more.  Food, games, and door prizes!

Upcoming Community Events (view all)

2013 CLHA Board Meetings – Now at the Park

Our Board Meetings are being held every four weeks on Tuesdays at either the park pavilion or the Christ Church Parish Hall on Zack Fowler Rd. in Chaptico. For the summer months, we are currently holding meetings at the park pavilion. We welcome you to join us! Upcoming meeting dates for the third quarter of 2013 are as follows:

  • July 9,
  • September 3.

All meetings are at 7pm and last about 2 hours. Please bring your ideas/suggestions/complaints and we’ll try our best to address them appropriately.

National Night Out

Join us at the park for this event on Tuesday, August 6 at 6-8 pm. Various community organizations will be present. Come meet the folks that help make our community a better place. We’ll have food, games and door prizes.

Special Announcements

Neighborhood Watch Program

We are in the beginning stages of organizing a community watch program. If you are interested in joining this cause, please complete our online form or contact Donald “Pud” Graham at 301-884-5236 or 301-717-6474.

Too Busy to Volunteer?
Here are some tips for making your home and property less likely to be a target for crime:

  • Shrubbery /Trees/Outbuildings: Planting bushes or building structures that limit the view of doors and windows may give you a feeling of privacy, but in fact, do the opposite. They prevent neighbors from noticing an intruder and provide hiding spots for criminals as well.
  • Outdoor Lighting: Well lit approach areas around garages and doors act as a deterrent for robbers. Motion sensor lights work well and conserve electricity as they only light when activated.
  • Alarms: They are effective against intrusion when properly installed and maintained. Panic alarms that can be activated by a member of your household that emit loud sirens will normally frighten away intruders when activated. A silent alarm allows law enforcement to respond without alerting the intruder.
  • Know Your Neighbors: If your neighbors are familiar with you and your family, vehicles, etc. they may notice suspicious activity or vehicular traffic that may give the police clues to solving crimes in the area.

Please continue to report all vandalism and crimes to the St. Mary’s County Sheriffs Department. Knowledge is key to preventing and solving future crimes.

2013-2014 Yearly Dues Reminder

Dues statements were mailed on June 3. Please be aware that payments are due by July 1 to avoid a $5 late fee. Drop your check in the mail today and avoid that fee.

Attention Sellers: Resale Packages

When selling your home, there is a resale package that should be included in your closing process. Most real estate agents will request this directly from us, but if they don’t, you should be aware that you will need to make the request. The fee for the resale package, which includes all of the covenants, articles of incorporation, and dues history for the property will be $50 as of July 1, 2013.

Upcoming Repairs to the Park Pavilion

Improvements to the pavilion will take place in September 2013. Construction will require the pavilion to be closed for at least three days. We will post a message on the lighted sign when this begins. You will also notice yellow construction tape blocking any entrance onto the concrete floor of the pavilion and surrounding areas. Stay tuned for an exact date of construction.

Cicadas and Inchworm Infestation

We didn’t see the expected hoard of 17 year cicadas in Country Lakes (thankfully), but we most definitely dealt with our fair share of inchworms this year. We posted a few useful links on our web site and Facebook page and hope that you were able to learn more about the insects and ways to minimize future infestations and damage to your trees.

Adopt A Road Program

We have adopted the three entrance roads to Country Lakes in an attempt at beautifying our community. We hope that you will help in this effort to keep our roads and their shoulders free of litter. We will set up 2-3 community service days per year and may ask for your help. Have you noticed the signs on Cox Dr., Asher Rd., and Yowaiski Mill Rd.? Contact us at 301-884-7297 or complete this form if you are interested in volunteering.

MetCom Automated Meter Reading Project

Information on the ongoing Automated Meter Reading Project (AMR):

AMR Fact Sheet
AMR Project Press Release
AMR Information Brochure
AMR Powerpoint Presentation
Questions? Problems? Just want to know more about the project and how it may affect you?

MetCom hosted a public meeting at the Mechanicsville VFD on Monday, June 3 at 7pm. Project leaders were on hand to answer any questions you had about this project.  If you were unable to attend, email your questions and MetCom will respond as soon as possible.