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May 28, 2020 News and Updates

We hope that everyone is doing well in the midst of these unusual times, and that things get back to normal soon!

The HOA has been really busy working on a great number of projects, and we wanted to give everyone an update.

This remains an extremely high priority for us. As you know, our 4th Flock camera was installed recently on Garnet Lake coming from the Whispering Springs section. Although the police cannot provide any specific details, we have been told that the Flock images have indeed been valuable to them for their investigations of recent crimes. They said that we’re definitely getting our money’s worth from these cameras! The Flock system also played a part in quickly solving some property damage incidents.

After researching carefully, we ordered a number of high intensity, motion sensing LED security lights for the park. Some of them have already arrived, and the rest are coming in tomorrow (Friday). These will be installed starting on Saturday. Several permanent poles are coming to the park to support the lights, new signage, and new cameras. In the meantime though, the lights will be placed on temporary poles so that they can start providing immediate security. Again, please note that the park closes at sundown! Therefore, if you see any lights in the park coming on during the night, take a moment to notice if anyone is there. Motion sensing lights can be triggered by animals or moving branches, but if you definitely see people in the park at night, call the police. Do not confront anyone yourself!

The same goes if you happen to see anyone breaking into a vehicle, etc. At least one recent news report showed vehicle burglars in Baton Rouge carrying firearms. We have had armed vehicle burglars right here in Spring Lake too, so it is not uncommon. Remember that no vehicle or material possession is worth your life, so report any criminal activity and let the professionals handle it.

Traffic Signs
First of all, we want to extend our most sincere thanks to residents Doug Chutz and Ray Walker, who generously fixed the stop sign on Diamond Lake which was knocked over. We really appreciate it!

Brand-new stop signs have arrived for the entire subdivision, so ALL existing stop signs will be replaced. Two new stop signs are going up on Garnet Lake, at the corners of Ruby Lake and Sapphire Lake. These will address the southbound traffic coming in from Whispering Springs, which currently has nothing to impede it. Installation of our new stop signs is scheduled to start today! We will also be putting a big REDUCED SPEED / SPEED LIMIT 20 sign at the border with Whispering Springs, because their speed limits are 25 and we do not want them speeding into the subdivision. This sign and the new stop signs should handle that well. In addition, as part of the sign project, all sign posts are being painted.

Google Voice Number
After considerable testing, we are happy to announce a Google Voice number which can be used to contact the HOA board. The number is 225-283-6364. This is a free service provided by Google, so there is no cost to us whatsoever!

Please consider this an emergency number, for when there is a need to reach the board on very short notice. We respond quickly to email and Facebook Messenger, but not everyone uses those. This new phone number is something available to anyone, and is almost instant. However, it should be used only when time is a factor. The number does not ring anyone’s phone, but instead allows you to send a text message or record a voicemail. Either type of message is then immediately sent to all board members.

Important: Do not use this number as an alternative to dialing 911! If you have a medical emergency, or there is a fire or criminal activity, call 911 immediately.

Welcoming Committee
A very active welcoming committee has been formed. Committee members will soon be visiting every resident who has moved into Spring Lake since the current board was instated. They will update everyone’s contact information, answer any questions, and also give each household a nice welcoming gift from the HOA.

House Fire
As you may have seen, one of our residents recently suffered a catastrophic house fire which completely destroyed their home. Luckily they and their dog escaped without harm, but everything they owned was lost, even their vehicle. If you would like to help, a GoFundMe account has been set up for them here:

Annual Dues
Dues for 2020-2021 will be invoiced at the beginning of June, with a due date of June 30. These will be announced ahead of time.

Everyone be on the lookout for the new signs, park lights, welcoming committee members, and lots more that’s in the works and coming soon! We’ll keep everyone updated!

Crime and security update

As you know, we have had several incidents with vehicle burglars recently. This is a very common type of crime, where thieves on foot go down the streets late at night, checking each parked vehicle to see whether the doors are locked or not. If the doors are unlocked, they quickly steal anything and everything they can. However, when they find locked doors, they just skip that car and go to the next one. They are probably being dropped off and picked up by a vehicle because police told us that they will typically hit several subdivisions in the same night. Also, suspicious vehicles were seen in Spring Lake around the time of these incidents.

Each time, our Flock entrance camera system provided images to law enforcement. The police cannot give out any details, but they did say that they are pursuing active leads. We believe that they found the data from our Flock cameras useful.

