Newsletter | February 2018 Print

January Luncheon Highlights

Our CAI Alabama Chapter Luncheon at the Hoover Country Club last month was a great one to kick off 2018! Thank you to Officer David Tkacik, City of Pelham for speaking to our group about “Cities and Homeowners Associations”. And thank you to our business partner members NatureScape and Wright Construction Company for sponsoring this year’s first luncheon.


Visit or to view more photos from this luncheon.

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2018 Homeowner Education

Whether you live in a condominium, homeowners association (HOA) or other type of community the Board Leadership Development Workshop  highlights what every board member needs to know to serve effectively. This is also an excellent learning opportunity for community association managers.

Join us on Thursday, March 8, 2018 from 5:00pm - 8:00pm at  the Hoover Library for the first session of the Board Leadership Development Workshop with the following modules being covered:

Governing Documents and Roles & Responsibilities
This module helps you understand the legal authority for your association. It also clarifies the duties and responsibilities of each board member and the professionals who are available to assist the board. 

Association Rules and Conflict Resolution
This module explores guidelines for making reasonable association rules, enforcing rules fairly and resolving conflict effectively.


Steve Casey
Steve Casey, Esq.

Jones Walker LLP

Advanced registration is required. Please click here to reserve your spot today! There is only a limited number of spots available. Registration closes on Tuesday, March 6, 2018.

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Best Practices Report

The Foundation for Community Association Research has developed a Best Practices Report for "Governance and Resident Involvement".

It is CAI’s purpose to foster vibrant, responsive, competent community associations that promote harmony, a sense of community and responsible leadership. Common characteristics of such community associations include good communication, trust in the management and board of directors, continuing education of board members and homeowners, and uniform, flexible and reasonable enforcement of governing documents. Inclusiveness - the involvement of as many residents of the community as possible - is a critical element in fostering a sense of community.

Looking for a way to assess the governance-related operations of your community association?

Download a free copy of the Best Practice Report for "Governance and Resident Involvement" by clicking here.

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CMCA Recertification Webinar – A Free Event on March 1

Register today for a free, interactive webinar that covers everything you need to know about CMCA Recertification. CMCAs are required to recertify every two years. Over 4,000 managers will need to recertify and/or submit their annual service fee by April 1, 2018 in order to maintain the CMCA credential. Join CAMICB on March 1 for this interactive webinar that charts the path for recertification and provides the opportunity for managers to get real-time answers to questions about the CMCA recertification process, including:

  • Why do I need to recertify?

  • What is the process for recertification?

  • What happens if I don't recertify?

  • When is my recertification application due?

Experts will be available to answer your questions throughout this 30-minute program that begins at 1:00 p.m. CT on Thursday, March 1. Register today!

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Upcoming Events

March 1, 2018
CMCA Recertification Webinar

1:00pm - 1:30pm

Register Now


March 8, 2018
Board Leadership Development Workshop - Session 1

Governing Documents and Roles & Responsibilities
Association Rules and Conflict Resolution

Time: 5:00pm - 8:00pm CT
Location: Hoover Library

Register Now


March 21, 2018
Webinar:  Eyes in the Sky: Using Drones in Your Community Association

Time: 1:00pm - 2:00pm CT

Register Now

Earn one credit toward redesignation and recertification for CMCA, AMS and PCAM!


March 22
CAI Alabama Chapter Luncheon

sponsored by

Time: 11:30am - 1:00pm
Locatio: The Club, Inc. - Birmingham

Register Now


Member Benefit

Members, don't forget to take advantage of the 4 complimentary webinars that are inlcuded in your annual CAI membership!

Access On-Demand Webinars here


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M-202: Association Communications is coming to Birmingham in 2018!

The M-202 Association Communications is the only M-level class that can't be taken online. Take advantage of this class being offered in Alabama!

10 registrations are needed for the class to be held. So please register as soon as possible and spread the word! Click here for more information and registration.

M-202 Ad


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Extend the Lifespan of Your Community Pond While Buffering Long-term Expenses

By Kyle Finerfrock, Environmental Scientist at SOLitude Lake Management

When communities begin anticipating and planning for possible future expenses, they will likely discover that the removal of accumulated sediment in stormwater retention ponds has a very large price tag. In fact, dredging is often one of the largest expenses a community will ever face. Luckily, there are things that can be done to help reduce costs and prolong the time span between dredging. By better understanding the purpose of a stormwater pond and employing proper management techniques, a community can rest assured that the best decisions are made for the pond, the surrounding environment and the community’s budget.

