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Meeting Minutes — 8/30/2017

On Wednesday, August 30, 2017, Steve Stearns, President of the Board of Trustees called the meeting to order at 6:30 PM EST. Other Trustees present included Jason Mitchell, Vice President, and Nicole Cote, Trustee. Present from North Point Property Management, LLC. was Lisa Benoit.

There were 16 people who attended the meeting plus the 3 Trustees, representing 18 Unit and 13.7190% of Ownership Percentage of Liberty Commons Condominium Trust.

Introductions

  • The Board of Trustees Meeting was called to order by the Board President, Steve Stearns at 6:30 PM EST.
  • The meeting guidelines were reviewed as included with the agenda that was handed out to all attendees and as was previously sent to all Unit Owners.

President’s Report

  • Management Contract
    • August 1, 2017 – July 30, 2019, compensation the same as previous contract for the first year, and up to a 5% increase for the second year of the contract
    • Other contract revisions included: better record retention, tighter cost containment for emergency response procedures and expenses, and increasing communication response time
  • Grounds Maintenance Contract (Bid)
    • Request for Proposals (RFPs) were sent out to 8 grounds maintenance contractors, to handle our landscaping, irrigation and snow removal needs for a two-year period with an annual review
    • One grounds maintenance contractor has responded that they were not interested (due to actions of a few residents and past residents, as appeared in the media and social media)
    • Meetings are being setup with other potential candidates to tour the property
  • Emergency Generator Contract
    • A new contract was executed to continue the maintenance of the emergency generator that powers the sewer pump station in the event in an interruption of electrical power
  • Unit Owner Responsibilities
    • Understand that the Board of Trustees run, manage, and operate Liberty Commons, not the management company, attorneys nor anyone else, as a few individuals seem to think
    • Pay Common Area Fees, Fines, Late Fees, Restoration Cost and any other assessments by the first day of each month, payments must be posted (not postmarked or paid electronically) on or before the tenth day of each month, Unit Owners should factor in bank holidays, non-business days, and days the Federal Reserve is not open
    • Read and comply with the Rules and Regulations and Condominium Documents
    • Read each notice and immediately correct any infraction to avoid daily fines or daily fines over a period of time
    • Read and comply with Article 9 – Payment of Condominium Obligations and Article 10 – Due Process Policy
    • Understand that Common Area Fees, Fines, Late Fees, Restoration Costs and other assessments must all be paid before issuance of a Certificate 6(d)
    • Each Unit Owner’s actions can have an impact on all Unit Owners

Old Business

  • Grounds Improvement Initiative
    • Nearing completion
    • Over taxed our grounds maintenance contractor
    • The Board decided to delay some parts of the maintenance/repair initiative, such as the installation of fences at Gates Crossing to better align the consistent look of the property
  • Winter Common Area Damages Master Insurance Policy Claim
    • Payments for claim have all been received
    • Settlement was less than expected
    • Scope of Work has been defined and awaiting confirmation from general contractor
    • We are working on establishing a schedule for the work to be completed
  • Erosion Control (restoration)
    • All catch basins have been cleaned out, first time since construction in 1994-1997
    • Obtaining quotes from contractor(s) for an ongoing regular maintenance program
  • Maintenance and Upkeep:
    • Pavement Restoration and Parking Space Line Painting
      • Quote being refined
    • Perimeter Tree Mitigation
      • Work is underway and should be completed in the coming week(s)
    • Replacement of Mailboxes (one set out of the two remaining sets)
      • May delay until 2018
    • Pressure Washing Decks and Sealing/Staining
      • May delay until 2018
    • Verizon FiOS
      • Waiting on underground site design
      • Internal design through exterior wall to attic through all attics and down into the mechanical room
      • Each Unit will need to have a grounded electrical outlet installed on the fire wall between the mechanical room and the Unit, this will be a Unit Owner expense, not a Common Area expense