We have spoken to many police officers about this. Just yesterday we met one on one with a veteran detective who has extensive experience dealing with this type of crime. Here are the important points we have learned:

  1. THE NUMBER ONE WAY TO PREVENT VEHICLE BURGLARIES LIKE THIS IS TO ALWAYS LOCK YOUR DOORS! So far these burglars have not broken into any cars; they have just stolen from those which were left unlocked.
  2. DO NOT LEAVE ITEMS IN YOUR CAR. If the thieves see something valuable enough, they will likely take the risk and break the windows in order to steal it.
    Report it immediately, not later, otherwise the crime scene is broken, and any evidence would not be admissible. If it’s a vehicle burglary, request that the vehicle be processed, meaning they check it for contact DNA and fingerprints. One tiny amount of DNA could be enough to convict a thief!
  4. WE CAN EXPECT THESE THIEVES, AND OTHERS LIKE THEM, TO BE BACK SOON. The detective said groups like these typically go back to a subdivision where they had success, and didn’t get caught, about every 3 weeks! Plus, there could be more than one group targeting Spring Lake. He repeated his opinion, based on years of experience, that this problem is only going to get worse because of the development around us. Also, the likelihood of more serious crimes will go up if this continues. The only way to stop it is to make things so hard for lawbreakers that they no longer want to risk coming here.


Since the DR Horton section is not going to be tied into the rest of Whispering Springs for some time, we were able to save money by not immediately putting a Flock camera on Garnet Lake where it connects to that section. However, DR Horton’s gravel construction entrance is now providing a back way to get in, so our Garnet Lake camera is being installed this coming Thursday, May 7th, at the property line on Garnet Lake. It will capture all southbound traffic coming into our subdivision from the DR Horton section. Understand that even though that is called Spring Lake 8th Filing, it is legally a part of Whispering Springs and its HOA. They have nothing to do with us whatsoever; they do not pay dues to us nor have any right to use any of our common areas at all. Our Flock cameras cover us, not them.

In addition to the entrance cameras, we have been extensively researching ways of getting images from the streets and sidewalks within our subdivision. Such images would be crucial in matching the individuals shown on home security cameras with the vehicles recorded by the Flock system. We believe we have found cameras which will do the job while still being very affordable. Several of these placed at strategic points will give us a new level of security, greatly increasing the chances of getting conclusive evidence necessary to make a solid case against criminals here. We’ll keep everyone updated on the status of these new cameras.

Motion-sensing LED lights have been installed at the park and elsewhere. Some of these are temporary, and will be replaced by more powerful lights after AC power is run. We have received the proposal for getting the electrical work done at the park, and it will begin soon. This will enable the installation of the new fountains, security lights, cameras, and more.

Here are some of the lights we have in use, which have performed well and are very inexpensive. Clicking on the pictures will take you to the Amazon listings for these lights.

AC powered motion-sensing LED light

4-pack of solar motion-sensing LED lights

Given the Covid-19 shutdown, we were being lenient about verifying that people fishing or walking at the park were residents. Unfortunately, that leniency was abused, and in recent days groups have been caught in the park hanging out after dark, drinking, littering, etc. Therefore, trespassing at the park will no longer be tolerated. If you see people in the park at night, call the police! Our park is beautiful, is paid for by everyone’s dues, and we WILL NOT allow people who don’t live here to come in and ruin it. In addition to cameras and lights, we may install a 2nd gate to prevent vehicles from using the park driveway as a clandestine parking area at night. We also may use a method successfully employed by other subdivisions, which is to issue each homeowner a park pass (a badge on a lanyard, probably) which must be carried when at the park. It’s a shame such measures are necessary, but it seems that many who don’t live here now think our park is theirs to abuse, which it is most certainly NOT!

We are strongly committed to stopping crime in Spring Lake, and assisting law enforcement with catching and convicting anyone who tries to commit crimes here. To help with that effort, we encourage everyone to always lock your vehicles, be alert, report suspicious activity, install motion lighting, and install cameras if you can. High-quality camera systems from Arlo, Ring, and many others are readily available. We learned that law enforcement can be granted access to Ring videos voluntarily uploaded by homeowners. (For details on how this works click here.) Ring cameras are very popular, so this is another valuable tool to help catch thieves and put an end to this problem.

The harder we make it for criminals here, the more likely they are to skip our subdivision and go after easier targets.

There is much more coming very soon, so look for additional updates as things progress!

General update: Entrance cameras, security, and more

I. Our Flock entrance cameras have been operational now for almost 2 weeks. For details about them, see the previous post on our website if you haven’t already.

If a crime occurs in Spring Lake, report it to the Sheriff’s Office ASAP! The main, non-emergency sheriff’s office number is 225-686-2241. Of course, if a crime is in progress, or an immediate threat is present, always dial 911.

