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Willamette Towers

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Willamette Towers HOA Board of Directors Meeting

Tuesday, 26 August, 2014 5:00 PM, Willamette Towers Office 

Board Members Present: Dan Solitz, Chair; Rick Lowen, Treasurer: Jean Kern, Secretary; Dan Hardt; Oliver Thornton

BMC: Diane Sollinger: Mark Tanner

Present: Joanne Gulsvig John Rose, Dottie Kemp, Phyllis Fisher, Luther Gruelich, Esther Konop, Susan Connolly Misha Seymour, Jeanne-Marie Moore, Lourdes Marte


John Rose has cleaned up the bylaws on the web site and conveyed what amendments happened when. “Casualty affects insurance.” The R in MMRC has both a repair and a replace inference. The bylaws note both meanings. They also guide us in what we do to govern. The documents touch on common elements, i.e. screen doors. There is a $2500.00 limit on changes that can be made to common elements.


Oliver Thornton moved to approve. Dan Hardt seconded.

Minutes from 29 July, 2014, Willamette Towers HOA BOD meeting were approved as submitted.


10 homeowners have past due balances, including the 1 in collections. Nine of the past due, unpaid balances are really just unpaid fines, most of which are under $200.00.

The June Otis invoice has been paid. The May Otis invoice was paid today.

$12,000.00 was moved into reserves.

The WTowers electric bill has shrunk to below what is budgeted monthly (in contrast to the EWEB billing statements the 1st ? of the year). If this continues throughout the rest of the year we may end the year almost within what was originally budgeted for EWEB this year.


There are 2 bids: Resource Building Consultants for $2,995.00 and Reserve Funding for $4,150.00. The process to evaluate those will be passed on to the MMRC. John Rose will be gone the last of September through the third week of October. The last Reserve Study was done in 2006.

Treasurer, Rick Lowen, voiced that we need to make sure that we are collecting the money necessary to have the reserve study done in January.

Dan Solitz communicated that we don’t have enough money in reserve to pay for everything. A reserves study could increase each unit’s assessment. Dan Hardt spoke that a special levy might be in order to cover the boiler. Oliver Thornton was not in favor of a reserve study at the moment. Dan Hardt agreed. Further discussion was moved to the next planning meeting.


Diane Sollinger said Otis’ July invoice will be paid at the time of the completion of the first cab interior. There is currently a 14 October, 2014, end date for the completed installation of both elevators with new cabs.


MMRC is investigating the boiler program. Luther Greulich reported that the draft shared with the Board at the last meeting has been confirmed as correct and complete by Balzhiser & Hubbard mechanical engineer, Timothy Ely. The heat pump looks problematic, is within $140,000 to $170,000 price range with life expectancy and required backup system. The gas boiler system seems the better option, on the surface, at a cost of around $80,000, if it can be done at all.

Mr. Greulich will evaluate its life expectancy and operating costs.

There are issues around venting it, so it has to be done on a building end; two boilers with two backup systems each. The north locker room would be an ideal placement. He is also investigating changing the clothes dryers in the laundry to gas because of efficiency, in the event WTowers goes with a gas hot water system. The appliance people are amenable to this dryer change.


has $3,500.00 limit on asbestos testing in the building in the event past tests are not available. Asbestos testing was proposed by Dan Hardt and was passed after Oliver Thornton seconded the motion. Rick Lowen remarked that there was no money budgeted for it. Luther Greulich urged its passing now in order to not delay action. Oliver Thornton mentioned collecting a special assessment per unit in order to find the funds. Diane Sollinger disclosed that there had been an asbestos test done within the last two years and will pass that information on to the board from BMC.

Mr. Greulich will meet with EWEB about abandoning the pumps.


Dan Solitz acknowledged that he had received a letter from Celina Lawrence requesting proof of insurance.

