FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

Check:

RiverwalkPOA.com

 1) Check the NEWS tab.

2) The FAQ

3) Navigate the site

4)Attend a Meeting

5) Contact the community manager at Spectrum

6) Send your question via the question form provided.

After multiple meetings and months of implementation, the BOD has finalized the various contracts with our primary security provider (precinct 4 constable’s office) and a high tech monitoring system.  The BOD asked the constable’s office what would work best.  We listened.  The synergy of the systems provides us with probably the most advanced system used by any subdivision in Montgomery county.   Please note that the guard shack is still manned on a random schedule and that the presence of a car on the parking is not an indication of a guard being in the office.  Please do not stop at the guard shack.  For obvious reasons not all details will be disclosed!  Please note that this system cost will be totally integrated in next year assessment. Our bill will be reduced to one assessment only. We will not have a separate constable assessment  starting 2021. This is a direct saving for enhanced services.

  • Constable presence 7 days/week
  • Precinct 4 can give you a security analysis for free.
  • Monitoring and remote alerting system for day & night 24/7 coverage
  • 24/7 HD Video in multiple locations
  • Guard Shack manned on a random schedule
  • Future changes for yet further improvements are likely

So, in 2 years, we moved from a non members approved “mandatory fee” (2019 and prior) to a voluntary fee (in 2020) and now to an integrated fee starting in 2021. As promised, the BOD will be able to integrate the fee by trimming the main expenses across all large and small budget items.

 

Please note that we get occasionally a question about putting a gate at the entrance.  That is not possible for 2 reasons:  First the roads are public and do not belong to Riverwalk.  Second,  it would be practically impossible due to the bottle neck at our single entrance.  We ask residents to refrain from advertising our surveillance system on ND or other public forum.

The exact question from a resident was: “Do we no longer have a guard shack?”

We can assure you that we do!  It now has tinted windows;)

The cost was: $1,300 for the tint.

Yes, it is manned on a random schedule.  Some adjustments had to be made as a result of COVID and as a result of funding.

Note that the POA security provider is precinct 4.

YES.

In 2019, all the residents had a chance to vote on making the constable assessment mandatory for all residents.  While about 3/4 of the votes were in favor, the number of voters was insufficient (only 37% of the membership) to make the assessment mandatory (the “over 50% vote in favor of the entire membership per section” is a regulatory threshold imposed by the TX property code. This has been the case for as long as the subdivision existed and has nothing to do with any bylaw changes that took place. This applies to the dedicatory instruments limiting an increase of assessment of more than 10% . (In our case, to accomodate a new contract.  Note that some of or resident have a very hard time grasping this one).

Note:  The numbers of hours at the guard shack have never been the subject of a membership vote for as long as the guard shack has been in place. The numbers of hours have fluctuated over the years and have always been at the discretion of the BOD.

 

Two reasons:

  1. It’s the direct result of the 2018 BOD signing a 2-year contract with the constable office of Precinct 4…. (As board member that year, Thibaut clearly voiced his concerns to the BOD about the fact that the POA BOD should not sign a contract before it had the ability to pay for it…)
  2. And not having the ability to collect the assessment to cover the cost.  What this means is that the POA had no legal right to request collection on payments (as well explained on multiple occasions last year by Gene and Thibaut.  Please refer to the summer 2018 newsletter).

So, as previously explained, we are in a transition year.  In 2019, the constable assessment was clearly voluntary (see what’s new with security question).  

So the POA had a 2-year contract signed and we, as board members, had to find a way to pay for it.  We tried to pass a membership vote that would have made it legitimate for the POA to collect.  But the vote did not pass.(see “Did the residents have a chance to vote?” question above).

This year, the current BOD (Thibaut Moutier, Gene Theobald & Gary Dillards) were left with the hard task to cut multiple budget items from large to small.    See next question.

We have discussed with many residents and taken their inputs.  Remember the 3/4 of participants that supported the constable?  Concerning safety and security in Riverwalk: we took the inputs of experts. See question “what’s new with security”.

Note: None of us on the board wanted to cut the number of hours at the Guard shack.  We were forced to do so primarily for budget constrained and also to a lesser extend to some legitimate COVID concerns.

Now the current BOD clearly feels that if we had a choice, the newly implemented system as explained under “security” is by far superior as just the manned guard shack.  But we are not bound to that solution alone and, as the budget improves over time and with the residents’ request, changes can be made.