The Sheriff’s Office is set up to access our system in the event of a crime, and the sooner they do so the more likely they are to catch the criminals and possibly recover any stolen property. The LPSO detectives know that we are now on a Flock system, so there’s no need for anyone to notify the HOA about a crime. Just report it to the police.

Remember though: If a crime occurs, it’s important to quickly file that police report! Then the Sheriff’s Office can check the cameras as part of their investigation.

If you want to, you can have your plate numbers added to a list of those belonging to residents. This is voluntary, and will allow law enforcement to quickly eliminate resident license plates in the event they are searching the data following a crime.

A special link is required in order for you to add your license plates to the resident list. (We cannot make such additions, only the vehicle owner.) Email if you would like to do so, and he will send you the link.

II. In addition to the Flock cameras, we have implemented the first steps toward improving security at the park and in other places around the subdivision where suspicious activity has been noted. Several automatic lights were installed during the past week, among other things, and many more improvements are in progress.

III. We will shortly be repairing and replacing many of the street signs throughout the subdivision, and will add new ones where they are needed, including at the bus turnarounds. We just discovered that the rocket scientists at DR Horton have a 25 MPH speed limit in the new section which adjoins us! So, we will be getting a very noticeable 20 MPH speed limit sign to put on the inbound “border” there on Garnet Lake.

IV. With the heavy rains, weeds have started taking hold in our entrance flower beds, so we’re having our landscaping company come out soon to do a bit of freshening up on those.

That’s about it for now, but there’s a lot more in the works which will be announced soon!

As always, we welcome everyone’s input and suggestions.

Security Camera Update

As you probably know, crime has been a big concern for many residents lately. There have been a few recent incidents, and multiple law enforcement officers have stated that we can expect things to get worse, not better, with the huge subdivision building up around us. We have been researching this issue extensively for months, and after careful evaluation, decided upon a proven entrance camera system.

Entrance camera locations

That system is by Flock Safety, and was shown at the recent annual meeting. A Flock camera is being installed at each of our 3 entrances. (We will add another when DR Horton connects the 8th filing to Whispering Springs.) The cameras are small, solar-powered, and store their data online via cellular connections. They are triggered by motion, recording the license plate number, color, and make of each vehicle entering our subdivision. The license number is checked against the National Crime Information Center database, and an alert is automatically sent to the Sheriff’s Office if the plate is flagged for any of the following:

  • Stolen vehicle
  • Stolen plate
  • Active felony warrant
  • Gang / terrorist threat
  • Sex offender
  • Missing person / Amber Alert

The system also keeps track of how often a particular vehicle has been detected, when it was last detected, etc.

Very importantly, the Flock data is encrypted, and is only kept for a rolling 30 days. Access to the data is strictly limited to the HOA board and law enforcement, with all logins recorded and requiring a valid reason. The data cannot and will not be used for anything other than solving crime.

The cost of each camera is $2000 per year, so our 3 cameras total $6000. This includes installation, data, repairs, replacement, etc. and works out to only about $25 per resident. With the amount of money we are saving as a self-managed subdivision, we felt that safety and crime deterrence are two of the best ways we could invest in Spring Lake, and Flock has proven to be a great investment for neighborhoods in at least 36 states, including right here at home.

A Livingston Parish detective, who also lives in Spring Lake, works several Livingston neighborhoods equipped with Flock entrance cameras. He told us that in the largest of these neighborhoods, the Flock system enabled him to solve ALL of the vehicle thefts and break-ins which occurred there, along with many other residential and property crimes throughout the areas he covers.

Another example of Flock’s effectiveness is the town of Trussville, AL. They recently installed Flock cameras, which detected 59 flagged vehicles in their first 30 days of operation!
(Click here for the story.)

Take a look at these videos for more information about the Flock system:

As a resident of Spring Lake, there is nothing you need to do with regard to these cameras. If you want to, you can have your plate numbers added to a list of those belonging to residents. This is voluntary, and will allow law enforcement to quickly eliminate resident license plates in the event they are searching the data following a crime.

You can also choose to have the Flock system ignore your plate numbers completely. With this option however, your vehicle will be ignored even if it is stolen, so this is not recommended.

Flock camera and solar panel

Other than seeing the Flock cameras at our entrances, nothing will happen with them or their data unless a crime is reported. If a crime occurs, notify the Sheriff’s Office immediately so they can access the data and search for a suspect vehicle. Always report a crime as soon as possible, so that the chances of catching the criminal and recovering any stolen property are greater. And remember, the Flock data is only kept for 30 days.

Our cameras are scheduled for installation this coming Monday, February 17, followed by a couple of days of testing and setup. Our system should then be operational on Thursday, February 20.

