Village Crews Worked Hard Preparing for Storms

At the January 17, 2024 Board Meeting, General Manager Kelly Hale expressed, “We continue to clean up after the storms from the last couple of weeks. This week, we have seen high winds, rain, snow, and ice. It’s almost like a James Taylor song that we have going here.”

Appreciation to Crews, Other Helpers, and Residents

Hale said the POA crews been working since Friday of last week (January 12) in preparation to tackle the current weather event. Hale thanked all of the POA employees for their hard word to prepare for this event. “This was a little bit of a different ice storm. The precipitation stuck to the pavement when you drove or stepped on it. Mother Nature is going to have to give us a hand with a little sunlight,” stated the GM.

The General Manager also thanked Balboa Baptist Church for their assistance with cutting fallen trees that were safety issues.

Hale expressed gratitude to private individuals who also assisted with storm cleanup. The help received ensured our roads were quickly cleared and opened for travel. “I also want to thank residents for staying home.”

Hale said that staying home may sound simple, but it is very important and helps the work crews and first responders.

“I know that is difficult, but when we get these types of conditions, the best thing to do is stay home and enjoy some movies and make a big pot of soup or something.” Cooperation from the residents helps the clearing and cleaning efforts go quicker.

Kelly Hale, HSVPOA General Manager

The POA doesn’t have the resources to pull people out of ditches. The staff is tied up working with first responders.

“People say, ‘I know how to drive.’ That is good, maybe you do, but we are making a blanket statement for everyone because last week when we had the first bit of snow, we ended up with over 70 cars needing to be pulled out of ditches. That kind of tells me that maybe some of us don’t know how to drive in this stuff and it is a lot worse now. But that is the reason why we give this guidance. So please, stay home unless you need to go out. If we need to help, we will try to do our best.”

Kelly Hale, HSVPOA General Manager

Plowing/Emergency Vehicle Preparations

Hale shared that we have over 500 miles of roads and are driving two plows, so we may not be able to plow your street.

Hale said they kept the main thoroughfares open and ensured all of our emergency vehicles were fitted with chains. They also assisted LifeNet (our ambulance providers) to make sure they were equipped with studded tires. We also had escorts to help our community when needed.

Waste Management Suspended Trash Service Across the State

Trash service was suspended due to the Garland County Transfer Station being closed. “We cannot empty full trash trucks, so a cause and effect is happening. I will let you know that Waste Management announced that they had suspended service for Waste Management customers across Arkansas due to safety issues until further notice. You may not think your street is bad, but that doesn’t mean the rest of the [trash] route isn’t. Some of these streets are in very tight, little spots. They are on the sides of hills. We do not have the best terrain, so please be patient. Please be understanding.”

Finalizing Year-End Numbers

Hale said, “We are finalizing the year-end numbers. I am pleased with the gains that were made in reducing subsidies and controlling the cost of planned asset purchases. We still have an opportunity to cut costs and look for better opportunities. We made a lot of purchases, and we staffed up to do the work that has been needed and to be ready to move forward.”

Hale Asks Members to Take Advantage of Tennis, Golf, and Fitness Center

“To be able to really improve our revenue coming in, I would ask that our members be engaged with using our facilities, especially with Tennis, Golf, and the Fitness Center. These are three amenities that we all love and use quite often but are areas that are dragging down our bottom line. Better utilization of these assets will help make it more profitable and allow these to be sustainable in the future.”

If you have Silver Sneakers or a similar plan – please use these programs to take advantage of our fitness center, which helps the facility’s bottom line. The Silver Sneaker program has helped to close the subsidy gap for the fitness center and also gives many members a much lower-cost gym option.

Being a Member in Good Standing

Every year, residents and property owners have allowed their memberships to fall into delinquency. We are a private company and receive none of our tax dollars back – so it is essential for all those whose own properties to be responsible for their part. Being a private community member does not get any better value than HSV, so please ensure you are being a good member by being current. We also need members to register and pay all fees owed for boat stickers, golf carts, etc. We use this money to pay for roads, cart paths, and also many other projects that most communities pay for using tax dollars.

Hot Springs Village GM 2024 Board Report Hale Inside Image

Golf Course Work Necessitates Temporary Closings

“We are closing some of the courses for the months of January and February. This allows these crews to do much-needed work on their courses and help heal some long-needed areas of attention. We will continue to address our largest asset with a very focused approach. We will acquire proper equipment and utilize cross-functional help to expedite key projects and keep the crews on schedule for much-needed work. Isabella Golf Course is progressing well, yet Mother Nature has delayed our original schedule by three weeks. We need to stay on schedule with this project, so expect Isabella to soon go down to only nine holes.”

Paint – Polish – Preserve

We are asking all groups and individuals that can, to volunteer to help with key work projects during the 1st quarter of this year. “We have multiple lightweight and low-effort activities that we need help with. Maybe you will make some new friends,” said Hale. Our vision is to have all our venues spruced up and looking better than they have in many years – for ourselves and our guests. Please contact Tom Heffer or Tami Jones in Golf and Terry Wiley in Park and Recreation if you or your group can help.

By Cheryl Dowden

Click here to read “GM Honest Talk on Utility Rates.”

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