A Q&A with the POA: What does it take to maintain Daniel Island?
Whether you are a new resident or you have lived on Daniel Island for years, chances are you have spent time enjoying the community’s many public amenities and green spaces. What does it take to keep those areas in tip top shape year-round for the island’s 10,000 plus residents and visitors? For the answers, we turned to Chris Hamil, field operations manager for the Daniel Island Property Owners Association.
Q: How many acres is the POA responsible for?
A: As of March 2018, we manage 291 acres for all three associations (Daniel Island Community Association, Daniel Island Town Association and Daniel Island Park Association). We will manage over 300 acres by the end of 2018.
Q: Who is responsible for caring for the trees between the street and the sidewalk?
A: The City of Charleston maintains the street trees after a year of its initial planting by the developer. Once the year warranty is up, the city will prune and assess care for the tree but the maintenance of the tree is the adjacent property owner’s responsibility.
Q: How many bales of pine straw do you use a year?
A: 30,000 bales for all three associations.
Q: How many ponds do you maintain and what’s the process of maintaining them?
A: We manage 44 ponds for all three associations. We maintain all storm water pipes and ensure they are free from obstruction and weeds, as well as balance the ecosystems with fish, food dyes, aeration, and chemical and bacterial treatments to reduce algae, siltation, and other invasive weeds.
Q: How much do you spend on maintenance on the island each year (green/open spaces)?
A: Our maintenance contract for all three associations, which includes two applications of pinestraw, two applications of seasonal color, lighting maintenance, pond maintenance, and backflow testing, is close to $1.4 million. We have also been very proactive in large tree pruning, enhancement projects, and general maintenance items, and this budget for all three communities is $260,000.
Q: How much does it cost to maintain the amenities (pools)?
A: Our maintenance contract, which includes weekly maintenance, lifeguards, and gate attendants for all three pools is $157,000. We also have utilities for all three pools and each month varies per temperature and usage, but the budgeted cost for all three pools is $76,000.
Q: If you want to change something about your home or landscaping, what do you need to do?
A: Property owners can contact the ARB administrator for guidance on the process.
Q: What qualifies something as reportable to the POA?
A: Any exterior architectural modification or significant landscaping change. Details are included in the Design Guidelines for each association and can be found on our website.
Q: Which parks are yours and which are maintained by the City of Charleston?
A: It’s easier to explain which parks are the city’s. The city parks are as follows: Governors Park, Etiwan Park, Freedom Park (behind Daniel Island School), and the trail system from the boat dock at Children’s Park to Governors Park. The POA intends to assume maintenance responsibility for the trail system and dock at Children’s Park by the end of 2018.
Q: When is construction going to start on the new river front park/trails?
A: There has not been a definitive schedule yet.
Q: How many gallons of water are used to maintain the public areas?
A: We use over 800,000 gallons a month in DICA. This may seem high, but we need to put this into perspective. We have over 50 irrigation meters to provide irrigation, drinking fountains and misters along trails, specialty water features such as the pineapple fountain, Ithecaw Street fountain, and the Sugar Kettle at Smythe Park, and additional water connections to provide water for our many events and boat landings. We have been very proactive in installing and researching better central control irrigation systems to monitor water consumption and minimize irrigation breaks throughout our park systems.
Q: What’s the biggest nuisance complaint does the POA receive?
A: Trash cans being left in the right of way and/or put out days before pick up day would be the single biggest nuisance complaint we get.