We have a lot more announcements coming soon, but wanted to let everyone know about the Flock cameras, since they are proceeding well ahead of their initial estimated schedule.

We are very excited about putting this system to work protecting Spring Lake. It comes with signs warning all potential criminals that they are being recorded, which is itself a deterrent. But, if criminals ignore those warnings and commit crimes in our subdivision, we’ll now have a powerful tool to help identify them and bring them to justice.


Contact us with any questions, or if you want to add your plate numbers to the resident list.

New Resolutions Filed

Earlier this year, we hired the law firm of Shockey and Associates to represent our subdivision. They are a very experienced firm, and have between 15-20 other HOAs as clients, including Easterly Lakes. Among other things, we asked them to do a thorough review of our restrictions and bylaws. They performed an extremely in-depth analysis for us, something which was long overdue, and let us know exactly what is allowed under the existing documents.

Based on that analysis, and following proper procedure, we wrote two new resolutions, which were themselves then reviewed by the attorneys before final revision, adoption, and being recorded with the Clerk of Court. Click here to see the recorded document.

The first resolution defines our violation enforcement procedures. It was based on a revision of these procedures written by the previous board, but with changes, updates, and clarifications made necessary by the attorney’s review. Violation enforcement has been somewhat on hold, because we did not want to repeat the procedural mistakes made by the former management company. Such mistakes likely would have caused us to lose had we taken further action against a couple of the worst violators. Now however, we have a policy that is firm but fair, whose provisions will be followed closely, and which will withstand any possible challenge.

Resolution 2 has several sections, addressing multiple topics.

The first deals with the hiring of a management company. Our documents did not qualify or limit such an expensive and far-reaching act whatsoever. As Spring Lake and others have seen, a management company can have a catastrophic impact on a subdivision, so surrendering control to them should be done only with the approval of the residents who would be affected. A handful of people on the current or any other HOA board should not have the ability to make that kind of decision without the approval of those they are supposed to represent. Therefore, section 1 of this resolution establishes a rule for such approval. It does not forbid the hiring of a management company, but makes certain that doing so must clearly reflect the will of the residents.

The next section of the resolution clarifies several violations such as parking on the street overnight, parking on the grass, etc. These violations technically have always fallen under the restrictions requiring that property be kept clean and orderly, but having them spelled out clearly leaves no doubt.

The last section deals with the parking of large commercial vehicles. Unfortunately the restrictions have very muddled language on this topic, and if followed strictly as written, would not even allow pickup trucks to be parked anywhere! Some time ago, a previous board wrote a modification regarding commercial vehicles, but the former management company never recorded it. There was also some language within it which would have made enforcement very difficult. So, we took the best of both and streamlined the wording, resulting in a clear interpretation that passes legal muster, as do all of these resolutions.

With these now in effect, we can fully resume enforcement and address violations in a timely, and legally sound, manner.

Minutes and Activity

Over the past few months, members of our board have had to deal with a number of serious life events, ranging from major job changes to divorce. As a result, it has been impossible for the board to have regular in-person meetings, but in spite of everything, we’ve remained hard at work addressing issues both large and small, and keeping a record of what we’ve done.

Click here for the latest minutes and summary of activities.

Annual Meeting Thursday, December 19, 2019 at 6PM

All residents are invited to attend the Annual Homeowners Association Meeting on Thursday, December 19, 2019, at 6:00pm. We will meet in the Fellowship Hall at Faith Crossing United Methodist Church located at 34260 North Walker Road, Walker, LA 70785. This is almost directly across Walker Road from our subdivision, between Sapphire Lake and Natures Way, so it’s very close and convenient. We wish to thank Pastor (and Spring Lake resident) John Gilmore again for the use of their wonderful facility.

Remember to mark your calendars and plan to attend. We want to see and hear from you, and let you know in person all that has been happening. At this meeting, we will be electing board members, reviewing the current financials, discussing plans and goals for the upcoming year, and more.

If you are unable to attend the meeting, you may allow someone else to vote for you by using the proxy form available at this link. The form must be filled out and signed fully, then returned prior to the meeting. You can scan and email it to the Board, or if that’s not possible, email us and we’ll pick up the hardcopy from you. Any resident in good standing who attends the meeting, including a board member, may vote for you via proxy.

As of now there will be 2 open seats on the Board. Nominations are welcomed, and may be submitted using the nominations form attached to the bottom of the proxy.

NOTE: Our restrictions specify that residents not in good standing with yearly HOA dues/assessments are not eligible to be on the Board or vote at the meeting. To be in good standing a resident’s HOA dues/assessments cannot be delinquent, and they must not have a lien filed on their property.

