Saturday, 28 July 2012

Summer 2012 Update

Vandalism

  • The situation in terms of vandalism and graffiti has greatly improved in the last year but incidents still arise. This not only affects the appeal of The Old Mill but also costs BMML, and ultimately you, additional money to rectify. 
  • We would still ask you to call Ashbourne Garda station (835 1515) and ourselves if you see anybody damaging communal property. 
  • We will prosecute offenders. 

Litter

  • Although we have now introduced a weekly clean-up of litter we would ask you, please, tell your children to bring home their own litter for disposal.
  • We would also ask you to ensure children remove bricks, timber etc used for BMX ramps once they are finished (this is not only untidy but also represents a hazard for pedestrians and other road users).
  • Our estate’s Tidy Town Committee is also paying attention to litter.
  • Please ensure that your bins are secured (with a rock, if necessary) particularly the paper bins.
  • We would also ask you to clean up your area after bin collections.
  • The above minor but irritating problems are consistently raised by members.

Speeding

  • Again, we would ask you to report all speeding and dangerous driving to Ashbourne Garda station (835 1515).

Car Parking, Hedges and Safety

  • Bad and inconsiderate parking both within the estate and near the junction with the Fairyhouse Road has been raised again – both as an inconvenience and as a safety risk, especially for children at the beginning and end of the school day.
  • Concerns have also been raised again about hedge heights, particularly in shared driveways with no pavements where cars have to pull out quite a bit before having a clear view of oncoming traffic, cyclists or pedestrians.
  • To help us better understand the real risks and the measures we can take, we have engaged a firm of Consulting Engineers to undertake a Road Safety Audit & Assessment of the estate. We will share the findings with home owners, MCC and the local schools (for inclusion in bulletins as appropriate) when they become available.

Cobblelock Driveway Cleaning

  • If you are having your cobblelock driveway cleaned, please be sure to ask the cleaners to remove any grit that gets washed onto the shared driveways or road (they will do this – they just need to be reminded!).

Dogs

  • This issue has been raised again – if you own a dog please consider your neighbours
  • Some dog owners are letting their dogs roam freely in the estate which is against the law and some children feel threatened by them.
  • Other owners allow their dogs to foul the estate and make no effort to clean it up posing health threat to all users of our estate.
  • A new development across Ratoath is dog owners collecting their dog waste in plastic bags but then discarding the bags in the common areas, flowerbeds and hedges.
  • We ask all dog owners to be aware of their responsibilities in this area.
  • The dog warden’s contact number 046 9097204
  • We have erected a number of signs which remind dog owners of their responsibilities.

Planting

  • We replaced a number of trees and added a few flowering trees and will continue to review our annual maintenance programme.
  • We also planted several hundred more daffodils which generated very favourable responses.
  • We plan to plant many more bulbs next autumn.

Quality of Maintenance

  • We want to ensure that we are getting value for money and that the estate is maintained to a high quality.
  • Please let us know if any area could be improved so that we can take the matter up with the maintenance company.
  • Unfortunately, the bad weather has caused havoc with the maintenance schedule – please bear with us.

Tidy Towns Committee for the Estate

  • A tidy towns committee for the estate (which is financed by BMML) is now in operation and has made good progress. Their work has greatly improved The Old Mill – particularly around the entrance to the estate.
  • Anyone who wishes to volunteer time please contact Ashling Ahearne (29) or Siobhan Sevestre (47).

Holiday Security

  • Do you leave keys and alarm codes with a neighbour or with someone whom your neighbour(s) know how to contact and who can respond in a hurry. A ringing alarm is a nuisance but it is also a signal to would be thieves.
  • Do you have a reliable neighbour who can check on your house while you are away?
  • Do you ask a neighbour to pick up your post or newspapers when you are away or do you use Mailminder from An Post?
  • Do you cancel all deliveries?
  • Do you ask your neighbour to park their car in your driveway when you are away?
  • Do you arrange to have the lawn mowed? Do you tell the GardaĆ­ if you will be away for a long time?

2012 Annual General Meeting

The Annual General Meeting (AGM) was held on 23rd April 2012

Directors and Vacancies

Mr. J. Carroll (No. 30)
Mr. T. Collins (No. 35)
Mr. B. Fagan (No. 110)
Mr. S. Mitchell (No. 91)
Mr. D. Sheppard (No. 39)
Ms. D. Quirke (No. 141)
Mr. E. Wilson (No. 41)
There are currently 3 vacancies

Our Accountant

Our accountant, Ken Chapman of Chapman & Associates (3 Jamestown Park, Ratoath) attended the AGM and explained the accounts.

Our Auditors

MHOS & Co. were appointed as auditors for the coming year.

Houses in Debt

The number of houses in debt has dropped considerably over the last few years from 81 in March 2006 to 12 in June 2012 (the same number as in June 2011).

The breakdown is as follows:
  • 2 Court Orders with the Land Registry, which means that the house cannot be sold until debt is cleared. Their credit rating is affected. 
  • 5 in the hands of our solicitor (court appearance pending). 
  • 5 with debt outstanding for two years which we are chasing. 

Invoices

We would like to thank all owners who have kept their accounts up to date.

We will be issuing this year’s invoice in August for the year 1st Sep 2012 to 31st Aug 2013.

The actual costs of maintaining the estate are €160 per house per year excluding the cost of unscheduled repairs, improvements, etc. While it does reduce our reserves, we are conscious of financial demands on households so will again we will be offering a substantial discount to those who pay before 31st Oct 2012 and whose account is up to date.

The base rate is €275 and the discounted rate is €100.

Tuesday, 17 July 2012

Meath County Council takes the estate in charge

At long last, on 6th February 2012 Meath County Council (MCC) took the estate in charge.

The key impact of this development is the change of ownership and responsibility for repair and maintenance of various aspects of the estate which are outlined on the Who's Responsible? page.

Sunday, 15 July 2012

New website launched

This is the fist post on the brand new Old Mill website.

BMML will post latest updates here long before they make it into the printed newsletter. You can also comment on any matters that arise. We’d love for this to become a forum to discuss issues affecting the residents of The Old Mill so look forward to seeing you online!

If the website really takes off, we might even be able to do our bit for the environment and drop the printed newsletter altogether. Be sure to complete this month's poll and let us know what you think.