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Board Members Present: Dan Solitz, Chair; Susan Connolly, Secretary; Rich Lowen, Treasurer; Giny Landgreen; Kim Harper-Kennedy
Residents Present: Dottie Kemp, Joanne Gulsvig, Benton Elliott, Laura Romeyn, John Rose, Hazel Barnes, Esther Knopp, Ken Guzowski
Bennett Management Present:
Joanne is dealing with the water damage to her unit and asked if a contractor should be hired to come out and determine the cause of the plumbing problem that caused dirty water to back up into her kitchen sink. Also, Joanne said the window that fell from above onto her terrace was the 4th window to fall out of the building and she feared someone would be injured. Finally, she said there was still standing water on the top parking lot.
Dottie said parking spaces #47 & 48 are so deep in water it fills up her shoes; she said Scottie said he had cleaned out the drain. She also reported someone keeps opening the outside door on the 2nd floor causing it to be very cold in the hallway and her unit. Additionally, she said three of the 2nd floor residents close the door up to six times daily. The board will take up this problem at the planning meeting.
Laura stated she had attended the neighborhood association meeting, heard a presentation by the EPD who asked that residents use the on-line reporting system for non-emergency reports or call 682-5000.
Esther said she went into the lobby bathroom the previous week and it was so dirty she could not use it. She also reported piles of wet leaves piled by both the North and South doors. These are then tracked into the building. Esther said the lobby needs more attention, like it used to be when Brothers cleaned. She noted the lobby was always clean for the board meeting. She also said the garbage was not being emptied frequently enough, cockroaches were seen nearby on the 5th, 7th and 11th floors and the newspapers were being left uncollected for three to four days. Diane said she would ask Scottie to reset the cockroach traps. Esther was also concerned about the increase in the number of dogs in the building; she believed one was a pit bull and wondered about liability.
Jennifer said during the recent garage fire in the alley behind WT, the police and emergency vehicle personnel were trying unsuccessfully to open our garage gate. Bennett has a 24 hour number for emergencies.
Benton reported that multiple cigarette butts were being left in parking space #56 and wondered if people were hanging out in that area at night. He said the noise on the East side of the building was getting worse and he was unable to sleep. Benton was concerned that about half of the units in the building now are rentals.
HOA dues: All units are now current. Some late fees and fines are still outstanding.
Maintenance: Expenses are high this month due to window cleaning, overhead garage door repair (Reimbursed by tenant’s insurance company), flood insurance premium and elevator consultant services.
Reserves: Rick suggested and the board agreed the board not increase the HOA dues substantially to cover the costs of the elevator replacement and other large expenditures until we know how much these costs will be. This may be necessary in the 2014 budget, but the board will take 2013 to figure this out and involve more residents in the decision making process.
2013 Budget: Rick recommended increasing the HOA dues a little more than planned so that we will be adding $66,400 to reserves in 2013 rather than $60,400. We are facing substantial costs in 2013 and beyond due to the elevator replacement and other problems. In addition, we will be paying increased EWEB bills due to their rate increase and our flood insurance premium increased from about $19,000 to $22,000. Otherwise, our 2013 expenses remained about the same as 2012. The 2013 HOA dues will be: Studio: $127, one bedroom: $182, two bedroom: $259 and Penthouse: $291. The 2013 budget passed 5-0.
Laundry: Coin Meter will provide three top loading and three front loading washers. Two of the washers and dryers will both accept coins and credit cards. WT will payments received 50% of the funds, which is more than we currently receive. The credit card machine dryers will only accept payments in increments of one dollar; residents can pay for smaller increments of time by using the two coin-operated dryers. The board accepted this system 5-0. It will be implemented 1-1-13.
Service Calls, Bollards & Elevator Key Policies: Kim presented two policies: one for tenant service calls and contractors and the second for Bollards and elevator key usage. Both were passed 5-0.
Screen Door Policy: Susan presented a screen door policy reflecting members recollection of a policy passed some time in the past, perhaps 2008 or 2009. Susan stated she had reviewed the minutes of all board meetings dating back to 2008 and found one 2008 reference to the discussion, but no stated policy. Laura said she had a copy of the policy, so the policy was tabled to the next meeting. Susan later reviewed Laura’s document; it was a letter to residents stating the policy, but not the policy itself.
Laura presented the board with a document containing several questions for the board to answer regarding the upcoming change to the by-laws. Laura said Susan had suggested the committee present the board with its recommendations to lighten the workload for the board. However, Laura preferred having the board make the decisions. Also, Laura said she would no longer serve as the communicator on the committee and Jean Marie would convene the next committee meeting.
Roof Access: Ken said we need to install an access door in the South stairwell for maintenance. We received three bids: $6290, $14K and $19K. Ken will continue working on this project; he estimates that the total cost will be about $14K as the above bids do not include the metal platform. We have about $5500 in our reserves for this project. Rick said we can use other reserve funds to help with this project that will help garner the needed $14K. The board approved the continued work on this project 5-0.
Elevator Replacement: John reported the bidders & consultants will meet committee on 11-28.
Boiler Repair: John reported the repair is complete with an anticipated cost of $6250; we have an estimated time of 2-5 years left on the tank.
EWEB: Dan reported that EWEB is offering a $30,000 incentive to purchase heat pumps to replace the boiler. They offer a five year loan at 2% interest. The committee is recommending we submit documents to obtain contractor bids. Dan said the payback was immediate in that the heat pump system was so efficient and our current system is so inefficient. The board approved the committee submitting documents to get the bids 5-0.
Plumbing: The committee now has all of the plumbing documents and can shut off water to the individual “stacks” of units rather than the entire building when plumbing problems arise.
Jennifer reported she is still tracking all expenses and is becoming familiar with the electricity and water costs. She said this will be helpful should we encounter a problem in consumption like the January-June water consumption hike this year.
Susan reported the committee has not met. Members continue their work on the Green Corner of the bulletin board, providing green packets to new residents and monitoring the magazine rack.
The insurance company reimbursed WT for the cost of the garage gate repair.
Leak checks: There are still two non-compliant units; unit owners were fined in 10-12. Scott has been asking for access to the units since 7-12. One unit has set a date and the other is unresponsive. The second unit will be issued a second fine within a week.
Annual Registration: A second notice will be sent out requiring that registration be done by 11-30.
Emergency Preparedness: Giny volunteered to chair a committee to address this issue. A notice will be posted asking for committee members.
Plumbing Invoice: #506 submitted a bill for plumbing work. The board approved the payment of one hour for $109.50 based on Dan’s conversation with Peterson Plumbing regarding the work done. The remainder of the bill is the unit owner’s responsibility.
Plaster Repair: Unit #1001 requested payment for water damage to plaster. Dan wrote a letter asking for access to the unit to inspect the damage.
Plumbing Invoice: #202 submitted a plumbing bill for $109.50 for responding to call even though no work was done. Payment was approved. WT has a $1,000 deductible on our insurance. The majority of this cost of this plumbing problem will be borne by the insurance.
Susan M. Connolly