Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Griffin Rd Carwash

Dear Southwest Ranches Friends and Neighbors:

Good Morning, Good Afternoon, Good Evening and if I don’t see you later…well then…Good Night!

Come get your car washed every afternoon on Griffin Rd. Not by the high school cheerleaders, not by any of the local church groups, not by the volunteer fire department, but by the new irrigation system put in to water the thousands of new plants that cover the landscape along west Griffin Rd. For $400 dollars per year per family, if you time it right (4-7 PM) you can get your car washed daily with canal water. What a town!

Take a look at the note below submitted by a concerned citizen and let your town council know that they again are squandering your tax dollars. The annual costs for maintaining this new project are enough to cover debt service on the planned but un-financed public safety/ town hall building.

Members of your present council signed off on this project, let them know that this was a bad idea. Ask them what they are going to do to cut its costs.

That’s All Folks!!!

Wanch Waggler


Dear Waggler,
A few years ago our Town had the chance to shape the Griffin Road improvement landscaping. I sent a letter to Forrest Blanton with copies to all Commissioners. I told them what we needed was not xeroscape but zeroscape. My vision was landscaping that did not need watering or none at all. My reasoning is that the town could not afford electric and maintenance for pumps.
The last traffic cones were removed Thursday and the work is 99% complete. For those of you that care or noticed, we got a finished project completely opposite to my vision. There is a multitude of plants and trees that are wholly inappropriate for where they are planted. Some trees directly under powerlines! What were these morons thinking? I would really like to know why this was done. Beautiful Cypress trees planted on top of berms. These trees like lots of water and cannot survive without massive watering. Center medians should be planted with grass to facilitate easy care and no watering. We have a hodgepodge of plants and trees that require massive watering and care.
After enduring two years of construction filth on my cars we finally can wash them and have clean cars, right? The watering system uses a series of high horsepower 3 phase pumps. The system is set to water in zones that constantly change. The water pressure is high and the system really sprays well. So now when you wash your car you can be guaranteed to get it sprayed at least twice while driving Griffin Road. The duration it not properly calibrated and the system overwaters. The excess water can be seen running into drainage systems on the opposite side of the road. 3/4 less water could do the same thing with a drip system and keep the road dry. Who designed this system and why? It seems designed to cause max expense and perpetual high cost to the Residents.
Slopes of the swales are way beyond the normal 4 to 1 ratio. This will result in higher maintenance of the drainage system due to soil washing into drains and filling catch basins. The berms that were installed have disrupted normal drainage of the area and filled in retention areas. This combined with higher ground water has resulted in standing water, destruction of pavement and bugs! Has anyone seen the layout of the sidewalks? Looks like it was done by a first grader. Crosswalks are positioned in unsafe locations.
The traffic light at Bonnaventure and Griffin no longer flashes in the middle of the night as it used to. So now you can wait 2-3 minutes with not a car in sight. So much for technology and high tech smart traffic control devices.
Bergeron did a overall nice job with the curbing and paving. It was done ahead of schedule. Now the question is what to do with this landscaping nightmare? It will cost upwards of $300k per year to maintain. That is about $50 per person living in the ranches. That figure will grow significantly as trees mature and the high tech watering system starts to fail.
So what can we do?
1. Identify and remove all trees that are under powerlines now.
2. Set watering system to water only twice per week and turn it off in the wet season.
3. Identify all Planners and Contractors responsible for this boondogle and make sure the Town never does business with them again.
4. Have a mitigation comittee appointed by the Town that will identify all ways to correct faulty design.
We are not Weston. If you like landscaping in Weston then please move there. There are many homes in forclosure and they would like you to help pay their landscaping bills. This Griffin Road project was 100% for the benifet of Weston and the traffic load the have imposed upon the Ranches. I hope the East side of Town wakes up and puts a wrench in the landscaping gears over there before it is too late. Once that boondoggle is completed we will be paying a million dollars a year for combined projects perpetual care. Divide that by 2500 homes and that is a $400.00 per year tax increase just for Griffin Road landscaping!
How many of you will be able to retire and stay in your current homes with taxes increasing every year?
John Eastman
Country Eststes HOA

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