If you have any questions regarding your standing with your HOA dues, please contact the Board.

It is very important that we have your email addresses, since we use email whenever possible to keep residents updated on information pertinent to our community. If you have not received any emails from the Board, or are new to Spring Lake, contact us.

If there are any items or questions that you would like to have discussed at the meeting, feel free to email them to the Board. We encourage all homeowners to get involved with the HOA and look forward to hearing your questions and/or suggestions.

We hope to see you at the meeting!


Board of Directors
Spring Lake Homeowners Association

September 9, 2019 – BIG Update!

It’s been awhile, since a LOT of stuff has been happening, so this is a very comprehensive update! Sit back, relax, and take some time to read this and catch up on everything.

1. Back to School Bash

Waterslide, tables, and lots of amazing food waiting for the guests to arrive.

Our Back to School Bash was held on Saturday, August 10, 2019 from noon until 6PM. It featured a bounce house and huge waterslide from Stafford Amusements, and GREAT food from Firehouse BBQ and Catering, Cafe du Jour at the Whistle Stop, LaShish Greek and Mediterranean Restaurant, and Days Smokehouse. We’re guessing that about 100 people attended, and everyone said they really enjoyed themselves and LOVED the food! That means a lot, as we really wanted to do it right, and give our residents something special. A few suggested some great ideas we hadn’t thought of, so look for the next Spring Lake party to be even better! We figured on spending around $1200-$1500 for the Bash, and it ended up costing a little more than $1500, but we have drinks left over, which will be used at the next event! So, even though we were focused on quality, not budget, the cost was right in line with our expectations.

We want to extend our deepest appreciation to a couple of people who helped make this event possible:

  • Jim Waid, who generously allowed us to connect a hose to his house for the waterslide. Without that, TONS of kids (and adults!) would not have been able to slide, splash, and have fun!
  • Joe Miller, who was kind enough to lend his big patio fan. It made a huge difference, and made the pavilion a lot more comfortable in the heat.


Look for another event to be announced in the not too distant future.

Speaking of events…

2. Pavilion Reservations

Remember that any Spring Lake resident can reserve the pavilion at the park for occasions like birthday parties, family reunions, etc. Just contact the board well in advance!
Those of you attending the Back to School Bash may recall that there was a nagging electrical problem at the pavilion. At a recent WONDERFUL birthday party held there by residents Jason and Marisol Duplessis, one of their guests was a licensed electrician. He saw the problem, ran to John’s Supermarket, and replaced the faulty parts, which were 2 GFCI outlets. So, that is now solved! The HOA reimbursed the cost of the outlets, and sends a huge THANK YOU for a job well done! That was a nice surprise, as we were about to call an electrician to go find and fix the issue.

3. Door to Door Solicitors

Recently, many residents got annoyed by representatives from Fox Pest Control, who were canvassing our subdivision. Some reported that the Fox people were pushy and didn’t want to take no for an answer. In any case, several residents asked about putting NO SOLICITING signs up. We thought this was a great idea, so we researched and found some high-quality signs that are reasonably priced. We ordered one for each of the 3 entrances, along with the proper mounting hardware. They will arrive this week, and will be installed right away. The total cost with shipping and tax is only $121.95! Keep in mind that restrictions only apply to residents, not outsiders, and it appears that Livingston has not yet passed an ordinance regarding door to door solicitation. However, just the presence of these signs should be a nice deterrent, and will let outsiders know that we do not want solicitors in Spring Lake. Here’s what the signs look like:

4. Parking in/near the Bus Turnarounds

At the very end of Fountain View and Springlake Drive, there are spaces for the school buses to turn around. Not long ago, residents noticed vehicles parked in one of those turnarounds. They spoke to the drivers, who said they were workers for the adjacent Whispering Springs subdivision being built, and wouldn’t park there again. However, they were back the next day, parked in the grass just outside the bus turnaround. A board member took pictures, including license plate numbers, and reported it to the School Board Transportation Department. They contacted the Sheriff’s Office very quickly. However, the Sheriff’s Office said that the NO PARKING signs there were not placed by a governmental agency, so their hands are tied. The School Board then started contacting people associated with the Whispering Springs subdivision. The person developing the “Spring Lake 8th Filing” immediately to our north (more on that later) called a board member. He clarified that the workers are there legitimately, installing an underground sewer pipe that will run from the 8th filing west past our subdivision. He said they definitely will not park in the bus turnarounds, but will be there on the grass. The board was able to confirm the sewer line work via Clerk of Court records, so that is legitimate.

So while they will not be parking there anymore, residents on the ends of Springlake and Fountain View can expect to see equipment working there over the next couple of weeks as they run this sewer line.

