Commons Report 2014



1.      Gana Trucking and Excavating completed the grading work to repair erosion damage in the wetlands/commons area behind 7400 Laura Lynn Ct. , 7407 Laura Lynn Ct. and 4610 Shirl Ct. in June, 2013.  Stoll Grading completed seeding the area and also repaired and seeded the construction path behind 4604 Shirl Ct, 4600 Shirl Ct., 4601 Shirl Ct. and 4605 Shirl Ct..


2.     Bids were received from three companies for Herbicide, Algaecide and Cattail/Phragmites control in the ponds and adjacent areas.  The bid presented by NE Lake Management was accepted at the same cost as the previous year.  This company has taken care of our ponds since the beginning of our association.  Their bid includes a 2 week call back provision which means that they will re-treat an area if the first application was not sufficient.  NE Lake Management has also been contracted by The Preserve to treat their ponds this year.


Some facts to help understand who is responsible for the ponds and why we feel it is important to maintain the ponds:

A.      Section 19 Homeowner’s Association – Paragraph 6 Sentence 2 of the Restrictive Covenants states “Class “A” and “B” members shall be responsible for maintaining the detention ponds.”              

(       and-9-Covenants-copy.pdf)

B.      Merriam-Webster provides the following definition of “maintain”:  to keep (something) in good condition by making repairs, correcting problems, etc.  (

C.      There are 3 parts to this contract:  

a.     Herbicide – this is a one time application to treats submersed aquatic plants and duckweed

b.     Algaecide – this treats various forms of algae that may occur during the summer including blue-green algae.  Typically, a pond may need to be treated 3 – 4 times a year.

c.     Cattail/Phragmites – this treatment is also a one time application to take care of any cattails around the ponds as well as phragmites that grow in wetland areas and along Antelope Creek.  Phragmites is a noxious weed that we are required by law to control.  By coincidence, Rick Tast saw a city inspector looking at the phragmites by Antelope Creek.  Rick stopped and inspector told him that the association would be receiving a notice that we needed to control the pragmites.  They were treated 6/26/14.

D.      Guidelines for detention ponds adopted by the City of Lincoln Public Works Department Section 8.2.8 Paragraph 4 states:  “”….If the facility provides open water conditions, a depth sufficient to discourage growth of vegetation, except along the shoreline, (without creating undue potential for anaerobic bottom conditions) shall be provided.  A depth of 5 – 10 feet is generally reasonable unless fishery requirements dictate otherwise.  Aeration may be required in permanent pools to prevent anaerobic conditions.”


E.      If we discontinue treating our ponds, they could become stagnant mosquito factories,  result in fish kills if blooms become too dense and lose their aesthetic appeal.  If blue-green algae blooms occur, they can release toxins, which could be lethal to pets if they drink water from the ponds.

F.      NE Lake Management also services the aerators in both ponds and has stocked fish – both are also part of maintaining the water quality in the ponds.


3.     Eric’s Electric is responsible for installing, removing and maintaining the fountains.  They installed the fountains around May 31, 2014.  This was later than normal due to storm related calls in area towns.  I talked to him about installing them earlier in the future and he was agreeable to that.  In preparing them for the summer, he had to replace several parts due to water issues.


4.     Dondlinger Lawn Service is completing the 2nd year of their present contract for mowing, fertilizing and weed control in the commons.


5.     Bids proposals were sent to 8 lawn care companies for mowing, fertilizing and weed control of the commons for the next contract.  An option was given for either a 1 or 2 year contract.  Two bids were received.  The Commons Committee recommended and the Board approved that Dondlinger Lawn Service be awarded a two year contract at the same rates as his last contract with the addition of a mowing/mulching of leaves in mid – late November.


6.     Several of our older trees have dead or dying branches that need to be removed.  Also, many of the trees planted since the first tree grant in 2005 are in need of pruning to shape and raise the canopy.  Bids were received from 4 companies.  The board approved awarding the bid to Aim High Tree Service.  This company has completed work for us in the past and will probably get started in mid September.  NOTE:  A BIG THANK YOU to all those who have helped clean up branches in the commons after storms!


7.    The Common’s committee looked at the need to get new trees started in the areas of the commons now shaded by the old cottonwoods and willows.  We could apply for a tree grant through the NRD to cover 50% of the initial costs.  Luann Finke recommended that we plant 11 trees including Northern Catalpa, Kentucky Coffeetree, White Shield Osage-Orange, Jade Patina Hedge Maple, Sugarberry and Black Hills Spruce.   If the grant is awarded by the NRD, the cost to the Association would be $1365.63.  Our last tree grant was awarded in 2010 for 33 trees.  The association was responsible for $3174.37 for this project.  Previous tree grants were awarded in 2005 (28 trees; association cost of $2688) and 2007 (23 trees; association cost of $2189.86).    The Commons Committee would also like to recognize those property owners who have donated and planted a tree(s) in the Commons and would encourage others to consider such a donation.  Only requirement – check with a Commons Committee member before planting. 


8.     A few members have inquired about adding street trees.  When funds are available, the City will provide a voucher to assist in paying for the purchase and planting of street trees.  Some nurseries will also discount the cost of the tree. Guidelines can be found at:


9.     SAFETY FIRST!  There have been a couple of situations recently where very young children (approx. ages 4 – 7) have been around the ponds.  Both ponds have sharp drop-offs from the bank and have depths of 10 to 15 feet.   Neighbors have also reported similar situations when kids are on the ponds in early winter before the ice is frozen solid. These ponds can be very attractive to curious youngsters but ARE NOT SAFE WITHOUT ADULT SUPERVISIONPLEASE MAKE SURE YOUR CHILDREN ARE SAFE!


10.  Please recognize the efforts of our common committee members:  Detlef Gartzke, George Schell, Rich Butalla, Kent Lovelace, Charles Williams, Charles Daniels, Scott Tinkham, Clinton Hoover, Dave Holland, Irv Omtvedt and Joe Shandera.  We are always looking for additional volunteers!