New Business

  • Common Area Fees (Budget) $$$$
    • Insurance Claims (Non-Renewal of General Liability)
      • Two personal injury claims were made adding to the loss run history
      • There are open questions regarding negligence and the matters remains under investigation
      • General liability insurance was not renewed due to two aforementioned claims and we had to go to the surplus market adding ~$10,000 to our premiums
      • The insurance carrier is requiring that we budget $50,000 for two master insurance policy deductibles that the Association would be responsible for, these are not for individual Unit Owner claims deductibles
      • The Board will be flagging unused deductibles to rollover, if not used and remain in the budget rather than being transferred to Capital Reserves at the end of the year
    • Legal Expenditures (i.e., legal disputes, court complaints, insurance disputes, etc.)
      • 14% of the Units (18 Units) have generated additional legal expenses that all Unit Owners now have to pay for
      • 77% of the legal expenses are due to disputes, and of the 77%, 37% was one Unit and 19% was another Unit, the remaining 16 Units make up the rest of these expenses
      • 21% of the legal expenses are due to Unit Owners not paying their Common Area Fees and lien enforcement (collection) actions, which eventually Liberty Commons should recover from their mortgage holder or upon foreclosure sales
      • 2% of the legal expenses due to Unit Owners, could be considered reasonable expenses
      • All of these expenses are from individuals who don’t want to abide by their obligations
    • Media (i.e., implications, impacts, etc.)
      • One Unit Owner generated close to $3,000 in legal (public relations) expenses for all Unit Owners, due to her misrepresentation of facts to a media outlet (television) and her daughter’s misrepresentation to another media outlet (radio)
      • Potential damages were caused to Liberty Commons’ reputation, due to the actions of a few individuals, and all Unit Owners could suffer any financial consequences
      • Baseless personal attacks could add additional financial burdens or ramifications
      • The impact on property values and time on market is to be determined
      • Misinformation and opinions not based on actual facts are rampant, however, the majority of opinions shared are “You live in a condo, follow the rules, move, or stop whining.”
    • A Few Individuals
      • All of these extra and unnecessary costs are due to just a few individuals, who don’t want to abide by their obligations to Liberty Commons Condominium Trust and want to attempt to bully the majority of Unit Owners and Board
      • If these few individuals persist, then Common Area Fees will also continue to increase to offset the additional costs, and this is not fair to the overwhelming majority who fulfill their obligations to Liberty Commons Condominium Trust and enjoy living here
      • The majority need to tell these individuals that they don’t want to hear the nonsense (fiction not facts), that these few individuals are costing us all unnecessary money (insurance, legal, etc.), and that they just need to stop their nonsense and whining because its impacting all of us

Unit Owner’s Forum

  • A Unit Owner inquired about the painting of exterior front doors, who’s responsibility it was, and if there was a planned schedule. Doors are owned by the Unit Owners; however, painting the front doors is an Association responsibility. Doors will not be addressed this calendar year, but may be considered for next year.
  • A Unit Owner asked about the status of installation of fences at Gates Crossing to closely match those on Berrington Road. This was an item that was deferred for now, but will be considered after the Grounds Improvement Initiative (maintenance and repairs) has been completed.
  • A Unit Owner complained about the grounds maintenance contractor, not keeping up with the weeding. The Board acknowledged that is a problem that has been addressed.
  • Two new Unit Owners saw an unfavorable (fictional) media spotlight on Liberty Commons and said it did not deter them from purchasing. These new Unit Owners chalked up the matter to an unhappy person who doesn’t like following rules and who was not pleased that were held accountable.
  • A Unit Owner inquired if there would be a notice 30-days before the planned increase in Common Area Fees. The Board confirmed that is normal practice and expected that the increase could be implemented on November 1, 2017. The last increase was implemented on February 1, 2016.
  • A Unit Owner asked if there was more that could be done for Units that have had water infiltration in the past. The general contractor will be opening up a Unit to see if there is more than can be addressed to help minimize these impacts.

Having no further business, the Board adjourned the meeting at 8:36 PM EST.

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