Proactive lake and pond management techniques, including aeration, can help prolong the lifespan of a community stormwater pond and improve the beauty of the surrounding ecosystem.

While a stormwater pond can be a beautiful asset to a community, it also has specific engineered and environmental purposes. First, it is used to slow down and dissipate the energy of the flowing water from rainstorms, which picks up speed and energy as it passes over a community’s impervious surfaces such as roofs, streets, driveways and sidewalks. If the water doesn’t get slowed down by a stormwater pond, it can create erosion problems or flooding downstream. Second, a stormwater pond is used to collect pollutants and sediments in order to prevent them from being deposited elsewhere. Sediment, grass clippings, leaves, fertilizer, pollutants and other organic matter will all be collected and accumulate in the pond over time. At some point in a stormwater pond’s lifetime, the sediment accumulation will become too great and dredging will be required to remove several feet of sediment and restore the lifespan of the pond.

It can take years for a community to properly budget for a much-needed dredging project. As a result, I’m frequently asked to identify the exact timeframe dredging should take place, but I often struggle to give a short answer. Each community is different and each has its own unique goals and variables to consider. In some cases, the decision to dredge comes in attempt to revive the aesthetics of a stormwater pond. Other times, dredging occurs as a result of municipal enforcement. In general, dredging is recommended every 20 years to help ensure a stormwater pond is functioning properly. But with proper proactive pond management techniques, it is possible to prolong the need for dredging to every 30 years or more, providing significantly more time to budget and prepare for the expense.

Hydro-raking can be a less invasive and more cost efficient alternate to traditional dredging, which is often times one of the most expensive projects a community will ever face.

There are several things a community can do to take control of its stormwater pond and budget, starting with data collection. Inspecting and collecting data about a pond is the best way to anticipate potential problems that can shorten the lifespan of the waterbody. A stormwater inspection will look at the engineered structures within the watershed to check for failures or damages that can cause erosion and accelerated sedimentation in a pond. Problems found during an inspection might include a cracked inlet pipe, woody vegetation along the dam embankment or a clog in the outlet structure. Most failures found within stormwater ponds can be identified early when problems are manageable; this helps to keep repair costs to a minimum and helps extend the working life of the waterbody.

In addition to a stormwater pond inspection, which helps identify problems outside of a pond, a bathymetric study will provide a detailed internal map of the pond. During the bathymetry process, GPS lake mapping technology is used to plot the surface of a lake or pond. Each specific GPS point is associated with a particular water depth. After thousands of surface points with corresponding depth information are collected, the data is compiled to create a three-dimensional map of the pond bottom. This map can be used to identify the total water volume and the amount of accumulated sediment, and can help pinpoint problem areas where accumulated sediment has been deposited.

Mapping a stormwater pond every few years allows a community to track the sedimentation rate and more effectively determines when dredging may eventually need to happen. Oftentimes, bathymetry data can be compared to “as-built” stormwater plans to see how the pond has changed since construction. Sometimes the sedimentation problem is due to organic material, including leaf litter or excessive aquatic plant growth that has accumulated material in the pond. These areas can be physically dug out from the shore and localized to where the problem occurred.

Professional stormwater pond inspections should be performed on a regular basis to ensure that the structure functions efficiently. When left unmanaged, broken pipes and clogged drains can become a hazard to wildlife and the surrounding community

To help prolong the need for dredging, hydro-raking may be an effective solution for removing organic material. A hydro-rake is a floating machine that can rake out organic material down to depths of 8-12 feet. Removing built up organic material can help reduce nutrient sources and add depth to a pond, which can help create an environment less likely to grow unwanted algae and aquatic weeds. While a full-scale dredging operation will require draining a stormwater pond of all the water, disturbing ecology of the organisms living in and around the pond, hydro-raking will give a community the chance to remove material with minimal disturbance to the ecosystem and prolong the time before dredging becomes a necessity.

From the moment a stormwater pond is created it begins to die, but a highly trained lake and pond professional can help identify proactive and individualized management strategies to reduce the waterbody’s rate of aging, including nutrient remediation, aeration, buffer management, water quality monitoring and more. Just as a car requires regular maintenance to ensure it operates effectively, proactive maintenance will go a long way in ensuring a stormwater pond performs as intended. By understanding the functions of a stormwater pond and using data to fix problems when they are small, a community can cut costs, utilize the full potential of its stormwater pond and spend more time budgeting for the future.

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