Dottie Kemp reported, at the request of the Board that about $40,000.00 damage was done to her apartment when the uninsured neighbor’s toilet-not-in-use broke and poured water into her apartment and onto her belongings; that is has been much graver to find out the neighbor-at-fault does not have insurance after the fact. She urged that because the bylaws state WTowers residents must be insured, that these bylaws be strictly enforced. Discussion ensued and the following points were made:

  1. bylaws give the authority to impose rules and regulations to assure the peaceful enjoyment of common properties;
  2. that the collection of this information be done internally, alleviating the pressure on responsible owners, rather than through threatening letters stating penalties as if all owners are culprits;
  3. Celina Lawrence has the ability to send letters automatically, via a special computer program she is currently setting up, to request proof of policy renewals as they come due;
  4. most insurance companies will not add the HOA as an additional insurer without upping the premium by as much as 60%;
  5. enforcement be followed by fining as allowed by the bylaws;
  6. sanctions are to begin the day the insurance fails to be renewed.

Dan Hardt, expressing how everyone after the two most recent floods is fairly traumatized, made a motion to direct Celina Lawrence to finalize the system set up to monitor insurance renewals, send out a notice a month prior to renewal due date and in the event there is a failure to renew insurance in a timely fashion, a $200.00-a-day fine be imposed from the first day in default until the insurance is renewed or a different policy is instated. The motion passed 3 to 2 with Rick Lowen voicing he thought the fine was too high and Oliver Thornton, also voting against, encouraging the Board to ask the association how to deal with this issue.

The annual premium for Farmers Flood Insurance on Willamette Towers is due 12 October, 2014. Permission for payment tabled until closer to the due date. They are asking for $12,000.00 to do a quake analysis. WTowers does not have, nor currently plans to have, quake insurance. Esther Konop said she had quake insurance on her personal property.


Susan Connolly had no bike survey information to share at this time but said more residents were amenable to the idea of having the entrance garage doors open during the day than were not. Discussion points made include:

  1. people are sleeping on the street in the neighborhood;
  2. when people are nuisance gathering on Willamette Towers property before or after business hours, call the police;
  3. we’re doing this to save electricity but it may prove to be a “false economy”;
  4. Tate, in the neighborhood, tried the same thing and endured increased vandalism;
  5. non-resident bikers have been seen cruising the WTower’s upper and lower parking decks on days when the gates were up.

Susan Connolly suggested trying it on a trial basis just during the week. A motion to have Tom Weaverling open and close the entrance or front parking gates only during the week on a 30 day trial basis in conjunction with his beginning and ending work times on the property was made, seconded by Oliver Thornton and passed. The Board took into account Jeanne-Marie Moore’s request to have the parking exit gates continue to open and close during the day. The resulting open/shut sound helps her navigate the building’s north entrance/ exit safely.

Ms. Connolly summarized her committee’s work on WTowers’ governing policies; giving praise to Phyllis Fisher’s editing assistance. Each Board member received a packet of policies with modifications, which the Board needs to pass, individually, for adoption because of the new, improved language. Included was a new policy proposal regarding lock boxes. If a unit has unpaid fees, fines or other monies owed to the Home Owners Association, the listing real estate agent will not be allowed to place a lock box in any common area of the building until the monies owed to the Home Owners Association are paid in full.


Diane Sollinger announced that Deus is echoing Aronson’s concerns and resistance to resurrecting/restoring the old system because the Windows XP platform is not supported by Microsoft. The recommendation is for AMAG to update the system to the current version, allowing both AMAG and Azimuth to better support the customer’s interest in timely repairs when required and better facilitate tech access and resolution as needed. It was stated firmly that there is no “end-run” to restore the current system. Azimuth provides a quote for the following:

  1. New AMAG software on new compatible server PC (see data sheet attached): $290.00
  2. Two Azimuth technicians on site for up to one full day. Programmer tech rate is $120 per hour, second tech rate is $75 per hour.
  3. Travel time for two technicians (assume 1? to 2 hours each way). $75 per technician per hour travel.
  4. Possible overnight stay required – add per diem at $125 each.
  5. A recommended option is to contract for Software Support Agreement (SSA) for the second and subsequent years.

