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July 20, 2022

Dear Residents,

Your HOA has invested a large amount of money in renovating the golf course.  The community is justifiably concerned about the progress of the renovation, especially when the original schedule called for it to be completed long before now.  Many rumors have circulated about the project, and the frustration of those waiting for the course to be opened is understandable.  Following is a brief status report.

  • We expect the front nine to be available to play by Labor Day if the weather gods cooperate.  We are monitoring the status of the grass and will open whenever it is ready.  The back nine will remain closed indefinitely due to a painfully lengthy construction schedule.

  • There are four main components of this project:

    1. Drilling of a well with adequate quantity and quality of water
      The well was drilled in late 2018.  Further testing was done afterwards and confirmed that it could produce over 1,000 gallons per minute and the water quality was sufficient that with some treatment it could be used.

    2. Golf course modification and replacement of the irrigation system
      This is nearly complete; we are in the fine-tuning stage of the irrigation system which can take a year or more.  This process can continue while the course is in use.

    3. Construction of the lake
      We are currently in the middle of the permitting process with the City of Oceanside.  Depending on when the permit is issued, lake construction will start near the end of the year and take about two months to complete.

    4. Installation of the electrical supply to the lake and the well
      This project is currently underway.  A permit package has been submitted to the City and it is anticipated that it will take approximately three months to obtain permits.  Following that, Leisure Village Way will be trenched near the park and the conduit and wire will be installed from LVW to the lake pumps and on to the well pump.  Our most recent notification from the supplier is that the key pieces of electrical equipment necessary to complete it will not arrive until at least June, 2023.  That means that we will not be fully operational as designed until the fall of 2023.  (We are evaluating the possibility of using portable generator power during peak water demand periods to save money on the cost of City water, or in case City water is unavailable.  That might enable us to begin using lake water in late spring.)

The project has been fraught with added costs and delays, most of them beyond the control of the HOA.  We have attempted to advise youof these as they have occurred.  For more explanation of those issues, see below.

  • The start of the project was delayed by Covid-19.

  • In the summer of 2020 Hurricane Laura hit the Texas coast and knocked 15% of resin pipe manufacturing offline.

  • In February of 2021 the contract was signed and simultaneously came the great Texas freeze, damaging the heartland of resin pipe production facilities near Houston.  The Board authorized a pre-emptive purchase of pipe while it was available before prices went completely through the roof.  Pipe availability in various sizes has been an issue throughout the project and continues today.

  • Sprinkler heads and fittings have been similarly affected by the resin industry problems.  Many items took multiple weeks to deliver, and orders were commonly shorted.

  • Volumes and pressure supplied by the City were inadequate for the irrigation system, necessitating the installation of booster pumps near the Clubhouse hot tub and modification of the Clubhouse electrical system to operate them.  (Remember that the irrigation system is designed so that it can operate solely on City water if necessary.)

  • Pumps were not inventoried by distributors, but rather had to be manufactured to order, resulting in lead times of several months.

  • The City has installed a new meter and we have installed a new pressure reducing valve to stabilize the input pressure to the booster pumps.

  • The project was interrupted when we discovered asbestos pipe that had to be removed and replaced by a qualified hazardous materials contractor.

  • Due to the asbestos pipe replacement, we had to supply construction water for several months by renting a water truck.

  • Many electrical components currently have lead times of six months or more.

  • Pumps have repeatedly malfunctioned and have only recently begun performing consistently.  This has resulted in interruptions to our watering that have slowed the grow-in.

  • Irrigation controller malfunctions have been ongoing, and the circuit board brains of the system have been replaced twice.

  • There have been issues with the frequencies assigned to the controller by the FCC resulting in faulty programming of the sprinkler heads.  We have nearly 500 sprinkler heads, each requiring individual programming and manual orientation in the field.

  • Contractors throughout the world have been put in an extremely difficult position by having agreed to fixed price contracts and then being squeezed by huge increases in their underlying costs.  Projects don’t get completed if the contractor is driven into bankruptcy.  In the ordinary course of a construction project, this atmosphere has turned what used to be molehills into mountains.

  • The Board elected to use a design-build approach due to the frequency of changes anticipated with unknown conditions such as rock, underground utilities, etc.  However, the contractor has had continual problems complying with the terms of the agreement.  I am not at liberty to say more at this time due to the possibility of legal action.

  • There have been lengthy delays in the design processes; engineering firms today are often backed up with months of work.

  • Permits have taken extraordinarily long to obtain.  This is always an unknown, but multiple other factors have contributed to this problem.

  • Sod was difficult to source, and its quality was a challenge.

  • The Board authorized the bulk purchase of seed in advance due to its dwindling availability.

  • Reconstructed greens use a sand base, and there is an unavoidable settling and compaction process which occurs.  This creates small depressions which require filling and reseeding.  We have had major delays in obtaining seed for this purpose.

  • Prolonged delays in receiving as-built diagrams from the contractor have made it impossible to reconnect the periphery of the golf course to irrigation, resulting in the death of trees and other landscaping.

  • Stretching out the construction period has increased our project management costs.

  • From the time the first component of this process was undertaken to the present, we have had five different general managers.  We believe that this situation has stabilized and that there will be continuity through its completion.

O’Connell has been aggressively managing the grow-in, wrestling daily with the pump and irrigation controller problems, including hand-watering many trouble spots.  Given all of the issues with key elements of the system, this has been like a months-long game of Whack-a-Mole.  The fact that we are looking at opening the front nine soon is a credit to O’Connell under the circumstances.

Your Board of Directors have put in many, many hours trying to move this project forward and deal with the multiple issues, particularly those due to Covid-19, inflation, the supply chain interruptions and the challenges presented by the general contractor.  We, too, have been very frustrated with the process and have taken whatever steps we felt were reasonable and necessary to get it done at a level of investment we could afford.  We remain committed to getting it completed and moving on to other important matters.

Gregory M. Kusiak

President, Board of Directors

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