Also, we learned that the land just past the end of those 2 streets, including the bus turnarounds, does not belong to Spring Lake! The property line is at the end of the streets, along the north edge of the last lots there. So, even if those workers park on the grass, they are not trespassing.

We will be installing new signs at the bus turnarounds to make it absolutely clear to everyone that they are not to park or obstruct those turnarounds.

5. Whispering Springs Subdivision

(Written by board secretary and veteran realtor Greg Bunch. The opinions in this section are his own.)

While we had the developer on the phone, we asked about the new Spring Lake filing. As the Planning Commission had told us, he confirmed that it will indeed connect to Whispering Springs at its north end. So, in my opinion, Whispering Springs cheated and got a free entrance courtesy of us. Tom, our HOA president, recently sent me a link to an article detailing how the Livingston Parish Council implemented back in October two new ordinances establishing a minimum number of entrances for new subdivisions and mandating that they connect to existing subdivisions whenever possible. Until Tom sent me the link, I was not aware of this. Coincidentally this is about the time the Whispering Springs development was getting into high gear, so I strongly suspect that these new ordinances were custom written for them, at least to some extent.

The developer told me that supposedly DR Horton is going to build higher-priced houses in the new Spring Lake filing. I think he said it will be around 60 something houses at first, then a second filing with 80 something houses, for a total of about 150.

I have been told from multiple sources that when someone develops a new filing for a subdivision, they are not bound by the existing restrictions. They can set up their own, which it sounds like they plan to do. In my opinion the new Spring Lake filing is really just a part of Whispering Springs, and they called it Spring Lake simply to justify using our entrance. We met with our new attorney last week, and asked what if anything can be done about making sure that this so-called new Spring Lake filing is built to the same or better standards than the rest of our subdivision. The answer is, probably nothing. He said at this level, when you’re dealing with huge, multimillion dollar subdivisions, it gets very political. So, we can count on Whispering Springs connecting to us via Garnet Lake. Hopefully they will indeed build higher priced homes in that nearest section, because I believe it is Whispering Springs that is negatively affecting sales of homes in our subdivision. Very few houses have sold, and for those which have, the average sold price per square foot of living area over the past 12 months is about $112, the same as it was a decade ago!

6. Entrances

       Our beautiful entrances after renovations were completed.

Everyone has probably noticed the beautifully redone entrances to our subdivision. The biggest change was at the Sapphire Lake entrance, but the other two entrances were also redone, with new plants, mulch, and more. The last step was to troubleshoot the irrigation systems at all of the entrances. They had not been operational for years. The systems at Cane Market and Natures Way are small, and were easily repaired. Sapphire Lake has a large, elaborate system which required a new controller and some other fixes, but those were done. The only remaining issue is that a couple of valves are leaking and must be replaced. Resident and landscaper Jason Polo volunteered to troubleshoot those for us, so that issue should be taken care of very soon.

We also would like to thank resident Mary Stafford, who lives near the Sapphire Lake entrance. Mary was kind enough to let us connect to her water supply during those critical days after the new sod was put down and there was no rain in sight. Thanks to her the sod was kept watered, and ended up taking root and growing very nicely. We really appreciate her generosity!

7. Park

We are very fortunate to have our wonderful park here in Spring Lake. The park encompasses about 7.5 acres, and contains the pavilion, basketball court, playground, walking trail that is over 1/4 mile in length, trees, benches, fields in which to play, a gazebo near the south end and a 3.5 acre lake with large fishing pier. The park is a true blessing, and we thank our residents for keeping it in such good shape. It is really looking great. And, there is much more that we want to do with the park for everyone. Here are a few of our ideas and plans:

Fishing pier – The pier is made of old wood, which is showing its age quite a bit. We recently had to have some repairs done to replace rotted boards. We started researching permanent solutions, and it turns out that EZ Dock, one of the leading makers of docks and piers in the United States, has their Gulf Coast headquarters right here in Walker! We called them, and they came out that same day to measure and check out the existing pier. They said that the underlying structure of the pier, including the pilings, looks very solid, so they suggested just replacing the decking, railings, etc. They will be giving us quotes for doing so, with different choices of materials ranging from wood to synthetics which are designed to last around 20 years. We have no idea of the cost, but we’ll find out soon. This may be a project for the future, but eventually replacing all that old wood with modern materials will be more economical then constantly repairing what we have now. Plus, we cannot ignore the possibility of someone getting hurt if a board gives way.

Examples of EZ Dock’s work.

Pavilion – We would like to install outdoor rated ceiling fans at the pavilion. It would really help during the summer months.

