The SunBird Board of Directors, with management, took a field trip to three other similar communities located in Mesa this past month. These communities varied in age of development from 40-plus to eight years in age. It was interesting learning of the same challenges each of these communities face. The board was able to meet with their HOA community Board of Directors and management to discuss their operations, challenges, success and trends. SunBird has the largest clubhouse, ballroom, fitness room, multipurpose rooms, restaurant and swimming pool. It was noted that the SunBird clubhouse is the “central hub” of the community with almost all facilities located here creating a much more social and active atmosphere. We learned of some ideas and have new items to think about for possible future consideration. It was great to get out and see what’s around but is always better to return home.
The Horizon Room food and beverage operations have moved temporarily to the ballroom as the kitchen remodel project is currently under construction for expansion. Daily breakfast, lunch, Tuesday dinners, Friday fish fries, Sunday breakfast buffet and the bar are operating as normal from the ballroom. All is going as planned at this time, and the Horizon Room is scheduled to reopen the end of August. Horizon Room kitchen and food and beverage operations, along with the ballroom kitchen, had surprise Health Department inspections the end of May, just prior to moving services. After inspecting kitchen equipment, food storage, temperatures and observation of operations, the health inspector awarded SunBird “A” ratings. As of the end of May of this year, the Horizon Room food and beverage operation is financially the best it has been in over five years. The operational revenue and expense are within budget and with a profit for the first five months of this year. Great job to the food and beverage department staff members for keeping in compliance with Health Department codes and for the efforts made working efficiently to keep within budget.
SunBird has 1,631 homes located within the gated community. The primary source of revenue for operations comes from the annual membership assessments billed semi-annually due January 1 and July 1 of each year and considered late after the 15th of each of these months. Historically, the annual delinquency rate at SunBird has been about ½% to 1% or approximately 8 to 16 homes, which is considered extremely good. Typically, any type of delinquencies is normally due to drastic changes that can occur in life at this age and stage. This year, as of the end of June, the delinquency rate is about 1/8% of 1%, or 2 homes. The low delinquency rate can be attributed to the collection policies and the timely manner in which they are implemented. Further, office staff makes personal contact by telephone to members when account balances begin to grow. The purpose of the call is not to harass, but to inquire as to how we can assist in working together to resolve the matter. This has proven to be an excellent personal touch and very beneficial to all.
This past spring, SunBird had its first electrical power outage that affected the clubhouse during the evening while still in use. People were in the clubhouse during this time, and we discovered many areas that could use improvement for this type of dilemma. SunBird’s power outage emergency plan previously created has been updated and several areas improved. SunBird Patrol Chief Tom Catri and management attended a seminar conducted by Salt River Project (the electric provider) on how to prepare for power outages at our place of business. Many ideas were presented that would be of great benefit to SunBird. Emergency battery-powered lights have been installed on the interior of all levels of the clubhouse and at the main east and west exterior stairways. Emergency lights have also been installed in all bathrooms. A battery back-up system for the elevator has been ordered and scheduled for installation to allow the elevator to lower to the fitness room and doors to be opened during a power outage.
During the last power outage, SunBird patrol was overwhelmed with telephone calls while trying to evacuate and secure the clubhouse. Now, during a power outage, Salt River Project will immediately contact by text message Patrol, management staff, some off-duty Patrol members and volunteer safety members. All will meet at a designated place outside of the clubhouse to check in and divide duties to assist in evacuating and securing the clubhouse. Emergency equipment bags have been assembled with additional flashlights, bright reflective vests and hats, first aid kits, two-way radios and a list of duties for each person helping to evacuate the clubhouse.
In addition to the clubhouse power outage emergency plan, SunBird has also updated and added other safety equipment, all existing first aid kits have been restocked and additional kits have been added to the clubhouse with more visible signage. Emergency phones and existing AED equipment have also been updated with better signage. The vehicle control gates and barrier arms have battery back-up systems and have been tested for automatic opening during a power outage to allow ingress and egress. It is always better to be prepared for any type of emergency.
The monsoon season is just around the corner, and we want to be prepared for potential power outages or other surprises. Each SunBird resident should also consider creating a personal plan with items and supplies for an emergency. Follow the advice of the Scout motto, “Be Prepared.”
We wish you a safe and healthy summer wherever you may be!