 

Yes we could.  But the BOD could not do that on their own.  The membership would need to provide a majority approval.

In order to stay solvent (remember the constable contract that was signed for 2 years with not legitimate way to collect but crossed fingers and the deposit money that was not placed nor saved in a separate segregated account?) we had to drastically cut cost.  To that extend we renegotiated most contrats and looked at most important line items for savings.  We started this process at the beginning of the year (2020).

Here the large cost savings implemented:  Saving are on a yearly basis.  Note that they took place during the first 6 months of 2020.

  1. Repaid the balance on the $370,000 loan 3 years early……………..about $6,000/year saving.
  2. Management company: from CIA Services to Spectrum…………………………$24000/year at minimum.
  3. Ground maintenance…………………………………………………………………………………$12,000/year
  4. Guard Shack staffing…………………………………………………………………………..net $90,000/year.  With an effective date of yearly saving starting in July.  This includes the AI, camera and window tinting cost.
  5. Activity committee………………………………………………………………………………………$5,000/year

No it was not.  CIA Services team looked at the financial and advised against it.  They said essentially that the Riverwalk POA could not really afford it.  This was especially relevant since the loan was taken for new expenditures as opposed to maintenance of existing structures. 

No.

The BOD does NOT gets any compensation for our many hours of volunteering.  Gary did a lot of work at the guard shack cleaning, sanitizing, installing or adjusting lights and AC system and completed a one year audit of the guards hours worked.

The POA is not  responsible for the maintenance of county road and ditch. 

The following responsibilities listed on Precinct 4 maintained roads and ditches can be requested via phone call to our main office at (281)577-8919 (option 3) or can be e-mailed to barbara.smith@mctx.org

E-mailed requests must include:

  1. Your full name;
  2. Your physical address or area of concern (listed by street name);
  3. Cross street (intersection) closest to your physical address or area of concern;
  4. Brief description regarding the nature of the problem/request for service;
  5. Valid daytime phone number where you can be reached.

Service requests include:

  1. Precinct 4 maintained roadway issues/service requests including:
    1. Roadway deterioration;
    2. Potholes/patching requests;
    3. Dead trees across roadway or in county right of way.
  2. Precinct 4 maintained right of way issues/service requests including:
    1. Sign problems (missing or defaced street, stop, or roadway signs);
    2. Drainage issues;
    3. Ditch or culvert cleaning;
    4. New culvert setting 
    5. Mowing requests along Precinct 4 right of ways
Yes we have done some work but…  probably 2 of the most important projects that could have made a difference were in the end not approved by the county.  Digging the ditch deeper is often not the solution.  Finding a way out for the water is.
 
What the POA, the individuals or the county can, should, could or must have do/done is not a simple answer.  Let’s keep in mind that the ability to pay for the correct solution is also a big part of this equation.  
 
I would strongly advise against using social media to get resolution.
 
Having said that, we need to talk about it.  We sure have found out that it is not cheap and that progress are slow due to weather. Contractors that have a small window to perform any work pilling up on their book and we are often not number 1.
 
Solutions:
 
1) It’s always good for each owner to report to the county the specific culverts or ditches that deserve TLC and working together is better than the alternative.
2) Encourage residents to call/e-mail the county
3) Find a way out for the water.  We have asked before we’ll ask again.
4) Give your time to help find and implement possible solutions.
 
Thank you,
Sincerely,
Thibaut
 (Update 06/29/2020)

We have a high probability that it will never happen over the next decade.

Spectrum, twice a months.

It allows for a visual break between messages or post in order to make it obvious that we have more than 1 post.  The picture usually runs for just 1 second.  When no messages are posted it can be use as a deco…  Kids love it.

The ACC was established for the sole purpose of reviewing and issuing permits on all new architecture, building constructions, new additions and alterations to structures in Riverwalk. The ACC helps to protect the values of the land in Riverwalk. The goal of the ACC is to encourage the construction of homes and structures of good architecture design, quality and proper size in accordance to the deed restrictions and building requirements.  Once a project has been approved, the ACC’s role ends.

Note: Since Gene and Thibaut have been on the board together we no longer have permitting fees and deposits.  The auditor confirmed to us that those deposit schemes mostly ends up in a real mess!

You want more ACC info?  Go to the ACC Tab.

The association usually does one treatment a year.  We are planning to spray again in the spring.

Yes we do!  It was rewritten in 2019 to comply with the Declaration of Covenants.

See under Document tab.