Dan Hardt’s motion to authorize Azimuth to move ahead with the work outlined in the five steps above was seconded by Oliver Thornton and passed by the Board unanimously.


The sewer clean out schedule: Mark Tanner said Kurt the plumber was confirming a date for mid next month.

Any potable water discussion: Omlid & Swinney said valve replacement will require a building wide shut down and will coordinate this with Right Way plumbing.

Mark and Josh did do a roof inspection recently, was that reported on? Everything looked good. Everything was clear. There was a little moss on one drain. The vents for the dryer in the penthouse looked OK. Mark requested information regarding the purpose of the vent by the elevator shaft.

Any interest the Board has in Mark’s input on the Omlid & Swinney/Harvey Price bids for the backflow stuff: The Board approved a motion, seconded by Oliver Thornton, for $3486.00 to continue the flush; this next time working with the second in from each end; to be done in conjunction with Right Way Plumbing’s shut down, flush out.

Maybe Mark could be present during boiler discussion: The Fire Marshall opens the valve; 2” pipe wide open to pass inspection. Fire Marshall visits are usually scheduled 1? months out. There was discussion regarding replacing vs. repairing the valve – not the whole device, to test back flow.

Permission to pay $365.00 to Bravo for hosting building web site was given.

Window update: only 4 are out of compliance; three are talking with us. Only one is in default. The incident report was reviewed.

Mia Bella: Diane Sollinger will follow up with Celina Lawrence regarding Mia Bella’s use of coin dryers in the laundry room. The Board is requesting Mia Bella to always use the credit card dryers in order to allow disadvantaged WT residents to use the coin dryers as needed.

Regarding 308: Board requested 308 to have an official mold review of apartment done. BMC is to request a copy of 308’s report and invoice for said mold test/review.


Door modification: Joanne Gulsvig spoke of past history; how some doors had offensive ‘art’ work on them; how some hallways looked gaudy; that uniform hallways lent a classier appearance to the overall WT property. Rock Lowen maintained that the Board is not in the business of deciding door by door what is appropriate. Dan Hardt reported the halls are a common element. Here we have a regulatory Board to oversee our common behaviors.

Previous Boards have not been able to come to a decision regarding an appropriate screen door model. Further discussion was tabled for the next planning meeting.

307 requested window fine relief. Owner is currently in compliance with the window policy, invoice dated 13 May, 2014, but states she never received the initial window policy letter sent out November 2014. Owner is not on email nor getting information other ways either. She gets BMC HOA dues letters but did not get a letter about new fees. Dan Solitz tabled further discussion until next month in order to try to figure out what is going on with 307’s mail delivery system. Dan Hardt expressed that he was not hearing extenuating circumstances in this particular case when 85 other units complied. “There is no evidence how yours is different.”

Misha Seymour asked if the new elevator cabs would have hand rails. Dan Solitz answered that there would be a hand rail on the back side of the cab; that the extra space on the sides was needed to accommodate stretchers and other equipment for medical emergencies.

Joanne Gulsvig asked for shower valve ownership clarification: are they common elements or owner responsibility since they are in the wall? Oliver Thornton noted that valves are part of the system. Luther Greulich said that Joanne’s were replaced because of accumulation within the pipes. Dan Solitz noted it was a poorly designed shut off valve. Joanne Gulsvig disclosed that she has charged WTower’s insurance for anything within the wall. Rick Lowen expressed that Joanne’s valves are not “common element” because she is the only user.

Luther Greulich was requested to write Action Grams on hall-end, balcony doors not working.

Dan Solitz asked Diane Sollinger to direct Celina Lawrence to send a letter out to all owners to shut off the water to all abandoned fixtures within their units; to dump a bucket of water once a month in toilets to maintain water seal and p-traps. BMC will follow up on this.


Tom Weaverling made a verbal statement to Diane Sollinger that surfaces are starting to chip away.


They are ready to put up. After discussion on where to post them (inside units, by the fire extinguisher, on each end of each hallway) it was decided to post them on the garbage door on each floor.


Planning Meeting - 09 September, 2014

Board Meeting - 23 September, 2014