Another year has gone by and Hide-A-Way Lake continues to make a number of positive changes and improvements. The following are some of the major improvements that were made this past fiscal year.
The Mississippi State Department of Health performed their annual inspection of our water system in July 2018. The inspection ranged from equipment to procedures. We received a 5 out of 5 rating for the 14thyear in a row! This rating is something to be extremely proud of as it takes a combined effort from the HAWL Office, maintenance staff, and the Board of Directors in order to maintain a successful water operation system.
The Main Entrance Gate is a 24/7 operation. In order to keep the gate running efficiently, two new computer servers with upgraded software were installed in September 2018. This capital improvement project was completed by NVI Technologies and Convergent Technologies and had a total cost of $5,172.84. These two servers are updated daily by the HAWL Office for up-to-date information for the guards and run three very important databases: Membership Database, Visitor System, and Vehicle Tag System.
In October 2018, Creative Iron Works completed the installation of the new fence and automatic gate with a closing system going into Millbrook Golf and Country Club. This is now not only pleasing to the eye, but is a safer perimeter for our community. Please remember that the Millbrook golf course is private as well and is for their members. If you are a member of Millbrook Golf and Country Club and have a current HAWL Golf Cart decal, come to the HAWL Office to purchase an automatic opener/closer for the gate. This is the only way to enter the golf course through HAWL. The total cost of this capital improvement was $5,187.28.
The waste/trash collection contract expired in December 2018 and the bid process was completed in November 2018. The new contract is with Coastal Environmental Services at a monthly cost of $14.49, which includes a new 96 gallon cart with lid to all residents. Leaves must be bagged. Small limbs piled by the can do not have to be bundled as long as they do not exceed a total area of 4’ by 4’ area. This is a great alternative to burning. Other companies that bid were Waste Management at $14.50 a month and Waste Pro at $24.78 a month. Pick-up day remains on Mondays. Please have your can out by the street before 5:00 am on Monday mornings. The new cart delivery and pick up of the old cart was completed by the garbage company in January 2019.
In January 2019, Property Owners received a separate mail out that included their Property Information report, which reflects the information the Office has in the Membership database for Property Owners and their dependents (dependents are classified as "Other Occupants"), not registered guests. Ensuring accurate phone numbers and other occupants is extremely important for controlled access to the community and above all for your safety should an emergency situation arise.
Also in January 2019, the project for the Lodge to have four 400 amp 3 phase disconnects with surge protection units to assist against surge was completed by Gulf South Electric. The total cost of this capital improvement project was $13,215. This was a vital preventative measure that brought this area of the Lodge in compliance with current building codes.
The 2019 pool season and lifeguards are under supervision of SELA Aquatics. This is a professional pool training and management company that oversees pool operations and evaluations in the pool area. The goal for this busy amenity and utilizing SELA Aquatics is to maintain the quality of the lifeguard team as well as the safety and professionalism with which the pool operates.
Throughout the Spring of 2019, the Maintenance Department updated the beach swim area with new poles, ropes, and buoys. Also the restrooms inside the Lodge lower level were renovated. The total cost of this capital improvement was $1,597.95.
In March 2019 a new security contract with Professional Security Corporation (PSC) from Hattiesburg, MS was signed. This is the same security company that has worked with Hide-A-Way Lake over the past several years. In January 2019 bid requests were sent to four security firms (Allied Universal Security Services, Professional Security Corporation, Signal 88 Security, and Vinson Guard Services). The security contract includes furnishing security services by means of providing security officers, vehicles, radios, and protection and enforcement of our procedures, property, facilities, roadway/traffic enforcement, lake security, controlled access at gates, animal control, as well as assistance with medical calls and individual property protection. After the process of reviewing each proposal, it was determined that Professional Security Corporation offered the best option for the residents and the community. Professional Security Corporation was awarded a five year contract at a rate of $14.35 per hour with an annual CPI increase and with review of performance.
Roto-Rooter was contracted in April 2019 for an emergency replacement of a portion of the Lodge’s lower level sewer drain which had collapsed. The existing drains were constructed of cast iron, which were replaced with PVC. We are planning on changing more out with this upcoming capital project year. The floor tile was replaced in May 2019 by City Carpets. The total emergency repair cost was $12,907.37.
In May 2019, Barriere Construction Co. completed the capital improvement project to repave, overlay, and repair areas of approximately 2.25 miles of roadways in the community. Bids were sent out in October 2018 and were opened in May 2019. Bids were sent to Barriere Construction Co., LLC, Boh Bros. Construction, and Huey Stockstill, Inc. The total cost of this capital improvement was $256,845.60 which was paid in April 2019.
As many of you have noticed, AT&T began installing new fiber optic lines in July 2019. This is the first phase of a project to improve their services to our community.
The attendance of property owners at the periodic “Coffee with the General Manager” meetings has been positive. These meetings are the perfect opportunity to have a conversation regarding community information directly from the General Manager as well as to get to know each other.
“Thank You!” to the many property owners that have become and continue to be involved by either coordinating or participating in a community event, serving on a HAWL committee or social club, attending a Board of Directors monthly meeting, communicating with the HAWL Office, etc. This community cannot function without the many of you that get involved. HAWL has over 80 property owners on record that are actively involved with a committee that helps take care of this community or sponsors a community event. Everyone is encouraged to explore a HAWL committee or social club, attend a meeting, or stop by the Office. For a list of committees and clubs along with contact information, visit the HAWL website.
I want to thank the Hide-A-Way Lake staff, Board of Directors, and committees for all of their hard work in keeping our community a wonderful place to live, which we lovingly refer to as our “Best Kept Secret”.