My name is Eric Blondin. I’ve been a resident of McKnight Village for 5 years now, choosing this place on a hill as home for my family and children, as many of you have. There is so much I appreciate about having this community in my life, and my children’s lives, that I have taken the opportunity to join the MVCA board and attempt to serve the community with whatever man-hours and brain-power I have left when the day is done. In this capacity I have made many friends, learned a bit about the community and the people that are here now and have come before. There is a legacy in this community that, if we choose, we get to join, borrow from and add to. I didn’t know that that kind of palpable environment actually helps turn a house into a home. Mostly, this letter is in gratitude and thanks for building, maintaining and keeping that sense of community alive for the years past, the present, and for the foreseeable future. My children cut paths on the same ground that your children cut paths, and your future children (or grandchildren?) may cut paths of their own. That is a pretty cool thing to share.
As I have learned, part of that sharing, and part of the charm of this community is our privately owned park. We own a ballfield. We own a pavilion, with electricity and running water. We own a playground for older kids, and another one for toddlers. We own a smaller pavilion to sit in the shade and watch our children play. We own all the space in between, those ruts and trails the past and present have cut out of it. That spot to run laps, or ride bikes, or walk the dog is ours! Is yours! Property values in our community have skyrocketed in years since I have moved in, and part of this is attributable to the fact that our property includes the wide open spaces of the Rec.
The second purpose of this letter is to remind you that the costs of ownership are real. To keep this place private, beautiful, safe and legal (yes, there are taxes and insurance), our community has to come up with upwards of $9,000 a year. We attempt to mitigate that cost some by renting out the ballfield a few nights a week to community baseball and softball teams, and gather some funds by renting the park out to community members for their own personal soiree’s, but these funds fall way short. There are opportunity costs as well – neighbors cut the lawn, pull weeds, lay mulch and empty trash – Eagle Scout’s conduct initiatives to build pavilions and repair bleachers, and more projects are slated for the very near future. Money and/or effort are required of us all to keep this space our own.
The MVCA asks that each household in the community contribute $45 a year to help cover those costs. This is the fee for ownership. This is not a mandatory cost. This is not a required fee. We ask that you contribute, not force your hand. We want partners to share our property with, not unwilling participants. There are about 320 houses in the community. If 200 houses became partners, we would be able to easily handle this responsibility. As it is, we get about 115 owners a year, far short of what is required. Furthermore, there are only a handful of households who constantly lend their hands and time to keep the Rec beautiful and ours. This is not the sole responsibility of the members of the MVCA; this is a community endeavor, and this community requires more of you. We are attempting some outreach in an effort to raise the level of participation in keeping and keeping up our property. The thermometers placed at the entrances are part of this; a forthcoming membership drive is a part of this; this letter, personally from me, is a part of this. We have developed a new website in tandem with this effort – please, check it out at Mcknightvillage.org. There is a spot there for you to become a member, to become an owner, if you are not.
For those of you who have lent your time and effort and/or your hard earned dollars to this special place over the years, a sincere thank you! Personally, I have learned a lot from watching you and your actions and hope to emulate those values and standards as my family and I grow here. For those of you that are not members, consider this a call to action. Not only do I and the MVCA need you to continue our efforts, we want you. We are working hard to bring more people into the fold, to share the paths and stories with – to share ownership with. A great place to start would be by attending our annual Village Festival on July 25th, starting at noon with a chili cook-off and carrying on through the day with roast pig, food and friends.
Your contributions, however they may come, are valuable. Please make the choice to share them.
If you would like to talk to me about any or all of these things, my door is always open.
407 Becker Dr.