Gazebo – Many people are not aware that near the south end of the walking trail lies a very nice gazebo, which is about 15 feet in diameter. It is solidly built, much like the pavilion. It needs to be pressure washed and stained, but that’s it. We would like to run electricity to that gazebo, and install lights, outlets, and a ceiling fan. We’ll also put in place one of those rock-solid picnic benches like we have at the pavilion. This will allow for smaller groups to have parties while something else is going on at the pavilion, for really large groups to occupy more than one location, and to give everyone another great place from which to enjoy the park. The view there is wonderful.

Fountains/aerators – While running electricity for the gazebo, we would also run it to the pier, and to the north and south ends of the lake. Those connections would be for a fountain and an aerator in each of those locations. The fountains would be smaller than the main fountain near Cane Market, but still very attractive. They would serve both for looks and for aeration. At night they would shut off and the 2 dedicated aerators would come on. These efficiently mix oxygen into the water, which will greatly improve the overall health of the lake and the many fish which it contains.

Type of smaller fountain we’d like to install. These also aerate the water.

High-efficiency aerator, which would run at night.

Having electricity at the fishing pier will allow us to install lights on it, which would be either motion-activated or set by a timer. If solar lighting is a better option, we would do that instead, but with power there we have choices.

Smaller items:

  • We will soon be solving the problem of the large drop from the playground slides to the surface beneath them.
  • We may move a bench currently beneath the trees to another good spot, and install a new picnic table in its place.
  • It was suggested that we could install bat houses at various spots around the park. Bats love water, so the park is an ideal location for them. In contrast to the Hollywood version of bats shown in movies, bats are actually tiny, beneficial animals. One small bat can eat over 1,000 insects every hour! They also pollinate flowers and spread seeds. Our board member Greg Bunch has a bat house in his backyard, which recently became the home of a maternity colony consisting of pregnant bats, then later the moms and their babies. Every night like clockwork he could sit on his back porch and watch the bats leave to go eat thousands of nuisance bugs. He also rescued two baby bats which fell out of the house, one of which is shown below. Having a few bat houses would be a great way to reduce insects in the area, while helping the local bat population. Bird houses may be a nice addition to the park as well.
Greg Bunch’s bat house, mounted on a 16′ pole, and a tiny baby bat he rescued.
Eastern bluebird on house.

8. Financials

Click here to see the financial statements as of August 31.

They are presented in 2 forms: Accrual basis and cash basis. This is only because we inherited over $80,000.00 of delinquent receivables, approximately $75,000 of which is still on the books. The management company used the cash basis for reporting, which concealed the delinquent amounts from our residents. The proper method is to use the accrual basis, which is what we do. However, since these amounts must now be accounted for instead of being hidden, they had to be shown as income (“sales”) which temporarily makes the income look far too high. Just for comparison purposes, we included the cash-based financials, which are based only off of what was collected, not what was invoiced or delinquent.

If you compare the accrual reports to the cash reports, the difference is approximately that due to the delinquent balances. As those balances are either credited off or collected, they will either be debited to sales (thus correcting the overstated income) or deposited into cash.

Since moving to self-management, we have cleared up over $7,000 from old past due accounts. Conversations have started with other lot owners on settling their accounts or getting set up on a payment plan to catch up. Legal remedies from our newly hired law firm are certain to bring more accounts current, one way or the other.

Our annual dues invoicing (income) totals $58,250. As of August 31, approximately $46,000 had been collected, leaving $12,250 in receivables from 2019. Most of this is from those who habitually pay late or not at all.

Here’s a brief look at key figures from August 31, 2019 compared to where we were a year ago:

As you can see, we have over $14,500.00 more in the bank than we did at the same time last year, and this is AFTER spending about $8K to renovate the entrances and repair the irrigation systems.

We are earning close to $100.00 of interest each month on our money in the bank, compared to about $2.00 a month last year.

Our average monthly expenses have fallen by over $1,100.00. As a self-managed subdivision, we are no longer spending nearly $1,500.00 each month on management fees. Since the big fountain has been working this year, along with the irrigation systems, utilities have risen back to normal levels, and Quickbooks costs us $60 each month. This is why the difference is $1100 instead of almost $1500.

Our past due balances have dropped by over $7,000.00 because of amounts we’ve collected. Those collections will continue to come in.

Here’s how we manage the bank accounts: Our routine is to keep a base amount of $2000 in the operating account, just in case we have an emergency expense, etc. Anything over that goes into the money market account to maximize the interest income. Each month an automatic transfer moves $1500 from the money market into operating to cover the recurring bills, which are then paid automatically. All this gets picked up directly into QuickBooks, so there’s no manual entry of this at all. So far, since moving to self-management we have only written a total of TWO paper checks! Everything is either done through electronic transfers or BillPay, which is free and doesn’t even cost postage.

