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Welcome to our 4th Quarter 2012 newsletter, which contains a wrap up of events occurring between October and December 2012 and a preview of upcoming events for 1st Quarter 2013.
2012 Winners of the Christmas Decorating Contest are …
36974 David Drive
26869 Kelli Court
37045 West Spicer Drive
On Dec. 12 the CLHA board judged all the decorated homes in the neighborhood and awarded the above addresses with the 2012 titles of Best Decorated Homes in Country Lakes. Each homeowner received a certificate, a sign to post in their yard, and FREE 2013 HOA dues! Thank you to everyone that participated. It really is a joy to see all the beautifully decorated homes each holiday season!
Santa’s Visit at the Park
On Dec 9, Santa made his annual visit to the Country Lakes park pavilion. Approximately 100 kids stopped by to tell Santa what is on their list this year. They enjoyed hot cocoa, snacks, candy and small gifts.
Trunk or Treat – More Kids Than Ever
Despite the storm before Halloween, CLHA was able to hold its annual Trunk or Treat event in the parking lot at the park on Oct 31. More kids than ever before attended this year’s event, with a running tally of over 400 characters of all kinds … bumble bees, princesses, scary monsters, spider men and more! We also had a few furry friends this year, including a hot dog and a ladybug.
A special thank you to all “trunkers” who set up and handed out candy and also to the CLHA board for working together to make sure our neighborhood kids didn’t miss out on the fun of Halloween night.
Do You Have a Facebook Account?
Are you thinking of joining Facebook, but aren’t quite sure how it works? It’s a great tool to keep in touch with friends and family and also to stay informed with what’s going on in the Country Lakes community. And best of all, it’s FREE.
How to Join Us … 107 Neighbors Interacting
Go to www.facebook.com in your web browser. If you don’t already have a Facebook account, you will need to create one in order to interact. Don’t worry, accounts are free and set up is easy. Once you have joined Facebook and are logged in, enter CLHOA in the search bar at the top of your page. Click on Country Lakes Homeowners Association in the search results. Doing so will direct you to our Facebook page. From there you can click the “like” button on the right side, near the top. This will add our posts and comments to your “Newsfeed” so you can stay informed of community events and information.
“Liking” our Facebook page not only allows you to see what we are posting, but it allows you to post comments on our page, interact with other neighbors on our page, view pictures of recent events, and ask us questions at anytime. We monitor the page daily and respond quickly to your questions and concerns.
We look forward to interacting with you soon at www.facebook.com/CLHOA. For additional information and help with using Facebook, visit http://www.facebook.com/help/?ref=pf
Upcoming 2013 Community Events
2013 CLHA Board Meetings – Join the Discussion
Our Board Meetings are being held every four weeks on Tuesdays at the Christ Church Parish Hall on Zack Fowler Rd. in Chaptico.
Upcoming meeting dates for the first quarter of 2013 are as follows:
February 19, and
We hope to change the location back to the park pavilion by the April meeting. It all depends on the weather. All meetings are at 7pm and last about 2 hours. An officer from the county Sheriff’s Department attends all meetings and provides important updates about happenings in the community. All residents of the community are welcome at these meetings. Your comments and suggestions for improving the community are always welcome, so please join us at anytime.
Community Yard Sale
It seems like a long time from now, but our next CLHA event is the Community Yard Sale on Saturday, May 18. Start organizing your items now to ensure a successful sale day in May. Feel free to set up in the parking lot at the park on a first come, first served basis. You can also use your own yard. Sale time is 7am to 12 noon.
This event is scheduled for Saturday, June 1 at the parking lot. We will provide multiple dumpsters, including one for metals. Bring your leftover, non-donatable items from the Yard Sale and we’ll haul them away for you. Certain items will not be accepted, such as tires, hazardous materials, and yard debri. Your dues must be current to participate.
HOA Dues are Increasing in 2013
We would like to announce that our CLHA dues will increase by 5% for the upcoming 2013 season, and late payment and returned check fees will be $10. We have gone a few years without increasing the rate, but feel this minimal increase is necessary to keep up with the rising expenses we have as a community, including the upkeep of the park, insurance, community events, and more. The new rate will be $40.37, only $1.92 more than the current rate.
Event Signs are Now Being Posted
We understand many of you don’t pass the lighted sign at the park on a daily basis, so we have started posting event signs at the entrances on Cox Drive and Yowaiski Mill Road so everyone can stay informed about upcoming events. We will post the signs about a week before any scheduled event. We hope you will come out and participate with the community!
Report ALL Crimes in the Neighborhood
Cars are being broken into rather frequently, and occasional property damage and home break-ins have also been reported. If you become a victim of any crime in the neighborhood, no matter how small, please report it to the St. Mary’s County Sheriff’s Department at 301-475-8008. Some of the guilty subjects have been proven to be responsible for multiple crimes in the neighborhood. The more information the Sheriff’s Department knows, the odds of neighborhood cases being solved are much better.
Tips for a Safe and Enjoyable Holiday Season
Schedule a Vacation “Premise Check” – It’s Free
St. Mary’s County Sheriff’s Department will do FREE premise checks for you while you are out of town. If you are going away for the holidays, call for more information: 301-475-4040.
Break Down Boxes for Trash Pick Up
Are you or the kids getting something extra special from Santa this year? Don’t forget to break down the box in which the item was enclosed before taking it out for trash pick up. You can also drop them off at the public dump, free of charge. The nearest ones are on Rt 6 in New Market and on Horseshoe Rd in Clements. Avoid attracting the unwanted attention of thieves during the holiday season.
Watch Your Pets Around Your Holiday Plants
Poinsettias are mildly toxic, but not as worrisome as yuletide plants such as holly berries and mistletoe. These two festive decorations are toxic to dogs and cats, so be sure they are out of reach of your furry friends!
Real Christmas Tree? Keep it Watered
There are 250 Christmas tree fires and 14 related deaths each year, according to the U.S. Fire Administration. The combination of shorts in electrical lights and a tinder-dry tree can be deadly. So keep your tree well-watered. Not only will it stay fresh and green, but it might also keep your house from burning down.
Newsletters are published 4 times a year. View the “archives” to find past newsletters!