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IHCA Improvements on the Horizon

By July 26, 2022Connections, IHCA

IHCA’s Long-Term Planning is Key to the 5-Year Park Project

Long-term planning is the name of the game when it comes to property management and completing goals like our five-year park project. For that reason, the Issaquah Highlands Community Association (IHCA) conducts annual reserve studies. Also, federal and Washington state laws dictate how and when the association must fund reserve accounts.

Since the beginning of Issaquah Highlands’ development, the IHCA has tracked every asset we are fiduciarily responsible to maintain. With the help of a nationally certified reserve specialist company, we identify the assets (components) and determine the useful life of that component using industry standards and the cost of replacement over the life span of that component.

For example, the Kirk Park play structure has a useful life of 10-15 years with regular maintenance. When the structure was initially installed in 2007 (15 years ago), the IHCA added the component to the reserve item list and documented the cost. We determined the 2007 replacement cost and added an inflation rate of 3% for 15 years, including sales tax and installation charges. That equaled approximately $143,500, which is required to fully fund the replacement of the Kirk Park play structure this year.

The IHCA has over 175 components, and we add to and adjust our list every year. The reserve contributions figure added to every budget is the result of our work to monitor this list. For the fiscal year of July 1, 2022- June 31, 2023, we are contributing $392,000 to the IHCA Master Reserve Fund to fund all components.

Here are the highlights of expected work or replacements over the next several years as a part of our five-year parks plan, announced in July 2021.

  • Kirk Park play equipment and surface replacements
  • Daphne Park play equipment replacement
  • Wisteria Park play equipment replacement
  • Bark Park fence replacement
  • Sport Court on Park Drive surface replacement

Please note: There are many factors that go into adding or replacing play structures, including City of Issaquah permits, state regulations and national playground safety standards. Costs of materials, shipping, labor to install or availability of product can also affect our efforts at this time.

City of Issaquah: An Important IHCA Partner

The relationship between the Issaquah Highlands Community Association (IHCA) and the city of Issaquah is unique in the sense that Issaquah Highlands feels like a city within a city. Much of the work we accomplish for the Highlands could not happen without the support of the city of Issaquah.

Addressing Traffic, Speeding and Crime:

The IHCA’s number one priority is addressing traffic, speeding and crime, and discussions are ongoing with the city and the Issaquah Police Department (IPD) to mitigate these issues.

Issaquah City Council and the IPD answered residents’ questions about community concerns at a meeting held at Blakely Hall on June 15, 2022.

Crosswalk beacon lights were installed at two of the most highly trafficked areas in the community. These flashing beacon lights are located at two locations on Park Drive: at the Firehouse Park Trail crossing and at the Vista Trail crossing, near the Sport Court.

The IHCA thanks the city of Issaquah for the collaborative effort that went into installing these beacon lights for the betterment of the community.

Improving Sidewalks & Trip Hazards:

The IHCA is engaged in a collaborative partnership with the city of Issaquah’s Public Works Department to identify rising sidewalks and trip hazards. This is a city-wide initiative to ensure that all sidewalks are compliant with ADA standards and do not pose a hazard for any resident.

Tree roots adjacent to sidewalks are the most common culprit of lifting sidewalks. Removing trees and grinding out roots may be necessary to ensure safe sidewalk passage in the future. Owners will always be notified if vegetation and/or trees will need to be removed or be replaced by plants with non-invasive root systems. The IHCA’s goal is only to remove the trees posing the biggest threat to sidewalks, as luscious foliage is a key piece of the community’s aesthetic.

Sarah Hoey is the IHCA executive director.

As published in the summer 2022 Connections >>