9. Attorney

We have hired a new legal firm to represent us. They are:

Shockey & Associates
10114 Jefferson Highway
Baton Rouge, LA 70809
Phone 225-291-7500
Fax 225-291-7501

Bill Shockey, the lead attorney, has been practicing 40 years and is well-versed in HOA-related issues. He has represented between 15 and 20 other HOAs, including Easterly Lakes. We met at length with him and one of his associates, voted as a board to hire them, and immediately gave them stuff to do. Among their highest priorities are dealing with a rental we discovered; streamlining the procedures we must follow when enforcing violations and collecting delinquent amounts; and to start looking at revising or replacing our restrictions. They got started right away! We’re confident they’ll do a great job for us.

10. Other Plans and Goals

Here are a few items we’d like to do for our subdivision. Some are big and may be for the future; others are small and fairly easy to do. We ALWAYS welcome new ideas and suggestions, so if you have any, email them to the board! Also email any comments you have on existing plans, etc.

So, in no particular order:

  • Hire random but regular LPSO details to ticket those speeding and/or running stop signs. (This WILL be happening, so drive accordingly!) When the violations stop, so will the tickets.
  • Install more NO FISHING/TRESPASSING/PARKING signs around lakes.
  • Restock lakes and move some fish to balance and improve populations.
  • Replace the antiquated sign boxes at the entrances with modern, outdoor-rated digital signs which can be changed and updated almost instantly.
  • Install entrance cameras tied to the Livingston Parish Sheriff’s Office (like those at Easterly Lakes, which have been VERY successful!)
  • Set up regular police patrols to deter crime, another thing Easterly Lakes does with great success.
  • Install fountains/aerators in the big lake between Springlake and Fountain View.
  • Have more entertainment events at the park, including evening events with live music (as long as neighbors approve.)

11. Violations

Violations will be addressed in a separate update, which will be coming VERY soon. It will also talk about collection of past due amounts.

We know this has been a long update, but we’ve been doing a lot, and had much to say. We hope it was worth the wait!

As always, we look forward to your comments, ideas, and suggestions. Email us anytime!

Your Spring Lake HOA Board

Judson Baptist Church Backyard Kids Club at the park July 11

Spring Lake resident Brother Robbie Isom is the children’s minister at Judson Baptist Church  and wanted to extend the following invitation:

You’re invited to Judson Baptist Church’s

Join us on Thursday, July 11th from 6-8 at the Spring Lake Subdivision Park.

We’ll have music, crafts, games, Bible study, and snacks… all centered on this year’s VBS theme: In the Wild.

Our last one, held on June 13th, was a lot of fun, so come help us make this one even bigger and better!

For more information, call: Brother Robbie Isom @ 665-5481 or email:

June 10, 2019 Update

I. Judson Baptist Church Backyard Kids Club at the park June 13 and July 11

Spring Lake resident Brother Robbie Isom is the children’s minister at Judson Baptist Church  and wanted to extend the following invitation:

You’re invited to Judson Baptist Church’s

Join us on Thursday, June 13th and Thursday, July 11th from 6-8 at the Spring Lake Subdivision Park.

We’ll have music, crafts, games, Bible study, and snacks… all centered on this year’s VBS theme: In the Wild.

For more information, call: Brother Robbie Isom @ 665-5481 or email:

II. Entrance renovations are done!

As you may have seen, Alford’s Landscaping did a fast and beautiful job on all 3 of our entrances. They built a stone retaining wall around the sign on Sapphire Lake, which contains our new ornamental garden there. At Natures Way, they installed soil, mulch, and new plants, and at the Cane Market entrance, they trimmed, weeded, and mulched. They also spread fertilizer and weed preventative in all locations. The only remaining visible task is the installation of sod on Sapphire Lake, which should be this week. In addition, they will perform repairs to the irrigation systems at all entrances as needed.

III. Dues and Accounting

A big THANK YOU to all who have already paid their dues so far! We appreciate it very much, and will continue to put our money to the very best use. Speaking of money, we are fully running on QuickBooks now. Our monthly bills are paid automatically, and our bank account interfaces with QuickBooks. Therefore, all bank activity, whether it is a paid bill or the incoming collection of dues, goes directly into QuickBooks without the need for manual entry. Our CPA has given us beginning balances, and we have just 1 remaining discrepancy from the old accounting (only about $15.00) to track down before our books will be 100%, absolutely to-the-penny accurate!

More to come…