2017-08-08
Run for Peace 2017
2017-07-19
INK GLOBAL 2017
2017-06-16
E-waste Collection
2014-01-28
Re: DB Crime Rates
2007-06-26
Community Centre
2006-02-15
ESF's PIS Project
2005-12-05
New School
2005-05-03
Dengue Fever

Dear DB Residents

I wish you and your family a Happy New Year and good health.

2010 was a very successful year for Discovery Bay owners and residents.  Working closely with the City Owners' Committee (COC) and City Management (CM), we have made major achievements in the follow areas:

1.   *Manager's Remuneration on the creation of the reserve fund to be charged on actual expenditure, instead of at the time of allocating funds to the reserve:

For the past 30 years, CM has charged 5% Manager's Remuneration when funds were set aside in the reserve fund for future renovation projects. In other words, we were paying CM for services to be done some time in the future. After lengthy discussion and in-depth study of the Principal Deed of Mutual Covenant (PDMC), CM agreed to charge the fee at the time of the renovation projects, i.e. when expenditures are incurred and actual services are provided by CM which is an improvement to the existing arrangement.

2.   *Road Fund:

In the mid 2000s, more than $10 million was spent to repave Discovery Valley Road and Discovery Bay Road. The expenses were recovered mainly from the monthly management fee. With the increasing traffic through the tunnel, the COC proposed and CM agreed to implement a $10 charge on outside vehicles entering DB.  This will help to build up a reserve for future repairs and maintenance of the roads in DB, thus reducing the residents’ and owners’ burden. Similar to Point 1, Manager’s Remuneration will only be charged when the reserve is used, not when the funds are accumulated.

3.   *Water Charges and Irrigation Areas

Wter in DB comes from two sources: potable water is supplied by the Government while flushing, irrigation and raw water comes from the DB reservoir. The reservoir and all water pipes – potable, flushing and sewage – are part of the basic infrastructure of DB that must be maintained by the residents and owners. During 2010, the COC proposed and CM agreed to revise the charges for water from the DB reservoir in line with the charges for Government water, in order to build up a reserve to maintain the water infrastructure. Again, similar to Point 1, Manager’s Remuneration will only be charged when the reserve is used, not when the funds are accumulated.

Further, during this exercise it was discovered that both the area under irrigation and the formula used to calculate irrigation charges were unknown. After review, a refund of several million dollars was made to the City and several Village Owners’ Committee accounts, in particular Siena One and Siena 2B. Meters are currently being installed to record actual consumption of irrigation water.

4.   Licensed Common Areas

Under the PDMC, the residents and owners are responsible for maintaining a large area of DB under licence from the developer. While the land remains the property of the developer and may be reclaimed by the developer at any time, it is managed by CM as though it is City Common Area. One example is the slope between Discovery Bay International School and Seabee Lane that was recently fenced off by the developer. Other areas include the Piazza at DB South and Central Park. Until now, CM has not provided a full list of licensed common area, hence the actual obligations of the owners and residents to maintain HKR retained property remains unknown. The COC continues to ask for a full list of such licensed common area in order to ensure full transparency of the respective responsibilities of the residents/owners and the developer.

5.   Recreational Functions Organized by The Islands District Council (IDC) and Other Organizations

Last year, the IDC has organized an organic farm visit to Sheung Shui, inter-islands tours, a trip to the Peak, Repulse Bay and the Jumbo Seafood Restaurant and several eco tours. DB residents were eager to participate and the visits were quickly over-subscribed .

With the opening of the Community Hall, the Leisure and Cultural Services Department have been able to provide more recreational functions such as Tai Chi, ballroom dancing, badminton classes, etc.

A vocal concert organized and performed by local DB residents late last year not only contributed to the vivid culture of DB, it also showcased the great talent and zeal of artists in our community.

In 2011 we have to focus on other areas and will bring new areas for discussion. 

6.   Public Recreational Facilities (PRF)

With the increase in population, particularly teenagers and young children, there is increasing demand for PRF. I have engaged with various Government Departments to take stock of the PRF listed on the Master Plans and Outline Zoning Plan. I will work with the COC, the developer, schools, sports organizations, parents and DB residents to evaluate their needs to ensure that our legitimate demands are met.

Looking ahead, I will continue to press both the Government and the developer to supply the Public Recreational Facilities mandated by the Land Grant.

7.   Dedicated Transport Service for disabled, elderly and sick

I have for many years been concerned about transport arrangements for the disabled, the elderly and the sick. Under the current tunnel regulations dated 2000, minibuses providing transport services for the disabled, elderly and sick are permitted through the tunnel. However, despite my urging, neither the Golf Club nor the bus company, DBTSL, has been willing, to make their existing minibuses available to provide such a service even to the other side of the tunnel to meet a taxi or private car. The advantage of a dedicated service is that it can offer door-to-door transport for those in need, unlike taxis. The elderly population in DB is growing; many of us have elderly parents who visit us. I will continue to work to define and improve transport services to meet this growing need.

8.   Taxi and Coach Services

Transport Department (TD) is well aware of the concerns of DB residents, both those who want a taxi service in DB and those who are concerned about the impact of a taxi service on DB as a whole. TD has therefore insisted that HKR develop a comprehensive proposal for the proper control of taxis once they are permitted to enter DB through the tunnel. HKR has still not submitted a workable proposal, and TD continues to state that it is studying HKR’s Traffic Impact Assessment. I will continue to protect the interests of all DB residents as we work to bring a strictly controlled taxi service to DB for DB residents as soon as possible.

With regard to coaches, the survey that HKR conducted in October 2009 asked DB residents to approve a coach service for the Community Centre only. The proposal was passed by 1,246 votes for and 1,224 votes against, no doubt assisted by the votes from the over 70 properties owned by HKR in DB. The Community Centre has subsequently confirmed it doesn’t need such special coach services. Nevertheless, HKR has submitted a proposal to TD that bundles taxi and coach services. To date, HKR has refused to de-bundle the two services and allow the taxi proposal to go forward on its own.

9.   Property Management Standards

I will work with the COC and CM to encourage CM to raise property management standards through improved training and recruitment, and commitment to the highest professional standards. There should be more transparency and greater accountability to the owners and residents. Through better property management, we can enjoy a better living environment and stronger property values. 

10.   Bus and Ferry Services

I will work with the COC to press for a faster pace for the upgrade of the bus company fleet, and for a more service-oriented attitude from the bus company. 

The ferry licence is due for renewal on 1 May, 2011, and HKR may apply for a fare increase in advance of the renewal. I will closely monitor the proposal, and ensure that any increase is fully justified and acceptable to the DB community.

11.   Issues Affecting the Long-Term Development of DB

We also need to engage with the developer, the Government and outside operators on the provision of additional school places in DB.

There will likely be a new Master Plan for the further development of DB in the near future, and I will press Government to ensure that we are properly consulted before anything is approved.

There is still a lot for all of us to do as we work together to make Discovery Bay a better place to live. I would like to take this opportunity to give credit to CM and residents and others for their positive contributions to a range of environmental initiatives, the fruits of which will become more apparent during 2011 and beyond.

Thank you for your unfailing support. All the best to everyone for a happy and successful 2011!

 

Yours sincerely

 

Amy Yung

Islands District Council Member (Discovery Bay)

 

Handled by the Finance Subcommittee of the COC, of which I am the Convenor.